Saturday, June 15, 2013 – Cotacachi, Ecuador
I finally was able to cancel our Directv-Ecuador service. We had ordered it in January but for the amount we were paying for the Platinum Package ($54.54) it just wasn’t a wise expense for us. We rarely watch TV and when we do we can usually find something on Netflix that suits us at only $7.99 a month.
I had emailed them in April letting them know I wanted to suspend service for the month of May since we were traveling. I received a call back. The gentleman who helped me was courteous and efficient. I was quite impressed. However, Bruce and I talked about the service while we were away and decided to cancel.
Upon return, I once again sent Directv-Ecuador an email letting them know I wanted to cancel, but got no response. I had the cell phone number for their technician so I called him and told him I wanted to return the equipment as I was canceling service. He was out that same afternoon. He asked me if I had called Directv-Ecuador. I told him I had emailed, but got no response. He asked that I call the office to be sure it was okay for him to take the equipment. I did so. The person on the phone this time was not very cooperative. The gist of her speech was that she would not help me without a contract number. I didn’t have a contract number. In May they found my account with just my name and phone number. This time no dice. I was on the phone for at least 5-minutes when the technician motioned for me to hand him the phone. It didn’t matter, she wouldn’t help him either. I whispered at him “tell her I’m going to cancel my credit card so they won’t be able to charge me anymore”. I thought that would get her attention. He relayed that info to the clerk on the phone, but it didn’t matter. She still wouldn’t help. I say wouldn’t because she could have, she just wouldn’t. Finally the technician hung up the phone. He was very upset. He then asked if we had internet. He sat down at our computer and tried to register us on the Directv-Ecuador website, but it would not accept the data. Obviously frustrated, he apologized for all the trouble. I thanked him for his attempts to help.
The next week I called my bank, Capital One, who I have always received great service from. I asked if I could block a certain vendor or did I need to cancel my credit card. I was told it was best to log the complaint and place a block on the card. It was further explained to me that if I simply canceled my card, the vendor could insist that the account be reopened, and continue to bill me, since they had a signed agreement with me. I placed the block. The bank representative said maybe they will be more willing to let me cancel now that they will not be receiving anymore payments. That was my hope too.
Bruce and I have always had excellent credit and I did not like leaving this open. We decided to go to the sales office in Ibarra where we opened the account to see if they could help us. The girl at the sales desk was very nice, but unable to help. She did give us the address and phone number of the local office and suggested we try there. It was already past noon, and typically offices close from noon to 2PM for lunch, so we opted to head to lunch ourselves and try and call them later. I tried to call, but did not get an answer.
Then yesterday I received a text on my cell phone from Directv-Ecuador reminding me of my June payment. I tried replying to that, but only got a canned response.
Then today I thought I’d give it one more try. I emailed Directv-Ecuador again, but this time I simply asked for my contract number. Then I notice something I had not seen before on their website. I could register using the Smart-Card for the Directv-Ecuador receiver. It worked. Through the website I was able to get my contract number! It was all coming together. I called Directv-Ecuador to cancel service. This time I was on the phone with another very pleasant representative who was happy to help. She even authorized the immediate cancellation (usually, they require a months notice) because she could see in their system that I had called in on May 30th and I explained to her the nature of that call.
In retrospect it was one uncooperative clerk who briefly soured me on Directv-Ecuador. They offer good service. They have a great local technician. Their phone reps (two out of three) were courteous and helpful. I guess the lesson learned here is perseverance pays.
If you are trying to work with Directv-Ecuador and run into a wall. Hang up the phone and call back. Chances are (2 out of 3) the next representative will be courteous and helpful.