Published: Dec 15, 2010 7:21 PM EST
Updated: Dec 15, 2010 4:22 PM EST

TALLAHASSEE, Fla - Attorney General Bill McCollum today announced Florida  and 49 other states have obtained settlement for nearly $13.25 million with  DIRECTV resolving allegations the satellite TV provider and its third-party  retailers engaged in deceptive and unfair sales practices. DIRECTV will also pay restitution to consumers and will substantially modify its marketing practices. The agreement will also ensure that consumers will now get direct relief through a claims administrator, thereby reducing consumer complaint response time.

A multistate investigation led to allegations that DIRECTV failed to disclose all terms and conditions of their customer agreements, did not
clearly disclose to consumers limitations on getting a certain price for DIRECTV, enrolled consumers in additional contracts or contract terms without clearly disclosing the terms to the consumer, did not clearly disclose to consumers that they would automatically renew a seasonal sports package and offered cash back to consumers when the consumer would actually receive bill credits. Today’s settlement resolves all of these allegations, although the company entered into this agreement without any admission of liability

Under the settlement, unresolved complaints sent to DIRECTV that involve conduct addressed in the settlement and occurred after January 1, 2007 are eligible for the restitution program. Additionally, consumers can file a complaint with DIRECTV by June 9, 2011 to be considered for the restitution program as long as the complaint is about activity that occurred after January 1, 2007. The Florida Attorney General’s Office has received hundreds of complaints about DIRECTV over the past two years.

Consumers wishing to file a complaint or a claim for restitution should first contact DIRECTV Customer Service at 1-800-DIRECTV or by going to An administrator will be assigned to handle disputes.

Florida’s share of the recovery will be approximately $185,000, which will reimburse the state’s fees and costs. In addition to Florida, the following states participated in the settlement: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming and the District of Columbia.

The agreement is pending judicial approval.