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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? Also, isn’t getting out of a DirecTV contract difficult?

To be honest it’s something I wish we would’ve done years ago. I justified 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 and leave DirecTV.

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 want to know 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 provide me any information – 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 their 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 in short order.

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 items. 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, here’s how 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 contract.

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, so it literally pays to know when you called in to cancel.

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 close to 18 months 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? 😉

Like DirecTV, but don’t like the contract? Check out their new no-contract option in my DirecTV Now review. Get a free 7-day trial of DirecTV Now to see if it’s the right option for you.

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 how to cut the cord, and what we’ve done to replace DirecTV:

  • We’ve kept Netflix, as it’s a lifesaver for those with little kids. That is $10.54 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. There are many other digital TV antennas you can select from, here’s a list of the top ones on Amazon.
  • We’ve used Hulu off an on for the past year. It’s a great way to get network shows and they have some good exclusive content. Hulu offers plans at $7.99 and $11.99 per month and are a good value.
  • 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. If you don’t want to depend on Amazon for content, the Roku Stick is very similar to the Fire Stick and for near the same cost.
  • Another option 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. (Here’s my Amazon Fire TV review if you’re looking for a set-top box option.)

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 Roamio is one option to consider to still be able to record your favorite shows without a nasty monthly fee found with most other standalone DVR options.

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, according to the International Business Times. 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 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.

That’s money we can throw at our mortgage, invest in the stock market or save in our vacation fund – all things that hold far greater value to us.

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.

216 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!!

    • John Schmoll says:

      I bet it has Natalie! That’s a steal for Internet service, we’re around $50 per month but with us working from home full-time it’s well worth the expense.

      • sharon says:

        we live on a mountain and the only way to get internet was to go with Directv w unlimited data from Att.
        Any other ideas?

      • Sharon says:

        Thank you so much for all your information John. I’m going through a similar issue with DIRECTV. I can’t believe all the bs they have put me through since March 27, 2017 when my bill jumped up another $85. I have a year left on my contract and about ready to cut the cord now. They gave me a discount for April’s bill but no one can tell me what May will be and no one can tell me if I change my package will this renew my contract. I’ve been researching all the devices and your statements are so helpful to me. I want to get my devices in place before I cut them. I’m ready to pay the $20 per month after devices are in place. Thank you.

    • Debra Davis says:

      What internet service do you have and how do you get to watch TV series like Grey’s Anatomy

      • Chris says:

        Get a Digital Antenna (Omni Directional) and Voila! You can also get Sony Vue or Sling TV at an actual reasonable monthly fee (no contracts) to cover any other areas you are missing (you will need a high speed internet connection for that though 25MBPS will more than cover it)

        • Patricia says:

          I got that digital antenna & it picked up 2 stations & ended up sending it back I also tried a few other things from amazon & off line but all I can think is that everyone that uses antenna & other things live close to the city. I’m out in the country & I mean the closes TV station is over 50 miles away, I would love to find a way to watch TV no sports no home box but I guess I have to pay the price to leave way out in the country where you have no one living next to me.

          • Steve says:

            I live in Alaska about 40 miles from tv transmitters. I use old fastion anyenna and get 6 channels 🙂

          • Missy says:

            We are way out, too. Do you havea ROKU? Try a free week of PlayStation Vue streaming. Loads of channels. You can also get News ON on ROKU for free, with live news.

    • Kathleen Hogue says:

      May I ask, how did you find internet for $23? Would you tell me the name of the internet provider? Thanks in advance, Blessings. K

  • 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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s good to hear Emily. We had a much different experience with DirecTV, but we got rid of it which is what matters.

    • Ron Vermillion says:

      Sweet, my DirectV w/Att Internet is now $200 monthly and I have no major movie channels that I asked for, my package was supposed to be like $85 plus internet, I have HD antenna & Streaming Boxes, Netflix & Roku, I own and operate a small business on my own 24/7 so TV isn’t important, my wife works an 8 hr shift and watches shows like Animal Planet, ID investigation & local but she’s addicted, I want to cut the cord since ATT took over, DirecTV was always easy to work with online & off but now can’t do anything online, the bill is paid monthly from my business account so I’m going to put it in my wife’s lap to fix it her way then pay the bill with the family account, I’m willing to pay all cost to cancel & buy her a DVR to record (she has recording from 2014 lol) and get a better ISP because what I have in the Capitol City sucks for the cost.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry for the hassle, but glad you were able to get out of the contract!

    • STAYAWAYFROMATTDIRECTV says:

      Hi Mary J, I’m trying to get rid of AT&T/Directv. OMG what a nightmare! I won’t go into great detail, but I’m being grossly over-charged ($190/mo)..that is a lot of $$ to me, but I could possibly handle it IF I had good service and getting what I’m paying for. I’ve had tech’s out, made so many phone calls, etc. to no avail. I cannot get the truth from ANY employee – even the tech’s that come out. The different stories I’ve gotten from anyone I’ve dealt with is flabbergasting.

      Sorry for rambling…but, can you please tell me how you got a-hold of the FCC, who you sent it to, what you said in the email, etc….ALL the details would be greatly appreciated!

      • UNhappy DirecTV customer says:

        Your story sounds like mine. I hate DirecTV and am so mad that I made the switch to them last June. But now I’m stuck until June 2018, so that fee would be pretty high. My monthly bill isn’t bad but the service sucks and always goes out and I’m constantly trying to get tech help and thins are still unresolved. I just want to be done with them, but don’t want to pay $300+ in cancellation.

  • 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

    • Martin C says:

      How well do you like VUE? That’s what I am thinking about doing.

      • LawyerMilloy says:

        I have Vue. I like the multiple streaming from more than 1 device. ABC is an issue. The biggest issue is your locked into your zip code. I do not like that.

    • Melody says:

      I’m new to this but I want OUT OF DISH Network after 15 years. I’m not real saavy on all this. You mentioned PlayStation Vue? What about Xbox One S? Or Smart TV’s? Basically I just want shows for my lil one with autism, and Netflix and maybe the History channel for Mommy.

  • 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.

    • Peter says:

      Hey Dawn I’m sure by now you’re without direct tv and Happier lol. What area are u from that doesn’t have cable?!

  • 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.

    • Eric says:

      Hi Dianna,

      Depending on your area, Spectrum (aka Time Warner) is buying out Direct TV contracts… just wanted to get this out there.

  • 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/

      • Jodi H. says:

        Who can help? I want to cancel our $140/mo DirecTV and pay the cancellation fee,but husband doesn’t want to. He needs Penguin Hockey (we live in Pgh.,PA) Steeler Football and AMC for The Walking Dead and we have Verizon internet & phone! We’re paying approx. $190/mo for tv, phone & internet. We’re not tech savvy at all and have no idea what these gadgets are!

        • John Schmoll says:

          You’d likely need to look at something like DirecTV Now, or one of their competitors to get much of that. I’m not certain which would be best since I don’t live in that region.

  • 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.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear it was so easy for you to cancel Bob, that’s awesome! Just make sure Spectrum doesn’t jack up your rates if it’s some sort of intro offer. 🙂

    • Sreejith Meleveetil says:

      I just did the same, moved away from DirectTV to Spectrum. DirectTV charged me $250 as an early cancellation charge, ridiculous service!!!

  • Pat Styka says:

    I got Direct tv in June 2016 Signed a 2 year contract. First snowfall which wasn’t much lost
    Service for 8’hrs. Today service out again I am
    83 years young and after calling customer service I was told my options, clean snow off dish,wait til it melts or buy a heater. They sent a
    Service rep I have no options about moving dish so I could clean it off. Service rep said he would write detailed message and thought I could cancel without paying cancellation fee (360.00)
    What do you think are my chance So?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear about the hassle Pat. I’d love to say that they’d let you go without paying the cancelation fee, but my experience with DirecTV would say that’d be difficult to get. Hope I’m wrong. 🙂

  • Sandy says:

    Thanks for all the great information. We are in the investigative stage of considering cancelling DirectTV. We have an new smart TV. Are additional devices like the Amazon Fire Stick of Roku needed? There are several pre-loaded apps like Hulu, SlingTV and Netlfix (which we currently subscribe to and watch frequently).

    • Sandy says:

      To clarify my comment above, we only use Netflix, we haven’t tried any of the other apps.

      • John Schmoll says:

        Not a problem at all Sandy, more than happy to help. That’s a great question. I wouldn’t say something like that is absolutely needed, but it could open up your app options – especially if you have Amazon Prime as the Fire Stick would provide access to all their content. If you don’t have Prime, you can still access your video content, just not Prime stuff. I’ve not personally used Roku, but I believe it’s very similar.

  • Darian Cummings says:

    My wife and I just dropped off our DirecTV boxes at the Post Office yesterday, and from the update I just got from USPS.com on the two tracking numbers for the packages being on their way…I can finally say “Bon Voyage!”

    After 12 (4 w/ Dish, 1 w/ Charter, 7 w/ DirecTV)…long…years of:
    – “cloud cover”,
    – scrambled recordings,
    – tolerating power-consuming Genie boxes connected by coaxial cable (which should have been wireless due to false advertising) ultimately impacting our electric bill from the spinning hard drives in them
    – technicians with ladders coming over “ON THEIR TIME”
    – worries about grounding poles
    – pump fakes about channels like “The Weather Channel” getting yanked off and then back on unexpectedly
    – and the Big One: the AT&T takeover announcement (we weren’t good enough for AT&T, but AT&T was good enough to hijack DirecTV’s loyal customers!)
    …it was time.

    A high-bandwidth modem, router, a high-speed Roku box, my PC, LAN and WiFi skills (and my wife sealing the deal with her research on the PlayStation Vue channels) was what convinced us to take the plunge!

    The goal of communications, entertainment and commerce in our household being driven by IP Addresses and not satellite dishes has finally been achieved! Hallelujah!

  • Laura D says:

    I found some great info in here, thank you! I cancelled DirectTV yesterday (told them I was moving), after about a 15 minute conversation of me repeating myself, I thought it was over. Last night I received 5 phone calls from them within a 4 hour time frame (didn’t answer any of them, but called the number back to see who was calling and low and behold it was DirectTV). I got so mad the last time I let the call go through and talked to someone from their “Retention Dept” who went on and on about how he could save me money. I started telling him how they have this horrible reputation and now I understand why and he just got an attitude “Ok if you don’t want to save money!” – – I’m thinking save money? I’m going to save $83 a month by leaving them! I signed up with them two years ago at $47 a month and during that time it squeaked up to $83. They are all crooks (satellite and cable) but at least with the cable company they kept their price the same during the two years and THEN started raising it! These guys are horrible and I wish I had done this research years ago. Now we will use Netflix and HULU, possibly Amazon PRIME but will wait to see if we even need it, there is so much to watch w/these two. Ok so I just blocked the TWO different numbers they are using to call me – – hopefully it will stop soon. I’ll send back the equipment with return receipt requested to have proof they get it – – Thanks again!

  • Linda Bennett says:

    Love this site!! There is a lot of great information here so thank you for that. We unbundled with CenturyLink and got Time Warner internet. People still think you HAVE to bundle and have their telephone service to get internet but you don’t. I know because CenturyLink burnt me for YEARS on this. We then switched to DTV and dropped CenturyLink all together. Looking back I’m not sure my bill with DTV was ever what they said it would be. We have the Amazon Fire Sticks and the little indoor antennas (which we mainly wanted to use if we lost power). At this point I am ready to cut the cord myself. My last bill from DTV was over $145!! Its CRAZY!! They gave me a whole $5 a mo. credit to “make me feel better” while they slipped their hands in our pockets some more. My main concern was my husbands sports which he is a huge, huge fan. But he seems content getting his sports anyway he can… be it thru the fire stick or antenna…. rather than pay DTV anymore money. We only watch a handful of channel as I like my local news, a couple soaps, and my NCIS (which we can get NCIS on the Firestick). So, its seems stupid to stay with them on our part when there are other cheaper options. It will be interesting to see how DTV handles me about cancelling with them and what the amount will be. I think we have a little less than a year with them left. I had considered Sling TV but really don’t know much about it. The information on this site has help clear some of that up for me.

  • John Mayo says:

    Read your column–EXCELLENT–called to cancel DIRECT as I am about to retire–and go to ROKU–BUT, the lady was very nice and did offer a lower price—41.00/month (down from $168.00) AND the channels that we watch. I could not resist and accepted that offer for a year…But, will still get a ROKU device for a spare TV and see how we like it….thanks for your column

  • JP says:

    It is easy to live without xfinity or directv since so much content is available on the internet. But living without the internet is really the hard problem for a frugal person. I was fortunate to be able to get dsl where I live and it is very affordable. However, at some addresses you can only get cable internet which generally is at least $70/month. To me, living without these services is generally a short-term sacrifice you want to do for a year or two to meet some financial goals. But it is fair to say that paying $100 per month for directv and internet (which is what I pay) is a reasonably priced service. I would rather sacrifice other things (like eating out, or a nicer car) than living without any forms of broadcast entertainment. You just really have to pay close attention to how much you pay for your phone, internet, cable, etc bills because those things can add up if you aren’t a smart shopper.

  • John S says:

    In our house, all we watch is ESPN, cable news, HGTV, and the cooking channels. What would our options be if we canceled DirecTV? Thanks for your input.

    John

  • Alicia Baillères says:

    We’re an active duty military family that move every 3 years & I have to watch local news (ABC, CBS, NBC, FoX). It’s my way of getting to know the town better and be in the loop of things going on in our community. We also Love watching NFL, college football, the Olympics and the World Cup (soccer). How do you get those kinds of channels without cable/dish/satellite? We’re current DirecTV slaves & would Love to cut the cord!!

  • Jim Reeves says:

    Not sure where to start. Been excellent directv customer since 2010, never paid bill late. Currently going thru fourth day of no local CBS cos directv is having a catfight with Hearst tv. I have premium and pay 195.05/month, going up six bucks this month. I’m retired, on social security, so that’s one quarter of my monthly income. I don’t go out much, love old movies, could care less about sports. I watch tv a lot. I want out from under this ripoff delivery system but I’m overwhelmed by options. This site has been very helpful towards that end, but I’m still unsure exactly how to keep what I like sans directv.

    I’m esp troubled cos I had a service call from them recently, HD channels in sd, still not fixed. Two guys came, neither had ID or badge, just t shirt and van saying directv, neither provided name or ID. I was here alone. One barricaded in bathroom for long time, i was unable to monitor both guys, I found one going thru my treasured blu Ray collection, but when I asked what kinda movies he liked he didn’t respond. They did nothing while here, except check alignment which I could’ve done. I got no receipt, no follow-up call or email, no indication that these guys were for real reps of directv. I tried to call but was left on hold so long I hung up.

    Sorry for the long winded tale, but I’m frustrated and dunno how to proceed. Thanks for any guidance.

  • Amy says:

    I canceled my cable several years back & used Netflix VIA Roku boxes for over 2 years. I am 1 year into my DirectTV contract & I think we will be canceling again. My kids watch Netflix more than the satellite, not to mention their huge DVD collection. My only complaint is that my bundle of phone, internet & TV will probably be overpriced, even without the TV portion of the bill. I’ll be attempting to call tomorrow.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Our kids are the same way – Netflix is more than enough for them. I agree, the bundling can get expensive. You should look at axing the landline and it’d save you more money.

  • Darrell says:

    I appreciate the information. My DirectTv bill keeps creeping up. I’m at $158 and started out at $120 for both Internet and DishTV. They were going to give me a $15 off per month for the internet and lock me in for another year and I was like NO THANKS. I am still locked in for 11 more months but at this rate I may come off better just paying the $220 and walking away. I only need the internet. I will recoup that in 2 months. I already have Netflix, Firestick and Amazon Prime. I like my sports but I will use Sling when needed. I am tired of the fluctuating bills with these companies.

  • anynomous says:

    My parents have dish, but dish has a problem of not making agreements with CBS and result is no CBS for up to 6 months at a time. I’m 14 and had enough of that crap and built an antenna with at least 80 mile range, but antenna doesn’t have all the channels i want. So i’m stuck in the crossfire between dish and CBS i guess.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear that, but it sounds like your creativity has given you some sort of workaround. That being said, I remember that from the days we had Dish – wasn’t fun at all.

  • Kari Cook says:

    I am trying to cut out Dish Network from our monthly expenses. We are currently paying about $100 for the service. Got the Amazon Fire TV system for Christmas and have started using it. However when I got the CBS All Access Pass, NBC, and History channel, I had to sign in using my TV provider information. If I now call and cancel my dish, will I lose these channels and shows on Amazon?

    • John Schmoll says:

      It’s possible you may lose access to them. Some will allow you access if you use the login info from your Internet provider though most are through the cable provider. They unfortunately get many that way.

    • Bill Earle says:

      Kari, take a look at “DirecTV Now”. It’s a new service from Directv that just started Dec 1, 2016. It can be The basic package is 60 channels for $35/mo via the internet and your Fire TV will be able to access it. The basic package includes the History channel. CBS is not part of the package because they haven’t licensed it to DirecTV becuase as you know they have their own “All Access Pass” that they want complete revenue from. Access to your local ABC, Fox, NBC and other local stations depend on where you live. I’m in the Phoenix area and I don’t get ABC or NBC, but do get FOX. It’s kind of bizarre but if you live in/near a big city (NY, LA, Chicago) where ABC, Fox and NBC actually own the local stations, you’ll get those stations included beyond the 60 stations, but if they don’t own them, and allow an affiliate to pass on their broadcast, you won’t be able to get them. That’s what’s happening to me in Phoenix. It all depends on your zip code. But the “DirecTV NOW” peole realize that if they don’t provide the local stations to people it isn’t that useful to a lot of people. Also, another negative is that you only get streaming access to 2 TV ‘s at the same time. You can still have 4 TV’s like I do but only 2 of them can be “live” simultaneously. As it’s just my wife and I it isn’t a big deal but it could be a deal breaker for a family.

      • Bill Earle says:

        Also, Roku has promised a “DirecTV NOW” app in the first quarter this year so that will be another option. Hulu is coming out with a “Hulu LIVE” package sometime this yr (target is 3rd Qtr) and will offer 3 simultaneous channels (and can add more for an extra charge) so hopefully “DirecTV NOW” will have to match that.

  • tiffany says:

    My husband has been trying to cancel DTV for 3 days. First he was on hold forever. Then he was told there was “no one in that department available” and this morning, he was told they can’t cancel it until he pays his final bill (which is due on the 15th) Pain in MY butt! Im so glad we dropped it.. I’ve been trying to convince him to do so for ages. But the sports has kept him. With college football off, I guess he was finally ready to pull the trigger.

    We use Netflix. And a “special” Amazon firestick. Before I met him, I hadn’t had cable for years and relied on Netflix, Hulu, and the stations own websites to provide episodes.

  • Bill Earle says:

    Does anyone know of any boxes being sold with similar features of Directv’s Genie box (and the wireless mini receivers) but for OverTheAir signals, NOT Directv signals. I’d like the capability to record the OTA channels.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a great question Bill – unfortunately I don’t know the answer to it. Something has to be out there like that, I just don’t know what that is.

      • Bill Earle says:

        John, I’ve found an answer to my question. It’s a Tivo Bolt (replaces the DirecTV Genie) along with multiple Tivo wireless mini’s (which are like the DirecTV wireless clients) for each additional room. The downside is that they are expensive to purchase and you still have to pay $14.99/mo (or $149/yr) for the Bolt recorder unit but the wireless mini’s don’t have a monthly charge.

  • Joelle L Milligan says:

    Hey, I’ve read some but not all comments so I apologize if this has already been asked. We have direct tv with a whopping 220 dollar bill ( normal channels, some movies and about 75 dollars in random taxes and fees). I live far enough in the country that after three years I’ve finally found a company that offers wifi through cell phone broadband. I want to cancel direct tv but im worried I can’t use the fire stick or Netflix without cable wifi. Does anyone know or have another solution?

  • Michael says:

    I got my DirecTV bill reduced from about $85 to $55 a month in Nov. 2014. I used the Clark Howard tactic of telling them I couldn’t afford it (I am retired and on a fixed income). At the end of that call they transferred me to someone who restated the deal and told me I was to stay with them for the next year to get the reduced rate. I agreed. Before 2 months had passed they raised my rate by $10, no reason why. WOW! What a great outfit! I had to commit to another year of service but they had to commit to nothing. I kept paying the somewhat reduced rate for a year, then it went back to the regular rate which was by then about $95 a month. After it increased to $103 a month I decided that was enough. I called in to cancel. Trying to avoid their retention games I told them I was moving to the Philippines and asked if they had service there (I knew they didn’t). The cancellation process then became very easy. Kinda peaceful around here without TV.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Sorry to hear about that hassle Michael, but it sounds like you won out in the end. It drives me nuts when they play the “we’re going to increase rates” game with no notice and try to talk you into another year.

  • Larry says:

    To be honest, the last few weeks have riled me up considerably. I’ve been seeing people post about their experiences with canceling their account and how they were being charged with the late return fees. My experience was somewhat the same, but wasn’t too crazy;

    Called in to cancel on the the 3rd of this month. Been a loyal customer since 2012, but prices started getting high and I wasn’t getting channels I was paying for. Some customer service reps even went the mile to blame me for not calling in sooner. Or maybe, that was my fault. I voluntarily wanted to talk to a Vietnamese person to help better my own. Needless to say, that guy wasn’t the best one to talk to. Anyway, I was looking around on ways to approach it and by some miracle, I found this page. I did exactly as you laid out. The guy on the other line was seriously hammering me down with all these great offers that could’ve helped me a few years ago. And just like you said..his jovial, happy attitude burned out as soon a I made it clear I wanted to cut ties. He finally canceled everything and said he would send out my boxes and I should receive them within 7 days.

    I didn’t.

    I got them almost two weeks later on the 17th and mailed them out on the 19th. Now, I knew full well I was going to be charged and was ready to fight tooth and nail. Sure enough, I was being charged $45 for each of my 4 receivers and got the notification Saturday. Called in about half an hour ago and a girl named Ashley picked up the call. I remembered someone on another website saying that if you’re going to talk in person, be sure to stay calm and be nice or else they’ll just hang up on you. I did just that and told her how the tracking numbers on the boxes sent to me didn’t display the correct date, and how the tracking numbers after I sent them out said they had already left Arizona and were in-transit. She immediately apologized and pulled up the same information I was looking at and offered to take off the charges, saying she was authorized to do so, but had to speak with her supervisor first. She came back and said she was given the go-ahead and began taking them off. I was placed back on hold and my e-mail updated me as she took off each charge. She even took off the late fee that was issued since I had yet to make my ‘final’ payment.

    The entire conversation was smooth and she was really helpful at getting things fixed. Not once did she push anything on me about coming back or offer me deals. She was actually very sweet about everything. Unfortunately, during my time on hold, we were disconnected and I didn’t have the time to tell her how awesome she was.

    Called back and got paired up with another person (Anita). She was lightweight pushing offers and promotions on me, asking why I decided to cancel. I made it clear that I just wanted to make sure everything was updated and that I would not be returning. She went ahead and took note of my updates and I was on my way.

    Honestly speaking, there are a few bad apples when it comes to customer service, but I don’t think it’s enough to blame Directv entirely. Sure, their tactics are a bit slimy and some folks could re-evaluate their approach to dealing with customers, but I can’t blame an entire group for something a few people were responsible for. And these people probably go through this on a daily basis, so it makes sense that they get super disgrunteled. Gotta treat people how you want to be treated, but if they’re still being pricks…they get what they deserve

    And that’s my experience. Just waiting for the Directv website to update. 😀

    • John Schmoll says:

      Wow, sounds like quite the ordeal Larry but glad you’ve been able to get them to straighten things out for you and cancel your contract. Agreed, just being courteous is typically my approach as you’ll get much further – generally speaking…aside from those less than pleasant reps that pop up. 🙂 Enjoy the savings, it’s great!

  • Loren Jones says:

    I have read most of the comments and I am trying to find out this:
    We have Directv with 5 tvs.
    We have 4 boys. 2 share a room, they watch Netflix on their Roku express almost every night, so can nix the directv there. The 14 year old watches the movie channels a lot, but has a Roku express as well.
    2 year old watches Nick Jr every night. Paw Patrol, Blaze, etc.
    My husband and I watch Netflix on our smart TV mostly, but the only thing is in the mornings our tv is set to come on at 6:30 playing “The Morning Express with Robin Meade” on HLN.

    My question is what is the best route so that we can still watch HLN, Nick Jr, and movies that come on Directv movie channels? Does the Sling have HLN & Nick Jr AND are you able to watch sling on every TV or is it only available on a laptop or app on phone?

    • John Schmoll says:

      The problem you’re going to run into is both Sling and Direc TV Now – here’s my review of it- http://www.frugalrules.com/directv-now-review/
      is that you won’t be able to use that many TVs. Sling only allows for one and then three at higher priced tiers. DirecTV Now allows for two. To get those channels you’d need to add a package or two, on top of the base, so it’d eat away at your savings unfortunately.

  • Phyllis says:

    I have Direct TV with a 2 year contract. I told them I have no internet connection here and they told me that it would work. It works but I can’t use the on demand. I also have Att which I have been happy with until a few weeks ago. I called them to see why all of a sudden I was getting close to my 15 gb all of a sudden. I was offered the unlimited data plan which was cheaper than my currant plan. Again I told the agent I had no internet connection here. Last night I switched to the unlimited plan. This morning I was not able to use my personal hotspot on my phone so I call again. This time I got an agent who said my plan was no longer available BUT they had a 16gb plan that was cheaper- I didn’t ask how much- my mistake because when I looked at my account it was even more expensive. I called again and the agent said I’ll find a plan for you- nope not possible. Then she said she would transfer me to promotions who never picked up. I called again and when I asked for a manager and the guy told me that I was getting all the promotions available so after arguing with him I am waiting for someone to call me back
    I’m kinda stuck now as I’ve only had DIRECTV since October

  • Phyllis says:

    Oh- forgot to mention that with with unlimited plan u can’t use a personal hot spot on your phone

    • John Schmoll says:

      So sorry to hear that Phyllis, I can only imagine that it’s a pain – to say the least. It sounds like they’re just giving you the runaround. Hopefully you can get a manager that will allow you out of the contract – it sounds to me they just told you what you wanted to hear even though they knew it was wrong to get you under contract.

  • Phyllis says:

    I talked to customer loyalty. They were sorry that someone didn’t give me the correct information. The gave me $ towards my next bill, and $5 off my wireless account a month for the next year and $5 on my wireless bill for the next year. I told the agent that come October when I am done with my first year with DIRECTV I would most likely have to leave do to increasing costs . She said to call back before I left- they would probably have something better by then- we shall see about that!

  • JO says:

    glad I found your post. really want to cut cords with Directv and do Roku. I have about 11 months left in contract. Do they get you to pay the cancellation fee that day before you cab actually cancel?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Happy to help Jo! Yes, they add it to your final bill. They go by the date you call in to cancel, they may give you 24 hours before it cuts off, then you pay your final bill.

  • John says:

    why do you suggest the subscription based Tivo Bolt over the no subscription required Tivo Roamio?

  • Boomer says:

    I just wanted to reduce my bill to something reasonable, and keep DirecTV, at least for a little longer. We do use Netflix, Amazon, etc, but we have two HD-DVR’s and we like to record a lot of network TV shows, and watch a lot of sports. My bill had ballooned to $150/month with HBO. (I am not under contract). I canceled HBO, and got a $35/month discount plus Cinemax free for 6 months and Showtime free for 4 months. So I dropped my bill to around $100/month, WITH NO CONTRACT obligation. So I am pretty much free to re-negotiate at any time in the future, and trust me I will be!

  • Rusty says:

    I’m going to be canceling Directv this month. I have a question though. Since I am not so tech savvy, what internet service or system do I need so that I am able to stream something like Roku?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Awesome, you’ll love the savings Rusty! You need a Smart TV, one that allows you to plug in the Roku dongle. If your TV is 5-6 years old, or newer, most have them.

  • Erica says:

    We are currently shopping around for other options now. My husband just signed another 2 year agreement with Direct Tv, but we are willing to pay to get out of the contract. The problem we always run into is that he is an NFL SUNDAY ticket subscriber ( believe me, there is no talking him out of this). He has friends over every Sunday to watch games, so he isn’t willing to watch on a devise, other than the tv. Can anyone suggest any options other than having Direct tv? I contacted Direct tv and asked about switching to the new Direct Tv Now option, but we would STILL have to pay an early termination fee! Btw…The Red Zone is not an option for him. Thanks for your help!

    • John Schmoll says:

      They get a lot of people with that unfortunately. You can get Sunday Ticket without a DirecTV subscription, but they specify that you have to live in an area where they don’t offer service – so it’s likely you wouldn’t be able to get it. I’m hoping this is something that changes in the near future. With the season 5-6 months away you never know.

      • erica says:

        Thank you for the reply! I’m hoping this changes, but it sounds like DirectTV isn’t going to give it up anytime soon!

  • Misty says:

    Will DSL internet service work with the fire-stick?
    I have Directv package which includes internet phone and tv. My monthly bill comes from Verizon.
    Can someone explain what is needed to connect to the fire stick as far as internet? I am really confused with all this, but really want to eliminate Directv.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Misty. Looking at Amazon, it is possible but is largely dependent on your DSL speed. It looks like they recommend at least 3 Mbps to get standard definition streaming.

      Assuming you have a Smart TV, you just plug it into that and it’ll walk you through everything needed to set up.

  • Kyle says:

    Help please! I am looking at ending Direct TV and getting a slingTV or Playstation Vue. My problem is my building doesn’t run cable yet so I am dependent on AT&T unverse for internet which runs at only 3mbps. Not sure if with these speeds I can actually stream freely.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Good question Kyle. Taking a look at the Sling site it looks like 3 mbps would be good enough to stream on mobile devices, but they recommend at least 5 mbps for a TV. Playstation Vue isn’t as clear, but looks like they recommend at least 5 mbps.

  • Ramona says:

    Just cut the cord about a month ago after 25 years with DirecTV — and am very happy with Roku 3 and new content (Netflix, Acorn TV & HBO Now), improved vibrancy of picture, no issues with streaming speeds. I especially want to thank you, John, for this site. I have a disabled neighbor on fixed income who pays over $200 a month for tv and internet. With the help of your website and my own experience, I am helping her go through the steps of cutting the cord right now. You can well imagine how far a $150-plus savings will go in her life. The difference is more than value for money — it can actually be life-changing.

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s awesome to hear Ramona and thanks for the compliment – very happy to help. Great to hear you’re helping your neighbor and could not agree more – that’s a big chunk of money for many, so to have it freed up can be huge.

      I’ve not heard of Acorn TV, so I’ll have to check it out. 🙂

  • Ramona says:

    Acorn TV is primarily British TV, and it also has programs from France (ex, The Disappearance), Canada, Australia, etc, Those of us who were hooked on Downton Abbey, Foyles War, and The Crown absolutely love it! I think calling us Anglophiles is pejorative — we like high-quality TV regardless of nationality.

  • Wayne says:

    I read your post here about a month ago and have been planning on cancelling now for a while. Just got an email from AT&T/Directv though about changes to the customer agreement, and wondering if that’s a potential window of oppty to be able to cancel w/o having to pay the cancellation fees?

    • John Schmoll says:

      That’s a good question Wayne, I really don’t know unfortunately. I can see how it would do that but I’m sure they likely have some sort of out clause that protects them.

  • Jenny says:

    I just called and canceled my DirecTV and it was actually simple and easy. Who knew it was possible!? Yes, he tried to keep me but was very normal and low pressure about it, which I appreciate immensely. No cancellation fees, no contract fees, just canceled and I have to return my two boxes. I’m excited for my extra $120 / month!

  • Dianna Hensley says:

    Finally after a year of Directv changing my bill every month i said that is it…I will have to pay a early out of $220.00, but guess what i am going back to Time Warner now Spectrum and they are going to pay that… They have called me several times a day, even one night at 8:30pm and have sent all kinds of emails, i have blocked them…. offered all kinds of special, even if it was all free i would not go back to this company.. Now what i was spending for nothing I will paying Spectrum less for more… Don’t want to hear their name every again.. Thank for listening to me.

  • Peter says:

    I left DTV this week and have a ROKU stick and subscribe to Sony Vue. My internet is via the cable co. (Optimum in CT). Vue is $44.95 w/o HBO & Showtime (add $20 total for them) and the internet bill is $50. I had 1 month to go on the DTV contract. The last bill was $190, and that wasn’t even for the highest tier. With Vue I get the local CBS and NBC affiliates. I might get an antenna to try to get the local ABC and PBS channels. Before cable, with a roof antenna, we got only 3 channels- ABC, NBC, CBS! Vue has a lot of sports and some DVR capability while ROKU fills in nicely with a lot of free stuff. I admit going this route isn’t as good, speaking strictly from a tv-watching point of view, but saving $150/month feels better. 🙂

  • Karolyn HOPE says:

    My husband passed away which made me short one income. My only income is my SS check each month. I called Direct TV to cancel. We have time remaining on our contract. They didn’t care about my situation. I asked if I could make payments. NO! The whole amount is due within 44 days. I told them I’m having financial hardship due to my situation. They could have cared less.

    • John Schmoll says:

      Very sorry to hear of your loss Karolyn. Unfortunately, that really doesn’t surprise me about DirecTV. Did you ask for a manager by chance to see if there was any possibility of getting out of the contract?

  • Marc K. says:

    Recently a cute young girl came to my door offering a DTV deal. I signed up for it to save money and get more simultaneous recording capability over Uverse. I would have saved $50 month for two years (or so they said) and gained 2 more channels of simultaneous recording. I went to the local AT&T for a demo and found the user interface inferior to Uverse, and the channel changing speed abysmal. I called to cancel the installation. I took about 10 minutes but went smoothly. I understand the reasoning of AT&T wanting to switch people over to satellite, but they really need to fix some of these issues. Also the two year commitment is a huge red flag. If the product is so good, why do they need to do this?

    • John Schmoll says:

      Glad to hear you were able to get out of it Marc, that’s awesome. They do it because many of us don’t know any better and it makes the cable companies big money.

  • Scot says:

    I cancelled our DIRECTV about 3 weeks ago after being customers for about 6 years. Our bill was about $150/month including taxes/fees. That was for what I guess you would call a “mid-level” package. It wasn’t the highest package – and no premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. We just moved, and our new house has gigabit internet with no cap – so streaming seemed a no-brainer. I cancelled on a Sunday morning, and the cancellation process was fairly easy. Only spoke with one rep, and the “phone maze” wasn’t bad. I told him that we had moved, and that I wanted to cancel. He very briefly tried the “well you know, we move you for free!” thing. I politely repeated that I wanted to cancel, and told him that I was going with their DIRECTV Now streaming service instead. I was on a trial of it at the time and have since cancelled that as well, but didn’t offer up any of that info. He proceeded with the cancellation process without any further protest or “special offers”. He then informed me that I was under contract, and that if I cancelled I’d have to pay the ETF. I wasn’t supposed to be under a contract as far as I knew, but was kind of expecting the ETF thing because I had upgraded to their 4K equipment last year. I had a LOT of trouble getting that equipment via their phone reps, and ended up contacting DIRECTV via their Facebook page. The DIRECTV folks on Facebook got the equipment for me with no problems, and also mentioned in the chat that there would be no commitment with the upgrade (I’m assuming because of all the trouble I had to go through to get it). I asked the cancellation CSR how much the ETF was going to be, and he told me $200 and that my contract went until some time in 2018 (I don’t recall which month). I politely protested (without mentioning what the DIRECTV Facebook rep had told me last year about no commitment), and he put me on hold for several minutes – supposedly to speak with his supervisor. When he returned he had “good news” that his supervisor had given the OK to waive the ETF for me. I thanked him, and we finished up the cancellation process which only took a few more minutes. He told me about receiving the boxes to return the equipment, which I already knew about. After almost two weeks went by I hadn’t received any boxes, so I contacted DIRECTV via their Facebook page. They called me about an hour later, and after speaking with them they noted that the phone CSR had made an error in my new address. They corrected that and requested boxes be sent again (which also supposedly reset the 21-day timeframe in which to return the equipment). I received the boxes a few days later. I then received my final bill, and guess what was on it? The $200 ETF. I’m the kind of person who saves a lot of paperwork (receipts, etc) – and sometimes my other half makes fun of me saving that stuff – some of it for years at a time. I contacted DIRECTV via Facebook again. I told them that the phone CSR had told me that the ETF was going to be waived. I also told them that they had told me there would be no commitment with that 4K equipment upgrade last year. They responded and asked me to send them a screenshot of the Facebook chat where they had told me there would be no commitment. That chat from last year was one of the things I had saved, and I quickly responded with the requested screenshot. About an hour later I got an email from DIRECTV notifying me that a $200 credit had been applied to my account, and shortly after that email I received a Facebook message telling me the same thing. Now I’m paying $45/month for Sling! I also put up an antenna, and we’re getting about 20 channels over the antenna for free. So far we’re really not missing DIRECTV – or the big bill that came with it!

    • John Schmoll says:

      VERY nice Scot – glad you had that saved. You’ll love the savings!

    • Jeff says:

      I had Directv for 3 years. First year was good and cheap. I had the lowest package and paid about $32/month (I had a couple referrals which lowed my bill by $20/month for 10 months. Otherwise it would have been $52/month) The second year, it of course goes up to about $90/month. At the beginning of the 3rd year after I had finished my 24 month contract I called to cancel and they told me they would lower my bill to $60/month if I would commit to another year. I agreed and my month bill was like $62/month. At the beginning of the 4th year my bill went up to $111/month. I decided TV just wasn’t worth it as I watched it very little anyway. So I called them to cancel and they told me I would have to pay an early cancellation fee because I committed to another 2 years. (not true) I had committed to one more year and nothing more. I get tired of their pricing games.

      I was furious about the cancelations fees because I know I did not commit to 2 more years and I knew I would have never extended for 2 more years had I know there was that commitment. I told the CS rep I would pay my remaining outstanding balance but not the cancelation fee as I had not committed to 24 months. He just told me if I didn’t pay it, it would just go to collections.

      After hanging up the phone I immediately filed a online complaint to the BBB and demanded they waive any cancellation fees. Within 3 hours of that complaint someone from the office of the president called me and said they were waving my cancellation fees as they could not validate me agreeing to additional 2 years.

      I hate to do business like this with anyone, it is just not me. But the reality is, Directv is more likely to work with you in eliminating cancelations fees if you file a formal complaint than trying to work directly with them. They don’t listen to anything you say and they try to push the cancelation fees on you even if you are not under contract anymore.

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