Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and 48 state attorneys general yesterday resolved a lengthy investigation into satellite television provider DIRECTV.
Under terms of an agreed final judgment, the California-based company must pay restitution to eligible DIRECTV customers, as well as $13.5 million to the states.
Along with Tennessee, Texas was a co-leader of the national investigation into DIRECTV. The District of Columbia also participated in the litigation.
The settlement requires DIRECTV to pay restitution to customers who file service and contract complaints with the AG’s Office between Jan. 1, 2007, and June 9, 2011.
If DIRECTV’s proposed remedy does not satisfy the customer, the company must inform the customer that a claims administrator is available to mediate the disagreement. DIRECTV must also provide the customer with a mediation enrollment form.
The states’ agreement with the defendant requires that DIRECTV:
• Clearly disclose all material terms to customers;
• Replace leased equipment that is defective at no cost, except shipping;
• Not require a customer to enter into an additional contract when the customer is simply replacing defective equipment;
• Clearly disclose when customers are entering into a contract;
• Clearly notify customers before they are obligated to pay for a seasonal sports package;
• Disclose when local channels will not be available to its customers;
• Not misrepresent the availability of sports programming;
• Not misrepresent a bill credit as cash back to customers; and
• Clearly notify customers that they will be charged a cancellation or equipment fee at least 10 days before charging the fee.