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Blog Entry

DirecTV: No Sunday Ticket cost til after lockout

Posted on: June 3, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: June 3, 2011 5:40 pm
 
Posted by Will Brinson

UPDATE: Turns out that the customer service person we spoke with was wrong -- DirecTV will NOT be charging you until the lockout is resolved.

"In years past, we typically do start billing in July, but this year, due to the uncertainty around the NFL labor dispute, there will be absolutely no charge for your NFL SUNDAY TICKET subscription until it is confirmed that the 2011 NFL season will begin," Charles Miller, Director of Digital Care at DirecTV, told CBSSports.com. "What you and other customers will see on your July bill is a balance of $0.00 for the NFL SUNDAY TICKET portion and this will remain at $0 until the NFL dispute is resolved."

So, NFL fans have that going for them -- don't bother cancelling your subscription just yet.

DirecTV's "Sunday Ticket" package has become a staple for the hardcore NFL fan over the past few years. Whether it's the Red Zone channel or just an excuse to buy six more televisions, there's always a great reason to shell out $53.99 in six monthly installments to watch piles of football.

This year? Yeah, not as much, since the we're less than 100 days away from the NFL's season beginning and the lockout is still firmly in place.

Here's DirecTV's latest statement on the issue, posted on their website:
We at DIRECTV love football. That's why for over 15 years, DIRECTV has been the exclusive home for NFL SUNDAY TICKET™, the only way to watch your favorite teams no matter where you live. And DIRECTV will continue to be the exclusive home for NFL SUNDAY TICKET™. Like all football fans, we are hoping for a positive resolution to the current NFL labor negotiations. And when the NFL is ready to play, we will be ready to bring you every game every Sunday.

If the NFL negotiations result in a shortened or canceled season, rest assured that DIRECTV has you covered. Your subscription to NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ is risk-free: You will not pay for any game that the NFL does not play.*

Please return to this page for the latest updates and news concerning your NFL SUNDAY TICKET™ subscription.
Now, this SOUNDS pretty "risk-free," right? There's just one problem: DirecTV starts billing for Sunday Ticket in July. And, come July, the NFL will still have a concrete start date: September 8, 2011. The schedule won't change until the labor situation actually impedes on the season. And, sure enough, a quick call to DirecTV customer service confirmed this.

"We are going to start to charge for the NFL Sunday Ticket by … probably July 3 but there is no specific date," a DirecTV customer service representative told CBSSports.com. "But it will be in July."

See, that means if you had Sunday Ticket last year, per DirecTV's policy, you will have Sunday Ticket in 2011, unless you cancel. Making this infinitely more difficult is the fact that you can't cancel online. And because you're renewed, you will be charged beginning in about a month.

This is made even more confusing because on your June bill, you'll see a zero dollar charge for your Sunday Ticket automatic renewal.

That might seem to indicate you'll get it for free until the NFL season starts, but it doesn't.  Because the reality is you'll be charged for Sunday Ticket from now until the season is actually cancelled and/or moved.

It's nice of DirecTV to love the NFL and to [claim to] care about fans, but it would be a whole lot nicer if they waited until the labor dispute is actually resolved before charging the people who foot the bill for this entire football operation.

And, yeah, suddenly it's a lot harder to feel sorry for DirecTV getting strong-armed by the NFL in television negotiations.

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Comments

Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 8, 2012 3:00 pm
 

DirecTV: No Sunday Ticket cost til after lockout

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
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DirecTV: No Sunday Ticket cost til after lockout

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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 3, 2012 1:57 am
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fghdfre
Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: January 2, 2012 7:52 pm
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 7:10 am
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Since: Dec 2, 2011
Posted on: December 3, 2011 1:26 am
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tomlye
Since: Nov 28, 2011
Posted on: November 30, 2011 8:31 pm
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Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 9:06 pm
 

No blackouts for Sunday Ticket subscribers

Been paying for Sunday Ticket since I moved from Boston to Florida in 1999, mostly to see Patriots games.

Colts were playing at Jaguars and was very interested in seeing the game. Colts one of NE's bigger rivals, AFC South divisional game, etc.

Since the game wasn't a sellout in Jacksonville ... it was blacked out in Orlando ... even though I was paying for Sunday Ticket.

Really dude? F'n really? What's the theory here? Should I have drove 200 miles to buy tickets and sit at this game? Wasn't my chunk of money I paid for Sunday Ticket enough ... to see this game I was only marginally interested in?

Doesn't my Sunday Ticket fee get me a pass on blackouts? No? Why not?



draper1997
Since: Apr 16, 2009
Posted on: June 6, 2011 4:43 pm
This comment has been removed.

Post Deleted by Administrator




Since: Dec 25, 2006
Posted on: June 6, 2011 12:19 pm
 

DirecTV: No Sunday Ticket cost til after lockout

Steelers2007 ... are you a DirecTV employee?

Those were just 2 of about 100 interactions that left me scratching my head.

Don't blame them for the installers? Are you kidding me? Whether the installers are employed by DirecTV or private companies contracted by them, in the eyes of the customer ... THEY ARE DIRECTV! It's on DirecTV's ass to make sure they're doing it right!

And I wouldn't say "shitty here and there". I have spoken with literally hundreds of their reps that don't know if they're coming or going.

And funny you mention cellular dealers. I owned a highly successful Nextel, Sprint Nextel and AT&T dealership with multiple retail stores for about 12 years. I can tell you this. Our sales reps were generally more knowledgable and focused on their work than corporate store sales reps. We had 5 stores in which I visited each one at least twice a week. The managers reported to me multiple times a day. We constantly sent secret shoppers to test the reps' knowledge and overall interaction. Our sales performance regularly outperformed corporate for years. The difference with us was my hands on interaction with my managers and their hands on interaction with their reps.

I understand that we are talking about low grade employees here. In my opinion, the solution is to simplify things. Simplify the process. The ins and outs of post pay cellular are so unnecissarily complex that it's too easy to make mistakes. Looks like the same thing happens with DirecTV too. Don't make things so complicated that the entry level front liner employees can't understand their jobs and what they're supposed to tell customers.

It's the only solution, because these employees see their job as "some bullshiz" that they have to put up with so they can get money every other Friday. Sad but true.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com