Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Quagmire of dealing with DirecTV

I signed up for TV service from DirecTV on August 30, 2012.

I am having some trouble interfacing with the company, so I decided to start a trouble ticket on this item on this blog. For right now I will start with the correspondence, since I think it is self explanatory.


September 20, 2012

Mr. Michael D. White, CEO
2230 East Imperial Highway
El Segundo, CA 90245

Re: Account # XXXXXXXXXX

Dear Mr. White:

I write to you as a last resort to clear up a quagmire of incomprehensible communications between DirecTV and myself.  After having spent more than eight hours of my time on this issue I will be forced to terminate my relationship with your firm if the matter is not resolved expeditiously. I cannot devote this amount of time to such an inconsequential matter.  I am a new customer to DirecTV and would prefer to have a simple relationship wherein you provide  the services and I pay for them, not an endless stream of calls and other communications that are going nowhere and where no one on your staff has any inkling of what is going on.

By way of background I provide the following narrative:

On or about August 30, 2012 (approximately 19 days ago) I initiated a call to AT&T for bundled services of DSL and TV services at one of my homes in California.  AT&T was unable to complete the TV portion of the “bundle” and told me to call DirecTV directly. I spoke with the representative of DirecTV and signed up for the service with a two year contract. They were very polite and the technician quickly arrived to set up the receiver and connected it to my TV set.

However, on September 5, 2012 (approximately two weeks ago, and about a week after I signed up for your company’s service) I received a letter from DirecTV dated August 29, 2012 ( a copy with my notations on it is included here). Besides all the incorrect information in the letter, I thought that the letter was strange in that the quality was so poor, there is no address associated with the letter, and no telephone number at DirecTV. My first reaction to it was that it was not sent by DirecTV and might be a letter ffrom someone “phishing” for my personal information. This is still my current belief.

I called DirecTV about the letter. They found no record of the letter having been sent to me, and nothing with the reference number 504697801 as indicated in the letter. I called the telephone number of the Exchange Service Center indicated in the letter. The answering system referred to NCTUE and not Exchange Service Center.

They would not deal with me unless I provided my personal information (social security number and date of birth, etc.). I gave them the reference number listed in the letter, but that was insufficient for them to deal with me. I was not giving them my personal information until I verified that they were a trustworthy party who were who they represented themselves to be.  They could not satisfy me in that regard.

Now, more specifically, the DirecTV letter of August 29 stated that the consumer reporting agency (Exchange Service Center) was unable to locate a credit file for me. I can assure you that I have a credit file. I could only conclude that somehow the representative at DirecTV had gotten my social security number incorrect or something like that, or, even more alarming, that the information provided by DirecTV to their credit reporting agency had been compromised and was being used by some interloper.  I called DirecTV to try to see if this was the case. No one at DirecTV who I was put in contact with could deal with this issue.

The letter further states that I was told certain things, more specifically, that: (1) a fee would be required and/or (2) the offer(s) for which I was qualified were not as favorable as those for consumers with a credit file. Be assured that I was not told any such things.

Being left out to hang in the breeze, so to speak, since I could not get anywhere with DirecTV, I did do some investigation into who this NCTUE organization is and found that they might be a legitimate credit reporting agency. However, I did find many comments about strange letters being received from this organization by many consumers.  Consequently, on the same day I received the letter from them, September 5, 2012 I, wrote a letter to NCTUE (see enclosed letter). I still felt somewhat uneasy about sending my personal information to them so, as you can see from the letter, I provided them with enough information for them to pull a credit file on me.

On September 18, 2012, I received a letter (attached) from NCTUE dated September 12. You will note that they were still unable to find a credit file on me.

After having received the letter from NCTUE I again called DirecTV on the matter. They again reiterated that there was no record of a letter having been sent to me on the subject and I was referred to the retention department who in turn referred me to the sales department. Since I had already dealt a few times with the sales department I decided it was time to rethink this matter. I concluded that it was time to bring in a responsible person at DirecTV to clear up this matter or I would cancel the service.

As you can probably tell from the letter that I sent to the NCTUE I have more utility accounts than most people have underwear and I can assure you that I have a credit file.

Please see that this mess is straightened out and have someone get back to me to assure me that my personal information that resides in the records of your firm is well protected and has not been compromised and the real meaning of the correspondence from your firm.



                                                                                          AUGUST 29,2012

Reference Number 504697801


Thank you for your interest in DIRECTV. Based on the identification information you provided to us, the consumer reporting agency listed below was unable to locate a credit file for you.  Because a credit file could not be located, you were told that  (1) a fee would be required and/or (2) the offer's for which you qualified were not as favorable as those for consumers with a credit file.

Since this action was based on the consumer reporting agency's inability to locate a credit file for you, you have the right, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to receive a copy of your consumer credit report at no charge if the request is made within 60 days of receipt of this letter.  This report can be obtained by writing directly to the consumer reporting agency at the address below or calling their toll-free number (866) 343 2821

           Exchange Service Center
           P.O. Box 105161
           Atlanta, GA 30348-5398

The consumer reporting agency will need identification information from you, which may include:
     A copy of this letter
     Your full name, including first, middle, last and suffix (i.e. Jr., Sr., II, or III as applicable)
     Any other names you may use or have used in the past (maiden name, previous married  name, nickname, etc.)
     Social Security Number
     Date of Birth

The consumer reporting agency listed above played no part in our decision and is unable to supply specific reasons why we took this action.  If, after receiving a copy of your consumer credit report from the consumer reporting agency, you determine that the information is not accurate or complete, you have the right to dispute the matter with the reporting agency.

This notice applies to all requests for service that you made within 30 days after your first request and in response to which we informed you that an action was taken.




September 5, 2012

Exchange Service Center
PO Box 105161
Atlanta, GA 30348-5398

Reference Number 504697801

I am in receipt of a letter dated August 29, 2012 from DIRECTV with the above captioned reference number wherein DIRECTV indicates that you were unable to locate a credit file for me.
They mailed that notice to me at @@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@@ in spite of the fact that I gave them my mailing address as stated above in South Dakota. I have the right, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to receive a copy of my consumer credit report at no charge
if the request is made within 60 days of receipt of the above cited letter. Since I am within the sixty day period, I expect you to promptly comply with this request since my relationship with DIRECTV has been jeopardized by your inability to locate my file..

Since there appears to be some confusion involved here since it was reported that you have no file on me, I have provided below some additional information as to the utility companies that I currently have accounts with (cities in parentheses are where the services are provided):

Southwest Gas Corporation, Las Vegas, NV (Incline Village, NV)
Aquarion Water Company, Lewiston, ME (Ridgefield, CT)
AT&T, Carol Stream, IL
(three accounts for Ridgefield, CT, Incline Village, NV, and San Rafael, CA)
AT&T Mobility, Atlanta, GA (Sioux Falls, SD)
Connecticut Light & Power, Hartford, CT (two accounts for Ridgefield, CT)
Comcast, San Rafael, CA (this account went inactive on August 28, 2012)
Marin Municipal Water District, Corte Madera, CA (San Rafael, CA)
NV Energy, Reno, NV (Incline Village, NV)
Pacific Gas & electric, Sacramento, CA (San Rafael, CA)
Time Warner Cable, Flushing, NY (New York, NY)

Needless to say, I have many other active non utility accounts and all the major credit reporting agencies have active files on me.  I look forward to your prompt reply.




Sioux Falls, SD

September 12 2012

Dear Consumer:

We have been unsuccessful in locating a telecom and utilities exchange data report in our database with the information that you provided.

We were unable to locate a data report for you due to one of the following reasons.
You may not have a current data report.
You may not have applied for new services recently or not actively used services (such as telecom, pay TV or utilities) for the last 10 years with a company that reports to the telecom and utilities exchanges.
We do not maintain international addresses.
Your telecom or utilities service provider(s) may not be a company that reports to the telecom and utilities exchange.

You also may want to contact the three nationwide credit reporting agencies list below for a copy of your credit file.


Thank you for giving us the opportunity to assist you.

Exchange Service Center NCTUE


Further notes on NCTUE.
On September 18, 2012 I called NCTUE (Exchange Service Center) with regard to their letter of September 12, 2012. They assured me that they have a file on me and would mail it to me at my PO Box in South Dakota.

On September 26, 2012 I called NCTUE again, having not received any credit file from them, and they informed me that it takes 7 to 10 days to get the report. That means I should receive it between September 25 and September 28. I will wait until September 29 before calling them again.

On October 1, 2012 I called NCTUE again, having not received any credit file from them. They now inform me that it takes 7 to 10 BUSINESS days to get the report that was SENT on Sept 18. They claim I will now receive it on October 2, 2012, the tenth BUSINESS day. I will call again on October 2, 2012 if I do not receive the report by that time.

On Octover 2, 2012 I called NCTUE again, having not received any credit file from them. They do not know why I did not receive the credit file. They have now initiated an investigation as to why I did not receive the credit file and have initiated a new confirmation number to remail a new credit file to me that should be received by October 16, 2012.  It is interesting to note that the representative of NCTUE (Tom) concluded the conversation by thanking me for contacting "Equifax".  I know that NCTUE is owned by Equifax. At least now I think I am dealing with a real company.  A lot of good that does me.


October 3, 2012

Exchange Service Center
PO Box 105161
Atlanta, GA 30348-5398
Confirmation numbers xxxxxxxxxxxx and yyyyyyyyyyyyyy

I am in receipt of a letter dated August 29, 2012 from DIRECTV wherein DIRECTV indicates that you were unable to locate a credit file for me and that the consequences of that may damage my relationship with them. On September 5, 2012 I wrote to you about this matter. I received a response from you dated September 12, 2012 indicating that you were again unable to locate a credit file for me. On September 18, 2012 I called your company and one of your representatives was able to locate the file and indicated that a copy would be mailed to me at the above address and I would receive it within 10 business days. On October 2, 2012 I called your company since I had not received any correspondence from you and I was told that the credit file was sent on September 18 and that I must have received it. The mailing address is, in fact, a secure lockbox and every transaction received in it is logged and scanned. The lockbox service I use for this is prepared to issue a letter certifying that no such letter was ever received at that location.
Consequently, your representative stated that you would mail to me another copy of my credit file at the above address and that I would receive it by October 16, 2012.

I again reiterate that I have the right, under the Fair Credit Reporting Act, to receive a copy of my consumer credit report at no charge in a reasonable amount of time.  My patience is waning and I intend to exercise my rights under the Fair Credit Reporting Act to collect any damages and attorneys fees I should have should you not comply with the request in a timely fashion.
The request(s) have been made within 60 days of receipt of the above cited letter from DirecTV. Since I am within the sixty day period, I, again, expect you to promptly comply with this request since my relationship with DIRECTV has been jeopardized by your inability to either locate my file or transmit a copy of it to me so that I may determine if you have recorded incorrect information in my file.

I look forward to your prompt reply.




October 4, 2012

I have received a volicemail from Debbie Barnes from the Office of the President of DirecTV, Attorney General and Better Business Bureau office 800 583-2191 X 20048. The phone number she called from is located in Idaho, (208) 363 6015. They have received the letter I sent to the President and want to discuss the matter with me. I have returned the call and left a message.

Debbie returned my call. She has thoroughly researched the history of my account and has no explanation for the letter I received. They, in fact, did pull a credit report on me and it was fine. They apologized profusely for the confusion that the letter introduced and the inability of their staff to deal with the consequences of that. I asked them to send me a letter assuring me that there will me no negative consequences that will result and that the letter was a misunderstanding on their part and should not have been sent.



October 4, 2012

Sioux Falls, SD

Re: account YYYYYYYYYY


We thank you for taking our call on October 4, 2012. We regret any frustration you may have experienced in regard to your DIRECTV service.

After review, we have determined the letter in question sent by DIRECTV on August 29 was generated in error when the order was placed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused.

We have verified your account, which was activated August 30, is in good standing.

We appreciate the opportunity to respond to your concerns and hope you will have no further cause for any complaint in relation to our service.


Debbie Bond
DIRECTV Office of the President



My letter to Exchange Service Center, or NCTUE of October 3, 2012 has gone unanswered. According to the representative I should have received a copy of my credit file by October 16, which I have not. In a call today they claim that they mailed it again to me on October 3, 2012. After numerous attempts to get the Indian Customer Service Representative to connect me to a supervisor and waiting over an hour on the phone they hung up on me.  The best they could offer, again, was to send it to me at the same address they claim to have sent it twice before. It is now time to file a claim against them for violating the Fair Credit Reporting Act.

I just got a call back with a voicemail from a Ms. Huffman from Equifax. She claims to have finally resolved the matter of the four attempts to send my credit file to me. She claims that because my file was sent to a third party and then on to someone else that it was returned to them.  This does not make any sense.  She left a phone number to send a fax to 888 416 9436 to send her information to request that the credit file be sent to my address.
I have tried to contact Ms. Huffman with no success.
So, the conclusion I have come to is that they are trying, for some unknown reason, to avoid sending me my credit file.  The plot thickens.

After a careful investigation of the circumstances I have concluded that the address to which Equifax, or NCTUE or Exchange Service Center, whatever they want to call themselves has sent the credit report to the wrong address and it has been returned to them each time.
I called the NCTUE and attempted  to speak with Ms. Huffman. She was not available, but one of the customer representatives tried to assist me by changing the address to which I wanted the report sent to.
As hard as she tried, the system would not accept the address and kept changing it to the address that would be rejected by the US Postal Service. She suggested that I contact Ms. Huffman when she was available.

I called the NCTUE (Exchange Service Center, or Equifax) to speak to Ms Huffman. I was put on hold for half an hour. Ms. Huffman is not available today, but Gayle is available. I waited another half hour on hold and the phone was disconnected.  I called back and explained that I wanted to speak with Gayle. After a 25 minute wait I was told that I would have to call back in half an hour. I told them that I would wait on the phone call rather than go through the trouble again.  After about 30 minutes another person came on and explained that Gayle was not available, but that they could help me. I explained the situation again and they said that the correct address was in the system. I explained to her the situation that occurred yesterday with the other representative. She assured me that it would be sent to the correct address and that it would be sent out today. I should have it in 3 to 5 business days.  On the outside that should be by October 31, Halloween. Now, that's a scary thought. I bet I know the outcome already.
Another few hours on the phone, oh well. what to you expect in such a technologically advanced society.

I have decided that this thread has taken on a life of its own and has nothing to do with DirecTV anymore. I am now going to post to a new page called Equifax. Please continue on that post.