102-year-old woman dies, DirecTV charges early termination fee

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SAN LORENZO, Calif. (WTVO) — DirecTV is coming under fire for charging an early termination fee to a 102-year-old woman, who passed away.

According to WLS, Isabel Albright died last December. As her family was preparing her house for sale and shutting down all of her services, they discovered that satellite provider DirecTV had charged her an additional $160 on her bill, as an “early termination” fee.

“They told us… we’re going to charge you $160 for an early termination fee,” her son-in-law, John Manrique, said. “She’s gone. Nobody’s living (here). We’re selling the house. You’re going to tell us we have to keep the service at a house that’s not ours?”

It turns out, when a caregiver moved in, the family added a DirecTV box in the back room, which started a whole new two-year contract.

“Nobody told us that,” Manrique said. “And in fact we made it clear when we added the TV in the extra room that it was a temporary thing…We’re saying my mother in law’s on hospice, we’re not gonna pay, you know, two year contract.”

DirecTV said that, because the bill was in the name of Albright’s daughter, Linda, the family had to pay.

The Manriques called DirecTV for proof that they’d signed the two-year agreement.

“And they had no proof other than you started this new service on this date…and that starts a new contract whether you signed it or not,” Manrique said. “Every time you hiccup they start you on a new two-year agreement basically. It’ll run the rest of your life if you accept some other feature or other. They got you.”

AT&T, DirecTV’s parent company, eventually did send a letter of apology and agreed to waive the termination fee.

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