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DIRECTV: How Do I Suspend My Account?
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (July 6, 2013) - Editor's Note: TV's Answer Man, aka Swanni, takes your questions regarding TV technology. If you have a question, ask TV's Answer Man by sending an e-mail to

Q. My family plans to spend the month of August at a vacation home about 50 miles away from our house, which means we won't be there to watch DIRECTV. Is there a way to suspend our account for the month of August so we don't have to pay? -- Kelly, Santa Monica, California.

Kelly, thank you for the timely question. Many Americans are planning summer vacations but are unsure what to do with their utility and pay TV services. Do you keep them on and just pay even though you don't use them during your vacation? Or do you cancel the account altogether and try to renew it when you come back?

Well, I can't speak to the utility question, but I can answer your DIRECTV inquiry. The satcaster says you can temporarily suspend your account without charge by calling 1-800-531-5000.

But there are rules: To be eligible for suspending your account, you must either be going away on vacation; have a second home and only need service for part of the year; or you are moving or relocating to a new location and it will be awhile before you can reinstall DIRECTV service at your new home.

In addition, your bill must have a zero balance; and you are allowed a maximum of two 'suspend requests' every 12 months if you have a single account.

Finally, the total time with your service suspended per a 12-month period cannot exceed six months and the minimum time for an account suspend is 30 days.

Non-DIRECTV subscribers will be happy to know that other TV providers offer 'suspend account' options as well. In fact, former Washington Post tech reporter Rob Pegoraro wrote a very good article for USA Today detailing some of their policies.

Time Warner and Comcast, for example, say they offer account suspension, but only in markets that are considered seasonal, such as Florida. If you want to know if your region is covered, you'll have to call the cable ops.

Verizon told Rob that it allows suspension services from one to nine months, but it might charge as much as $24.99 to do so. (That's a one-time fee.) AT&T also offers suspension up to nine months, but will charge $5 a month.

So every TV provider is a little different. If you are uncertain, call your pay TV service and ask what their rules are.

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