When Christine Beach cuts her CenturyLink service, she discovers a mysterious fee for NFL Sunday Ticket. Why won’t the company help her remove the charge?
Q: I recently decided to discontinue my landline with CenturyLink, as I could no longer afford it. Then, I noticed my bill was not decreasing and saw that my DirectTV service, which I receive through CenturyLink, had been charging me $48 a month for NFL Sunday Ticket.
I never ordered NFL Sunday Ticket.
I called DirecTV and spoke with a representative who said I would be credited for all three months charged. However, the next month, I noticed they charged me again, so I called again and another representative said there was no record of my previous conversation with DirecTV. She said she could only credit me with one month.
I appealed to a supervisor at DirecTV who said they were not going to credit me anything. How can one representative offer three months of credit, another offer me one month, and then a supervisor, nothing?
I do not watch football and therefore know that I would never order NFL for $48 a month. I am overdue on my bill and near disconnection and it makes me sick to get charged for something I did not order. Help! — Christine Beach, Bisbee, Ariz.
A: If you didn’t order NFL Sunday Ticket on your cable service, you shouldn’t have to pay for it.
NFL Sunday Ticket is a special app, available through DirecTV, that allows you to stream any out-of-market Sunday game live on your tablet and other devices. It’s a terrific deal if you’re a fan, but if you’re not into football, it’s a $48 junk fee.
I’m baffled by the inconsistencies among the three representatives. First, CenturyLink offers a full refund, then a partial refund, then none. How strange. This is the reason you should always get a promise in writing. If the representative “can’t” email you with a promise, then at least get the name and extension of the employee who made the initial promise.
How to contact CenturyLink and DirecTV
I noticed that you spent a lot of time on the phone arguing with CenturyLink, instead of emailing the company to establish a paper trail. Putting your complaint in writing is so important for a case like yours. I list the names, numbers and email addresses of the top executives at CenturyLink and the executive contacts for DirecTV on my consumer advocacy site.
A careful look at your account showed that you had opted to “auto-renew” your DirecTV service. It appears that as part of that renewal, you were opted into NFL Sunday Ticket. Your problem is an important reminder to be careful when you check a button or field — you could be opting into a service you don’t want.
I contacted CenturyLink on your behalf. It contacted DirecTV since all programming changes are done through the DirecTV. In the end, DirecTV refunded the money you paid for NFL Sunday Ticket.