DirectTV Finally Waives Early Termination Fee For Paralyzed WWII Vet
According to the Houston Press, Robert Leeder (the vet) had a stroke that paralyzed half his body and moved into a nursing home, subsisting solely off his Veterans Affairs Benefits, Social Security and a “small pension.” When his family called to cancel his satellite, DirectTV slapped them with a $400 early termination fee. Andre Leeder, Robert’s son, wrote an appeal:
Robert Leeder is my 87-year-old father. He has had stroke that paralyzed one half of his body. This has put him in a nursing home from which he will not return and no one will be living in this location. When I canceled the service I was not informed that he was under contract.
Under these circumstances, we would like to request for your company to credit the $400 cancellation charge to this account. I can provide Doctor’s Certifications, if necessary.
And DirectTV proved they have no soul:
I’m sorry to hear about your father’s current health condition. I understand your concern with regard to the early cancellation fee…Since he canceled his service or did not maintain the minimum programming requirements, his account was charged with an early cancellation fee of $400. We feel this fee is valid and we are unable to waive it.
But do you know who will be there to save your souls? FACEBOOK AND TWITTER. That’s right. Thanks, Mark, Biz and Evan.
The Leeders posted complaints on their Facebook and Twitter accounts, creating a virtual “firestorm” that caught the attention of a DirectTV district manager. He saw the Facebook post and credited the $400 back to their account.
And you know what? Kudos to DirectTV for paying attention to the groundswell. So many companies still fail to listen to their customers online, and the recourse displayed by DirectTV is the first step to success.
Step two would be preemptively teaching employees that it’s sometimes OK to break the rules for disabled elderly who risked their lives for our country. Just, you know, a suggestion.