Here’s what happened with DirecTV – Smart Circle at Sam’s Club

When I enter a Sam’s Club, or any membership based shopping club, I expect a certain level of protection from fraud from 3rd party vendors in the store, especially from vendors that are doing promotions with the club directly.

On Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, I was approached by Sales rep at Sam’s Club located at 1725 34th Street N., St. Petersburg, FL 33713. JP (the rep) told me that DirecTV was doing a promotion with Brighthouse and Verizon. Customers could keep current internet and switch to DirecTV and save significantly. I told him what my current internet-tv bundle was and he said that my internet alone with Brighthouse would remain at $40 ($39.99 to be exact)/mo and that DirecTv would cost 56.99/mo for the first year and $91.99/mo for the second year. I again asked if he was sure about my internet remaining with Brighthouse and being $40/ month unbundled for the 30 Mbps high speed internet I currently had. Please note, he specifically asked me which internet speed/bundle I currently had and told me what the new internet-only price would be with Brighthouse, while saying that DirecTv and Brighthouse were working together on this deal.

As told to me by JP, the new configuration would save me approximately $40/mo the first year and be about $7/mo less than my current costs in the second year. When he told me that part of the discount was for paying via auto pay, I again asked about the internet remaining with Brighthouse and if I would now have to make separate payments to both Brighthouse and DirecTV, since DirecTV was automatically withdrawing the TV portion of the bill. I was once again assured that even though I was splitting the internet and TV, DirecTV was working with Brighthouse to bring this deal to Sam’s Club members. They were also doing a similar deal with Verizon customers, and at this point John directed my attention to a computer screen nearby with a page advertising a DirecTv/Verizon deal, branded with both logos visible on the screen. I assume (now) this was to support his claim that DirecTv was indeed working in conjunction with both these companies.

Because of these repeated assurances that my unbundled internet would cost $40/mo with Brighthouse and JP’s assurance that he knew this because DirecTv was working with Brighthouse on this deal for Sam’s Club members, I signed up for the service. Mind you, I’m a skeptic, so when I began this conversation with the rep, I really didn’t believe he would be able to save me money over my current Brighthouse plan. So once he had shown me that the plan would indeed be cheaper, I felt it would be silly to reject it at that point. He had indeed shown that he could save me money as he claimed he would.

On Tuesday, once the DirecTv was installed, I called Brighthouse to discontinue the cable TV service and was told that the unbundled 30 Mbps Internet service was $75/mo. Which means that I am saving less than $10/mo the 1st year (maybe not even that after taxes) and will be paying $27 more per month the 2nd year. They also informed me that they were definitely not involved in any promotions with DirecTv or Sam’s Club.

Needless to say, I would not have signed up for this had the person representing DirecTv not blatantly and repeatedly lied to me. By assuring me that DirecTv was working with Brighthouse, he falsely presented himself as being able to speak to Brighthouse costs as if he were representing them as well. This is clearly fraudulent.

I now realize that this was a Smart Circle employee, not a DirecTv or Sam’s representative. Yet all of the material I received said DirecTv or DirecTv for Sam’s Club Members. The only way I discovered he was not with DirecTv is when I called the number on the DirecTv for Sam’s Club members pamphlet that I received when I signed up in order to complain on Tue, Nov 26th and the phone was answered by Smart Circle.

I am currently trying to get some resolution to this matter. I would like to give DirecTv/Smart Circle a chance to make things right and at least deliver on the same amount of savings that I was promised in order to entice me to sign up for the package in the first place. There is nothing that I can expect BrightHouse to do about their billing. They were not involved in the matter at all and I cannot expect them to change their pricing because a DirecTv/Smart Circle Representative committed fraud.

UPDATE:

I am canceling the DirecTV within the 24 hour grace period. Brighthouse is reinstating my service with them at no extra cost and no hassles whatsoever. They were the most understanding reps I spoke with all day. I would advise people approached by any DirecTV Sales reps to tell them to go fuck themselves. to walk away without response.

FURTHER UPDATE:

Just spoke with someone from the Office of the President of DirecTV (I sent an email to a VP). I will still be canceling the service, but they are now at least doing their best to be sure that I’m not charged anything and that the contract is canceled without penalty and my installation fee is reimbursed. They also assured me that they will be sending the information to their dealer services department in order to be sure it doesn’t happen again. They were surprised to hear that Smart Circle had been accused of the same behavior in another local Sam’s Club, so perhaps they will re-think allowing that dealer to continue to represent them. We’ll see. I remain skeptical.

FINAL UPDATE:

Well, Smart Circle contacted me the week after Thanksgiving with all sorts of apologies for their representative misleading me. They sent me a $200 check as an apology. I also still received the $200 Sam’s Gift card that was part of the original deal with DirecTv. So in the long run I came out $400 ahead….at least until I have to remove the damn dish from my roof and patch the screw holes.

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16 thoughts on “Here’s what happened with DirecTV – Smart Circle at Sam’s Club

  1. Sam Lorenz says:

    https://thedevilcorp.wordpress.com/

    Read this. Anyone in the company/business GET OUT NOW! Find another job! I was employed by them for 3 1/2 years. Hired in under North East Ohio Marketing Group in Akron/Cuyahoga Falls, OH. They will RIP YOU OFF AND SCAM YOU!! The boss pressures the reps to sell or they lose their job. I will admit, I had to fib on some sales during my time there to get a sale.. If you are a customer, yea it’s an okay deal getting the Gift Card at Best Buy and Sam’s Club but don’t let a rep lie to you. That first year bill around $40-$60 will double your next year and your stuck in a 2 year contract.. Make sure you know everything before signing up.. Or maybe get lucky and find a rep who is actually doing the job right and explains everything (but they usually only last a week or two/one month MAX because they are fired for low sale performance. Please message me on Facebook if you need more information.

  2. I worked for Smart Circle and you were lied to. They give their reps incorrect product knowledge so they can lie to customers with a clear conscience. http://entryleveljobscam.blogspot.com/

  3. Amy says:

    Anyone have issues receiving their $200 SAMs gift card as promised in the deal? It was supposed to be 5 days from install. Our install was 1/28/15. I waited 10 buisness days then I began making phone calls to the rep that got us signed up. He assures me he has emailed someone asking about my card status and someone is supposed to call me to confirm ? Confirm what.. I don’t know, come on… the install address & phone # is accurate, so what is there to confirm? Getting frustrated–the gift card was really our final deciding factor of signing up anyways. and the rep says once in awhile this happens with customers. Here it is 2/15/15…. Anyone else or any advise?

    • DTV says:

      Hello Amy, I am a representative from DIRECTV. You should have received your gift card at least 6 weeks from the date your application was received. Please let me know if you have not received your gift card yet.

  4. I have had a similar experience with this Smart Circle Co. here in Vero Beach, FL. I have spoken to all and as far as I am concerned they are full of lies, shifting blame.

    I now have spoken to the Manager of Sam’s Club and told him the whole story. Though this Smart Circle leases space, I told the manager of Sam’s Club, it still falls on their shoulders to make sure, any company within their establishment is on the up and up. It reflects on Sam’s Club as well.

    Needless to say, the manager is very upset. Said something about complaints a while back but none as of late. Well hello. Their responsibility. Once bad vibes have been heard, they should have been let out of their lease there.

    We should all take our complaints to the store who leases to these crooks and liars. I stand up for me, always. I will go as high up as need be to make my point. Imagine all those elderly or people who stay quiet, how they are taken advantage of by this Smart Circle Co.

    I hope you all get resolved the issues at hand you face. Do not let this company get away with anything. Hold the company they lease space from, responsible as well. We, as consumers, have got to let them know, this is unacceptable. I am waiting on this manager of Sams club to call me back. I told him, either something gets done or I will go above him to Corporate. I do not play games. Good luck to you all..Shame on Smart Circle. Your company ought crumble.

  5. Good post. Sorry you had to go through that.

  6. Devilcorp says:

    Smart Circle is just one tentacle of the global direct sales cult know to some as Devilcorp. If you go to http://thedevilcorp.wordpress.com/ you will find a plethora of links to news reports, government rulings, lawsuits and video footage showing how these people do business.

  7. Bradley says:

    I work for a branch of smart circle and yes this sales rep did lie to you. i work in tucson lowering tv bills daily but im straight forward with my customers, by unbundling the national average is that the internet service will go up 5 to 10 dollars. however we do offer a bundling service with multiple providers like verizon at&t and centurylink to name a few. it really depends on your area but the reason companies will raise their price so high is due to thr fact that TV is the most expensive part of the bill. that sales rep was most likely misinformed about our bundling service but I can promise that we are not a company who scams. the best way to get that internet bill lowered is to threaten the company that youre going to switch providers unless a deal can be made.

  8. This GUY says:

    the 10 min phone call is to bright house and not directv.
    Assngrl: “Hey Bright house, i would like to cancel my tv service, i have just gotten directv.”
    Bright house: ” ok, your internet is now 75 going foreward”
    Assngirl: thats a 35$ increase, i have obviously demonstrated that iam competent enough to shop around. I am cancelling your TV service and will not hesitate to do the same with net unless you keep me at 40$.
    Bright House: unfortunately we cannot offer that to non Bundle customers/existing customers.
    AssnGirl: Dear brighthouse i have been a loyal CX for Blah blah and would hate to termiante my internet product, at the cost of 40$/mnt you profit 480 on me yearly. would you rather keep that profit or have me switch to atnt/fios/charter/time warner/cox and have them make the profit?

    BrightHouse: Unfortunately we can only offer that to new CX

    Option 1
    Assngrl: cancel my NET.( sighns up with different provider for lower price)
    Option 2
    Assasingrl: wow so existing CX eat shit while Brighthouse only tries to attract new customers, luckily i have recorded this conversation and will now be uploading to my social media page. now again as an existing cutomer i have enjoyed your service, what are you gong to do to keep me as asatisfied customer?

    Bright house:……as a one time curtesy to you we would like to offer you the current rate of internet for the next 12 mnts and hope that you consider us for video services in the future.

    • assassingrl says:

      Not sure how many internet options you have in the Omaha area, but where I live there’s not a lot of choice for reliable internet service. Plus, why should I beat up on Brighthouse just because the Smart Circle employee lied. And that was really the point of the article, DirecTV is hiring companies with dishonest tactics to sell their service. I will never use their service, period. If you have to lie to sell your product, there is something wrong with your product.

  9. direct tv is best for me man.

    • assassingrl says:

      I was going to mark this as spam, but I decided to let it through. Your email and Internet address say it all….self-serving.

  10. assassingirl you got really lucky i had a different problem with sams club/direct tv / smart circle. i signed up for a medium tiier package for 24 months and on month 13 they raised my rates to full blown retail more than twice what the fake contract i signed from 47 a month to 113 a month insane

  11. anonymous cable guy says:

    As a direct sales representative for directv I first wanted to say that your “bundle” deal should not have been described in the manner in which it was. Directv as a whole “bundles” with Fiber providers only. (e.g. FIOS / UVERSE). While directv offers the highest quality HD picture, the most advanced dvr system on the market, and the best channel selection for the money you would have been much happier if you were not misled. First: Your rep “JP” should never have told you that he could bundle your bright house with DTV as there is no such thing with cable providers, but a ten minute phone call on your behalf could have gotten you the price he promised. or very close. He basically was lazy and didn’t follow through. Second, If he had just taken the time to explain how we can save you money and give you a superior product, or just convinced you that you were getting a better video product for comperable cost, just with separate bills I am sure that you would have been happy. It’s not always about saving a few dollars. A directv & cable triple play does retail at about 80 % the cost of a traditional bundle, but it doesn’t always make sense if you have been with your cable company less then 2 years because you are still considered to be in promotional pricing at that point. This being said I am sorry that you were misled as I have a ton of very happy customers. Once you hit 200 a month I would tell you to shop around. If FIOS is available you would start at 130.98 a month, that’s assuming that you selected the entertainment package with 3 tv’s and the Genie DVR system. Also make sure that you check your email order confirmation as that will tell you your actual price before taxes.

    • assassingrl says:

      You are right. He should have never said that I could bundle my brighthouse internet with DirectTV. That was the entire point of my post. However, since this post, I have overheard other Smart Circle employees using the same tactics to sign people up at Sams and Best Buy. I have also found similar complaints online. So I think it’s fair to assume this is a pattern with this dealer.

      • assassingrl says:

        As for a “ten minute phone call” getting me the price he promised, I spent an entire day on the phone with DirectTV and Smart Circle giving them the chance to make good on what he promised. The reason I cancelled was because they refused to lower the price saying I was already getting the best deal they were “allowed” to offer. It was pretty clear from their responses, they didn’t give a damn about what their representatives promised.

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