How to Cancel A DirecTV

If you have a DirecTV account and are thinking, “I’m ready to move on – how do I cancel DirecTV?”, then you may be dreading what comes next – the long service call to get rid of your satellite TV services. But you don’t need to dread the experience, because we’re going to show you exactly what to do and say to cancel your DirecTV contact ASAP! This is the best way to cancel DIRECTV, read on!

How to Cancel: First Steps

Cancel DirecTV - DirecTV Logo

What’s Best Way to Cancel DIRECTV?

  1. Get your latest bill and account information. You will want any important account numbers and PINs, as well as any contract information you have – especially the terms of your contract and how much time is left. Yes, this could get a little complex if your contract dates back too before AT&T acquired DirecTV, but don’t worry about it. You should have received some updated information if anything changed, and AT&T has tried to make billing and processing part of the same department.
  2. Prepare for a phone call. You cannot cancel online or through an email, etc. The only way to cancel your account is to call up your DirecTV service number. You can contact customer service at 1-800-288-2020. Customer service will be available between 8am and midnight EST, every day.
  3. Schedule a call when you have lots of time. DirectTV reps may be available, but your own time is valuable. It’s best to call early, and call when you have a lot of time to stay on hold and talk through the DirecTV cancellation policy. Charge your phone battery if you need to!
  4. Talk to a live person. This isn’t always easy, either; there are a series of automated messages and inputs you will need to move through. Always move in the direction of changing your account and talking to a real, live customer service representative when given the option. Don’t stop until you are put on a hold list to have a conversation, because you can’t do this with automation.

Phrases to Use When You Call

Canceling DirecTV - Cutting Cord
Cut the satellite cord with these phrases.

We probably don’t need to say it, but trying to cancel over the phone doesn’t always work out. Service providers, including AT&T/DirecTV, have a lot to gain by keeping their customers any way possible, which may lead to some lengthy conversations and a lot of hurdles to jump over. To make the process simpler, here are a few phrases that we found speed things up. We’re not saying that you have to use all these phrases at the same time – instead, think of them as potential strategies that you can pick from, based on your situation and how you want to deal with your call.

You may be wondering will directv buyout my dish contract 2019? Read on and find out.

“Please get me into contact with someone who can cancel my account.” Unfortunately, the first person you talk to won’t always be able to help you. The second person may not be able to cancel your account either. Always be ready to say this line and try to move up the chain to someone who will listen to you. If you’ve been repeating yourself for the last few minutes, or you’re listening to the same lines over again, it’s time to find someone else to talk to. If the rep refuses to put you in contact with someone else, keep insisting.

“I’m cutting the cord and getting rid of all TV services because I no longer pay for TV.” This approach is more useful than it once was, because it’s becoming a popular lifestyle choice and a way to save money for many Americans. In other words, they hear this excuse frequently these days. The common response is, essentially “Let’s look at how we can save you money instead,” but don’t go down this path. Stay on your first point: you are cutting the cord (sure it’s a cable TV term, but it has broad applications these days), because you no longer want or need to pay for TV – period. In our experience, this is currently one of the fastest ways for cancelling DirecTV.

“I switched services.” The key here is the past tense. If you’ve already bought satellite services or other competing TV services, then your service contact knows that it’s probably too late to change your mind. They may still stick to the script, but it’s bound to hurry the process up. Remember to ignore any, “What can we do to get you back?” questions – the point is that it’s too late, because you’ve already switched, and this is just a formality.

“I’m moving and I can’t get service anymore.” This phrase isn’t quite as powerful as it used to be, but it’s still very effective. The issue here is that AT&T offers a “mover’s deal” to move DirecTV services to a different address, which you will have to immediately refuse. Your best bet is saying that you have to move out of state, or to a different service region, and need to cancel (and keep repeating it). Some people just say they are moving out of the country to avoid annoying questions about their new address.

“I don’t want rebates or new packages, I want to cancel.” These aren’t exactly magic words, but you’ll probably need to say them a lot. When confronted with an offer to lower prices or give you a special discount, you need to keep repeating this. You may have to say it a lot! Keep your cool, and try to have a little sympathy for the customer rep, who is usually following requirements set forth by the company.

Things to Know BEFORE Your Cancellation Call

  • You must be the account owner. In other words, your name needs to show up on the bill. There’s not really a way around this. Unfortunately, this is not always possible in every scenario (death in the family, etc.). AT&T wants to make sure that no one can just call up and change your account whenever they want, but this security measure has its downsides. If you aren’t the account owner but you are the one who needs to cancel the account, then carefully explain your situation and offer to provide any identification required. You may have to mail some proof in, but eventually you can get the account transferred.
  • Don’t accept a temporary account suspension if you don’t need it. In theory, the temporary account suspension is designed to help you pause your service (and save money) for long vacations or work projects outside of the country, etc. This can be a viable solution, but if you want a permanent cancellation, don’t accept a suspension. Don’t let anyone convince you that a suspension is what you really need if you prefer to cancel the account and look for another provider.
  • You can’t push a cancellation through immediately on holidays. So make your call and ask for a cancellation, but don’t expect it to take affect until the next business day. The same may be true of weekends, depending on your region. In other words, if you want a speedy DirecTV cancellation period, do it when there’s a couple business days ahead of you.
  • Service reps have been known to lie. Shocking, we know. However, it’s worth noting that there are tales about customer service contacts lying about what services are available, what TV services are like, how DirecTV works, and even about how to cancel services. Our own experiences in cancellation haven’t been that bad, but it’s worthwhile to remember that you can’t necessarily believe what you hear on the call.

Cancellation Penalties

DirecTV Dish - Cancel Satellite

Oh, yes, there are DirecTV cancellation fees to pay if you want to cancel immediately. However, DirecTV is very cagey when it comes to just how much you will pay.

First, there is the deactivation fee. If you cancel before your contract ends, you pay a $15 fee, possibly supplemented by an additional $15 fee if you weren’t keeping up on your minimum programming requirements for your particular package.

Second, there’s the prorated early cancellation fee, which is where things get complicated. This fee is applied to every month remaining in your current AT&T contract. It can be up to $20 for every month. So if you have six months left in your contract, you would be paying $15 plus up to $120 for your cancellation, and frequently other little fees also get included, bumping the price up closer to $150. Ouch!

Unfortunately, there’s not an easy way to cancel DirecTV without penalty. You can call and argue about the fees if you want, but if you’ve gotten this far, then it may not be worth the time to get the DirecTV cancellation fee waived. However, if you have questions about the final bill or figures just don’t add up, then by all means ask for an explanation. However, you may have to go through the same gamut of refusing special offers before you get answers, so get your patience ready.

The Next Step: Sending Back Your Stuff

You’re not quite done yet! Getting through the phone call and successfully ordering a cancellation is a triumph, but there’s another step. You should get a box in the mail, pre-addressed, designed for your cable box and cable. Pack up your cable box and its accessories, and then send it back.

This step is vital, because your account won’t be fully cancelled until AT&T receives all your equipment, which was technically leased out. Typically the box should arrive a few business days after your call. If it’s been five business days or so, call customer service again immediately and tell them to ship another box, because your cancellation may have, for some reason, not been processed.

Once you receive the box you have three weeks to get it back, so don’t waste any time packing it up! Lastly, make sure to track the shipment, otherwise you’ll be on the hook. If you drop the equipment off at a local office make sure you get a receipt. Otherwise, if the equipment goes missing, and you have no receipt, you’ll owe some serious money.

Follow-Up Tip: Cancelling DirecTV Now

“DirecTV Now” a much more experimental streaming service. While it’s still offered by AT&T, don’t confuse it with DirecTV’s satellite service, it’s a far different project and not exactly designed to make revenue (yet). In other words, if you want to cancel DirecTV now and aren’t interested in changing much else, the process is much, much easier. Just head to this website, login into your account, and head over to Settings. Choose Manage My Plan, and then Cancel Plan. You will be asked to give a reason why you are canceling, and then you can cancel immediately. There won’t be any cancellation fees, but your service will continue for the current pay period before ending.

Now, take a close look at your next AT&T bill, to make sure that you aren’t still being charged for the service and that there aren’t any odd cancellation fees for quitting Now.

Note: If you are cancelling because of poor service issues, you may be tempted to ask for a refund. However, reports have shown that people are unable to get any refunds for DirecTV Now – there just isn’t an option to provide them. So consider it a sunk cost.

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Tyler Lacoma

When he isn't enjoying the beautiful Northwest outdoors, you can find Tyler on business and tech sites, writing about the latest news, analyzing trends, and generally making the Internet a more interesting place.

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  1. I just cancelled after 3 years of service. I had no problems whatsoever. I was shocked. They did however charge me for the auto renewal of the football package that I did not want. Make sure you watch your statements. Get that on the 1st month. I am a senior and am not good at watching the details anymore. They will sure take advantage of anyone that will let them.

  2. It’s still a nightmare. Initial greeting says ‘wait time less than one minute’. 15 minutes later the first person answers. They get all this information from you over 15 more minutes and then say they have to transfer you to an account specialist (to discuss why you’re cancelling. Sounds like they want to argue you out of it). Before she transfers me I tell her there’s nothing to discuss, but on I go, and wait on call waiting. Now I’m at ATT. Describe all to who answered, who sounds more like a receptionist. Now she’s transferring me. After a bunch of beeps, I’m right back to the original menu assuring me of “wait time less than one minute”. I start yelling at the next person. Finally I’m talking to someone at DirecTV in Texas who sounds legit. Not just an answering machine in India. She reads me the standard process disclosure about returning hardware, etc. I’m concerned that I get no confirmation number or anything. Take her name and ID number. I’m supposed to be disconnected at midnight, but over a day later it’s still working. Fortunately I did get an email confirming my account disconnection date. Still have to see how the hardware return process goes, but I was advised to get good receipts and tracking numbers for evidence when I ship it out. I just read that non-return fees can be $500 or so, so following through with this pretty important. Wish me luck. Same to you. It’s horrible that they do business this way. They totally deserve to go down the tubes, as they are.

  3. Just called Dtv to cancel service and it went very well! 10 minute conversation with a very polite tech and we do not have to return any equipment. Very easy when you follow the 3 steps!

  4. I cancelled today (Oct. 28, 2019) and they wouldn’t refund a pro-rated amount. So you might want to schedule the new service near the end of your billing cycle.

  5. I will be using this information when I cancel Direct TV & internet this week. My previous bills show promotion period ends 10/16/2019 yet they changed my rate back in August. I have spent hours on the phone with countless representatives. If I have to pay an early termination fee I will be handing my bills over to the Federal Trade Commission for bait& switch, deceptive pricing practices. This is ridiculous.

  6. My cancellation was very simple. I did it on a Saturday morning at 9:00 and waited one minute and then maybe two more while they were handling the administrative parts. All in all it took 13 minutes from beginning to end and had I been a bit less willing to at least let them do their minimum mandatory pitch it could have been completed in 10 minutes but I believe you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar. So, yeah, all in all, not too bad.
    The instructions above were helpful.

  7. I have been on hold for a hour and a half and have talked to different people. I have been trying to cancel their very poor service. I refuse to pay more because they cannot get a person to talk to me. I have been hung up on 3 times. When you first call you have one option that does not concern my matter. I would never reccomend this service

  8. I have been transferred six times to try and cancel. I haven’t even had it installed yet! I am still on hold. it has been an hour!!! What does it take to cancel this awful service!

    Whatever you do, don’t get DIRECTV!!!!

  9. Just canceled our service today. What a bunch of liars. Receiver has not worked for two weeks. Called Direct. Had appt. set two weeks later. Service personnel never showed up. Said he called but never did. They don’t care about their customers. Beware of Direct tV!

  10. I’ve been with DirecTV for more than 20 years. Yesterday they failed to show up during a four-hour window to upgrade our equipment and install a new 4K TV. When I called to inquire, they said I wasn’t home, which was a lie apparently told to many others according to posts I’ve seen on the web. I am now in my second day of a four-hour window, with less than 90 minutes to go for them to show up. We already have Cox on a couple of our sets, so if DirecTV doesn’t show up today, I will have wasted eight hours of wait time and will cancel DirecTV as of the end of our billing period. Service is terrible, Cox service is exemplary.

  11. I have been fretting over this for months. I am so angry with them I have been with DTV for 6 years and had the NFL pkg every year. This year they messed up and didn’t authorize me for the Red Zone. I call “Sorry we’ll fix it” they upgraded me to the higher priced pkg and off set the price with a credit each month. Problem is they started the 6 payments all over again. So they have me paying 8 monthly payments on a 6 month payment plan!!!! I’ve had enough – DTV was great – I knew this was going to happen when AT&T got their money grubbing hands on it.

  12. Really happy I read some of the comments stating they didn’t have issues calling because I was freaked out over this process. But I called and noted times: 11:07a call began. 11:09a made it through recorded menus to wait for agent. 11:11a agent picked up. 11:18a call concluded with successful cancellation. And I thanked Sally for making the process so easy. I don’t think Sally has ever been thanked and was truly appreciative.

    Some things in my favor: I had been a customer since the early 2000’s, and hadn’t had a receiver update since 2009, so no need to send me a box because they surely don’t want this relic back. Additionally, I had never bundled it with other AT&T services, so easy cut-off. And finally, the golden ticket to not trying to keep me: told them my kids are grown and out of the house now and no one uses it anymore. This is true…but they actually never did – I mean, what millennial has ever watched actual tv? :-)

  13. Told them I was going on long term assignment overseas … other than a very long hold time for initial call there were no issues getting in canceled.

    1. Just canceled – been with them for MANY years. 1st rep took care of everything – total time 15 minutes. I said it was 2019 & $175 (up another $5 from last month!) for TV that doesn’t work during storms is ridiculous. Told her I already have Netflix & will get Hulu, unless they could do $40/ month. She didn’t even really try to argue… Hope it all goes well from here!

  14. I am also trying to cancel my direct TV. Our bill just kept getting higher and higher. I’ve called and complained about this and they said our bill was higher because we got behind one month. Lies we’ve had direct TV for almost 5 yrs and the bill has never been the same. We pay over $300 a month with no movie channels and no sports package nothing special no extras no internet no phone.



    1. Sling TV gets you all the major channels coupled with AirTv for the local channels.
      All for $50 a month or less depending on the packages you choose.

  16. Very disappointed. Will probably have to cancel direct TV. Will pick up dish network. Very disappointed.

  17. This is informative, but here is my problem with them. I got my service in March 2018, was living in a RV in what we were told was an RV park. April 10th the county comes out and issues sease and desist orders on all the RVs, as the property owner had never gotten the correct permits, ect for RVs to be there. I had been living there for the last 6 months in the RV. I sold my RV and moved to a different county and called and advised them to move my services. They came out and installed at the new place. No mention of a fee. When my next bill comes in, there is a ONE TIME CHARGE OF $199 for moving. Called and was told you could move one time in your contract in a year, explained that I was made to move, if I had known I was going to have to move I would have not gotten the service. They have given me a $100 credit for that. I don’t feel that is fair. But, then, 2 weeks into being in my new address, lightning hit the ground behind my home, and fried my tv and the directv dvr. After 2 weeks got them to send me another one. I have the protection plan, and was charged 299.99 for the Genie. Have called and called and called. I live on a fixed income, and can’t afford that. To top it off, when the new box came in, I tried to activate it by their directions, and it would not work, so they sent a technican out, and they had sent me a different one than what I had and he had to add some other piece to it for some reason. They are worse than cable, but I live in a rural area and have to deal with it. I have never seen a contract to be able to dispute this, But, I am not going to pay any of that. Any suggestions

  18. I read all these comments about cancelling DirecTV, so I will do that this month. I have had my acct more than 2 years, and I am ready to try Armstrong Communications (ACS). They just ran fiber optic cable service thru my area. They are out of Butler Pa. The ACS linemen seem nice and talkative. ACS offers fiber cable TV, phone and internet in different packages. I was curious what other user people thought about them?

  19. On may 7, 2018 a door to door sales person came to my house offer me an ultimate package that was including direct tv Internet and phone. As of today may 23, 2018 still don’t have my phone connect. Now I want to cancel everything and they telling me it will cost me over $400.00 just for direct tv and don’t know how much for AT & T. Is not even a month I should have a grace period to cancel. Please help. I want to go back to my old service. I’m so discussted I would never recommend them to nobody.

    1. Aida, i found this: It says that “Cancellation: You may cancel this Plan, without cost to you,
      within the first 30 days after purchase or anytime after the first 12
      months of coverage. You may also cancel this Plan during the term
      of coverage by either calling (888) 667-7463 or providing written
      notice with a copy of the Plan to the administrator at the following
      address: P.O. Box 6550, Greenwood Village, CO 80155-6550 Attn:
      Customer Service. You will receive a refund equal to the unearned
      pro rata premium, less any claims which have been paid. While
      this Plan may be canceled by you for any reason, an administrative
      fee of ten dollars ($10.00) will be assessed if the Plan is cancelled
      during the first year of coverage. This Plan may not be cancelled
      by us except for fraud, material misrepresentation or non-payment
      by you; for violation of any of the terms and conditions of this Plan;
      if your DIRECTV programming service is canceled, disconnected,
      or terminated; or if required to do so by any regulatory authority.
      If the Plan is cancelled by us, you shall receive a refund of
      100% of the unearned pro rata premium less any claims which
      have been paid. Any refund owed and not paid within thirty
      (30) days shall include a ten percent (10%) penalty per month”

      1. Thanks so much for your inforation but Direct tv send me an email that they going to send me a bill I don’t know what to do I cancelled as of May 26, 2018 and I told them that I don’t even have the service for a month since the 9th of May 2018 till May 26 and accordingly to the sales person she assured me in a text message that I didn’t have a contract. .. This is very stressful I’m a senior I don’t need this at my age.

          1. HI Christen I still having problems with directv. I was chatting with two different person and they told me to return everything which I did went to fedex and return even all the accessories cables and remotes to Att and directv . I did all this on May 26, 2018. Now today I received a bill from directv for $532.00 dollars I don’t know what to do with this people. When I was chatting they even told me that I was having some kind of credit.

          2. Hello we are trying to cancle directv after continuously being lied to about prices. Has yet to me 48 hours and they want us to pay 400+to cancle.

    2. I cancelled my new service on the 28th day after having it installed due to not having their onDemand option in my triple bundle. I was given the option for a tech to come to my home and fix it for a fee of course. I refused. So now my ending bill for 28 days with directv is almost $400 and almost $200 for internet and phone with AT&T. This is ludicrous. $600 in 28 days!! I’ve decided to just let it go to collections and then settle when they lower the amount, otherwise I’m not paying that amount to them.

  20. The easiest way to cancel DirecTV is by customer service chat. I did this with no hassle a couple of weeks ago. We agreed upon a date, and the service stopped on that date. I did an additional chat another day because I had not received boxes, but it turned out that was because my equipment was too old for them to want to recover.

    Start with the billing department. They will spend some time trying to convince you not to quit, but have your answer and reason firm and it’s not too long. They will then transfer your chat to the right people. They’ll try again briefly to retain you. I was quitting because we switched to Playstation Vue, which has everything we need. Effective conversation re this:

    Ronnie H : I see you are canceling as you are switching to Roku is that correct Marita?

    Marita : Yes, a service we access thru roku

    Ronnie H : We would be sorry to see you leave us. We would like to take the opportunity to see what we can do to prevent that. Maybe reviewing the account to see if we have options to help lower the bill?

    Marita : if you can get it under $30, all HD with credit for times we can’t watch due to weather…

    Ronnie H : We are certainly sorry to lose you as a customer. There is some information about your disconnect we need to cover before you go. Before we start the cancellation process can you please verify the email address, phone number and the shipping address for me?

    Chat is great because you have an exact transcript of your conversation. I was prepared to record the conversation myself if I had to do it by phone, but tried chat first and found it painless.

    1. This is definitely the way to go. I got on the chat and cancelled in maybe 20 minutes. They’ll transfer you to another department, then offer you steep steep discounts, then offer DirecTV NOW. Just kept saying “No thanks, I would just like to cancel”. In total I typed 15 lines of chat.

    2. Thank you so very much
      This was so much easier than a phone call
      Worked well
      Again so much thanks for the suggestion
      I’m sure it saved me a large amount of time

    3. I, too, cancelled in just a few minutes using the chat. Being on hold in a chat is way easier than being on the phone :)

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