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DirecTV and The CBE Group


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About a year ago, I got Directv. I wanted an HD-DVR, and 2 normal receivers. They told me that HD-DVR's could not be leased, and that buying one cost $400. I paid for it.

They also charged me $5 a month for each of the leased receivers, for a total of $10 a month.

10 months later, I move and I discontinue the service, expecting to pay the prorated $150 termination fee for terminating the contract 2 months early. I should owe $30 or so.

I get a bill for $180 in termination fees. They claim that I have a 2 year contract, and that the $400 was a "leasing fee" and that I need to also send "their" equipment back to them. They are now claiming that the $10 a month was a charge for the 2 additional receivers, and that the first one is free.

So, they are claiming that I have to pay a $400 leasing fee, $50 in fees, a $180 disconnect fee AND I have to send the receiver back. I paid $630 to BORROW a receiver for 10 months, according to them.

I asked them to send me a copy of the leasing agreement. That is certainly not what I agreed to.

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I got a dunning letter from DirecTV's CA, "The CBE Group".

I sent them this DV:

I am in receipt of your letter dated July 10, 2007. I am writing to respond, with the hope that I can finally get some sort of assistance. I have previously sent 2 letters to your client in regards to this matter.

The bill I received from DirecTV, dated 4/26/2007 reflects an early termination fee of $187.00. I telephoned their offices to inquire about this charge, and was told that this fee was an early termination fee for a 2 year obligation, and that this two year obligation was the result of my leasing advanced equipment from DirecTV. The telephone representative went on to say that a one year obligation would apply to the lease of standard equipment.

To the best of my knowledge, the only equipment that I leased was a pair of standard receivers, for which I was billed $4.99 per month each. The third receiver that I had was purchased by me on July 13, 2006 for the sum of $424.94 and charged onto my Visa card, reference number xx redacted for privacy xx. I purchased this receiver after DirecTV’s representative informed me that high definition DVRs were too valuable for DirecTV to lease, and that if I wanted one I would have to buy it.

If this was a lease, where is the lease agreement, signed by me, that specifies exactly what equipment was leased, and the terms of this lease?

The last bill I received was in the amount of $164.40 and is dated 5/26/2007. DirecTV’s last letter, dated 5/22/2007, claims an amount due of $223.25. DirecTV’s own billing and collections departments can’t seem to make sense of this, nor can I.

Since there exists a controversy between the parties as to the exact terms and conditions of the obligations of the parties, I am forced to dispute your claims to debt, and demand that you produce copies of a lease agreement that bears my signature, and specifies the equipment that was leased, along with all other terms of the agreement.

Please be advised that all telephone calls to my home number may be recorded, and no telephone calls may be made to my place of employment, as my employer prohibits such calls.

Thank you in advance for any assistance you can give in this matter,

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Whats a form letter? :D I've had 100% success with my own letters. That doesn't mean that I can't use info and examples from some of the excellent material available.

In your situation it sounds like their playing games with you "dirty pool" as mom used to call it. I'd put my money on you coming out on the high side on this one.

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Dive, you forgot to ask for:

What the money you say I owe is for;

Explain and show me how you calculated what you say I owe;

Provide me with copies of any papers that show I agreed to pay what you say I owe;

Provide a verification or copy of any judgment if applicable;

Identify the original creditor;

Prove the Statute of Limitations has not expired on this account

Show me that you are licensed to collect in my state

Provide me with your license numbers and Registered Agent


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I have Directv (actually twice now). Their whole marketing campaign is to LEAVE your equipment when you move and they give you new. When you move your contract should end, period. We moved the last time 4 months into having them and went back to cable at the new house. Never a problem. This last go around when we bought a house we had them come back out. We brought our old receivers from house to house even when we had cable thinking we could use them again. Gave them to the guy and you'd think we gave him a handful of crap...literally! I'd go up to their webpage and start printing out every single solitation and marketing ad up there and any and all fine print. I can tell you I NEVER signed a contract; only authorized verbally on the phone. And yes, they say I have a 2 year contract. If the equipment was yours, did you bring it with you when you moved? If not, I'd give them directions to the old house and tell them to climb their butts up a ladder and get their own damn equipment.

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  • 1 month later...
  • 3 weeks later...

I am trying to get a guarantee that I can sell the receiver to someone, and that they will activate it. I sent them an email, and this is the reply I got:

While this receiver was originally signed under our leasing agreement, we would no longer require you return this to us due to the age of the unit. Our leasing agreement, as well as our customer agreement, are bound to the account upon activation of our services. This commitment and leasing agreement are also sent to our customers periodically through the mail and are referenced directly on the back of each billing statement. In addition, the leasing agreement and customer commitment terms are mailed to each of our customers within 5 days of activation of our service.

As mentioned earlier, we are no longer accepting these receivers back and you may either dispose of it or choose to sell it to a 3rd party. Unfortunately, we do not refund equipment that has been activated. I have also personally researched your account and found that all early cancellation fees as well as non returned equipment fees have been refunded to your account. As mentioned in our previous reply, you may expect a refund check of $22.60 mailed to you within the next 6 to 8 weeks. I once again apologize for the confusion our initial reply caused.

They are ignoring the fact that I bought the receiver, and are still asserting that it was a lease. They are claiming that whether I bought it or not, as soon as I activated the receiver, the sale was negated, and the receiver again becomes property of DirecTV. They are happy to go to arbitration, though.

I urge everyone to be very careful when dealing with them. I now have a receiver that I cannot sell, because they will refuse to activate it.

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I won. They sent me a revised bill, showing a credit for the cancellation fee. I can now sell the DVR to someone else. Tee hee!!

LOL. WTG! Reading through this I was just thinking about how annoying utility companies can be. They behave as if they all still have monopoly. Glad it worked for you so easily.


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