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Does DIRECTV Have a Better Business Bureau Rating?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (June 19, 2013) -- Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding how to best use the latest products and services in TV technology. If you have a question about TV technology, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. I read with great interest your article on DIRECTV and its requirement that a victim of the Colorado forest fires pay for a receiver replacement. (See article.) I've heard of similar problems with DIRECTV so I looked up their Better Business Bureau rating and couldn't have find one. What's up with that? -- John, Phoenix, Arizona.

John, from 2010-2012, the Better Business Bureau of Los Angeles gave DIRECTV failing grades for poor service and allegedly ignoring the complaints of their customers. In fact, the consumer watchdog group's LA office, where DIRECTV's headquarters is located, issued its lowest rating of F twice and once gave DIRECTV a D.

But before you say, Ah-ha!, there's another side of the story.

The national Better Business Bureau office earlier this year ousted the Los Angeles chapter for allegedly requiring LA-based companies to pay membership fees in return for good grades. DIRECTV is not accredited by the BBB and apparently never agreed to pay the fees.

"Over a period of more than two years, BBB of the Southland (LA area) failed to resolve concerns about compliance with several standards required of BBBs, including standards relating to accreditation, reporting on businesses, and handling complaints," Carrie A. Hurt, president and chief executive of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, said in March, according to the Los Angeles Times.

We asked DIRECTV in March if it believed it was unfairly graded by the BBB's LA chapter and it refused to comment. But it is noteworthy that DIRECTV was given a 'B' rating by the consumer group before the pay-for-play scheme began.

The BBB's national office is still investigating the LA office's files and trying to determine if poor grades were given because companies refused to pay up. On DIRECTV's BBB page today, the group says: "
BBB is currently updating its files on all businesses in the Greater Los Angeles area and pending that review, a BBB rating is unavailable."

We'll keep you updated if and when that changes.

Update: Katherine Hutt of the BBB e-mailed us after this article was published to say that the LA-based ratings will begin again in September. The ratings will be based on six months' worth of complaints and reports.

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