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How to Cancel DirecTV and Save Big Money

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You can cancel DirecTV, but it’s not easy. Here’s a guide on how to cancel DirecTV to save big money each month and where to get TV content for free.

We made the decision to cancel DirecTV in November 2015. I know what you might be thinking – how could it take so long for someone who claims to be frugal to cancel cable?

To be honest it’s something I wish we would’ve done years ago. I rationalized the expense because we could “afford it.” I also thought there was no way I could have access to the sports or programming I wanted without having cable. After seeing the price of our DirecTV bill go up long enough, I finally decided enough was enough.

In fact, we even paid an early cancellation fee to DirecTV just so we could rid ourselves of the shackle monthly bill. Our monthly bill came in at a robust $96.64 per month (we had the lowest level package as well as HBO).

Add to that the $8.43 we were paying for Netflix and in total, we were spending $105.07 per month to have television content. I’ll outline later how much the early cancelation fee DirecTV charges, how much we paid to get rid of DirecTV as well as what we’re spending now to get content through our Mohu Leaf and Amazon Fire Stick.

If you’re looking for information about how to cancel DirecTV here is what you need to know.

How to Cancel DirecTV

 

I’ve read countless articles about how to cancel DirecTV and heard some real horror stories. Our experience wasn’t quite that bad, though they definitely don’t make it easy for you to get rid of your contract. They don’t even make it easy to get the information on how to cancel your contract.

My first step was to chat in on their site to find out how much it would cost us to break out of the DirecTV contract. The representative would not give out any info – only to say it could cost up to $20 per month of the remaining contract but they couldn’t say definitively what was needed.

Thus, we had to call in to cancel the DirecTV contract. That’s where the fun began. You must meander through an endless maze until you reach a live DirecTV customer service representative. I explained what I wanted to do and the rep, of course, tried to get me to change my mind.

She offered some sort of “unadvertised package” that promised to save us a whopping $15 or $20 for six months. She then offered Showtime and/or NFL Sunday Ticket for free. I politely declined and said again that I wanted to cancel our DirecTV contract.

She said she couldn’t help me and had to send me to their retention department. I got to go through the same explanation and hear the same empty promises before being transferred to one final rep, who was a doozy.

He claimed we couldn’t get TV service (which we knew wasn’t true since I had connected our Mohu Leaf the day before and was watching live network TV while on the phone with him), that we were passing up a great value and that we’d be back.

Wrong on all fronts. Once the final rep realized I was serious, his demeanor instantly changed.

No longer upbeat and somewhat arrogant, he explained we’d receive a box in the mail to send back our receiver and remote. We were supposed to get the box within a few business days, or so he claimed. The receiver and remote have to be sent back within 21 days or they will charge you for both. I don’t know how much that charge is, but suffice it to say, I didn’t intend to pay it. So, I waited for the box to arrive.

After about 10 days we hadn’t received the box and had to call back in to request another box. We received the second box 2-3 days later and mailed off the items the next day. DirecTV does not require the actual satellite dish to be sent back. We’ve removed it from the house and found a way to dispose of it correctly.

To recap, you need to do the following to cancel DirecTV:

  • Call them, resist their slimy retention tactics, and say you want to cut the cord
  • Wait for the box to arrive
  • Mail back the receiver and remote within 21 days

You will want to track the package and call in to make sure they receive it in time so as to not be charged.

how much is the DirecTV Early Cancellation Fee?

 

For some reason DirecTV doesn’t like to divulge the amount of the early cancellation fee. Well, I know exactly why they don’t want to make it public – because people would realize they’d save significant money in the long run by canceling their contract.

After speaking with a rep, they made clear the early cancellation fee is always $20 per month, on a pro-rated basis, for each month remaining on your DirecTV contract. They also charge a $15 deactivation fee, which is a joke.

We had a little over six months remaining on our contract and ended up having to pay $142.70 to cancel our DirecTV plan.

We now pay $23.42 per month for what we watch, a savings of $81.65 per month, so we recouped this cost in a little under two months.

One thing to note, you’ll want to watch your final bill to make sure it’s correct – and know the exact day you called in to cancel your DirecTV contract. Their billing is less than clear.

I had to call in to go over the final bill and the rep from the billing department tried three separate times to get us to come back by offering all sorts of rebates and special packages. You’d think they weren’t listening to me plainly say I had no plan of coming back. 😉

How We Get our Content Now

 

We’ve been free from DirecTV for almost a year now and know one thing – we’re never going back. I once said we weren’t going to cut the cord but we can be wrong from time to time – can’t we? 😉

If you’re holding back from canceling cable let me tell you one thing – there are many options to get content for a lot less than what you are currently paying. Trust me, you won’t miss your high priced monthly budgetary dead weight bill. If I can cut the cord, you can too. Here is what we’ve done to replace DirecTV:

  • We’ve kept Netflix, as it’s a lifesaver for those with little kids. That is still $8.43 per month.
  • We signed up for HBO Now, which is $14.99 per month – Winter is Coming after all….
  • We bought a Mohu Leaf 50 with an Amazon gift card (It retails for around $60) to get the local channels. Truth be told, we’re so close to the TV antennas that we probably don’t need it anyway.
  • We’ve had an Amazon Fire TV Stick for a little over a year (here’s my Amazon Fire Stick review) and are Amazon Prime members (we love the free two-day shipping and Subscribe and Save benefits) so we get access to all of their content. The Fire Stick is $39 to buy, but as we bought it months before canceling DirecTV I won’t include it in the cost.
  • Another option we’re considering is the Amazon Fire TV set-top box. The Amazon Fire TV has a lot more capabilities than the Fire Stick, with the capability to use it for a home theater setup, 4k streaming and connects to Alexa so you can access a wealth of information like local movie times, news, play music and so much more.

The above allows us to replace a major chunk of the content we lost after canceling DirecTV and saves us a little over $80 in the process. That extra money will go right towards the extra we pay towards our mortgage each month.

We did try a free trial of Sling TV (you can read my review of Sling TV here) to see if we liked it, but didn’t, so shed that as we couldn’t justify the $20 per month charge. Anything else we miss out on we can get online for the most part so we’re not missing anything. If you feel you’d miss out on having a DVR, the TiVo Bolt is one option to consider to still be able to record your favorite shows.

My one concern about canceling DirecTV was missing out on sports – specifically college football. That was an unfounded fear. We’re able to get access to ESPN3 through our ISP and college football season is over. 🙂 We may sign up for Sling in the fall to get more games, though we’ll decide then.

You can cancel DirecTV, but it’s not easy. Here’s a guide on how to cancel DirecTV to save big money each month and where to get TV content for free.

It’s Time to Kill the Slowly Dying Beast

 

Cutting the cord has been popular for a number of years, however 83 percent of homes in America still pay for some sort of cable television plan. When you see people like me who were paying the average of $100 per month to have cable you wonder why it’s still that way.

I think so much of it goes back to the payment mentality so many give in to. They view finances in a short-term light and don’t see the long-term ramifications. By canceling our DirecTV contract, for example, we’ll save nearly $1,000 this year alone and almost $5,000 over the course of five years.

If we weren’t saving to buy a house we’d either be investing that money or stashing it into our vacation account – both of which bring us much greater return, for different reasons.

That’s also not to mention the other benefits of cutting the cord – from increased productivity to less sitting around and the countless other things to do besides watching TV. In short, if you can save significant money, increase your productivity and be free of a contract, why wouldn’t you want to consider cancelling DirecTV, Dish, cable or whatever high priced entertainment plan you’re currently enduring?

 

Have you tried to cancel a DirecTV, or other cable provider contract in the past and run into problems? If you’ve cut the cord, what’s been the biggest non-financial benefit to date? If you have cable, what’s keeping you from cutting the cord?

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I'm the founder of Frugal Rules, a Dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry. I'm passionate about helping people learn from my mistakes so that they can enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. I'm also a freelance writer, and regularly contribute to GoBankingRates, Investopedia, Lending Tree and more. If you're wanting to learn how to monetize your blog, check out my blog coaching services to see how I can help you take your site to the next level.

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113 Comments

  • Not having cable for years has been a huge way for me to cut my expenses in order to put more money toward repaying my student loans. I pay a grand total of $23 for internet – that’s it!!

  • Netflix and Hulu offer plenty of television for our needs. I don’t miss paying a huge cable bill at all!

  • We still have cable but will likely drop it once our renter moves out (it’s a little more affordable when you split it with someone else). I’m excited about all the new options available for streaming content.

  • We just cancelled our U-Verse, and i have to say AT&T was super easy to work with on cancelling. No hard core pressure from the customer service rep, just take everything to the UPS store and they took care of shipping everything back. I may not have been happy with the prices but the service was pretty good for the three years we had it.

  • I always wonder why we didn’t cut satellite TV sooner. There is almost nothing you can’t replace with streaming and you can add services when you want and then cancel. We add Sling during the NCAA tournament and other big sports times and cancel when there isn’t anything we like.

  • Wow, clearly I lucked out. I only had to cancel Dish, and they were very pleasant about it. They offered me discounts once, but beyond that they were very polite. And the cancellation fee was closer to $8/month. So we paid around $40 to get rid of Dish early.

    Although come to think of it, we had DirecTV in the apartment and had to cancel when we moved to the house. I didn’t have a lot of rigmarole. Perhaps I’ve just got phone luck, eh?

    Glad you’re on the cord-cutting bandwagon. After many years of rationalizing it, I finally looked into Hulu. Within two months, we’d cut the cord. Since then, we’ve saved around $2,500, which has nicely padded the savings account.

  • Jason B says:

    I’ve been going back and forth over the last month whether I should cancel my Dish service or not. I love my sports. I only pay $60 right now, so I will probably keep it for the meantime.

  • Syed says:

    My cable contract is up next month, and I think we will finally be cutting the cord. I was worried about the sports thing but there are definitely options to watch the games. And if worse comes to worse, I can go over to my parents house who have a nicer TV than I do anyway. Excited for the possibilities!

  • Adam says:

    I cancelled my DishTV contract a little over 6 months ago and I have not missed it one second. I rarely watch TV to begin with and now I have so much more free time and money to do whatever I want without the brain drain of satellite TV in front of me.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear it and we’ve found the same to be true.

      • Daniel Babik says:

        We feel the same way. I’m going to drop our DirecTV. I’m paying $140.00 a month. I remember paying only $70.00. It’s getting to be a joke. We’re going with the fire stick ourselves so we get Netflix and hulu. Plus the kids don’t really watch the tv much. Thank you for your help. Well be joining you in the anti cable group lol. Thanks.

  • Aaron says:

    Hey John. Congrats and welcome to the Cord Cutter Club! Membership dues are $8.99/month – haha. I’ve heard of others who have Directv -but are able to call and have their rates lowered after their “promo period” expires. Did you ever try and negotiate down? From what I heard $20-35/mo. is normal rates for Directv.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Yea, we were successful with that several times but it got to the point where they wouldn’t lower any longer. We’re much happier with the extra $80ish in our budget each month. 🙂

      • Debra Davis says:

        Hey my question is, how do I cut the cord but still get a chance to watch LMN, OWN, I can’t miss watching Grey’s Anatomy. Help I need to cut the cord with DirecTV.

        • David says:

          I think I saw Grey’s Anatomy on Netflix earlier today (just got it myself). Also, you can go with streaming such as Sling or PS Vue to get your fix.

  • Karl Uy says:

    I just got off the phone with Directv to cancel my service after 9 years with them – I looked through your website first before doing that. Their customer service rep was really nice and helpful, gave some discount offers but was not pushy. This is my first time on your site and I must say I like it – should be coming back often, thanks for what you do.

  • Mary J says:

    They sold me this “contract” telling me one thing, but then when I got the service it did not even record shows! When I tried to cancel, they said I was stuck in a contract, which they had told me was a continuation of services, not a new contract. They were going to charge me hundreds of dollars! I had to send an email to the FCC just to be able to cancel with no fees.

  • megan says:

    I have been worried about cancellation fee but they also told me 20 for each month and I have 5 months left. After reading this I will do it. I was worried they would send me a bill telling me I owe that 5 months still.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Nope, not at all Megan. They’ll just add the fee for the outstanding 5 months to your final bill. Just make sure to look it over closely as they did some funny math with us at the end.

  • Jay says:

    I had directv for 5 years, never missed a payment. The First Lady I talked to canceled it for me in less than 5 minutes. She was nice, we switched to PlayStation VUE

  • Robert D. says:

    Canceling Directv before they close tonight.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Great! Best wishes on a hassle-free canceling. 🙂

      • Robert D. says:

        Was suprised, it was actually pretty easy. He did offer me some different items but didn’t push them.

        • John Schmoll says:

          Awesome, glad to hear it!

        • Jodi Bowen says:

          Hey, I just got direct tv and had a horrible installation experience. However, now my girlfriend wants me to completely cancel it. It has literally only been 1 week. I also have u verse that was just installed yesterday, she has decided she wants me to cancel that too.
          She wants to be able to watch football tho. And I go to school online. We also have the fire stick. Any suggestions?

  • Dawn Hyre says:

    We don’t have fable in our area. We are stuck with satellite and one phone company. We don’t have the option for just internet without phone. If we want internet and emergency phone only, we pay 103.00 a month. We signed a two year contract with Direct tv and it went up from 50 a month to almost 90. They make us sign a contract but they don’t stuck to the price, we should make them sign a contract stating, they can’t go up until the two years are up. SMH

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that Dawn. My Dad used to be in a similar situation and it sucked.

      How long ago did you sign the contract with DirecTV? If it’s been over a year it may be worth it to pay to get out and move to something like Netflix or Amazon Prime. Especially if that $90 is in addition to the Internet/phone charges.

  • Dianna Hensley says:

    I have had Directv for just over 4 mos. and every month the bills goes up, started at $21.94, then $42.00 and now the last is $62.00.. i have talked to people that say it should only be 21.94, but when you go to higher ups, the bill goes up… i want out of my contract, but they say it will $20.00 for every month left in the contract, close to 400.00… i got the lowest package i could get and they are going to charge me more then what Time Warner.. Can someone please tell me how to get out of the contract without paying get out of jail fee. DDH

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that Dianne. Your bill shouldn’t be going up every month. It should stay the same price every month for the first year then they start jacking up prices. At least, that’s how I’ve known they’ve operated in the past.

      When you call in do they give a breakdown of everything you’re being charged for or an explanation as to why it continues to go up? If not, I’d ask them to break the contract as they’re not keeping a consistent price the first year and not charge you the $20/mo to break it.

  • Donna LaBella says:

    I have the AVOV box. How can i watch ION.

  • Troy K says:

    Some good advice here, though sour grapes for suckers like me who thought the 2 year contract would be a good idea at the time. Now four months in, price is consistently 60/mo (was supposed to be 60/mo for TV plus internet, ended up with 100/mo) but I was recently foolish enough to try to unplug my genie, now the thing doesn’t work and am looking at $50-$80 for a tech to come by and fix it. I suppose $400 in cancellation fees isn’t that much in the long run. It’s just not worth paying this kind of money when you only watch 3 channels 90% of the time. Especially when you’re internet-savvy, like I thought I was.
    Nothing like being a cable/satellite customer to make you feel like a total sucker.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear all that Troy. I can definitely relate though – I can’t believe we spent as much as we did on cable/satellite for years and I consider myself relatively good with money. We’re the same way – only watch a small handful of channels the overwhelming majority of the time so it doesn’t make sense to pay $100+ per month.

  • Nancy says:

    We’ve had Directv for over 10 years. We’ve also subscribed to the NFL ticket for at least 8 years. Talk about being loyal customers! In November of 2014, Directv sent me notices that my payment was late. My payment wasn’t late and never was in the past. I sent Directv my bank statement showing that they had received my payment TWO days before the due date. Guess what they told me. “You need to give us 7-10 days AFTER your due date in order for us to process it. Otherwise we consider your payment late.” Really??? Are you kidding me? Directv was adamant that my payment was late even after they saw that Wells-Fargo had verified the date of receipt!
    Recently, we decided to cancel our NFL ticket because it seems ridiculous to us to pay $360/year while new customers get that option for free. Hey, like I mentioned earlier, we’ve been loyal customers for many years. Now, I know that I can cancel the NFL ticket on-line, but let’s try talking to real people and see how they might try to talk us out of it. After 45 minutes on the phone and speaking to four different service reps…..guess what! Each rep offered more and more incentives, but we weren’t biting. When we got to the last rep, Directv agreed to give us the NFL ticket for free for this year and they are also giving us some of the premium channels for $15-$20 less than we have been paying for YEARS! And our son recently got Directv by using our account number as a referral so that’s another $10/month for 10 months. But we’ll see on that because when my Dad got Directv a few years ago via our referral, we had to call and ask about our credits after three months of not receiving them! I will paraphrase their response but basically it was, “Oh yeah, we forgot to credit your and your dad’s accounts.” Hmmm…Really??
    So, here’s my suggestion to all who are fed up with Directv and their lousy practices. Keep calling until you get someone who will listen to you. Be VERY polite with each rep…it you get angry, they will NOT help you at all! Take your time, go up the chain of command and negotiate with each rep. If one offers you $10 off, ask to speak to their supervisor. And if that one offers you $20 off, ask to speak to their supervisor. And just keep going! Granted, I know that this won’t work for all, and I’m also not trying to scam any company into giving me free “stuff.” But there is something to be said about loyal customers who have been subscribers for many years and are not given any of the perks that others get.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad you were able to get some discounts Nancy. Sadly I believe your experience is not the norm with DirecTV. We did many of the same things and were able to get discounts for a short time, but they won’t extend them into eternity.

    • Tracy says:

      I’ve had Direct for 16 yrs. I moved 2 yrs ago and took the service with me, and also got the free NFL package. Last year I paid for Sunday Ticket (full price even). I decided 2 wks in that I didnt want it, but was told it was too late to cancel since the season had started already. So this year, I called at the beginning of July to cancel and make sure I wasnt going to get charged. Was told that I wasnt showing as having Sunday Ticket, based off my viewing from the previous season and the fact that I didnt watch many games. But they would annotate my account that I called to cancel ST. So imagine my surprise when I get the email last month for my bill showing they charged me $47.99 (1st of 6 installments) for the NFL package?? I called DirecTV and spoke with a nice young man who tried his best to convince me to keep it at a lower cost. I told him unless you can give it to me for free, I dont want it. Finally he gave up and cancelled it for me. So when I get the bill this month, it shows a credit of $42.99 and another charge for $47.99. My overall bill was still the same amount as always but that math doesnt make sense to me. I had been debating cutting the cord for a while and finally decided to give it a try with a test period first. Mounted an antenna ($39.99 Wal Mart special) on the house and on a good day I can pick up stations that are 2 hrs away from me, but most times I can get ABC, NBC, and FOX. CBS is hit and miss. I signed up for free trial of SlingTV on Friday night. On Saturday I called Direct and cancelled my service effective Oct 1. My contract ends Dec 31 so by keeping it until the end of the month, I will save $20 and my early termination fee will be $40. Right now all I signed up for was Sling Orange, plus I already have Netflix and Amazon Prime. Even if I upgrade to Orange/Blue I’ll still be saving $100 a month. Direct did try to lower my rate but I didnt fall for it, and they also told me should I decide to come back I would be welcomed back with an amazing offer…LOL. Since that call to them to cancel, they have called me 6 times and sent 2 emails. Thankful for caller ID!

  • Dave cirillo says:

    Hi John
    I find your comments and advise very helpful. We are 2+ years into our Direct tv contract and looking to get out.
    One thing I’m not sure about. I watch a lot of the local pro sports here in Boston. What technology would allow me to continue to do that if I cut Direct tv.

    Thanks and keep up the good work.

    Best

    Dave

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to be of help Dave. Sports is the biggie in this issue of course. Not knowing which sports you want, I don’t know how much of it is available on the local networks. You could pick those up with any good digital antenna – we use the Mohu Leaf and love it.

      Outside of that, I know most of the major sports have their own product they offer that gets you access to games. The catch is some don’t allow you access to your local team. Depending on which sport it is that might be a possible solution. I think most charge $100-$200 per season. I know that’s not really cheap, but beats a $100+/month bill if you’re only keeping it for sports.

  • Jeremy says:

    I called to cancel. Guy was nice. Just let me know to avoid cancellation fees I could suspend until I had reach my contract date then I can cancel.

  • Jack says:

    We were good customers and rationalized our directv as an entertainment expense due to residing in a rural area…however, after the first year and the free stuff becomes expensive and the yearly cost is what to look at regarding the expense of entertainment and when there are only a few channels to view then may as well do OTA. And it seems the Internet has more entertainment options any way. With the movie industry targeting or branding other groups, we are tail end boomers…it doesn’t make sense to spend that much on animation(cartoons). We just ended our service due to the contract being up…hopefully there will be no “charges” for returning the equipment. But AT&T did that once…saying the receivers were not returned.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Nice work on cutting it Jack, you’ll love the savings! They didn’t charge us, but we did get a tracking code for the box we sent back with the equipment. It cost a few dollars, but well worth knowing they received everything so they couldn’t charge us.

  • Katie says:

    My husband and I are wanting to save costs because I just recently found out that I am pregnant! So I called direct tv and they said it would cost me 220 dollars to cancel but the one thing that gets anyone who wants to cancel cable is how high the Internet will now cost for you which for us the Internet will be 62 dollars which is not bad.. Is there anyway we can drop down that 220 cancellation fee or should we just pay it and not have cable anymore

    • John Schmoll says:

      Congrats on the pregnancy Katie – that’s awesome! Unfortunately there’s no way to lower that amount, at least in my experience. The only way is to put off cutting the cord, which lowers it $20 per month you have left. In my opinion, I’d look at canceling and eat the cost. By month 3-4 the savings will more than make up for it. If you’re looking for ways to still catch a lot of what you like to watch, check out my review on the Amazon Fire Stick – http://www.frugalrules.com/amazon-fire-tv-stick-review/ We have 2 and love them.

      • Rob says:

        Firestick is the way to go. Download the apps on firestick and verify with direct tv subscription before you cancel or you can ask someone to verify using their info… I cancelled mine months ago and they all still work on firestick

  • We cancelled DirecTV too! The cancellation charge stunk but it was much better than paying out the full contract. We use a TV antenna and have been happy with the channels we get. I get the Olympics and the Bachelorette so I am good!

  • Karla says:

    I’m in a 2 year contract with Directv. I have contacted them many times, but I just got tired. My bill was only $25 a month for the first 1 year with some good channels, then it got to $53 with just basically local channels. ($37 for the tv channels +$14 for the supplies) (They changed my plan so I got less channels.) I honestly don’t think it’s worth paying that much when I could just watch them on an atenna for free. I need help. I’ll have to pay at least $260 to cancel.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s how they get you Karla – too many go through that same issue, myself included. In my opinion, if you’re not watching that much or is stuff you can get through an antenna and adding in something like the Fire Stick it’s well worth it in the long run just to pay to cancel. Based off the numbers you provided, it’d pay for itself within 5 months.

      If you don’t have a Fire Stick, here’s my review. We love it and get most of our content from it:

      http://www.frugalrules.com/sling-tv-review/

  • Julie Dixon says:

    I’ve been trying to talk my husband into getting rid of cable it for years. We have Direct TV currently, which my hub will tell ya it was such a huge mistake cause it goes out during rain and snow. And we live in Michigan so a good portion of our year is Rain and Snow! The only stations we watch regularly are espn or whatever other sports station there is. I also watch HGTV and my daughter watches E! Our son only ever watches Netflix. What can I say to offer him a better solution rather than cable? Although your article did give me some good suggestions. Thank you!

    • John Schmoll says:

      I’d imagine it goes out a fair bit with those conditions. One option would be Sling TV – here’s my review of it:

      http://www.frugalrules.com/sling-tv-review/

      You can get ESPN plus a few other sports channels as well as HGTV though it won’t have E!. It does have some buffering issues, but could be worth looking into. That being said, speaking as a sports nut myself I don’t miss having ESPN one bit. You can get a lot of the news/highlights/updates online so that has helped a lot for us. I know it’s a tough call if there are some things you might miss out on but that monthly savings is awfully nice. 🙂

  • Greg says:

    I thought we were stuck with DirectTV through October 2017. This article motivated me to call and cancel and it was even easier than the article made it sound like it would be (and even the article says it wasn’t as bad as other horror stories heard). The first person I spoke with was the person who processed the cancellation and the entire length of the call was 9 minutes- from the time my phone starting dialing until the time I hung up.

    Suggestion when calling: whatever the truth is, tell them you are cutting out TV in the house entirely- at the very least don’t tell them you are using internet or another cable/satellite provider… don’t give them an angle for a sales pitch. Also tell them you were generally happy with DirecTV, you just want to cut costs. Telling them what you are unhappy about might give them another angle to try to keep you.

    Oh… and I think it helped me that I told the rep we were cutting costs because we learned we are having another baby. He seemed nice enough that he didn’t have the heart to try to push back much after hearing that.

  • Diane says:

    John, thank you for the information. I currently have cable, internet and phone through Time Warner Cable. I just signed up for Amazon Prime and ordered the Fire Stick since my TV was not compatible. I am a huge NatGeo/Animal Planet/MTV/Bravo and the normal FOX/ABC/NBC etc.. I have been wanting to cut the cord for a long time. I love love love my DVR. So, that I will need. I will certainly check out the Mohu Leaf and TIVO Bolt you discussed earlier. Anything I’m missing?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Not a problem at all Diane, happy to help! Glad to hear you’re making the move to cut cable. You should be to get some of those cable channels via the Fire Stick though not certain on all of them. You may want to check & see if any of them offer any of their programming online – some do though others may not. Beyond that, knowing you want a DVR you should be good to go with the Mohu (we love ours) & the Tivo.

  • Laura McMurtry says:

    Thank you John for all the great information! I’m young at heart but old in the mind and could not understand how the Fire stick works. You have answered all of my questions and I feel confident to order the stick, antenna and later the recording machine.

  • Joseph says:

    I cut the cable long ago. I don’t watch any sports at all. With DVDs, a Roku Stick, Chromecast, an antennae, etc., I pay ZERO per month. It is great. My only bill is a stand alone DSL.

  • Arthur Davis says:

    I’ve dealt with different television, phone, and credit card companies over the years and am sick and tired of having to burn up up to half an hour going through numerous layers of “service representatives” just to stop buying something I don’t want. The second time I had to disconnect DishNetwork I found a way to get it taken care of almost immediately. A transcript of the call:

    Her: Who am I speaking with?

    Me: First I need to inform you that this call is being recorded and I reserve the right to release copies of the recording or its transcript to any third party at my discretion. My name is Arthur Davis.

    Her: Thank you for sharing that information. How can I help you today?

    Me: Please discontinue my service. I understand that there is a $20 per month disconnection fee for the remaining three months of the contract. I decline any further offers for continued service that DishNetwork may make at this time and I do not authorize DishNetwork representatives to make sales calls to this phone number in the future.

    Her: OK, we’re sorry to hear that you would like to leave. Would you like to tell me why you are going?

    Me: No. Please discontinue my service. I understand that there is a $20 per month disconnection fee for the remaining three months of the contract. I decline any further offers for continued service that DishNetwork may make at this time and I do not authorize DishNetwork representatives to make sales calls to this phone number in the future.

    She then went ahead and completed the disconnection, but was noticeably agitated at that point.

    Had I been bounced to another person, the next line in my previously prepared script was

    “Please be advised that this call being recorded and I retain the right to release copies of the recording or a transcript of it to third parties at my discretion. DishNetwork has twice refused to discontinue service at my request in violation of the terms the contract and applicable federal trade laws. A copy of this recording will be sent to the Better Business Bureau and Federal Trade Commission. Please disconnect my service immediately.”

    It is absolutely ludicrous (and offensive) that companies make it so difficult to stop giving them money for services we don’t want. Based on the earlier experiences with different “service” companies I’ve decided I’m going to play hardball when dealing with them right out of the gate.

    I doubt I will ever again subscribe to service that requires a long-term contract.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sounds like you have it down pat Arthur. Could not agree more with your sentiment, it drives me nuts to get out of contracts like this so I do all I can to avoid them now.

  • Kendra says:

    What do you use for Internet? We want to cancel our cable plan but Internet is included in the bundle. Any suggestions as to how to cancel cable but still get internet? Thank you in advance.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Kendra. We have our high speed Internet through Cox. They’re the main provider of Internet, cable, phone services here in Omaha & we also have DSL through CenturyLink plus DirecTV/Dish of course. We pay a bit higher for our Internet since we work from home and need something a little faster.

      I’d look in to seeing what you’d have to pay solely for Internet service. You’re likely getting some sort of bundle pricing with the two, but even if the Internet charge were to go up you’d gain it back in no time thanks to the savings from cutting the cable. If you have more than one Internet service provider in your area that might be a possibility as well – you might be able to play them off each other for a lower rate.

  • Barbara Reese says:

    Had Dish for 9 years but got tired of them raising prices and taking away channels. I called on a weekend to see if they would cut me any deals to continue with them and was told to call back on Monday. I canceled. I find it extremely frustrating to pay full price while they offer cut rate deals to new customers. How about taking care of your old customers? I have Netflix now but it seems like there are so many choices which is the best one to get your local channels, USA Network, FS1 and FS2?

  • Barbara Reese says:

    Thank you for the info. I have the Amazon Fire Stick and after doing an update today 9/2/16 it now has an app for Sling. Sling has a deal to get a free Roku2 or pay half price for the Roku3, so now is a good time to get Sling if leaning in that direction,

  • Frank says:

    Thanks for your information, since ATT purchased Direct TV I have not been happy. I had internet with ATT and yahoo really screwed my computer up. When we had their phone service new increases to our bill would happen, would call them and they would cancel the item THEY installed.
    As you can see I have no love for ATT.

  • Laura Anthony says:

    Been a direct tv customer for over 20 years no longer in a contract. Would love to cut the cord! We live in the suburbs and there is no cable available. In addition our internet through century link is incredibly slow with no improvements in sight regarding speed. We have trouble when more than two people are on the internet let alone trying to stream a movie. Short of relocating does anyone else have suggestions?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a tough one Laura. Given your Internet speed, something like Sling wouldn’t be a good option. How much is your monthly bill with DirecTV? If it’s around $100, you could consider the new service by Dish. I’ve read just a little about it, but they offer something like 50 channels for $39.99/month with a guarantee of no increase in 2 years. It’s not perfect, but could be worth looking into if it means cutting your bill in half or more.

  • Ash says:

    I have just done the very same thing, directtv bumped me to 100$ and I paid to get out of the contract. truth be told I was paying 64$ a month for a year and barely turned it on. the interface is horrible, so many ad channels, some desired channels that aren’t very costly are put on the upper tiers just to get you to subscribe.

    Current setup now is 5 Roku boxes, all mine no monthly charge for them.

    I had the following already before cancelling, 100$ super high speed internet, 8 bucks for Netflix, 12 bucks for hulu no ads, 99 a year for amazon prime, 18 bucks a month for sirusxm in the car, and 5 dollars a month for plex (even though you can purchase the apps and run this without a monthly charge, it is such a great service I want to support them)

    I added playstation vue for 25 bucks and sling with 2 add ons 35 bucks a month, so maybe I saved 50 after the switch but the best part is below

    accessible on every tv with one little box that works like a charm (Roku 2)
    1. Netflix
    2. hulu
    3. amazon video
    4. crackle (free)
    5. playstation vue ( a bunch of live channels with one month unlimited cloud dvr
    6. tunein (free radio)
    7. sling tv (this has gotten much better as of 9/29/2016)
    8. plex and plex classic (for my old tvs) (this is a home based media server you run on your own machine and it functions just like Netflix for any content you have on your computer including music with artwork and descriptions etc automatically parsed from the web)

    after this I find I have all but one show I keep up with as they come out on PS Vue, they are all neatly organized and I find myself actually keeping up with my shows now

    for browsing around and watching tv on the fly sling works great plus has a few extra channels I like, this service has some on demand features but not as much as ps vue.

    many of these services I had regardless of directtv because they had so much good content, and I don’t skimp on internet speed at all. the other two services are going to run me about the original 60 bucks a month before my prices got the 1 year bump, it doesn’t get better from there, they bump you again in 2 years. total savings close to 50 bucks

    the greatest thing about this is all the services I listed can be watched from any tv, multiple people can tune in at the same time with a few restrictions (sling has some) and they are also available on my ipad, my galaxys7 etc, so all my tv goes everywhere with me too. before with direct tv I had two boxes, a dvr and a small box so I could only use this in two rooms.

    cord cut and I’m never going back, they got me back last time because sling buckled under pressure for walking dead premiere. but now that I can also get this from vue and watch it up to a month later even if some sony bandwidth catastrophe should happen I could just watch it the next day, even on my phone anywhere.

    cut it, and don’t look back, they are ripping you off.

    charging you silly prices for each piece of equipment you own monthly and you don’t even own it, you aren’t paying it off or leasing to buy, you just pay to have it sit there. charging too much for programming by selectively placing channels throughout the packages hoping youll bump up for a channel or two. filling the entire spectrum of channels with garbage, 10 ad channels between each set of 10 real channels, interface is poor, the only thing they can say that is in their favor is that if the broadcast is in HD you do get the best picture out of any provider, but the internet sources are so so close if you have good bandwidth it is hardly noticeable.

    also have an OTA antenna on all my digital tvs, works very well. some people buy a tablo dvr for OTA and use just one antenna and a Roku channel to access it, I get plenty of OTA programming but nothing id really want to record.

  • Ash says:

    I forgot to mention siriusxm also on the plex boxes, I cant tell you how much better this setup is.

    and if you are any form of tech guru and have your own huge library I couldn’t be a bigger supporter of the plex service.

    as far as hardware I find Roku 2 is the minimum you would want to get, you have to get Roku 1 if you need RCA jacks on an older console tv etc

  • Robert J Magnolia says:

    In short… Direct TV is the worse company to do business with.
    I am 99% of the time gentle and kind. My divorce with Direct TV has allowed peace back in my life and I will never look back.
    After one year at a semi lower rate I was willing to pay the $265 disconnect fee.
    My wife and I we’re lied to (always on the phone together to back each other), taken advantage of (said we cancelled when we didn’t after 3 months which escalated our issues) and so much more I don’t feel like opening my thin skinned wound.
    Not sure if this helps anyone else but thank you for listening to my problems…lol.
    Robert

    • John Schmoll says:

      “Not sure if this helps anyone else but thank you for listening to my problems…lol.” Ha ha, happy to be a sounding board Robert. 🙂 Paying that cancelation fee hurts, but it’s well worth it in the long run. Glad you’re free!

  • Brenda Snell says:

    We have been with DirectTV for a few years and are no longer under contract. We are in the process of cutting the cord! We bought the Amazon FireTV box for our TV in the family room and the Amazon Fire Stick for the TV in our bedroom. We have also ordered an HD antenna which we should receive next week so we can pick up the local channels. We are waiting to cancel DTV until the antenna comes in so that we don’t miss any sports that may be on the local channels, CBS,NBS,ABC etc. We have done the math and by switching to the PSVue we will be saving over $100/month! My question is, does Direct TV cancel the day you call to cancel or when the receive the equipment back? Thanks for your input!

    • John Schmoll says:

      Awesome move Brenda, you’ll love the savings! Great question. They cancel it the day you call – I believe it took a few hours for it to activate and cut out. You’ll want to watch to make sure they get the equipment back. They seemed to us to be a bit on the uncaring side about that…which makes sense since they charge you if they don’t receive it in time.

  • Ryan says:

    Hello all. My wife and I have been wanting to cut the cord for some time now, having been DirectTv customers since 2004. Our bill is $125 per month (no premium channels), and as our contract had been up for some time now, I decided to shop around. We tried the Playstation Vue free trial and loved it, and decided to go with that (as it has a few local channels) and all the local sports as well (a big selling point for me). We chose the Ultra package $75 (with HBO and Showtime), which will save us $65 a month right off the bat (we had been paying $15 per month for HBO Now).
    I called this past Saturday to cut the cord with DirectTV, and was dreading dealing with their retention tactics. While I was on hold for over 40 minutes, my wife came up with a great idea to avoid listening to their sales pitch to keep us. She suggested I say that I’m moving (for work) to another country. I decided, why not, and explained to the rep that my job was sending me overseas for the next year (DirectTV is not available overseas except for some parts of Latin America, per my google search). The rep replied, “Sorry we are losing you as a customer. Let me process your account closing right away.” I do have to mail back my super old equipment but all in all, I avoided being transferred to any customer retention rep. Whole process took about 50 minutes (including the 40 minute hold time). Wanted to share this tip with everyone so their cutting the cord will go just as smoothly!

  • Mariah says:

    Do they charge you immediately to stop service or just tack it on to the last bill?

  • Deanne Ruppel says:

    What about people like me that live in the boonies? Actually we’re only 3 miles from a town but no cable available. Internet is crap, can’t get anything faster from Centurylink (the only Internet provider in our area). Can’t stream movies or even watch a darn video without it stopping continually. Do you have any suggestions for us? We pay $95 a month for Direct tv. I lowered the package and still pay this much. Stupid.

  • Bonnie Folk says:

    I switch to DirecTV 3 months ago from U-verse with the promise of free pay programs like HBO Etc for 3 months free I also have Internet and home phone through AT&T which is affiliated with DirecTV and I pay about $120 a month with the free pay channels, which are going to be canceled this month so I’ll either have to get rid of them or my bill will go up to what it was before which was about $187 a month and strange enough I also have a Roku Netflix streaming and Amazon Prime none of which I really use, but I am hooked on many series on TV, And movies, I would love to cut the cord stash that money somewhere else like on all my huge credit card bills! I worry I won’t be able to watch my regular series that come on weekly on the up-to-date seasons and not up to date episodes any suggestions?

    • John Schmoll says:

      My suggestion would be to cut the bill altogether, especially knowing you have credit card debt to pay off. I’d look at something like Hulu, which is around $10/month. It may not replace all your shows, but at the end of the day I think it’s well worth it if you throw that money at your debt.

  • Alfredo Pena says:

    My Direct TV has blocked FOX News. Don’t press the red reset button like the screen says to. I did and my box is dead.
    Don’t press the red button.
    Customer service hold time is 1 hour and waiting.
    #canceldirectv

  • Nancy says:

    I am a Customer Service Rep for DTV, I work in the Customer Loyalty / Retention Dept.

    – General Customer service, the agents you usually start out talking to on the phone, are not allowed to discuss contracts with customers. They can only tell you in general it usually costs $20 per mo for every month left on your contract.
    This dept is mainly a sales dept so even if you are looking to lower your bill, they will try to sell you a premium channel or upgrade your equipment. They make bonus money on the sales.
    – If you feel that you are not getting anywhere with this department, either the agent isn’t very helpful or you are having a hard time understanding the agent (ie. English isn’t their first language), tell the agent you want to talk to someone about your contract or you want to disconnect your account. The words contract and disconnect are usually the magic words that get you over to the department above them.
    – General customer service reps are not allowed to proactively suggest transferring the caller. They could get into trouble if their call is monitored and the supervisor decides they transferred for no reason.
    – Once you get to the Retention / Loyalty Dept, we will do whatever we can to solve your problem. Bill too high? Let’s see if there’s credits we can offer (in the past year the credit offers have come very close to matching new customer offers.)
    Equipment not working correctly? Let’s either swap it out for a newer model (keep you out of a new contract) or let’s upgrade you to the newest equipment we have (two year contract usually).
    Need a service call? Let’s see if we can get a tech out there to see what’s going on and resolve the issue and not make you pay for it.
    Didn’t order NFL Sunday Ticket but you’re stuck paying for it because it’s on your bill and you didn’t call in to cancel before the season started? Tell us you’re leaving over that and we will remove the NFL ST and usually credit you back at least half of what you’ve paid for it. If there are notes showing you called in prior to Sept 10 to have it removed and it wasn’t, we will credit back everything you paid for it.
    Looking for a free movie channel? We usually have at least one free movie channel to offer and these offers usually shut themselves off at the end of the promo.

    As Retention / Loyalty dept agents, yes we do not to lose you as a customer so we will try to do what we can to retain your business. This is pretty much how it works with any cable company. Our call metrics aren’t call time like other call centers instead it is save rate, the more customers we are able to keep, keeps our metrics up and on payday we are rewarded based on our stats for the month.
    – Not everyone lives in an area where they can get internet access at their home and so streaming services are not an option for them.
    If this is you, and you want help with your DTV bill, call us and talk to us.
    Those of you who do have internet access and want to cut the cord, ATT is launching a streaming only service called DTV NOW, which is supposed to be launching any day now. You will be able to get 100 DTV channels for $35 a month. That is the top tier, there will be a free tier which has fewer channels and will be supported by advertisers, so there’s a level for everyone.

    • John Schmoll says:

      WOW!! A comment from a DirecTV rep…glad to see this article is performing well in search. 😉 Thanks for stopping by and adding your $.02.

      Here’s the problem though…you’re missing the point entirely – the point is y’all charge WAY too much for your product. You swindle people into contracts, only offer your best rates to new customers instead of those who’ve been with you for years and 95%+ of the channels you offer are crap channels – home shopping anyone? That’s only the tip of the iceberg. Once the American public finally decides they’ve been suckling on the overpriced teet of cable tv and how much money they can save it’ll be a good day.

  • DRS Sox says:

    Directtv is all about bottom line profitability. They are the telecommunication equivalent to Wells Fargo in Finance. As described, to be treated in such a manner goes to why consumers need to find another medium. Notice Xfinity’s commercials focus on customer first, Verizon on eliminating 2 year contracts. They are trying to change their image. Not that I support, or a customer, of either. Directtv could care less.

    Our only voice to let them know are these consumer reviews, cancelling, finding other mediums. Good for everyone here.

  • Brian says:

    We had directv since 2009, I had always been able to get relatively decent discounts throughout that time. But I will say having to call every 3-6 months to keep our bill around $90 was annoying.

    The last several months of having directv got to be extremely difficult. Our bill would inexplicably go from $90 to $130 back down to $90. Of course a call to directv would correct this, but having said that I was tired of haggling every few months to get an “affordable” bill and also feeling like I had to watch my bill like a store owner watches a thief and going through the hassle of a 20 minute phone call to get my bill corrected.

    The cancellation process wasn’t awful, but I was told many of the same things you were told. Basically “TV as you know it will come to an end” But I got my return box a week later and sent off their boxes and remotes.

    We have Netflix and psvue (but roughly 3 weeks ago playstation and viacom couldn’t come to a rights agreement so psvue lost all viacom channels- mtv,vh1, nickelodeon, comedy central..ect.. which really stinks considering I was comedy central fan and my son watched nick all of the time.

    Currently I see that there is a new streaming service offering 100+ channels for $35/MO by yep, you guessed it directv.

    I do plan on checking this out as rumor has it if you sign up for a year you get an apple TV 4 for free.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad you cut the cord Brian, it’s a great savings. That said, I’ve not heard about this new streaming service by DirecTV – I’ll have to do some checking around on it. It makes sense, on one hand, they see the customers they’re losing and they most certainly have the means to come up with some other type of offering – sort of like Dish with Sling.

  • Jack M. says:

    Just cancelled DTV. Surprisingly easy. They didn’t transfer me to anyone else. Did get the same information that a box would be sent out within 7 days. I recently bought the NVidia Shield Android TV box. All the TV I could ever want. Going to save about $100 a month. Put that towards something much more fulfilling. Feels good.

  • Linda Mathis says:

    Cancelation was so easy! I was dreading the hour-long retention techniques based on what I had read. Tip – when the agent asks why you are canceling, just say that you don’t want to get into it. There is no hook then for them to offer this discount and promise that service and offer these additional free channels. My contract has been expired for years, and the call took 9 minutes total. My Direct TV will be cut off tonight at midnight!

  • Vera J Edwards says:

    I cancelled my directv yesterday (costly nightmare, btw)which included their protection plan on all my devices. My tv went out today! Do these protection plans last for any length of time after cancelling your cable (ie: valid til the end of the month, 30 days after cancellation, etc ) or does the policy coverage end immediately.

  • Bob Himlin says:

    I just cancelled my DirecTV service. It was a snap. My 24-month contract was up at the same time Spectrum took over Time Warner where we have our phone and internet already so I just explained to the DirecTV rep the deal Spectrum was offering. They couldn’t come close to matching it, so there was nothing to haggle about and the rep processed my cancel order right there.

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