Customer fights DIRECTV for overpayment refund

September 16, 2013 3:09:50 PM PDT
A Cary woman paid $200 to a closed account, and then she tried to get her money back for nine months. She finally gave up and got in touch with ABC11 Troubleshooter Diane Wilson.

This all started when Kristen Bird paid a bill online. She made the mistake by making a payment to a closed account, and getting her money back was not so easy.

"I paid them in error and I just thought I would call you and you'll send me my money back," said Bird.

That was Bird's initial thought when she made a $200 payment to her DIRECTV closed account in November 2012.

"I called them to get my money back and the first gentleman it seemed like it was an easy thing they could fix it," said Bird. "He would send a message to finance or billing. He could see the $200 sitting in my closed account."

She waited for her refund, but nothing happened so she kept calling DIRECTV.

"I had proof of my name and my payment and account number and everything that matched up with everything in their system," said Bird. "I called over a dozen times, wait on hold, go through the process, started sending emails. I started saying 'I'm going to sue you because I don't know what else to do.'"

But before taking court action, Bird reached out to me, and I got everything off to DIRECTV. Within days, Bird got a call from the office of the president of DIRECTV.

"'We have a check ready and the information you recently sent over, the new documentation is sufficient,'" said Bird. "And I told him on the phone sir that is the same documentation I sent you probably nine months ago."

Finally, Bird got the $200 she had been waiting for. After this ordeal, she has this advice when paying bills online.

"I'm very careful now when I pay anything now," she said. "I really check that it's going to the right place."

A rep with DIRECTV said Bird's refund was not initially processed because her bank was not able to provide proof of payment ownership. Once DIRECTV got the proper documentation, the refund was processed.  She added, DIRECTV has these policies in place to protect customers and she apologized for the inconvenience this caused Bird.

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