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State, consumers to receive DirecTV restitution

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Missouri, along with 48 other states and Washington, D.C., has reached a $13.25 million settlement with DirecTV for engaging in deceptive and unfair sales practices, according to a news release from Attorney General Chris Koster.

DirecTV will pay $185,000 of the settlement to the state of Missouri, will pay restitution to eligible consumers and will halt faulty business practices in the future.

“We intend to ensure satellite and cable television services play by the rules,” Koster said in the release. “This agreement sends a message to all service providers that Missouri will enforce its laws for fair business practices and take action whenever they violate those laws.”

Koster said the state received a number of complaints concerning DirecTV, including:
  • unclear disclosure of price and length of services;
  • enrollment in additional contracts or contract terms without clearly disclosing said terms;
  • enrollment in additional contracts when defective equipment was replaced; and
  • failure to clearly disclose that seasonal sports packages would automatically renew.
Under the settlement, DirecTV has agreed to:
  • clearly disclose all terms to consumers;
  • replace defective leased equipment without consumer cost, except for shipping costs;
  • allow the consumer to replace defective equipment without having to enter into another contract;
  • clearly state when a consumer is entering a contract;
  • provide accurate details about availability of sports programming;
  • represent whether a consumer will get cash back or a bill credit; and
  • notify consumers at least 10 days in advance of a cancellation or equipment fee.

Consumers with complains that fall within the terms of the settlement and occurred after Jan 1, 2007, will be considered for the restitution program. Additional complaints can be filed to the attorney general's office by June 9, 2011.

DirecTV will attempt to resolve complaints directly but will refer some to third-party claims administrators.[[In-content Ad]]

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