Colorado is currently experiencing the most devastating fire in its history. Five hundred and two homes have been lost, approximately 14,198 acres have burned, two people have died, and the fire is still not out. But in the midst of this tragedy, many businesses have stepped up to help; Wild Fire Tees, a company started specifically because of last year’s Waldo Canyon fire — again located in Colorado — is donating 100% of its profits to wildfire victims.
With the outpouring of support, and given the scope of the devastation, it might surprise you to learn that one company initially told a fire victim that he had to pay for the satellite-TV equipment that was burned during the fire. More importantly, this isn’t the first time this company has taken such a stance. I’m talking about DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV). Here’s what you need to know.
You’ve got to be kidding me
Jeremy Beach’s home is gone, burned to the ground by the Black Forest Fire. Luckily, he escaped with his wife — who is 37 weeks pregnant with twins, his 5-year-old son, and two dogs. When he got the news his home had burned, Jeremy told the The Gazette that he started making calls to cancel his services, including cable, utilities, and trash. However, when he contacted DIRECTV, they told him he owes the company $400 for the burned satellite dish and receivers.
This news is shocking, but it’s not unpredictable when it comes to DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV). During the Waldo Canyon fire, which destroyed 347 homes, The Gazette reported that DIRECTV also charged fire victims for burned equipment. A spokeswoman for DIRECTV told the Gazette that they decided to charge customers because most people’s insurance would cover the cost. While that may sound like a valid argument, to victims of the fire, and the surrounding community, the explanation left consumers angry.
It’s pretty obvious that businesses shouldn’t alienate the customers they rely on for profits. As such, DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV)’s reported position could cause investors concern, as comments on The Gazette’s article, and across social media, show that consumers in Colorado are irate, stating that they intend to cancel their subscriptions ASAP.
The negative backlash created such a stir that DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) issued an apology to the fire victim and said it’d do everything it could to help. It also stated: “DIRECTV has a clear policy that fully supports its customers during natural disasters that includes replacement of damaged equipment at no charge, long-term suspensions of accounts for customers who must leave their home, and waiving cancellation fees for those who need to disconnect service.”
Colorado may hate it, but is DIRECTV still a good investment?
DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV)’s apology is a step in the right direction, but comments from consumers show that there’s still widespread anger against DIRECTV dating back to the Waldo Canyon fire. More pointedly, Colorado residents aren’t the only ones to show dissatisfaction with DIRECTV.