Satellite television company DirecTV has agreed to a multimillion-dollar settlement with California and other states in connection with allegations of misleading sales and marketing practices.
State Attorney General Jerry Brown said the settlement agreed to by him and 48 other state attorneys general was filed Wednesday in San Diego Superior Court. DirecTV said the settlement involved "all 50 states."
Brown said the lawsuit settlement requires DirecTV to make full restitution to all victims, although that amount was not specified. He said his office is reviewing 1,136 complaints it has received to determine which California customers are entitled to restitution.
In addition, the settlement requires DirecTV to pay $13.25 million in civil penalties and costs to 49 states and the District of Columbia, obey state laws and clearly state all costs, services, contract lengths and terms of cancellations and refunds. El Segundo-based DirecTV has more than 18 million subscribers nationwide and more than 1 million in California.
"DirecTV won customers by offering special deals with hidden costs and also extended customers' contracts without telling them," Brown said.
Brown and officials in other states charged that DirecTV had customers sign what appeared to be service documents, which actually extended customers' contracts; failed to deliver channels promised in promotions; and changed the terms of promotions, with some customers paying more than expected.
"DirecTV has worked hand-in-hand with the attorneys general to formalize many of the customer improvements we have made over the past few years and are pleased to have come to this agreement," said Mike White, chairman, president and CEO of DirecTV.
To read the complete article, visit www.sacbee.com.