DIRECTV will be issuing refunds to more than 200,000 Coloradans after continuing to charge subscribers for Altitude Sports despite it being unavailable in September and October 2019, according to the Colorado Attorney General's Office.
Additionally, the satellite TV provider was charging "an obsolete fee for high-definition service" despite it being a household standard, Attorney General Phil Weiser said in a Thursday news release.
"DIRECTV used these fees to take advantage of Coloradans, charging them for services they weren't getting or were no longer relevant, and only refunding those who noticed and reached out to the company about the issue," Weiser said in the release. "Consumers should not be penalized for being too busy to wait on hold to demand fair treatment. Today's settlement remedies the harms caused by DIRECTV's actions and will provide refunds to consumers."
DIRECTV agreed with the attorney general's office to pay more than $1 million to 204,360 Coloradans who were affected. The company will issue $5 credits to current customers and mail a $5 check to previous customers, according to the release.
The attorney general's office uncovered that DIRECTV had been charging a high-definition fee since the early 2000s and has continued to charge an extra $10 to certain Coloradans, the investigation found. Because of this, the satellite TV provider will provide $1 to $3 credits for 27 months to more than 15,000 residents.
Weiser said the amount of credit is based on price differences between the customer's current package and what they would've saved if they switched to an "all-included" package.
"Charging this unnecessary, outdated fee was unfair to consumers, many of whom were unaware they were paying extra for service that was now standard part of programming packages, Weiser said. "We are pleased to ensure Coloradans will receive welcome relief from this unfair payment."
DIRECTV will be contacting customers to inform them of the credit within the next 30 to 60 days.