I’m almost embarrassed to write this one. I feel like a bit of a fool, like I’ve been taken a bit, like my face should be depicted looking more like the back end of one of those mules you’d find working the fields before tractors became all the rage.
It’s been over seven months now since I lost my job. One of the first calls we made all that time ago in cutting our budget was to get rid of our satellite TV service, so I made a call to DirecTV to discontinue it. They offered to suspend the service for up to 180 days instead. I thought, “Okay, fine, there’s a chance I could find a job within that time.” They assured me that once the 180 days was up that I would get a reminder and I could choose whether to keep the service or get rid of it then.
Any TV viewing we’ve been doing ever since then has been off of rabbit ears through a digital converter, a DVD player, or the lone VHS cassette player we have that still works. It’s gotten to the point that we don’t even watch that much television any more, so the satellite system was forgotten.
It was forgotten, at least, until it came time to pay my last phone bill, which has had a bundled package with high-speed internet and our regular land line — and that was how I used to pay for satellite TV as well, and then I forgot all about it when it wasn’t there. When I went to pay on Tuesday, I investigated why the amount was higher than I was expecting.
We’ve been getting charged for satellite TV service we didn’t even know we had from DirecTV until paying for the bundled phone package. I check my email frequently and thoroughly, and I sure don’t recall getting any notice from DirecTV that way. My lovely wife goes through our mail, and she didn’t recall seeing any reminders from DirecTV that way either.
I made a call to DirecTV, and after sitting on my cell phone for about 15 minutes I managed to get a guy in customer service. I explained the situation, let them know that I didn’t see any reminder about the suspension being lifted, and we were billed for a service we didn’t even know that we had, and … it was a disaster of a phone call. Any time I’d open my mouth to speak, the male rep would start talking over me and wouldn’t stop, even with the words “Excuse me” coming from my mouth in louder tones.
I actually resorted to using the word “Over” on the phone to let him know when I was done speaking and he could start speaking, just like they used to do on walkie-talkies in the military. Fun times!
I let the male rep know that I wanted the service we were being billed for discontinued immediately, and he couldn’t handle that request himself so he turned me over to a “more technical” customer service rep, a female.
I let the new rep know the situation, and in no uncertain terms said that I wanted to discontinue the service we were being billed for that we didn’t even know we had and had not used since late last year, because I am unemployed.
“Well, we can offer you a different package that gives some nice discounts,” the female rep advised me.
At that point, I didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. My memory took me back to that phone call that I made all those months ago to end the service in the first place and ended up having it suspended instead.
I chose the laughing option.
“Let me repeat myself,” I said after chuckling. “I am unemployed, and you’re trying to sell me on a cheaper satellite deal instead of discontinuing the service that we’re getting billed for that we haven’t even used in over half a year. What kind of sense does that make?”
Finally, she went through the cancellation procedures and said that the service would be gone by midnight today. After getting off the phone with her (we’re still being told that we have to pay for the service that we haven’t been using, by the way), I thought, “Hey, as long as we’re still needing to pay for all this satellite service we didn’t even know we had, why don’t I just hook up the receiver to the TV and let’s get the last of our money’s worth?”
I hooked it up, powered up the receiver for the first time in months, it went through its gyrations, and a message popped up on the MSNBC channel on an otherwise black screen.
“Channel not purchased.”
“Okay, fine, let me just see what’s on one of those basic channels,” I thought. So I popped over to the “discount” Fox News Channel.
“Channel not purchased.”
Here we’ve been told that we have satellite service that we didn’t know we had, we have to pay for it, there’s still hours before they cut us off, and every channel says …
“Channel not purchased.”
Amy just about swore like a sailor when all this was going on. “How can they do that? How can they do that?” She swore up and down that she was going to call DirecTV herself and give them a piece of her mind. Heaven help them if she does. When my lovely Amy gets ticked off … well, you just don’t want to push that button, let’s leave it at that.
Before it was all over, I recalled who’s a major owner of DirecTV: NewsCorp. The same company that owns Fox News Channel. Owned by … Rupert Murdoch.
For all those nasty things I’ve ever said about Rupert Murdoch in these web pages through all these months, I guess this is how Rupert gets his revenge.
He hasn’t met Amy yet. Hoooo-boy!!! He might just think the British Parliament and all the grilling it’s put him through was a piece of cake by comparison.
Copyright 2012, Daddysangbassdude Media
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