Digital satellite service provider DirecTV came up on the losing end of two major decisions in December.
The Federal Trade Commission charged that DirecTV and the companies it hired violated the national Do Not Call Registry rules. According to reports attributed to DirecTV representatives, the violations were made by third-party marketing companies that had since been fired. Still, it will cost DirecTV more than $5 million to settle the charges.
DirecTV also agreed to pay more than $5 million to 22 states to settle a lawsuit over the company’s marketing and advertising practices. The states claimed that consumers were not adequately informed about details such as sports blackouts, missing local coverage, and signal quality problems. DirecTV felt that there had been sufficient disclosure, but would work to make it clearer to consumers, such as with larger type and more straight-forward language.
Certainly these settlements will have to sting a bit. I’m not convinced that the company was deliberately trying violate the rules or mislead consumers, but it does sound as though they’re taking responsibility for the problems and dealing with them. I can only hope that 2006 is more kind to the company than 2005.