DIRECTV is one of the most expensive and difficult cable providers on the market. Not only do they overcharge for their services that others provide for a fraction of the cost, unpack hidden fees, but their contract can be extremely difficult to navigate, if you are looking to cancel services before it expires. In fact, you may have to pay $15-$20 for every month you have remaining on your two-year contract, to include a $15 deactivation fee.
However, do not be discouraged!
There are steps you can take to successfully end your contract with DirecTV and recover some of the monthly costs you have been paying for.
Whether you are a cord cutter, searching for cable-free alternatives to recover lost dollars, or are wanting more out of your cable provider (for a lot less), here are the steps you should take to effectively terminate your contract with DirecTV so you do not have to pay an early cancellation fee.
Before You End Your Contract: Plan
Before you cancel your TV service or cable, it is encouraged to have a cable or cable-free provider in mind to replace it. This way there are no disruptions, lapse in service, or surprises during transition.
The following questions may be helpful in locating your new provider:
- Do I want cable or am I looking to switch to a streaming, cable-free platform?
If you have the data to support it, some cable-free options, such as YouTube TV, Hulu, and Netflix are a great alternative and can save you hundreds if not more a year—less for the cost of internet without contracts.
- Am I losing internet?
If you are one of the many who bundled their TV with internet, be mindful that you may have to purchase internet separately and that most internet plans, though not all, are not unlimited. Be sure that your data plan alternative is functional, budget-friendly, and will meet your data needs moving forward.
- What is available in my location?
Note: not all locations, especially those who are rural, have endless options. Be sure your replacement is available.
- Am I saving money?
Whatever your reason for terminating DirecTV may be, be sure that your alternative plan does not require you to pay more in the long run. Depending on location, availability, and data needs—it is important that your next move, meet all your check marks.
- Does my new provider solve the issue?
Like number four, be sure that the reason you are terminating DirecTV is solved by your new plan. Changing providers should save you money and make your life easier, not cause undue hardship.
- Save for installation fees and one month of service!
Most new providers will charge you an installation fee, any equipment that does not come standard in their package (like modems, routers, etc.) and require a one month, prorated for service, payment before you begin. Do not be afraid to ask for any promotions, deals, or free services they may be offering. However, some cable-free options (if internet is not a concern for you) require zero dollars to begin service. Most of the time it is as easy as downloading their app to your streaming device. Therefore, by selecting an alternative that requires no installation or start-up fee, you have the potential of saving up to $200 or more.
You may be wondering if you are required to pay a cancellation fee. The answer is you may; however, there are ways to typically avoid this.
5 Steps to Ending Your Contract
Step One: Make Contact
The first thing you need to do is locate DirecTV’s Retention/loyalty Department. Not Customer Service! To do this, state “cancel service” and no other phrase.
Once you are directed to the right department, be sure that the person you speak with is a Retention Specialist from the Retention Department and no other entity. Customer Service or Technical Support cannot help you
Retention by name is designed to keep customers, not lose them. Therefore, prepare yourself for their pitch and a slew of special offers designed to keep your service. Thus, if you are person who does not like confrontation or the act of being sold on something, being prepared for this ahead of time, will help you make the correct choice for yourself during your conversation.
If you are attempting to end the streaming contract you have through AT&T mobile, this can be done online.
DirecTV’s Retention & Loyalty Department can be reached 1-800-288-2020. Reminder: DirecTV numbers change often. Be sure this is correct before making the call.
Step Two: Declare Your Reason
In this step, you will explain your reason why. Be careful of phrasing and do not feel you have to overtell. You can convey the root of the issue without going into too much detail. For example, instead of, “Your service cost too much,” try “I have been hit with an unforeseeable and undue hardship that has impacted my ability to remain loyal to this contract and any further fees.” Moving to an area where there is no service and it is not a contracted area is another reason, especially if the move takes you out of the country. Physical health. Job loss… are merely examples. Whatever your reason may be, it needs to demonstrate just cause for cancellation. If so, it is possible you will be able to get out of your contract without paying early cancellation fees.
Step Three: Be Prepared for Their Pitch
As stated before, retention is designed to keep you in your contract. At times, they will offer you discounted prices, bundling offers through AT&T to “save you more” and attempt to throw in free channels. Thus, it is important that you maintain your conviction, but remain friendly and cooperative throughout the process.
Remember to remain cordial throughout their pitch process. This can be frustrating for some who just want to be done and do not feel it is any of their business. However, try to remain calm. When they are completed, kindly thank them for their dedication, customer service, and offerings, and decline based upon your original reason.
Remember that special offers expire, so if you are intrigued by their sales pitch, be sure what their offering extends to the end of your contract and works to solves the issue that drove you to cancel DirecTV in the first place.
Step Four: Document Conversation and Name
It is important to document your conversation. Your call is recorded for quality assurance on their end, but not yours—therefore, if you are let out of your contract and alleviated of monthly penalty fees, or there is an agreement made with regard to your termination, be sure to write down the name, extension, time, and specific words you were told by their representative.
If you do end up needing to call them again, be sure to reference this conversation and individual often. Whenever possible, request the details of your agreement in writing.
Step Five: Return the Equipment in a Timely Manner
This may sound simple, but often this is where people fail to act. Keeping their equipment past the allotted time is one way to charge you with extra fees and get you to pay. Be sure you return whatever equipment you were given in a timely manner to the company.
If you are mailing items, send with a tracking number and require a signature upon receipt. This way no one can come back and state they never received them.
If you are dropping the items off, retrieve a name of the front desk person and ask for a confirmation of receipt. While you are in the office, you can check on the status of your account and verify your next steps (if any).
Step Six: Pay your Final Bill
This step is important as it ends your contract. After you pay, and return your equipment, DirecTV should have no further reason for contacting you or asking you for money. Be sure that your final bill ends the day you canceled! Look for unexpected costs, fees, amounts, or any underlying costs they may try to bill you for. Also, if you find your bill unusually late or not coming through–follow-up! Getting out of your contract can be difficult, and you will want to stay on top of your bill to make sure it is fair, the correct amount, and supplied to you in a timely manner.
Step Six: Confirm the Cancellation
Once they receive your equipment, give them 48 hours and then confirm your account has been closed and there is nothing further pending. Be double sure that your account is not showing any owed amounts, fees, or that your final bills does not appear unusually high for any reason.
You can reach customer service between 8:00 PM-1:00 AM, EST, at 1-800-531-5000, Monday thru Sunday.
It is not uncommon for fees to show up or bills to come in at later times, if this happens, be sure to have your documentation ready. Unfortunately, this happens more often than not and it helps to be prepared.
Whatever your reasons for terminating your contract with DirecTV may be, a fresh start can often revitalize your budget and improve your quality of life. So, whether you are searching for a budget-friendly service, simply ending your contract with AT&T, looking to change the way you view TV, or are in search of a contract-free provider, this list will help you meet your goals and save you money in the process.