VIRGINIA

Falls Church man takes on DirecTV

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There are two DirecTV satellite dishes planted firmly on this roof, even though Virginia homeowner David Ross never ordered them.

Ross says the tenant who had been renting his house installed those dishes four years ago without his permission. She recently moved out and Ross and his wife moved in. But when they saw the dishes and called DirecTV to have them removed, they were told: “You own those. They’re your property now.”

Ross refused, urging them to show him any kind of written document with his signature stating that they belong to him. But DirecTV said that while it prefers written permission from the property owner to install a satellite dish, it also accepts verbal permission from the renter.

But it isn’t just the two dishes on the roof that are a problem – there are also holes drilled into the roof to bolt them down, in addition to a cable that spreads across the top of the house and down the sides.

7 On Your Side found a long list of other property owners around the country making the same complaint -- even a pending class action lawsuit in California. But DirecTV insists that “it is still the customer’s responsibility to honestly verify they have permission to install a dish.”

In this particular case, DirecTV says their installer "may have assumed the customer owned the property," and that since it was so long ago, “we were unable to find out what information, if any, the tenant may have given the installer.”

"I ought to charge DirecTV for free advertisement," says Ross.

After hearing from 7 On Your Side, DirecTV finally offered to remove the two dishes from the Ross house, though he is demanding that they also repair his property.

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