Even after AT&T successfully purchased DirecTV, the satellite service is still going to court over claims that it was using incredibly broad language in customer agreements in order to raise rates however and whenever they wanted.
As the Palm Beach Post reports:
The FTC alleges DirecTV engaged in misleading marketing and failed to disclose adequately what the service really costs. Federal officials charged the company did not adequately disclose a discounted 12-month programming package requires a two-year contract that can increase bills up to $45 per month in the second year, and that early cancellation fees of up to $480 apply if consumers want to get out.
The FTC also pointed out that DirecTV was not clearly telling consumers who sign on for a free, three-month promotion of premium channels like HBO and Showtime that their credit or debit cards would be automatically charged after the period is up.
DirecTV meanwhile responds to these claims by saying that customers should read the terms of the contract. The problem with that statement is that the terms of DirecTV don’t help customers whatsoever.
“This agreement does not guarantee that pricing and programming will not change, as many factors affect the availability and cost of programming.” – DirecTV.com
So, essentially, DirecTV can raise rates at any time during the two-year contract. They can double rates even. Which then leads to the obvious question, does DirecTV actually make it clear that the two-year contract price is not certain to stay at one rate?