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(Colorado Springs Gazette)   "Hello, DirecTV? My house was destroyed in a fire so I need to cancel my account." "No problem, sir. That will be $400 for the dish that was on your house"   (gazette.com) divider line 168
    More: Asinine, Direct TV, Black Forest  
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6197 clicks; posted to Main » on 14 Jun 2013 at 7:21 AM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-06-14 07:01:07 AM
That's what homeowners insurance is for
 
2013-06-14 07:23:03 AM
Exactly. Yeah it sucks that something bad happened to you, but you rented the dish from them. That's how it works.
 
2013-06-14 07:24:00 AM
Um... Yeah... That's how it works.a contract is a contract and it should be covered by isurance
 
2013-06-14 07:26:41 AM
Your house is destroyed by fire.  It is saddening and I do feel sorry for you.  But, are all your bills then supposed to magically disappear?

Electric, Gas, Phone, internet, TV and Water bills for the month, up to the time of the fire, just magically go "poof"?

They're playing the P.R. nightmare card, bringing it to the media's attention, in hopes of getting out of it.
 
2013-06-14 07:27:39 AM
Argh Wargarbl!!! Big corporations cheating the little guy!!!! (a.k.a. the outrage subby was looking for)
 
2013-06-14 07:31:11 AM
"I couldn't believe it," he said Thursday. "I had lost everything and they acted like they could'NT care less."

They couldn't.
 
2013-06-14 07:31:11 AM

Securitywyrm: Exactly. Yeah it sucks that something bad happened to you, but you rented the dish from them. That's how it works.


And presumably your home/content insurance should cover it. Seems like it should be a non-issue.
 
2013-06-14 07:31:35 AM
Does he expect the bank to forgive his mortgage too?
 
2013-06-14 07:32:21 AM
If you had something valuable in your house that belonged to me, and said "something valuable" was destroyed in a fire, I'd expect you to pay me for it.
 
2013-06-14 07:35:43 AM
At least they let him cancel.  I remember Verizon charging me $200 to cancel my father's cell phone even after I brought them a copy of the death certificate.
 
2013-06-14 07:37:09 AM

abhorrent1: Does he expect the bank to forgive his mortgage too?


He should. At least in Canada, banks tend to require insurance (with the bank as beneficiary) as a condition for granting that mortgage. House burns down, insurance pays off the mortgage, everybody walks away.
 
2013-06-14 07:37:22 AM

markfara: If you had something valuable in your house that belonged to me, and that aforementioned said "something valuable" was destroyed in a fire, I'd expect you to pay me for it.


It's early. Sorry.
 
2013-06-14 07:38:37 AM
If for some reason this guy has no fire insurance I can understand him making a fuss. but if he has insurance and they pay off the $400 this is just a money grab as I'm sure he will include it in his claim even if Direct TV waves the $400.

I always love this type of quote
"I tried to explain that a couple hundred dollars is nothing to them but a lot to me," said Beach. "I need that money. I can use it to buy diapers, clothes for my family."

Maybe if you didn't spend the money on direct tv in the first place you would have money in savings to pay for those diapers and clothes for your family
 
2013-06-14 07:39:00 AM

Koodz: At least they let him cancel.  I remember Verizon charging me $200 to cancel my father's cell phone even after I brought them a copy of the death certificate.


You're not responsible for your parents debt.
 
2013-06-14 07:39:20 AM
Just be glad he wasn't renting his furniture.
 
2013-06-14 07:40:18 AM
Sounds legit to me.
 
2013-06-14 07:40:20 AM
One of these threads again?

Yes, your insurance, (homeowners or renters, you are responsible and spend the like 75 bucks a year for renters insurance, right?) will take care of it, which is why direct tv will bill you. If they did not, anyone who wanted to get out of any contract ever could just make up some sob story, and companies would then have to play detective on everything.

Koodz: At least they let him cancel.  I remember Verizon charging me $200 to cancel my father's cell phone even after I brought them a copy of the death certificate.


Why shouldn't they? They are no different than any other creditor, be it a credit card, a mortgage, whatever, that the estate is OBLIGATED to pay out. Had your father died destitute, or had mr burnt dish mcdish been destitute, there are procedures in place to essentially say, "hey, we got nothing left to pay you with" to disolve the debt.

Lets say your dad owed 100k on his mortgage. Should the bank just say, "wow, sucks he is dead, we will forget about the 100k he owed us, enjoy the house!"
 
2013-06-14 07:40:31 AM
Hi its the semi-annual directv/comcast whoever wouldn't give me free shiat just because something bad happened to me and I'm too lazy to add it to the insurance claim article!

In all seriousness though I don't know why DirecTV doesn't insure these things theirselves just to avoid the bad PR.  The cost of doing that has to be negligible.
 
2013-06-14 07:42:23 AM
Is subby trolling or is the concept of personal responsiblity just alien to him?
 
2013-06-14 07:42:32 AM
"I tried to explain that a couple hundred dollars is nothing to them but a lot to me," said Beach. "I need that money. I can use it to buy diapers, clothes for my family."

I'll bet it was a real struggle to pay the  TV bill every month. An American Tragedy, this story. Sniff.
 
2013-06-14 07:42:44 AM

cheap_thoughts: Koodz: At least they let him cancel.  I remember Verizon charging me $200 to cancel my father's cell phone even after I brought them a copy of the death certificate.

You're not responsible for your parents debt.


No but If his dad has assets that were going to get passed on to him and he didn't want $200 to turn into $2000 + penalties/interest and a lawsuit against dads estate that would hold up its disposition it may be a good idea.
 
2013-06-14 07:43:42 AM
The dish, huh? I couldn't *get* them to take that farking thing back when I cancelled my service. I ended up tossing it on a junk heap.
 
2013-06-14 07:44:37 AM

cretinbob: That's what homeowners insurance is for


Came here to say this.
 
2013-06-14 07:44:38 AM
I can see both sides of this.  It's an uncommon problem, but due to the number of dishes out there it happens enough to justify rewriting the contract a bit.  $400 is cheap compared to a little PR damage here and there.  Most customers trying to decide what provider to go with will latch onto any information they've heard or can easily Google.  Right or wrong, it's in DirectTV's best interest to absorb things like this.  Besides, it's not like they still don't get to write off the inventory loss.
 
2013-06-14 07:45:04 AM

firesign: The dish, huh? I couldn't *get* them to take that farking thing back when I cancelled my service. I ended up tossing it on a junk heap.


The dish and 2 receivers....
 
2013-06-14 07:45:19 AM

NickelP: Hi its the semi-annual directv/comcast whoever wouldn't give me free shiat just because something bad happened to me and I'm too lazy to add it to the insurance claim article!

In all seriousness though I don't know why DirecTV doesn't insure these things theirselves just to avoid the bad PR.  The cost of doing that has to be negligible.


Its a headache. If they tried to stake some kind of ownership claim in the physical dish, you would have people trying to sue them every time some poorly installed one fell on some
 
2013-06-14 07:46:50 AM

firesign: The dish, huh? I couldn't *get* them to take that farking thing back when I cancelled my service. I ended up tossing it on a junk heap.


You were probably off contract. He probably signed up for a 2 year deal or whatever that gave him a free dish and receivers. Just like if the guy further up the threads father's phone was off contract, he could just say, "cancel the service"
 
2013-06-14 07:47:11 AM
What, are we reviewing first drafts of stories submitted to the consumerist now?
 
2013-06-14 07:49:07 AM

Securitywyrm: Exactly. Yeah it sucks that something bad happened to you, but you rented the dish from them. That's how it works.


But when you move, DirecTV tells you to just leave the dish behind and they send you another one.
 
2013-06-14 07:50:15 AM

cretinbob: That's what homeowners insurance is for


Hell, he probably doesn't even need to pay NOW.

Spend your money on the diapers and whatnot. In a few months when your insurance check comes it, makes sure to pay DirecTV for the dish they gave/sold you.
 
2013-06-14 07:50:54 AM

rufus-t-firefly: Securitywyrm: Exactly. Yeah it sucks that something bad happened to you, but you rented the dish from them. That's how it works.

But when you move, DirecTV tells you to just leave the dish behind and they send you another one.


It's been mentioned, but since it's not sinking in:

They told him he would owe $400 for a satellite dish and two receivers destroyed in the blaze.
 
2013-06-14 07:52:09 AM

rufus-t-firefly: Securitywyrm: Exactly. Yeah it sucks that something bad happened to you, but you rented the dish from them. That's how it works.

But when you move, DirecTV tells you to just leave the dish behind and they send you another one.


Because now there is a slight added incentive to the dude who moves in after you to go, "hey, maybe I'll get direct TV", and they won't need to send him a dish. Can't really do that with a melted dish. They also tell you to bring your boxes with you, which I imagine is what most of this charge is for.
 
2013-06-14 07:52:48 AM

rufus-t-firefly: Securitywyrm: Exactly. Yeah it sucks that something bad happened to you, but you rented the dish from them. That's how it works.

But when you move, DirecTV tells you to just leave the dish behind and they send you another one.


This is also in their best interest.  If you were the person moving in and you saw that there was already a system in place, would you call them to get it going again or would you go through the hassle of getting a different provider?  Results may vary, but it's a better chance of getting the business than removing it.
 
2013-06-14 07:54:29 AM

cretinbob: That's what homeowners insurance is for


And what insurance adjusters are for. "Dear Directv, minus depreciation, your dish is worth $10.95. Here is your check."
 
2013-06-14 07:54:49 AM

NickelP: firesign: The dish, huh? I couldn't *get* them to take that farking thing back when I cancelled my service. I ended up tossing it on a junk heap.

The dish and 2 receivers....


Yeah, I missed that. I blame subby for making me have to actually RTFA to get the real info.

/Welcome to fark, etc.
 
2013-06-14 07:57:38 AM

badhatharry: cretinbob: That's what homeowners insurance is for

And what insurance adjusters are for. "Dear Directv, minus depreciation, your dish is worth $10.95. Here is your check."


if you have a decent policy, it will account for the fact that the item was under contract, and what its real value to you is.
 
2013-06-14 07:59:02 AM
I can see Directv quibbling about the DVRs, but the dishes are disposable.  They even advertise that you leave them behind when you move.

When I signed back up last Summer they offered coverage on the equipment.  Think I took it.
 
2013-06-14 08:00:06 AM
Slightly off-topic, but doesn't it seem like most of the personal satellite dishes are attached to mobile homes and cheap apartments? Maybe it's just me. I rarely see the things in newer developments but when I drive through town some of the older houses chopped up in to Section 8 apartments have so many dishes it looks like a branch office for SETI.
 
2013-06-14 08:01:57 AM
DirecTV could've been a bit more tactful about that. The guy was obviously emotional as hell. He just lost his farking HOUSE! But I agree he owes the money, and the homeowner's insurance should cover it

/I know, tact is a 4 letter word.
 
2013-06-14 08:02:05 AM

LineNoise: NickelP: Hi its the semi-annual directv/comcast whoever wouldn't give me free shiat just because something bad happened to me and I'm too lazy to add it to the insurance claim article!

In all seriousness though I don't know why DirecTV doesn't insure these things theirselves just to avoid the bad PR.  The cost of doing that has to be negligible.

Its a headache. If they tried to stake some kind of ownership claim in the physical dish, you would have people trying to sue them every time some poorly installed one fell on some


I was thinking more the receivers.  The dish probably cost them around $10 or less to make, I doubt anyone gives two shiats about that.  They already offer optional insurance on the equipment that this guy apparently declined.  A blanket policy covering all directv customers for loss of equipment that had a clause allowing them to seek reimbursement from any primary insurance provider (if one exists) in the case of natural disaster seems pretty doable.

I'm sure its more complicated than this, but it could work like when you get in a car accident and use your health insurance.  They bill it back to the car insurance company that is responsible.  If none exists then they have to deal with it.

DirecTV should be big enough to have enough claims that they could stream line this type of thing pretty easy and in the cases of hurricanes etc batch the claims together.  Then when a customer calls over something like this all they need to do is say 'who is your home insurance/renters insurance company' if they say no one then directv writes it off.  Honestly if there is no insurance I can't imagine DirecTV gets paid very often anyways.  Maybe for a renter or some very wealthy individuals but a large fire without insurance is going to wipe out a lot of people.
 
2013-06-14 08:03:47 AM

LineNoise: badhatharry: cretinbob: That's what homeowners insurance is for

And what insurance adjusters are for. "Dear Directv, minus depreciation, your dish is worth $10.95. Here is your check."

if you have a decent policy, it will account for the fact that the item was under contract, and what its real value to you is.


Most policies will pay what it will cost to replace two used receivers and a dish. It depends on how new the equipment was.
 
2013-06-14 08:04:46 AM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Slightly off-topic, but doesn't it seem like most of the personal satellite dishes are attached to mobile homes and cheap apartments? Maybe it's just me. I rarely see the things in newer developments but when I drive through town some of the older houses chopped up in to Section 8 apartments have so many dishes it looks like a branch office for SETI.


People with money get cable and such.

Grabbing moving pictures from the airwaves...how primitive.
 
2013-06-14 08:04:52 AM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Slightly off-topic, but doesn't it seem like most of the personal satellite dishes are attached to mobile homes and cheap apartments? Maybe it's just me. I rarely see the things in newer developments but when I drive through town some of the older houses chopped up in to Section 8 apartments have so many dishes it looks like a branch office for SETI.


Its a few things. People get behind on their cable, so switch to direct tv. They then get behind on that, and switch to dish, they then get behind that and switch to something else.

also, until recently, you got far more international channels on sat then you did on cable. My cable company now offers packages with a crapton of spanish, etc channels, so that may not be as big of a driver anymore.

Also someone in a decent place is probably going to put a little thought into where they stick their dish for aesthetics if they do have sat, as opossed to a guy living in a trailer who is just going to stick it wherever it is easiest. I originally wanted to get it in my place, but the only place I had LOS was right off my terrace, and I didn't want to stare at that thing every time I sat outside.
 
2013-06-14 08:05:04 AM
Ya they don't care about the dish. It is the receivers they want the $ for.

Directv can be a customer service hell like no other, but in this case they seem to be in the right about those receivers.

Sucks for them having a fire but as mentioned that is why you carry INS
 
2013-06-14 08:05:13 AM
How much was the early termination fee?
 
2013-06-14 08:07:06 AM
He's still responsible for it but his home owners insurance will cover it.
 
2013-06-14 08:09:11 AM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Slightly off-topic, but doesn't it seem like most of the personal satellite dishes are attached to mobile homes and cheap apartments? Maybe it's just me. I rarely see the things in newer developments but when I drive through town some of the older houses chopped up in to Section 8 apartments have so many dishes it looks like a branch office for SETI.


nicer apartments tend to do things like charge decently large deposits on them (you can't legally not allow them).  shiat holes ones don't give a fark.

Also they can't not allow them legally, but tons of HOA's restrict them anyways and just back down if they get sued.  Most people don't care enough to fight it.
 
2013-06-14 08:10:43 AM

NickelP: LineNoise: NickelP: Hi its the semi-annual directv/comcast whoever wouldn't give me free shiat just because something bad happened to me and I'm too lazy to add it to the insurance claim article!

In all seriousness though I don't know why DirecTV doesn't insure these things theirselves just to avoid the bad PR.  The cost of doing that has to be negligible.

Its a headache. If they tried to stake some kind of ownership claim in the physical dish, you would have people trying to sue them every time some poorly installed one fell on some

I was thinking more the receivers.  The dish probably cost them around $10 or less to make, I doubt anyone gives two shiats about that.  They already offer optional insurance on the equipment that this guy apparently declined.  A blanket policy covering all directv customers for loss of equipment that had a clause allowing them to seek reimbursement from any primary insurance provider (if one exists) in the case of natural disaster seems pretty doable.

I'm sure its more complicated than this, but it could work like when you get in a car accident and use your health insurance.  They bill it back to the car insurance company that is responsible.  If none exists then they have to deal with it.

DirecTV should be big enough to have enough claims that they could stream line this type of thing pretty easy and in the cases of hurricanes etc batch the claims together.  Then when a customer calls over something like this all they need to do is say 'who is your home insurance/renters insurance company' if they say no one then directv writes it off.  Honestly if there is no insurance I can't imagine DirecTV gets paid very often anyways.  Maybe for a renter or some very wealthy individuals but a large fire without insurance is going to wipe out a lot of people.


Certainly it is doable, and I'm sure direct tv has people who can crunch the numbers far better than we could that have done so, and have determined that this is just easier, and anyone with common sense will understand why they billed this dumbass when you get the sob story every now and then. Ultimately it is just less legwork for them, and I doubt they would even pursue it any further than telling the guy he can't have service again until he squares up, and maybe throw a ding on his credit report that he violated his contract. They aren't exactly going to start putting liens on him or anything over a couple hundred bucks.

Like I said, if they did self insure these things, it opens up other questions, not to mention the fact that they now have to play detective on everyone who wants out of their contract or the latest model receiver. "yea, a pipe broke, and amazingly the only thing that got flooded was my receiver. Please send me a new one"

As everyone pointed out above, the dish itself isn't the real cost here, it is the 2 receivers. I know when I got cable i signed something saying I was responsible for my boxes, and would be billed a few hundred bucks for any that didn't get returned when I ended my service.
 
2013-06-14 08:10:54 AM

Mr. Coffee Nerves: Slightly off-topic, but doesn't it seem like most of the personal satellite dishes are attached to mobile homes and cheap apartments? Maybe it's just me. I rarely see the things in newer developments but when I drive through town some of the older houses chopped up in to Section 8 apartments have so many dishes it looks like a branch office for SETI.


Directv picture quality was much much better than the cable company I switched to.

Directv became so expensive and they would rather lose a longtime customer than offer the same intro or special pricing for new folks so I dumped them

Signed up for cable with almost same channels and added a 50Mbps Internet connection and it was still cheaper than directv
 
2013-06-14 08:11:21 AM
He was renting those receivers.  They belonged to DirecTV.  If he'd had an Avis rental car in the garage, would he be pitching a fit because Avis wanted him to pay for the car he wasn't returning?
 
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