Box for phantom DVR is enigma
Updated: July 5, 2012 4:15PM
Dear Fixer: For the last three months I have been talking with DirecTV over a billing problem.
First, I was being charged for a third DVR that I never had. After I complained, they canceled the monthly charge for it. But then they sent me a box for the DVR to be returned (which was impossible, since it never existed).
After numerous calls, they said this was fixed.
Then, last week, I saw that my bank account was debited $175 to pay for this supposedly missing DVR.
I spent three hours on the phone talking to numerous people. I was told the money would be put back on my debit card in three days.
My bank account never showed the refund. I called again and was assured it would take three days; later, I was told eight to 10 days.
Finally, they made the refund of $269.37 — but they did so as a credit to my DirecTV account. I don’t want a credit — I want the money back in my bank account so I can use it to pay bills.
Dear Trudy: If there’s one thing we’ve learned in almost seven years of writing this column, it’s that you don’t want to mess with a phantom DVR.
After all this, you didn’t seem like you were up for another three hours on the phone, so we decided to step in and try to fix this. It actually wasn’t that hard, once we got it into the hands of the right person at DirecTV. In just about a day, they had everything straightened out. They converted the credit on your DirecTV account back into a credit to your debit card account, and now you are in control of your funds.
Dear Fixer: I received a letter from Ford Motor Credit dated June 11, stating that I owed money on two separate vehicle loans. This was a surprise, as both vehicles were paid off.
One is a 2008 Mercury Mariner, which they said had a balance due of $155.24. The second is a 2006 Ford F-150, which they said had a balance of $203.81.
I traded in the Mercury Mariner a while ago and no longer own it. Back on March 25, I had received a letter from Ford Motor Credit saying that account had been paid in full. I also received a letter dated April 16, saying the 2006 Ford F150 — which I still own — was paid in full. I have the title for the truck.
My question is, if Ford Motor Credit made an error in the payoff amount, am I liable for paying the balance they are requesting? I feel that since I was given letters stating both accounts had been paid in full, it’s not my responsibility to send any more money for these two accounts.
Recently, they have been calling and asking when I am planning on remitting the payment. They said my accounts have been reopened. I don’t want any bad marks on my credit report, but I also feel that legally I shouldn’t have to pay the difference!
Dear Ed: You showed The Fixer two letters from Ford Motor Credit that began with a cheerful “Congratulations!” and continued on to say that your two vehicles were all paid up.
Since so much time has passed and you don’t even have the Mariner anymore, we figured this was a bit like when a teacher accidentally adds up the points on the test wrong and gives a “C” student an “A.”
The Fixer took this to Ford Motor Credit to see if they could figure out what happened. We have to say, they got on it faster than a Mustang Shelby GT 500. It only took about a day before you got an answer: Whatever the bookkeeping glitch may have been, they are now considering your accounts, once again, paid in full. You are officially off the hook.
A shredding good time!
The Fixer enjoyed meeting lots of consumers at the shredding event June 23 at the United Center. If you missed it, there will be another one in the suburbs this fall (check chicagoshreds.com for updates).
Cars pulled up to the shredding trucks pretty much all day, with a total of 1,215 vehicles participating and about 100,000 pounds of documents destroyed, according to the local Better Business Bureau, which hosted the event along with the City of Chicago, Chicago Police, FBI, Federal Trade Commission, Illinois Attorney General’s Office, Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office and United States Postal Inspection Service.
Several folks we spoke with said they felt a huge sense of relief watching those old documents going into the shredding trucks.
If you want to know how long it’ll take you to pay off a debt, how much you need to retire, whether refinancing your mortgage makes sense and a host of other numbers-related questions, try the free calculators page at Bankrate.com. The Fixer loves this website. Check it out — you’ll instantly raise your financial IQ.