NewsNational News


DirecTV charged 102-year-old woman an 'early termination fee' after she died, reports say

Posted at 11:16 AM, Oct 03, 2019

When Isabel Albright was born in 1916, it would be hard for anyone alive even to fathom a satellite TV contract. But when Alright died in December, DirecTV tried to penalize her for breaking her contract early.

According to KGO-TV in San Francisco, the satellite TV company charged Albright's children $160 for an "early termination fee" when they attempted to cancel her service.

The issue stemmed from the family's decision to add an extra satellite box to a spare bedroom in Albright's home when her caregiver and the caregiver's daughter had moved in.

Albright's son-in-law, John Manrique, told DirecTV that the extra box would be a "temporary thing," and had no intention of signing a two-year contract. But, unbeknownst to Albright's family, DirecTV still signed her up for a two-year contract.

For nearly a year after Albright's death, DirecTV asked the Manriques to pay the early termination fee —saying that a contract had been opened in Albright's daughter's name. But whenever the Manriques asked for proof that they'd signed a contract, DirecTV could not produce a document.

After reporters with KGO reached out to DirecTV, the company agreed to waive the fee. The Manriques also received a letter of apology from DirecTV's parent company, AT&T.

Alex Hider is a writer for the E.W. Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @alexhider.