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Jim Reilly
Jim Reilly, Attorney
Category: Legal
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Experience:  California lawyer since 1976.
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Direct tv deducted money from my account without permission

Resolved Question:

Direct tv deducted money from my account without permission since July, I sent them back their equipment for one week already. My name wasn't in the contract at all, I just made a payment one time by my card. I've never heard from them or got my money back at all. What can I do? Can I sue them?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 8 years ago.
Yes, of course, you can sue them in small claims court in San Francisco.

For what did they deduct money from your account? For monthly payments or for the unreturned equipment? From what account was the deduction made and exactly how was it accomplished? Did they charge it through the credit card you had previously used?

The fact that you authorized one payment on your credit card does not give them consent to make further deductions. If you were not on the original contract, you have no obligation to pay the bill or pay for unreturned equipment.

However, if you authorized recurring payments from your account, then it was okay for them to take the payments every month.

DirecTV will not want to have the kind of problems this could create. I can't imagine that their customer service department won't cooperate in getting it straightened out.
Customer: replied 8 years ago.
Thank you for your answer RunTam38. They said this deduction came from unreturned equipment which charged me for $418.51 without permission. It was charged to my debit card. I used this card to make a payment only one time as I switched making a payment with my roomate.
Expert:  Jim Reilly replied 8 years ago.
If you were not on the contract, and did not otherwise authorize the payment, they could not legally take that money. Since you have now returned the equipment in any event, they should be willing to refund it.

You should recontact their customer service department and provide proof that the equipment was returned. If they continue to refuse to cooperate, you can sue in small claims court. By filing in small claims court, they will not be able to have a lawyer present for the small claims trial.

You could also seek assistance from the California Department of Consumer Affairs, contact information for which is at:

Scroll down to California, under which is listed both state information and further down the list the San Francisco DA's Consumer & Environmental Protection Unit.
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