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Bad Experience with Pay TV
Old 11-01-2018, 07:44 AM   #1
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Bad Experience with Pay TV

This story is too long, but I'll try to hit the high points.
I've used the service since 1990. Yesterday, I had a minor problem, so called customer service. The rep was having trouble understanding me, and I him, because of a language barrier, so I asked to be switched to a supervisor. (my suspicion is that the supervisor is the girl in the next desk, but no matter)...
anyway... three minutes on hold. The "supervisor" was no better, and didn't seem to understand so I asked again to speak to someone else. This time almost 10 minutes. Long and short, I hung up and started again. Three quarters of an hour later, still getting nowhere. Finally got to talk with a snarky lady, who was very difficult, and finally hung up on me.

No big thing, except a little peeved.

Twenty minutes later, as I'm on my email, four different emails. The important parts below. None of which I was currently subscribed to.

Quote:
Programming: NBA LEAGUE PASS 2018
Monthly Price: $ 199.95 in 1 payment
.................................................. .....................
Programming: PREMIER
Monthly Price: $ 158.99 per month
.................................................. .....................
Programming: NFL SUNDAY TICKET MAX 2018
Monthly Price: $ 211.96 in 1 payment
.................................................. .....................
Programming: Brazzers
Monthly Price: $ 29.99 Monthly
(I think this is may be a porn station)
.................................................. .....................
Total $610 subscriptions being billed.
.................................................. ...................................
So, what to do next? Auto pay on my credit account.
Called again to the TV service... another half hour with no satisfaction. along the way I mentioned my age and that it was harder to handle these problems... perhaps that led one of the customer service persons to add the accounts, and to pick up some commission.

What to do?
Called my Credit Card service.
1. They cannot stop approved sources.
2. Cancel account and get a new account?? Yes, but that means contacting all of my auto pay services, some of which are yearly. Perhaps 15 different sources.

The Credit Card fraud department said they would key my account for the amounts and the company I had alerted them to, and they would refer the information to their litigation department, and let me know.

And that's where we stand today. I'm writing to my State Attorney General to make a complaint, but am guessing that this may drag on, and that the amount may be too small to deal with.

Sorry to cry on your shoulder, but thought it might help to know that this kind of stuff doesn't always happen to "other people".
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Old 11-01-2018, 07:57 AM   #2
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Is this billing from the cable TV provider?

Don't waste any more time on the phone. I would write a letter to the executive office of the Cable TV company stating it is fraud and request it be removed immediately. Include your telephone contacts, but leave out the language problems. don't threaten to cancel, just confirm the charges are not valid and must be removed immediately. Add that you are disputing with the credit card co and filing a complaint with the State Attorney Gen.

Them write a separate letter to the credit card company stating it is fraud and dispute the charge, and attach a copy of the letter to the Cable TV provider. Then file a complaint with the state Attorney Gen office, include copies of both previous letters.

As you are finding out, this will be time consuming, but you should prevail.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:08 AM   #3
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I would decide I did not need the TV service and cancel everything. Then I would start the complaint process. That's outrageous.

ETA: I had a problem with Comcast and their overseas customer disservice people. I waited until the day the bill was due and called to cancel. Amazingly I was transferred to a US based, English speaking CSR and the problem was resolved in less than 5 minutes. Two more years at the discounted rate no one else knew about.
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:13 AM   #4
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I would #1 verbally cancel all tv service. And tell them you are following up with a letter with same. #2 open an online better businesss bureau complaint and give it about 2 business days to percolate. leave your contact info and see if you get reaction from corporate (Ive recently had BIG success with this so hopefully it wont have to go further. #3 write that formal letter of complaint and cancelling service, sign it in wet ink and take a good quality photo of it and then drop it in the mail
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:49 AM   #5
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Cable companies are licensed by the FCC and by a local franchising authority. If you are not able to identify the local authority via google or contacting your city council rep, you can file a complaint directly with the FCC and they will forward it. This is a better route than your state AG because the FCC knows who to direct the complaint to, and there is a strict time limit for a response.

Quote:
File a complaint
If your complaint is about a telecom billing or service issue, we will serve your complaint on your provider. Your provider has 30 days to send you a response to your complaint. We encourage you to contact your provider to resolve your issue prior to filing a complaint.
https://consumercomplaints.fcc.gov/hc/en-us
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Old 11-01-2018, 08:58 AM   #6
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Thank you for the quick replies.

At this point, I haven't heard from the Credit Card company... as of yesterday, no charge had yet been made. Hopefully one of my many (later) angry calls worked, and the charges have already been removed. I must have talked with 8 or 9 reps.

The Emails had to have come from the TV company, as the pages were filled with corporate information, trademarks, contact info etc... BTW... the Emails began with "Congratulations..... "

My post was kind of a trial to see what my eventual letters would be... I agree... with what Michael said about language... I'll leave that out.

I've been with the credit card company for 32 years (back when it was owned by Sears) They were excellent. I talked with a lawyer, who instantly understood what had happened. He highlighted my account and promised to contact me immediately when and if the charge was received, and assured me that cases like this were usually settled before more problems happened.

DW is quite upset, so I'm waiting a day or two to go through the whole process of writing to everyone and his dog. Neither one of us want to cancel TV... Am getting too old for this shtuff.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:43 AM   #7
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Are you saying they signed you up for things you did not approve?

If so, refuse to pay. Your CC company said they cannot help you with "approved" sources, but these are not approved.

My experience is that most companies record the calls in which approval of changes to the account are given, in order to have proof. So they know what the truth is so don't let them bully you.

And yes, report these guys. They are preying on seniors, sounds to me.
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Old 11-01-2018, 09:53 AM   #8
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If this situation doesn't get resolved in a timely matter, here is another option. https://ccformsubmission.ilattorneygeneral.net/


And then cancel service.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:36 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoByFour View Post
Are you saying they signed you up for things you did not approve?

If so, refuse to pay. Your CC company said they cannot help you with "approved" sources, but these are not approved.

My experience is that most companies record the calls in which approval of changes to the account are given, in order to have proof. So they know what the truth is so don't let them bully you.

And yes, report these guys. They are preying on seniors, sounds to me.
The underlined is an interesting point. If you authorize tour credit account to pay repeat , (as in monthly or yearly charges) then they will accept charges from that company. If you warn them, they will help with litigation after the fact, but your original agreement to accept charges is the overriding rule. Thus, you cannot say stop payment on this or that account after the fact. The only way to stop suspected problems, is to cancel your account before the charges arrive, which means that you must then contact all of the auto pay accounts that are in effect, and change your account number. In my case, a major project.

If this is wrong, perhaps someone can explain. That's the information I received from my credit company.

And for those who suggest cancelling the TV service, good for you, you'll save lots of money.. For DW and Me, we still like TV.
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Old 11-01-2018, 11:58 AM   #10
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I'm not understanding your explanation. Basically every online charge even a recurring one is between you and the merchant...if the merchant errs and charges you wrongly it can be corrected AFIK.

The pull on a monthly recurring comes from the merchant and its on them to make it right...if you those auto charges by email only yesterday they should pending and processed and easy enough to stop.
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Old 11-01-2018, 12:03 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
I'm not understanding your explanation. Basically every online charge even a recurring one is between you and the merchant...if the merchant errs and charges you wrongly it can be corrected AFIK.

The pull on a monthly recurring comes from the merchant and its on them to make it right...if you those auto charges by email only yesterday they should pending and processed and easy enough to stop.
Your other issues is I get the feeling you think one of the reps you talked to got peeved off and did a malicious "upgrade" to your account I'd go to war over that one..gee the NFL season is half over already...
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Old 11-01-2018, 01:00 PM   #12
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Our cable company has a local office and if yours does I would drive there and fix it in person.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:53 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ivinsfan View Post
I'm not understanding your explanation. Basically every online charge even a recurring one is between you and the merchant...if the merchant errs and charges you wrongly it can be corrected AFIK.

The pull on a monthly recurring comes from the merchant and its on them to make it right...if you those auto charges by email only yesterday they should pending and processed and easy enough to stop.
That's what I thought. Most Credit Card Companies have good Customer Service. Mine has been excellent... If there's a concern, I'd suggest talking with a rep, as I did. Has to do with legal decisions. That is not to say that calling your CC won't help, but litigation comes first.
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Old 11-01-2018, 02:53 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Teacher Terry View Post
Our cable company has a local office and if yours does I would drive there and fix it in person.
"Local" Office is in Texas...
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Old 11-01-2018, 03:01 PM   #15
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Update

Just finished letters to the Attorney General of my state, The Better Business Bureau of our greater area (No State BBB), The FCC, and the President of my TV company in Texas.
Big project to explain and give detailed info, but I hope in some way to make a point that might someday help another senior who could be at risk and not able to fight.

Will let you know what the result is... I feel it's more than just me. Last time I complained to the attorney general, there were many back and forth letters and some phone calls, but eventually it worked out.

Stay tuned...
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:27 PM   #16
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It's obvious that your Customer Lifetime Value Score was low!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/money/comp...iSD?li=BBnbfcN

(Briefly- most large corporations have algorithms that determine how well you get treated, based on an estimate of how profitable you might be to them in the future- which would explain why people threatening to stop service get someone competent, polite and empowered to make concessions.)

And although MichaelB suggested that you leave the language complaint out, I wouldn't. My late husband had a hearing problem and often had to ask to speak to someone else because he couldn't understand. A complaint that you can't understand someone's English is not a slur against any particular nationality or ethnic group or even against outsourcing. It just means the company didn't care enough to hire people who can speak English well enough to be understood by the average customer.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:43 PM   #17
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Can you go into your account on the cable company's website and simply turn off the autopay? If they haven't already billed it, then they're likely going to include those charges with your next monthly bill. If you remove the credit card from the billing and turn off the autopay, then they'll invoice you for the payment and you can dispute directly with the cable company billing department if necessary. You might even try calling the billing department now, maybe you will reach someone who speaks English, and they can avert a problem situation.
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Old 11-01-2018, 06:49 PM   #18
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I recognize the card that your talking about ("(back when it was owned by Sears)") I don't want to hijack this thread to harp on the CC, but I've had the same card and have had several merchant/consumer issues with them. I always felt that their attitude was one of your the consumer and you are on your own. I use AE or Chase for all on line purchases to avoid this attitude.
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Old 11-04-2018, 06:22 PM   #19
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Oh, *that* credit card. I legitimately hate them and refuse to do business with them or any creditor based in Delaware based on my experience with them. I consider them predatory, and it sounds like your cable TV provider is acting predatory, too.
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Old 11-05-2018, 06:23 AM   #20
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These sound like phishing emails. Just because they have corporate logos doesn’t make them real.

Any email that starts out “Congratulations” is likely fraudulent.

Check the email address of the sender. If it’s not from the company, then you’ll know for sure.
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