7 On Your Side helps unhappy DirecTV customer

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An elderly woman was unhappy with the fuzzy picture quality on her old TV set, so 7 On Your Side helped her get a refund. (KGO-TV)

As you know, television sets are becoming more and more sophisticated. If you're watching TV in high definition, you're getting a much clearer picture and eye popping color. But there are still a lot of people who watch TV on analog sets that sometimes don't work so well in the digital age.

Some folks just want to hang onto the old-style TV they've used for years, and don't want to contend with the complexity of a high tech TV. However, when old technology meets the new, they sometimes don't get along.

Esther Todd, of San Francisco, likes having the TV on in the kitchen. She said, "I like to have noise. IT keeps me company."

For years she has used the same analog-style TV with an antenna on top and cable hookups in back. It worked just fine till she tried something new.

"AT&T kept calling and telling me a deal they had. What a good deal it would be," Todd said.

She found out she could save money by bundling her AT&T phone service with DirecTV. She went for it, but as soon as DirecTV installed this dish on her house. Everything changed.

"They were slow coming on and I wasn't pleased with the picture," said Todd.

She says images on the screen turned fuzzy. The remote didn't work and the technicians told her she needed a modern TV and that hers was too old, but she didn't want to upgrade it.

"I'm 89 years old. I'm on social security and I can't just go out and buy a new television," said Todd.

Instead, she canceled her DirecTV contract and reconnected the cable. The TV works, but the downside was DirecTV said she had to pay a $460 early termination fee.

"I don't think I should have to pay because I wasn't pleased. They knew my television was old and I couldn't get the pictures. I told them I was going to call 7 On My Side," said Todd.

She did contact us, we contacted DirecTV and the company agreed to waive the fee, telling us: "Our remote control was not compatible with the customer's television sets due to their age and the customer was required to use the TV's remote, in addition to ours. As a result, we waived the early cancellation fee."

DirecTV tells us satellite receivers should be compatible with any of the old analog style TV sets. However, the remote devices may not work together -- that's the catch.

If you have an older TV you may want to ask about compatibility before you get locked in a contract.
Related Topics:
technologytelevisioncable televisioncustomerconsumer concernselderly woman7 On Your SiderefundSan Francisco
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