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jameswade

join:2001-12-09
Hot Springs, NC
reply to mpelle4456

Better Business Bureau

I found the BBB to be completely without teeth when I complained to them about the quality of the Atlanta local stations on DirecTV. (The have severe ghosting, worse than off air with poor reception)

The response after months was nothing from DirecTV and the BBB says that they DirecTV are not a member and that there was nothing that they could do.

I notified the FTC also, but they said that they only respond to trends, not individual complaints. They didn't explain how they were alerted to these 'trends'.

Maybe the state's attorney general will be some help..


mpelle4456
Say What?

join:2001-07-21
Tacoma, WA

2 edits
I've used the BBB a couple times and they were very helpfull - at least for me. They got the company's attention.

Yeah, you have to present a good case, and you have to have good documentation - without which, you're toast.

In this instance, where if it really said in their contracts, that the contract would be null and void if Hughes changed the service, Hughes is toast.

But they're toast anyways, if they unilaterally changed the terms and conditions of the contract. That's basic contract law.

You sign an agreement with Hughes to provide a certain type of internet access, the terms of which are spelled out clearly; so much downstream and upstream bandwidth, with a certain bandwidth cap that cuts in at X MB/day and lasts for a certain specified period.

They come back and unilaterally change the conditions of the contract - lower the cap amount and lengthen the duration of throttled time - then you no longer have a contract.

Where a party to a contract is guilty of serious prospective inability or unwillingness to perform, the other party may make a demand for "adequate assurances of due performance." UCC 2-609 provides: 1) the aggrieved party is permitted to suspend his performance; 2) he is given the right to require adequate assurance; 3) failure to supply adequate assurances may create an anticipatory breach and thus give rise to all of the remedies available for such a repudiation. Some jurisdictions have extended the doctrine to contracts of all types, not just those for the sale of "goods." (See,
Norcon Power Partners v. Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.
92 N.Y.2d 458, 705 N.E.2d 656 (1998)
Hughes has repudiated their contract.

Thus, what I would do if I were a Hughes customer, is send them a letter telling them they are in material breach of their contract. I'd give them a certain timeframe (10 days) to re-institute the service I originally agreed to; then after the 10 days had lapsed and if my service hadn't been restored, I'd send them a second letter telling them our contract is null and void because they had failed to perform and that because of their non-performance, the contract therefore cancelled - all because they had failed to live up to the original agreement.

I would also bill them for any amount I had paid since they changed the terms of service (pro-rated on a monthly basis).

Send copies of this to the BBB, the President of Hughes, the AG's office, and maybe some local TV stations. Show these as cc's on the letter to Hughes.

I guarantee (if everything as it was stated) they will fall over themselves to cancel your service and maybe even give you a refund. Companies hate bad PR; they also hate to look foolish in public.

Note: Calling them on the phone is a complete waste of time - you'll never even get close to speaking with someone in authority.

--
He who hesitates is lost.

My Blog


jameswade

join:2001-12-09
Hot Springs, NC
I presented a good case, lots of documentation, actual emails from DirecTV, etc. The problem is that the BBB doesn't seem to be able to actually enforce anything and since DirecTV wasn't even a member, using the BBB was of no use.

emptywig
Huh? What?
Premium
join:2002-08-05
Pasadena, TX
reply to mpelle4456
I'm sure that somewhere in their contract is a line that states something like they (Hughes) reserve the right to change their service at any time for whatever reason, speeds are not guaranteed, etc.

I doubt any of the actions mentioned will have any affect.

The idea that Hughes will fall all over themselves because you call the BBB is laughable. Truly. When you are the only game in town, you don't care if you have bad PR or look foolish. BBBs can do some good with a local company, but a national (international) company wouldn't even bother dealing with them.

Sad but true.

wig
--
Sometimes a paradox is just a paradox

patcat88

join:2002-04-05
Jamaica, NY
kudos:1
Contract law overides any contracts, for example, why do hitmen goto jail? The liability according to the contract is on the person who hired them.