DirecTV to pay out $14.25 million to states


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(Reuters) - DirecTV Group will pay $14.25 million to all 50 states after a two-year investigation showed the satellite provider violated consumer practices with hidden fees and misleading advertisements.

"This was classic bait and switch -- hooking consumers with phony discounts and then hitting them with hidden charges," said Connecticut's Attorney General Richard Blumenthal in a statement on Wednesday.

Thousands of consumers have filed complaints against DirecTV in different states concerning the provider's cancellation fees, deceptive advertising and the availability of sports packages.

Some of the changes that DirecTV has agreed to make:

1> Clearly disclosing all material terms to consumers;

2> Replace leased equipment that is defective at no cost except shipping costs;

3> Not requiring the consumer to enter into an additional contract when simply replacing defective equipment;

4> Clearly disclosing when a consumer is entering into a contract;

5> Clearly notifying consumers before a consumer is obligated to pay for a seasonal sports package;

6> Not representing that a consumer would get cash back if the consumer would actually get a bill credit;

7> Clearly notifying consumers that they will be charged a cancellation or equipment fee at least 10 days before charging the fee.

DirecTV to pay out $14.25 million to states | Reuters
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