Class Says DirecTV Bills for Bogus Accounts

(CN) – A class action claims DirecTV opens satellite TV accounts for consumers who have fraud alerts on their credit accounts, then places the burden on them to close the account or pay for services they never ordered. DirecTV has been sued at least 308 times in the past 5 years, often for its billing procedures, many of them class actions, according to the Courthouse News database.




     The latest complaint, in Chicago Federal Court, claims DirecTV uses bogus computer “confirmation” calls to victims that do not work properly and forces the consumer to call the company on her own dime.
     Named plaintiff Brianna Greene claims DirecTV opened an account in her name but without her knowledge on Jan. 2, then an automatic telephone dialing system to call her cell phone three days later.
     Greene said she had never provided DirecTV or any of its representatives with her cell phone number, which she believes the company secured by reviewing her credit report, by hiring a skip trace company, or through the company whose automated system called her phone.
     DirecTV’s call featured a prerecorded message that said an account had been opened on her behalf, and told her that she did not open the account, she should push “0.” Green says pressed 0 several times, but was never connected to an operator. To reach a human being, she had to dial the 800 number that appeared on her cell phone after the call.
     Greene says the told her the account had been opened, that a fraud alert had been received from one or more credit bureaus, and that DirecTV would send her a form to fill out to complete her “cancellation” of the fraudulent account.
     New DirecTV customers have a 15-day “grace period” to cancel an account with no penalty other than to pay for the service they actually received, Greene says.
     She claims that in requiring victims of fraud to fill out an affidavit, DirecTV places a higher burden of proof and inconvenience upon victims than upon ordinary customers who actually ordered, and wish to cancel, a new account.
     Greene seeks class damages for violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, the Truth in Lending Act, and the Illinois Consumer Fraud Act.
     She is represented by Alexander Burke of Chicago.

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