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News 2 gets Kernersville woman refund after bungled satellite bundle deal

Sonya Ricks expected a satellite dish when she signed up for cable and internet service - what she got was two dishes. A different company also did the installation.
Credit: News 2

KERNERSVILLE, N.C. — Sonya Ricks recently purchased a new home in Kernersville and was looking for satellite and internet service. While she was searching online at work, she came across an offer from AT&T Direct TV.

The bundle included both services for $75 a month. 

“It sounds perfect, it sounds great,” said Ricks. After signing up she waited for a technician to come and install the satellite dish for the television and hook up the internet.

An AT&T Direct TV technician showed up and installed the satellite dish on a pole in the backyard. The install didn’t take too long, and the dish was basically hidden behind the fence. 

“I have an HOA, so it needed to be hidden,” said Ricks.

A couple of hours later, Ricks heard a knock at the door - it was another technician saying he needed to hook up the internet. The man told Ricks he would have to put a small dish on her roof. 

“I was a bit confused why two men came out and I thought the dish would be really small like a saucer,” she said. 

Turns out, the technician that came to the house works for Viasat which is a local 3rd party vendor. As for the dish he installed... 

“It was very noticeable when you walk outside,” said Ricks. “It was big like a regular satellite dish.”

After the install, the technician told Ricks she had to pay for the work. 

“Not thinking I gave him my credit card,” she said. “I was still upset about the dish.”

The next day Ricks called to cancel service and have the dish removed. Ricks was told the company does not remove dishes and that she could cancel the service but there would be a cancellation fee. 

“They said there was nothing they could do,” said Ricks.

Ricks then reached out to the State Department of Justice along with News 2 for some help. Our volunteers and the Department of Justice contacted Viasat about the matter. 

“I needed help," said Ricks. 

It took some time, but the company agreed to waive the initial charge for install and service. Ricks had a contractor remove the dish from the roof and figured everything was now taken care of.

A couple of weeks later, Ricks received a bill for more than $500. Viasat was charging Ricks for the dish it initially installed on the roof. 

“They told me they wouldn’t remove it and now they are charging me for it,” said Ricks.

Our Call for Action volunteers once again worked with the company and Viasat agreed to waive the fee. 

“I appreciate so much News 2 for doing this - it is absolutely fabulous and a great resource in the community." 

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