3 On Your Side

Valley family battles TV bill

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A Valley man couldn't believe his DirecTV bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) A Valley man couldn't believe his DirecTV bill. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
When his daughter went through the bill to see why it's so high, she discovered her dad has all kind of premium channels that he never ordered and doesn't want. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) When his daughter went through the bill to see why it's so high, she discovered her dad has all kind of premium channels that he never ordered and doesn't want. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
All those charges sure added up. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) All those charges sure added up. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
(3 ON YOUR SIDE) -

It's pretty common these days for companies to sweeten the pot a little bit by offering you some freebies but those freebies wound up costing this Phoenix family a lot of money.

"We watch Channel 3 for nighttime news," Richard Snyder said.

He and his family are like many other people across the Valley who enjoy watching TV.

"More than I really probably should," Snyder said.

But two months ago, Snyder's daughter Melissa discovered something troubling when she reviewed some of his bills and came across one that involved CenturyLink and DirecTV.

The bill seemed exceptionally high, and it's a bill Snyder pays month after month.  

"When it comes around, I try to pay it, but it's so dang high," Snyder said.

His daughter Melissa breaks down the bill.

"They're stating he owes $774.23. He paid $480 just two to three weeks ago. Now, they're stating his new bill is $613.58," Melissa said.

Melissa's Dad has internet, phone and DirecTV service through a bundling package offered by CenturyLink.

When Melissa went through the bill to see why it's so high, she discovered her dad has all kind of premium channels that he never ordered and doesn't want.

"HBO, Starz, NFL Sunday Ticket," she said.

Throw in Cinemax, and that monthly bill swells pretty quickly. Wanting answers and wanting to cancel those pricey, premium channels, Melissa contacted CenturyLink first since they offered the bundling package.

"What they told me, it was a promo for three months, and it was his fault for not calling and canceling it," Melissa said.

Melissa's father says he never even knew about the three-month promotion and says he can't cancel something he's not even aware he has.

Regardless, she demanded the pricey premium stations be removed.

"I asked them if they refund some of the money or you know credit him something and they said no," Melissa said.

3 On Your Side got involved and got a hold of AT&T, which is DirecTV's parent company. After reviewing the matter, they removed the premium stations and credited the family's account $269.

Not only that, but they're also taking $30 off every month for the next year, which is a savings of an additional $360.

Melissa says they owe it all to 3 On Your Side.

“That was very nice. It was exciting to know that they were actually willing to know that they made a mistake, that he actually didn't order those channels and that they're willing to compromise and do something to credit him back,” Melissa said.

Here is a statement 3 On Your Side received from AT&T: 

"We worked with Ms. Snyder to resolve the billing concerns on her father’s account and apologized for any inconvenience they may have experienced."

 3 On Your Side also received the following information from Century Link: 

"We elevated this to the AT&T Office of the President, and DirecTV was able to address all of Ms. Snyder’s  issues today. A thorough explanation of the charges were given, along with when they were added and why. Ms. Snyder understands DirecTV’s position, along with the accountability of the customer when it comes to disputed charges/services. To resolve her concerns, DirecTV issued various credits, which were accepted."

Copyright 2017 KPHO/KTVK (KPHO Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved.


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Gary HarperGary Harper is the senior consumer and investigative reporter for 3 On Your Side at KTVK-TV.

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Gary Harper
3 On Your Side

With more than 20 years of television experience, Gary has established himself as a leader in the industry when it comes to assisting viewers and resolving their consumer-related issues. His passion and enthusiasm have helped him earn an Emmy for Best Consumer Reporter from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. He’s also garnered several Emmy nominations

He has negotiated resolutions with companies of all sizes, including some of the biggest corporations in the nation.

Gary has successfully recouped more than $1 million for viewers around the state, making 3 On Your Side one of the most popular segments on KTVK and the station's Web site.

He's best known for investigating and confronting unscrupulous contractors. In fact, many of his news reports have led to police investigations and jail time for those who were caught. Viewers, as well as the companies and people he investigates, regard him as consistently being thorough and fair.

Gary has been with KTVK-TV since 1997. Prior to his arrival in Phoenix, he worked for WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where he was as an anchor and reporter.

Gary is from Chicago, but launched his television career in Lubbock, Texas, after earning a broadcast journalism degree from Texas Tech University. Following his graduation, he was quickly hired by KLBK-TV in Lubbock, where he enterprised and broke numerous exclusive reports. His aggressive reporting in Texas helped garner him Best Reporter by the Associated Press.

Gary has been married since 1994 and is the proud father of two sons. When he's not helping viewers, Gary is busy catching up on his favorite college and professional football teams as well as cheering on his beloved Texas Tech Red Raiders.

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