DirecTV Stream Takes a Step Back with Cancellation

DirecTV Stream Just Made THIS Harder to Do

October 19, 2021

We've reviewed cancellation policies before. In fact, it's just part of what we do here at Flixed. So when it came to our attention that AT&T has chosen to taken the unpopular move of making it impossible to cancel their DirectTV Stream service without contacting a live agent, well...just say we were more than a bit disappointed. We'll talk about that change this week, and why easy cancellation is important for cord-cutting.

Streamer's Spotlight: Ease-of-Use Should Be a Hallmark of Cord-Cutting

One of the many reasons many of us became cord-cutters was because of how unfriendly traditional cable TV is to consumers in just about every way, especially when it comes to cancellation policies. Traditional cable TV typically imposed large fees for canceling early, while you almost always had to talk to multiple people on the phone or on chat before you could cancel. And even after, more people as you had to return all of your equipment.

Presumably, those days were gone with cord-cutting services. But apparently, AT&T is trying to bring them back. With some small exceptions, DirecTV Stream customers must now contact customers service by phone or chat in order to cancel their subscriptions.

1. What Happened, Exactly?

recently reported that DirecTV Stream's cancellation policy was a "total mess". They weren't kidding. What they meant by that was that, except for customers in New York and California, where laws disallow that many cancellation hurdles, DirecTV Stream customers now have to talk to an agent before they can cancel their account.

2. What's the Problem?

There's no ambiguity about it: this is an anti-consumer choice that AT&T has made. The purpose is fairly clear: put as many roadblocks in the way as possible to reduce the number of subscribers churning, and try to put some customer retention strategies in the way of easy cancellation.

3. Easy Cancellation Must be Standard

Easy cancellation is in the DNA of the cord-cutting scene. The ability to get in and out of streaming subscriptions with ease, and specifically, without having to talk to anyone in the process, is integral to services in this market. DirecTV Stream's decision to remove that aspect is more than a small step backward. Hopefully, its competitors don't go that route, but it's hard to imagine that becoming the norm.

This Week's Streaming Guide

1. ABC's Musical Drama 'Queens' Streaming

A new take on drama set in one of New York's most well-known neighbors, 'Queens' premieres Wednesday (Oct. 19), at 10 PM EST. -

2. Sex, Love, and... Goop?

"Courageous couples journey toward more pleasurable


and deeper intimacy with help from Gwyneth Paltrow and a team of experts." Streaming this Thursday (Oct. 21) on Netflix. -

3. Explore the Future of Food on Hulu

Chef David Chang explores the future of food in this six-part documentary on Hulu, streaming Thursday (Oct. 21). -

4. Dune Hits HBO Max Friday

The wait is over. Watch the long-awaited Dune movie on HBO Max this Friday (Oct. 22). -

News and Industry Developments

1. RSNs Creep Back into FuboTV

With a closed deal with AT&T, FuboTV has regained some of its Regional Sports Networks. -

2. Disney+ Is Getting Into the Anime Market

One of the early entries will be an anime take on a Disney-owned mobile game called Twisted Wonderland. -

3. Squid Game Is Netflix's Biggest Launch Ever

It's now topped 100 million international viewers. -

4. Will Cord-Cutting Kill RSNs?

Maybe, but that's not really the right question. Will RSN owners commit seppuku? -

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