AG suing DIRECTV for deceptive business practices



Posted on December 15, 2009 at 12:00 AM

Updated Monday, Dec 14 at 10:24 PM

SEATTLE - Bill Sidenquist is done with DIRECTV. That means adios to the receivers and the remotes. But there's a problem.

"I don't know where to send them back to," he said.

It also means, sayonara to the dish.

"It doesn't work, it doesn't work at all," he added.

That's right, Bill has moved to cable. Why? His DIRECTV signal was either horrible or non-existent. He told the company he wanted out, and they are demanding that Bill pay $600 in early termination fees.

"I started getting phone calls. They asked me when I was going to make my payment. I said, 'I've been trying to get out of this contract,' which never happened," he said.

Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna has heard similar stories before.

"DIRECTV stands out for providing some of the worst customer service and some of the most deceptive advertising of any company we've seeing this field so far," said McKenna.

Now McKenna is taking DIRECTV to court. The suit accuses the company of failing to disclose rebate terms, misrepresenting free items and failing to adequately disclose early cancellation fees by using tiny print in its ads.

"This is the quintessential fine print the details are buried in, and even then not all of the terms and conditions are even in this fine print," he said.

Bill says he signed up for a $39.95 channel package.

"They said you'd get all of these extra channels and when it came down to it - it cost $59.95 a month and I said, 'This is not the initial thing that you told me!'" said Bill.

In a statement e-mailed to Get Jesse, DIRECTV said: "The vast majority of Washington customers understand our lease agreement and are happy with our overall service. We believe their allegations lack merit and we are confident the court will agree with us."

To that McKenna says DIRECTV is number one.

"They are number one in a way no business wants to be number one and they need to change their practices which the number one priority we have in this lawsuit," he said.

We've taken Bill's case to DIRECTV and they promised to take a good look at it. In the meantime, if you have a problem with DIRECTV, contact the Attorney General's office right away, and then call me.

For consumer concerns, e-mail Jesse to or call toll-free 877-51-JESSE. Follow him on Twitter at