When it comes to TV or mobile phone service, consumers aren’t shy about saying what they don’t like. That’s not only true here on this blog, which made me refocus the content to cover TV and mobile heavily last year, but to the local Better Business Bureau.
The Better Business Bureau of the Southland reports that mobile phone service and TV service were the two categories with the most complaints last year (see bottom chart). But by far the top offender? DirecTV, based in El Segundo. The satellite TV service received 15,367 complaints, well above second place Federal Loan Modification Center in Northridge, which had 858 complaints.
The BBB said that DirecTV issues are related to billing disputes, early cancellation fees, inadequate disclosure about the cost of service and the inability to contact the company.
|Southland BBB’s 10 companies with most complaints|
The organization — the go-to site for Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties,– also pointed out that DirecTV has faced government scrutiny for violating the Telemarketing Sales Rule and the Washington state Consumer Protection Act for “false or unfair use of the word “free,” among other issues.
The BBB named DirecTV its top 2009 Pluto Award recipient, which calls out the area Orange County and Los Angeles businesses that use “underhanded business practices and ambiguous advertising to augment their riches and defraud the American public of billions of dollars each year.”
“DirecTV is a well-known satellite service provider, and its number of complaints might not be quite so striking if you took its complaints-to-customers ratio into consideration. Nevertheless, its practices and rating prompt us to urge extreme caution in doing business with DirecTV,” warned the BBB.
DirecTV spokesperson Jade-lin Ekstedt acknowledged the issue and said that the company is working on improving the poor rating. Read the rest of this entry »