DIRECTV in midst of cancellation fee lawsuit - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

DIRECTV in midst of cancellation fee lawsuit

By John Bachman - bio | email

PORT ST. LUCIE, FL (WFLX) - DIRECTV is feeling the heat angering families and grabbing the attention of the government.

It's an issue that has sparked nationwide lawsuits against the satellite company, and even caused a Port St. Lucie man to create a Facebook page against DIRECTV.

Dan Kalina says he tried to go through the proper channels to get help from DIRECTV, but it's not working.

"Right now, as with many people, I'm going through some financial hardships. Things are tight overall," Kalina said. He's working, but it's still hard for him to make ends meet. So, his immediate family is moving in with extended family.

He also wants to cancel his DIRECTV to save even more; moreover, the condo, where he is moving, doesn't allow satellite dishes.

But when he called, "The response was not really what I was hoping for -- immediately, immediately shut down. They preach contract is the contract, contract is the contract," informed Kalina.

He says, he was assured by a DIRECTV sales person when he first signed up, he could cancel if he moved to a location that didn't allow satellite dishes; however, he does admit he didn't read the fine print.

Still, he says, he thought with his financial hardship and his pending move, DIRECTV would work with him. But, then, he was told he could only cancel without a fee if a technician could not find the satellite signal at his new home. "It really does surprise me that companies wouldn't understand a little bit more. I mean what's a $200 cancellation fee among the bigger picture."

Robert Mercer, a spokesman for DIRECTV, said, "Our customers are informed at each touch point of all relevant terms and conditions of their agreement with DIRECTV."

And when it comes to financial hardships, Mercer says, "We do take those circumstances under consideration on a case-by-case basis and try to work with those customers who may be having financial difficulty."

Dan Kalina is still waiting for DIRECTV to work with him. He has this advice for anyone else who signs up with the company. "You know what, read your contracts, know what you are signing. But the bottom line is this is misrepresentation."

DIRECTV is also the defendant in a class action lawsuit; the plaintiffs in that case say these early cancellation fees are illegal.

The spokesman for DIRECTV told me they are going to reevaluate Mr. Kalina's case to see if there is anything they can do, but they stopped short of making any promises.

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