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DirecTV’s Crazy December Customer Retention Deals Can Save You $90+ a Month

Phillip Dampier December 4, 2018 Competition, Consumer News, DirecTV, Online Video 30 Comments

AT&T is responding to its deepening losses of satellite television customers by slashing prices for those threatening to leave by as much as $90 a month and throwing in Visa debit cards worth up to $300 if customers agree to stay.

AT&T lost at least 346,000 subscribers during the last quarter and is on track to break an all-time record of subscriber losses, primarily attributed to cord-cutting.

When Stop the Cap! readers called to cancel, they shared stories of outrageous discounts available to anyone willing to spend a few minutes on the phone to ask, including slashed pricing, discounted or free channel upgrades, and equipment improvements. Some customers are now paying as little as $5 a month after the discounts were combined.

“It’s ridiculous,” said Stop the Cap! reader Dylan Marshall. “My old promotion recently expired and I called to threaten them with cancellation and they cut my bill by $90 a month for a year, which means my video package is costing me $15 a month. Then they offered me a free year of NFL Sunday Ticket, a $200 Visa debit card, and every premium movie channel available for three months at no charge!”

“I got $70 off my package after my credits expired last summer,” said Sandra Bizek. “It is always such a hassle to call in every year to argue with them, but they were very receptive this year. I almost thought I was being greedy when I also asked them about a gift card, which they usually won’t offer. They put you on hold and then come back and offer one. I got $100, but I know others were offered $200-300, depending on how long they have been a customer.”

It is easiest to score a good promotion if you do not already have one on your account, but it is possible for everyone — even customers still under contract — to get a better deal. One customer negotiated $25 off a month in early 2018. He had to surrender that credit, but in return his new bill will be $85 less.

Are you overpaying for AT&T’s DirecTV?

“They don’t even argue with you anymore,” said Narash, another Stop the Cap! reader. “Within two minutes he gave me $70 off my video package and then he found another $20 credit a month he could add, making my multi-hundred TV channel package about $5 a month. I couldn’t understand the guy very well and I think he thought I was hesitating to accept his offer so he also came up with a $300 Visa gift card out of the blue. I said ‘yes.’ Oh wow.”

Here is how to get your discount:

  1. Start by calling (978) 890-3027. This is DirecTV’s customer retention center in Massachusetts. If your account is combined with your AT&T wireless phone and you are billed by AT&T, they may have to transfer your call to a different call center. You can also try DirecTV’s general customer assistance number – 1-800-531-5000 and say “cancel service” when the auto-attendant answers. Answer “no” to the question about moving.
  2. When the representative answers, let them know you are planning to cancel DirecTV because you have a better offer from another provider (try to research an offer from a competitor that would generally interest you and be ready to discuss it). Add that you wanted to give them the opportunity to save your business by lowering your bill and enhancing the services you now get.
  3. You will be placed on hold as a representative reviews your account and any retention offers you are qualified to receive. Pay careful attention to the length of the discounts and any terms that might lock you into a contract. If you do not like what you hear, thank them for their time and call back. The next deal may be much more lucrative.

Our readers offered some important tips to maximize your savings:

  1. Print out your current bill so you understand exactly what you are paying for services now. If a representative tries to get you to remove services to lower your bill, let them know you can keep the same services and lower your bill with one of their competitors.
  2. Explain to the representative that you wish to cancel service because it costs too much and you are considering switching to a provider like YouTube TV or Hulu. Avoid mentioning DirecTV Now, which is also owned by AT&T.
  3. Do NOT simply accept the first offer made to you. When they try to lock you in, prevaricate. Ask, “is this really the best you can do?” and remind the representative you can create your own package of just the channels you want from one of their online streaming competitors like YouTube TV. You really want the lowest possible price, so could they please check one more time.
  4. When you are satisfied you have gotten the best possible deal, ask them about the availability of a gift card that you have heard about others getting, to compensate for the months you paid for channels you are not really watching. You may be able to get that as well, typically in amounts ranging from $100-300. But do not make it a dealbreaker and be sure it does not lock you into a long term contract.
  5. If a representative offers you nothing or seems uninterested in assisting, thank them and hang up and call right back. During high call volumes, regular representatives may be taking cancellation calls instead of customer retention specialists who are trained to offer the best deals to keep your business.

If you called for a better deal, let us know in the comment section what you were offered.

Currently there are 30 comments on this Article:

  1. Racerbob says:

    Thanks for the article. We are in the first year a 2 year contract. But, my wife accepted a job recently that will make our DirecTV bill go away completely plus give us all of the premium movie channels, etc.. So I think that we will be able to live comfortably with that. 🙂

  2. Dylan says:

    Proves if the corporation is suffering from losses, then it will change its habits very quickly. This is why I welcome the cord cutting trend. It works like a charm.

  3. Debbie Hudson says:

    Last month my bill was $55.09 this month is jumped up to $115. I called to ask for offers and they would only get my bill back down to $83 with a $100.00 gift card. I refused this offer. I need my bill to remain at or below the $55.09 that it was last month. Help….what else can I possibly do???

  4. Anthony yuuihj says:

    I just did this and it worked to perfection! My bill was $123.90 for Choice I called on New Years eve and they gave me $45 days off. I then read this a other threads so I called back on the 2nd. She asked why and I told her it was to expensive. She didn’t say much and just setup my cancellation for the 20th. Around 10am on the 3rd I got a call from the “loyalty department”. He said I see that you put in a cancellation. I was like yup too expensive. He’s are you happy with your programming. I said yes (should have said no), he said ok great. Well you’ve been with us a while so I can give you an additional $60 for 12 months. I was like WHAT?!?! Then I asked if there was a contract, because that would still been a sticking point for me and he said no. My new bill will be $23.90 plus tax!!!!

    My advise is call at least twice and cancel the second time!

  5. Sean says:

    It is hard to imagine a company with worse customer service than Directv…..as a caretaker for someone who has an account with them and has been a customer since 2003 they offered no incentive to stay with the company when the retention dept was finally contacted (the joys of telephone discourse with this company)…116 dollars a month with none of the movie channels is criminal….they beg to differ.

  6. Taylor says:

    I want to thank everyone on this page for the info. I called the retention number and i received the “ultimate” package with 3 tvs for $54 a month for a year, PLUS the sunday ticket for next year for free, PLUS a $100 visa gift card. It was going to go to $160 but i refused and tried calling the normal 1800 number with no luck. my last ditch effort was to google any other ideas. Thats where i got the direct line to retention from this page. THANK YOU SO MUCH!

  7. Myndy says:

    I just called the number and was told I needed to call the customer service number, they do not handle those type of calls.

  8. David says:

    Following the suggestions of the article I tried the (978) number on 2/28/2019 and was informed that it was not the correct location to handle “cancellations/retentions.” Used the 1-800 number. Was on hold for 6 min. Told representative I needed to keep my DirecTV and internet bundle at present cost ($95/mo) and no more. Within 25 minutes and multiple checks for promotions by the agent I had that price without asking for anything more or any further negotiations. Very polite rep. So my experience was successful and relatively painless. Maybe I was just lucky or maybe the increasing number of customer defections has changed the situation and AT&T is more anxious to keep customers. Either way I feel I got a good deal and was treated respectfully.

  9. cheryl miller says:

    Thanks for the article I recently contacted direct tv on 2-22-19 as my discount was about to end and was told by the representative that for some reason their computer wouldn’t accept the current disount as it was the end of the cycle(?) and to call back on 3-02-19 which I did and was told by a supervisor that loyality promotions were not available at this time. It was the most frustrating experience I ever had. She ended up giving me $50 off for one month. I have been with them since 2000 when I had buy the equpiment from radio shack. This is no way to treat a 19 year customer – they don’t seem to value long time customers plus they claimed they had no record of my previous phone call. I have never experienced this kind of treatment before with direct tv. I will try again next month as per your article and if I get the same run around I will unplug or go to Dish.No wonder they are losing customers.

  10. Greg Cioffi says:

    Get on with chat and tell them you want to cancel.

    They’ll give you the loyalty phone number and a pin. I called simply saying the price was too much (went up to $120 since my last 12 month discount ran out). She waited a few minutes to check the system. Came back and offered me $54/month before taxes to keep existing package (Entertainment w/Showtime. 3 TVs). Cheaper than the discount they gave me last year! So I accepted. Lady couldn’t have been nicer.

    It’s always a pain. But they usually come through with a good offer.

  11. Ernie W. says:

    DirecTV customer for over 10 years. To the point where I have a huge credit on my account in payments (using online banking and automatic weekly set payments). So I attempted to get things lowered.
    Knowing I could get most all my channels with DVR service via HULU for just over $70 a month, I wanted to attack my current $185 DTV bill.
    I tried speaking with four different operators, and neither of them could do more than suggesting I lower my package to save a few bucks, in addition, at most $5 off certain packages. Heck, with that Idea, there’s no incentive to stay with DTV and instead go w/Hulu, where I would also be “lowering my package” and instead would save $100 dollars a month.
    So, I ultimately set up cancellation with a rep for two weeks from 3/26/19. Cancellation was set to be 4/9/19. In the evening of 3/26 I get a call from DTV, but was not able to answer it in time. I called back and got an answering machine stating I had called directv out of their service hours and to call back at a later time.
    The next day (3/27/19) I called them in the afternoon. Ultimately, I explained my situation to the rep and got $110 discounted for 12 months, a discounted rate on HBO (for Game of Thrones) and the NFL Sunday Ticket MAX for the 2019 season for free. Basically, my bill would now be $76.45 if I agreed for a one year contract.
    What could I say, it was indeed comparable to Hulu, with much more still. So I took it.
    Just a shame we have to go through this song and dance. But I know the drill come next year at least.

  12. Nathan says:

    Called the 800 number and asked to cancel service. Very nice girl answered after 1 minute wait (on a saturday even). My current out of contract bill was 134, she immediately offered me 84. I explained that I can get all the channels I want on YouTube and Filo for 56 a month, so she checked if that was possible. Probably a 5 minute hold this time, then she offered 64 a month for 12 months without a contract. I asked if she could check on any gift cards and she said there were no gift card offers currently (and she sounded pretty matter of fact about it) so i took the offer. Considering that DirecTV Now was just raised to 70 a month for me to get the same channels, and it has MUCH less DVR space, and that we would have lost all of our current recordings, I felt pretty good about it! Thanks for inspiring me to call again. I’ve been a customer since 2009 and this is the first time I’ve gotten a deal out of contract (thanks streaming services). Two years ago I locked into a 2 year contract for like 80 a month for 12 months then 100 month for 12. Glad something in life is actually getting cheaper!

  13. Ernie W. says:

    Not bad at all. Good for you. Shame you either have to threaten to cancel service or actually set up a cancellation to get anywhere. But such is the game we must play to save money. Luckily, streaming services are an all to real alternative that DirecTV MUST respect. Streaming services are becoming more and more common nowadays, and luckily for those willing to do the work, are the bane of DirecTV and will result in good deals. Again, if one, like yourself, is willing to do the work.

  14. TJ says:

    I called on 4/22/19 to cancel services because my bill was too high. They sent me to the cancellation department and the guy just said ok the service will be canceled on 5/16/19. He didn’t even try to retain me as a client and I have yet to receive a call from anyone. I thought if I said ok cancel my services he would then offer something but he didn’t. Should I call back and ask for a better deal?

  15. SteveMD says:

    DirecTV has changed, so now you need to understand how it works now. First they won’t let you cancel until the end of your billing cycle, which could be most of a month. They won’t deal with you at all until you cancel, but before they stop your service they will call (it may look like a scam call, so be sure to answer) and offer you a very good deal. At least, that how it worked for me. And they called me back on the same day I cancelled and gave me a better deal than I had been asking for before that. I had called DirecTV 3 times before that and even talked to a supervisor with no results. I hope this helps. Also, the most recent comments here should be listed first so you get the current information instead of all the outdated info..

  16. M Hall says:

    To the author of this article, I want to thank you for publishing the number for the Massachusetts Customer Retention Center, it made all the difference for me.

    The person I spoke to asked how she could help me, I told her I wanted to discuss my bill. She said I needed to call the 1-800 number, and was about to send me on my merry way. I asked if this is the customer retention center, yes she said. I told her my bill was to almost triple from $43.06 per month to $111.99 with my next billing cycle, and that I was ready to cancel if they wouldn’t play ball with me.

    She relented and said, I can help you with that. Without any argument, weeping, gnashing of teeth, threats or any other traumatic brain injuries resulting from negotiating with Directv, she threw out a price. She said she could get the price down to $25.48 per month for a year, with no changes to my service. Some may say I really should have beat up on her, and asked for gift cards or other concessions, but I am a reasonable man, and felt as though this new price was very reasonable. I think she was either tired of arguing with people, or was allowed perhaps to give some of the store away. Whatever the reason, Judy was pleasant and reasonable, she saved me $1038.44 for 1 year.

    I have subscribed to Directv for 18 years, and believe the last 3 or 4 years of negotiating with them were the worst in terms of how hard I fought, and how many hours were wasted on hold, or talking to their agents. This was going to be the year I went elsewhere, perhaps to web based services, or the less desirable, overpriced Dish or Comcast.

    M Hall

  17. Tom B. says:

    I called four times starting in March when my bill went up. The lady I spoke to asked how she could help me, I told her I wanted to discuss my bill. She did not speak good English and apparently due to that communication gap I apparently received a one time $30 credit and was under the understanding that I was renewed for another year at my previous rate. I did repeat everything back to her to confirm. Then in April I called and I told them my bill was more than double from $53 per month to $120 on my current billing cycle, and that I was ready to cancel if they couldn’t come up with a better option. After two hours and being hung up on three times I finally got to the customer retention center and the guy just said ok the service will be canceled on 5/21/19. They said I was wrong and that the previous offer had expired and was no longer available. I called back two more times, the last one being today, and was only offered $20 off still putting me at around $98. I only have the Entertainment package. Apparently they are done with customer loyalty and retention. Welcome to AT&T. Go Verizon. So off to streaming land I go. Aggravating and inconvenient but it is what it is.

  18. Ryan says:

    Just tried this, worked like a charm. Said I was switching to streaming because of the price. Right away they offered $40 for choice for 12 months.

    • Alison says:

      I just got offered 85 for choice for 12 months. Set up disconnect date. Hoping to get a better offer before then so I don’t have to switch to streaming.

  19. Stephen says:

    It worked, took two attempts, but I got $25 off per month for 12 months, no extended contract.


  20. rob says:

    I’m about to try this too. Our bill is $149 per month today. We can do the streaming services for $50/month (just need Playstation Vue) and in some months might need to add the $30 for Sling (NHL Network). So if they can get us from $149 to $75 with NO contract and no changes to services that I currently have, we’ll stay.

  21. rob says:

    Update: called DirecTV. Told them we were cancelling to go to PS Vue for $50/month. They offered us $20 off our bill/month. We cancelled. They didn’t stop us. I’ll see if they call in the next day or two but it looks like I’m not nearly as savvy a negotiator as some of you who posted above me. ; – )

    • DirecTV is getting less generous these days to focus on their “more profitable” customers. But sometimes calling back can get you a more generous offer. We cut the cord last month here on Spectrum TV and rely on DirecTV Now (for the moment — they got greedy so we’re shopping around) and do not miss cable TV one bit. 90% of my viewing is Netflix, Hulu, etc. The other 10% is mostly cable news. I don’t watch any network shows and if I want the local news, I just go to their website and view the stories I care about.

      Most of all, I don’t feel deprived, except by that outrageous TV bill that no longer comes.

    • Alison says:

      Let me know how it goes when you call back…how long you wait. Just set up my disconnect date but will try calling one time before then!

    • Alison says:

      When is/was your disconnect date? Did they ever call?

  22. Thomas says:

    Thank you SOOOO much for the advice! I was in a similar situation as Tom B above. I had a great promotion for 24 months – $55 for the Choice package and free HBO. My contract was up, and the rate was increasing to $125 per month. I called the number you provided above, explained that I was looking at other options such as Dish and Charter Spectrum, and the very nice lady immediately gave me even a better offer – $35 per month for the next 12 months, and a $55 credit to my bill for the inconvenience! She did give me one great piece of advice – mark on my calendar to call again next May to negotiate a new deal prior to this existing promotion expiring. Again – thanks for the wonderful advice! I hope others have the same success I just had.

  23. paul says:

    Hi guys, this worked perfectly….you made my day! I had called the retention department a year ago and they gave me $60 off per month…pretty good deal but it lasted for a year and that year was up. So I called the Directv retention department again and “the best” they could do was $5 off, stating they couldn’t keep giving customers money off because it was training them to do this every year. Naturally that pissed me off, so I went on the google machine and found this nugget. I called the Massachusetts number above and got $45 dollars off my bill and it took 7 minutes, I timed it lol. Thank you so much for this info, it definitely works!

  24. Bobby says:

    Hi All,

    Great advice! I called the 800-531-5000 number and best I could get was a $10 discount off of the Choice package that I am paying $140 per month for 12 months. I called the (978) 890-3027 and told them I was moving to YouTube TV at $40 per month. The guy on the other end was very quick to offer me a $60 and $25 per month overall discount brining my total cost down to $55 per month for 12 months (no contract) and I also have an additional $17 discount in place for a combined bill and primary TV receiver discount. They then also offered me a $200 Visa gift card that will be sent in 6-8 weeks.

    I’ve been a customer for 10+ years, no late payments and have had few to no issues with service. I’ll admit, it seems to good to be true but I’ll come back and let you know if that was the case. Otherwise, wow! Worth the call.

  25. Huey says:

    Hi all,

    My DirecTV promotion ended about 1.5 months ago. I called the AT&T number to get a “loyalty discount” and the best they could do was $20 off per month. I called again 2 weeks later and it was the same offer. So my cost would have been $112 + Tax for the Choice package. I wasn’t happy with that, because I was paying only $40+Tax before. I place the account on hold because I was leaving town for 3 weeks. That also gave me time to consider cutting the cord entirely. Today, I called back to cancel and guess what, they came up with another $50 discount. So now the price is $62 + Tax; still not as good as before but it was not much more than getting Youtube TV or Hulu. So I took the deal and confirmed that there was no contract.

    Could I have gotten a better deal if I called the recommended number above (978) 890-3027 instead??

  26. Fabs says:

    (978) 890-3027
    Call this number after cancelling.

    I got a bogus number from an email from ATT saying to call to come back as a customer and they would provide me their best offer. That number went to some 3rd party and no one was reachable. That bogus number was 855-407-5668

    Thanks to this thread I called the 978 number and they were so pleasant and gave me 1) $57 off the XTRA package I was paying $101 / month for, 2) Free Sunday Ticket and 3) the $200 gift card.

    After they offer you the discount, then ask for more, and they will add the gift card.

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