DirectV wants box bought on craigslist back - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
post #1 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mjuevos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
hi everyone.
so tell me if you think this is right or legal. i bought a brand new (sealed) directv box a while back (HR21-700) on craigslist because i didn't want to pay the monthly lease fee rom directv. activated the box no problem. been using it for awhile now. now that i'm cancelling my directv (going with cable), they said the box is a leased box, regardless of whether i bought it on craigslist or not and demand it back or THEY WILL CHARGE ME THE $470 fee or whatever it is that they charge for this box. is this right? can they do this?

thanks
mjuevos is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 10:38 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Scooper's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Youngsville, NC USA
Posts: 5,019
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 6 Post(s)
Liked: 18
You're screwed. The person you bought the receiver from had no legal right to sell it.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
Scooper is offline  
post #3 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 11:01 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mjuevos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
that maybe the case. but whoever sold it, im sure directv charged them the same fee. in which case, as soon as directv charged them for the box, directv no longer owns the box. now it seems like they're trying to double dip. i'd be glad to give it back to them provided they reimburse me the purchase price. just seems wrong to me.
mjuevos is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #4 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 11:19 AM
Senior Member
 
skylab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Woodbourne-Hyde Park, Ohio
Posts: 298
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 5 Post(s)
Liked: 11
I disagree with the poster above. Are you a party to the lease agreement? Did they ask you to agree to assume the lease agreement when you activated the box? Have you signed an agreement stating that if you purchase a box that you will be responsible for returning it to DirecTV?

If none of the above are true, then you aren't responsible for the fee. If the person didn't have the right to sell it, why didn't DirecTV at least notify you of this at the time when you activated the box?

Like you said, they probably have already collected this back from the previous subscriber. They aren't entitled to collect twice.
skylab is offline  
post #5 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 11:36 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
seatacboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjuevos View Post

So tell me if you think this is right or legal. i bought a brand new (sealed) directv box a while back (HR21-700) on craigslist because i didn't want to pay the monthly lease fee rom directv. activated the box no problem. been using it for awhile now. now that i'm cancelling my directv (going with cable), they said the box is a leased box, regardless of whether i bought it on craigslist or not and demand it back or THEY WILL CHARGE ME THE $470 fee or whatever it is that they charge for this box. is this right? can they do this?

1. Is this right? From the end-user's perspective, no. From Directv's perspective, probably yes. The original purchaser of this unit - assuming it hadn't been stolen or acquired through "grey market" channels - probably is bound by an "end user license agreement" governing the use of the box. This might have been buried inside the owners' manual and related packaging. It probably resembles the "license agreement" applied to computer software. Although I'm not familiar with the details applicable to your situation, Directv regards their boxes as containing proprietary intellectual property similar and, in effect, as being SOFTWARE as well as HARDWARE. There might even be restrictions on resale of the gear by the original purchaser.

2. Can they do this? From Directv's perspective, probably yes. Reason: when you activated the box via a Directv service agreement, they probably have provisions granting Directv broad power over the equipment you are using. Again, in addition to the "license agreement" which probably came with the hardware, the "terms of service" likely give them jurisdiction and control of the equipment you are using with the service.

While I empathize with your point of view, legally you may be "walking on thin ice" with this satellite provider, due to the contract terms of service which you agreed to when you activated Directv.
seatacboy is offline  
post #6 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 12:07 PM
Member
 
jll544's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 61
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjuevos View Post

so tell me if you think this is right or legal.
now that i'm cancelling my directv (going with cable), they said the box is a leased box, regardless of whether i bought it on craigslist or not and demand it back or THEY WILL CHARGE ME THE $470 fee or whatever it is that they charge for this box. is this right? can they do this?

Yes, they can do this, and no doubt it's buried somewhere in the activation agreement. From DirecTV's perspective, you paid an upfront lump-sum lease fee instead of the monthly lease fee. This is nothing new - DirecTV implemented this policy on March 1, 2006. This policy has survived over two years, so it would seem that DirecTV has a reasonable legal foundation.

Your only recourse may be to argue that DirecTV did not adequately disclose this policy to you when you agreed to the activation contract. A class-action lawsuit was recently filed to this effect.

Unfortunately, your options are limited. You could pay the fee and hope for some renumeration if the class-action suit reaches settlement, or just return the box and move on.
jll544 is offline  
post #7 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 12:09 PM
Advanced Member
 
nybbler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
DirecTV can't take the customer's equipment just because the customer once subscribed to the service, any more than Comcast can take your TV or your ISP can take your cable or DSL modem.

If the box was leased by the "seller", though, DirecTV still owns it. They can demand it back, but since you weren't the leasee, they can't demand a fee from you, and if you refuse to give it back they'll have to proceed through the courts to recover it. However, they're lawyers are bigger than you and if you force them to do this they'll probably end up owning your house as well. There ain't no justice.

In any case they won't re-activate the box, so it's useless even if you don't return it.
nybbler is offline  
post #8 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 12:31 PM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mjuevos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
i just don't think its right the way they are using their scare tatics. if it was their intention to charge this fee from the very beginning, they should have disclosed this when i activated the box. they did NOT. and having charged whoever leased it in the first place and trying to charge me again is double dipping. once they charge the first person, it should mean that they are relinquishing their right of ownership.

whether the box is useless or not, i just think its wrong. it all comes down to principle i guess.

thanks
mjuevos is offline  
post #9 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 12:39 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
TalkingRat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Posts: 2,198
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 20 Post(s)
Liked: 33
Whether they relinquish right of ownership depends on the contract. You have a copy?

Selling a new box, that's a hint it could be stolen property. But even if used, it doesn't mean the seller owned it. Depending on the legal statement, what someone pays when they don't return the box could be regarded as a fine, not a sale. One of the ways these companies reduce theft is by not ever selling their boxes, then they know who owns them.
TalkingRat is offline  
post #10 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 01:39 PM
Member
 
BigAl60015's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Deerfield, IL
Posts: 36
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
I thought that for the past few years, DirecTV only "leased" their equipment, even though the fee was a one-time up front payment. I thought this was true whether the receiver came directly from the company or through a third party. In that case, DirecTV never relinquished ownership of the receiver, even though it was not charging a monthly rental fee. There is still an obligation to return if you deactivate the equipment. I suspect what the OP purchased was not the receiver, but a leasehold interest in the receiver.
BigAl60015 is offline  
post #11 of 34 Old 04-18-2008, 02:31 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
demonfoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post

DirecTV can't take the customer's equipment just because the customer once subscribed to the service, any more than Comcast can take your TV or your ISP can take your cable or DSL modem.

All current-gen DirecTV equipment is provided under an up-front paid lease agreement; even if the OP acquired the box via eBay, it really wasn't that person's to sell in the first place. If he checks the T&C for his DirecTV contract, I'm betting it'll say this. It's not like a cable provider claiming they can take your TV, or your cable or DSL provider claiming they can take your computer; though they can take back a (leased) DSL/cable modem device - *because it's theirs*, unless you purchased it from them (which D* just doesn't do now).
demonfoo is offline  
post #12 of 34 Old 04-19-2008, 08:30 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
texasbrit's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Allen, TX
Posts: 1,202
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 48 Post(s)
Liked: 34
This is a good example why anyone thinking of getting a DirecTv box via craigslist, or ebay, needs to be very careful. Almost all DirecTV boxes, particuarly the DVRS, are leased boxes, so as was posted, the "seller" did not have the right to "sell" the box to you.
And since the box was unused when you "bought" it, as far as DirecTV was concerned you were just activating a new box. They have no idea what the "seller" told you, the box may be in their records as having gone to a legitimate distributor so to them this was just a routine activation.
texasbrit is offline  
post #13 of 34 Old 04-19-2008, 09:22 AM
Member
 
lemmalone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 101
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjuevos View Post

now that i'm cancelling my directv (going with cable), they said the box is a leased box

Was this an automated message or a conversation with a person? If it was automated, a call to D* might take care of the problem. Of course, since you have cancelled service they don't have an immediate customer retention motive to treat you decently, but perhaps they will behave well anyway. From my recent experience with billing problems I have the impression that their automated systems are now in control while their humans look on helplessly.
lemmalone is offline  
post #14 of 34 Old 04-19-2008, 10:54 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
NetworkTV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: CT
Posts: 17,403
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1241 Post(s)
Liked: 2166
So, you bought this box a while back are are now cancelling? How long ago is "a while back"? When you activate new equipment, it automatically extends your contract with D* for 24 months. At the very least, if it was less time than that from when you bought the box, you'd have to pay the early cancelation fee.

No matter what, though, I think you got hosed by the seller. Unless that person paid the $700 "buy out" price, he had no right to sell you the box. That's the only way you can keep it if you cancel. Of course, if that person cancelled his service, D* probably should have been going after them for the box.
NetworkTV is offline  
post #15 of 34 Old 04-19-2008, 11:32 AM - Thread Starter
Member
 
mjuevos's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Posts: 78
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
no this was not an automated message. it was with one of their personel.

thats my point is that directv should be going after the person that sold me the box. and if they did, this would be double dipping on their part. i don't agree with their tatics but maybe i really don't have a choice.
mjuevos is offline  
post #16 of 34 Old 04-19-2008, 11:39 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
NetworkTV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: CT
Posts: 17,403
Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1241 Post(s)
Liked: 2166
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjuevos View Post

no this was not an automated message. it was with one of their personel.

thats my point is that directv should be going after the person that sold me the box. and if they did, this would be double dipping on their part. i don't agree with their tatics but maybe i really don't have a choice.

The problem is, you have the box. They can't go after the other guy now. If they had gone after him when he actually deactivated it, he wouldn't have been able to sell it to you.

Of course, if he never cancelled his service, they may not have gone after him for it since he was still paying for monthly service. They may only want the box back if you actually cancel - as you did. They may still be charging him the lease fee whether the box is active or not on his account.
NetworkTV is offline  
post #17 of 34 Old 04-19-2008, 12:36 PM
Advanced Member
 
mgtr's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Inman, SC & Melbourne Beach, FL
Posts: 533
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjuevos View Post

no this was not an automated message. it was with one of their personel.

thats my point is that directv should be going after the person that sold me the box. and if they did, this would be double dipping on their part. i don't agree with their tatics but maybe i really don't have a choice.

Another poster has already made the point that the box is now useless. Plus, since you are abandoning D*, you don't need it. You just have to chalk up whatever you paid as experience, and hope that you got good use of it.
Put in other words, you lose.

Anything worth doing, is worth doing to excess.
mgtr is offline  
post #18 of 34 Old 04-20-2008, 09:41 PM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
wblynch's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Mission Viejo, California
Posts: 1,660
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 68 Post(s)
Liked: 57
I would take it out back, shoot it full of holes, throw the hulk in a box and mail it back to them.
wblynch is offline  
post #19 of 34 Old 04-21-2008, 09:49 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
Rick_R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Simi Valley, CA USA
Posts: 3,219
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 7 Post(s)
Liked: 19
Quote:
Originally Posted by wblynch View Post

I would take it out back, shoot it full of holes, throw the hulk in a box and mail it back to them.

I recommend against this as you might get a bill for destroying DirecTV owned equipment.

Rick R
Rick_R is offline  
post #20 of 34 Old 04-21-2008, 10:22 AM
Senior Member
 
spokybob's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Illinois
Posts: 464
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by wblynch View Post

I would take it out back, shoot it full of holes, throw the hulk in a box and mail it back to them.

I guess I would not be this obvious, but I would render it inoperable and say it was working when I disconnected it.

Bob 61231
spokybob is offline  
post #21 of 34 Old 04-22-2008, 09:07 AM
Senior Member
 
CA_Guy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2000
Posts: 240
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Your problem is not with DirecTV, it is with the thief that "sold" you a box they did not own. I doubt the seller had the legal right to sell you the box. It's quite a scam actually. Perhaps you can get your local news to do a story on it.

CA GUY
CA_Guy is offline  
post #22 of 34 Old 04-22-2008, 08:09 PM
Newbie
 
PopsGeezers's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 4
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
In legal parlance. Your possesion of the box is an ill-gotten gain "Ill-gotten gains are profits or benefits that are made either illegally or unfairly." A person who innocently tries to cash a counterfeit $100 has to forfeit the counterfeit bill and receives no compensation whatsoever. A person who tries to use money that was laundered, has to forfeit the money and has committed a felony. What you are doing is no different. The box was "ill-gotten". Give it back and quit bitching that you didn't get away with trying to get away with something.
PopsGeezers is offline  
post #23 of 34 Old 04-23-2008, 06:20 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
seatacboy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 1,120
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked: 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by CA_Guy View Post

Your problem is not with DirecTV, it is with the thief that "sold" you a box they did not own. I doubt the seller had the legal right to sell you the box. It's quite a scam actually. Perhaps you can get your local news to do a story on it.

mjuevos, you'll need to return the box. You should contact news media about the risks of buying a Direct TV box from craigslist.
seatacboy is offline  
post #24 of 34 Old 04-23-2008, 06:23 AM
Senior Member
 
zhenerale's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 447
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by PopsGeezers View Post

In legal parlance. Your possesion of the box is an ill-gotten gain "Ill-gotten gains are profits or benefits that are made either illegally or unfairly." A person who innocently tries to cash a counterfeit $100 has to forfeit the counterfeit bill and receives no compensation whatsoever. A person who tries to use money that was laundered, has to forfeit the money and has committed a felony. What you are doing is no different. The box was "ill-gotten". Give it back and quit bitching that you didn't get away with trying to get away with something.

I thought "innocent" buyers/receivers of stolen merchandise obtains title?
zhenerale is offline  
post #25 of 34 Old 04-23-2008, 06:54 AM
Senior Member
 
doublejack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 406
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhenerale View Post

I thought "innocent" buyers/receivers of stolen merchandise obtains title?

Nope. If you buy a stolen car from somebody you definitely do not get the title. Even though you may be an innocent victim, it's still stolen property that the seller had no right to offer for sale. The property goes to it's rightful owner. As soon as it becomes known as stolen property, it will be seized while authorities figure out who the owner is. If no owner is found it may be auctioned off.

The only thing that may happen is that the buyer of the stolen property may get their money back from the seller, but that's only if it can be recovered (fat chance of that happening a majority of the time).
doublejack is offline  
post #26 of 34 Old 04-23-2008, 08:10 AM
Advanced Member
 
nybbler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 690
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by zhenerale View Post

I thought "innocent" buyers/receivers of stolen merchandise obtains title?

No. But oddly enough, buyers of leased property who buy them from a lessee who ordinarily sells similar property do obtain title. Doesn't apply in this case since the buyer bought from an individual.

But the box isn't "ill gotten gains" or stolen property because the person who sold it hadn't stolen it.
nybbler is offline  
post #27 of 34 Old 04-23-2008, 11:19 AM
AVS Forum Special Member
 
demonfoo's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 1,342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 49 Post(s)
Liked: 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by nybbler View Post

But the box isn't "ill gotten gains" or stolen property because the person who sold it hadn't stolen it.

Guess it depends on your definition of "stealing"; if you're supposed to return it to them when you cancel service (oh, yeah, you are), because it's leased property, and you don't, it's not your property to keep or sell. I'm not sure what else to term it as besides "stolen".
demonfoo is offline  
post #28 of 34 Old 04-23-2008, 12:17 PM
Senior Member
 
doublejack's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 406
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Liked: 10
The question becomes whether the service was technically canceled, or if the lease on the box was reassigned. With a closed end contract there is a definite end date, and keeping the item beyond that time is clearly stealing. However, this is an open ended situation. Passing from one end user to another might be OK. Satellite and cable companies do this themselves by handing out used hardware. Isn't this really what the craigslist "seller" in effect did?

I still think it is / was stealing, but I can see the angle where it might not be considered as such.
doublejack is offline  
post #29 of 34 Old 04-24-2008, 06:37 AM
AVS Forum Addicted Member
 
videobruce's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Buffalo NY
Posts: 16,471
Mentioned: 10 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 880 Post(s)
Liked: 343
And some members wonder why I have a 'hard on' against Dave TV.

Isn't ownership 9/10th's of the law?

.
.
Recording free OTA TV for 'time shifting' has been here since 1975. Will there be DVR's to do the same when ATSC3 obsoletes existing DVR's??
videobruce is offline  
post #30 of 34 Old 04-24-2008, 11:23 AM
Senior Member
 
Dennis Nicholls's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 342
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1 Post(s)
Liked: 10
My guess is that the CL seller signed up for a package from DirecTV that included, say, 4 boxes (a standard package) but only had a need for 2 or 3 of them. He then sold off the unused new boxes having never activated them. The CL seller is probably still current with DirecTV which is why he never got "dinged" for those boxes he sold off.

I'll bet the CL seller will be "on the hook" someday when he cancels his DirecTV subscription.

I sold my DirecTV boxes, but that was back in the day when you actually purchased the box. The only thing DirecTV claimed to own back then was the access card. I therefore kept the access cards, but amazingly enough DirecTV never requested that I send them back.

Feline videophiles Condoleezza and Dukie
Dennis Nicholls is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
Reply HDTV Technical

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off