Get Gephardt: Utahn fights to get $10,000 overpayment back from TV company

Jan 10, 2024, 11:30 PM | Updated: Jan 11, 2024, 11:11 am

WILLARD, Box Elder County — Imagine overpaying a bill by thousands of dollars and the company does not return the money.

Willard resident Jonnie Valdez said he fat-fingered his TV bill last June. He missed a decimal point, so instead of $148.00 going out, $10,048 left his account. When he recognized the error, he said he called DirecTV, and the company assured him they would mail him a refund.

“Eight days, I kept looking in the mailbox, and 10 days,” Valdez said.

Those days turned into six months, and still no refund. That’s when he looked at his account and noticed the money had been applied as a credit. The overpayment was being used to pay his monthly balance.

Make no mistake – Valdez goofed. But should the company be able to keep the money?

“I’ve thrown up my hands, thinking, how in the heck am I going to get my money? Did I just donate $10,000? It’s not like everybody can afford $10,000. That hurts,” he said.

He enlisted the help of his daughter, Bambi Valdez, but she had no success either.

“When I hear my dad saying, ‘Now I’m losing sleep,’ I don’t know what to do,” Bambi Valdez said. “Do I get an attorney?”

Before taking legal action, the pair decided to Get Gephardt.

“This is the stuff that you specialize in — is consumer complaints and consumer stuff and you go to bat for people,” Bambi Valdez said.

The KSL Investigators reached out to DirecTV on Jonnie Valdez’s behalf, not through customer service but through the corporate communications department. That did the trick.

A spokesperson wouldn’t go into details about what took so long but said the issue is now resolved. Sure enough, Jonnie and Barbie Valdez finally got that promised refund. A check arrived in Jonnie’s mailbox the following week.

KSL Investigators asked the Utah Department of Commerce about overpayments. They said it really comes down to what the contract says as to whether a company must issue a refund or if they can issue it as a credit.

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Get Gephardt: Utahn fights to get $10,000 overpayment back from TV company