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Infolawyer, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 57714
Experience:  Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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I have had DirecTV television service at my home in

Customer Question

I have had DirecTV television service at my home in California for about 3 years. I renewed my contract for an additional 12 months beginning on June 13th of this year. Yesterday (7/8/2016), I received an email from DirecTV stating they were changing the terms of service without notice. Some of the key changes include mandatory binding arbitration, no class action lawsuits against them of any kind and changes to their equipment and service warranty.When I received the email I called their customer service department and told them that I did not agree to the new terms of service. I explained that when I entered into a 12 month agreement I had agreed to the old terms of service and did not agree to them changing the terms while I was under contract. I asked them to cancel my service immediately, as the terms of service had changed. They refused to cancel my service without charging me an early termination fee. The early termination fee is about $250. They refused to waive the fee, and could not speak to the change other than to say "it says in the contract we can change the terms whenever we want."My question is as follows: Is it legal for a service provider to change the terms of service on somebody that is under contract in the ways specified above and if there is a provision in the original contract that states they can change the terms at will, is that provision legal and binding?Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

The company has to honor the terms you agreed to. Often they have a clause in their terms that allow them to change terms. Courts are less inclined to enforce such changes since customer did not knowingly consent. This can be subject to class action lawsuit and consumer complaint with the attorney general office.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do I have an option to opt out of the original contract now that the terms have changed?
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

Yes, since company acting in bad faith and altering the agreed terms.

Practically, if you threaten to report them to the attorney general and sue they should either release you or honor original terms. Kindly click on an excellent rating.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I have to pay an early termination fee to cancel the account and sue them, am I entitled to punitive damages for my trouble?
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

You should not agree to an early termination fee. In light of their conduct, you should be released without any damages. If they wrongly extort money, you can sue for compensatory, punitive, legal fees and costs. Kindly rate me positively.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Would it be advantageous for me to record a phone call and request to have my account closed so I will have proof that they are refusing to let me out of the contract?
Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

Yes, collecting evidence of what is happening including the change in terms, their conduct, etc, is good to have in your pocket should you need to pursue a case.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

Please let me know if the answer is acceptable, thanks.

Expert:  Infolawyer replied 1 year ago.

thanks in advance.