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If you are a DirecTV subscriber, you may be in line for a partial refund. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser announced Thursday that the satellite provider will refund more than $1 million for fees it charged as part of a settlement with the state office.
“DirecTV used these fees to take advantage of Coloradans, charging them for services they weren’t getting or were no longer relevant, and only refunding those who noticed and reached out to the company about the issue,” Weiser said Thursday in a news release. “Consumers should not be penalized for being too busy to wait on hold to demand fair treatment. Today’s settlement remedies the harms caused by DirecTV’s actions and will provide refunds to consumers.”
The fees in question are linked to a blackout of Altitude Sports when subscribers were not able to watch it in September and October 2019 due to a contract dispute between DirecTV and the channel. The outage left local Colorado Avalanche fans unable to catch the opening game of the 2019-2020 season. Despite the dispute leaving subscribers without the channel, DirecTV continued to charge them a full “Regional Sports Network” fee between $1.89 and $8.49, with customers closer to Denver being charged the larger fee.
DirecTV will pay a total of more than $1 million to about 204,360 Coloradans as part of the settlement, giving a $5 credit to current customers and sending a $5 check to former customers who were charged during this time.
Another fee that was investigated was a $10-per-month charge for high-definition television. While the service was “a new and superior option” when it was first offered in the early 2000s, the attorney general’s office found the fee was still being charged to subscribers when it became an industry standard.
“Charging this unnecessary, outdated fee was unfair to consumers, many of whom were unaware they were paying extra for a service that was now standard part of programming packages,” Weiser said. “We are pleased to ensure Coloradans will receive welcome relief from this unfair payment.”
DirecTV, as part of the settlement, will give a $1 to $3 credit per month for 27 months to about 15,000 Coloradans who were affected by the HD charge, depending on their subscription package.
Customers should expect to hear from DirecTV in the next 30 to 60 days about the credits.