Warning: TV is a “Non-Essential Service” and DirecTV Viewers are Being Disconnected Amid Billing Disputes

In the midst of a worldwide pandemic, where information is essential, corporate says your DirecTV service is for “entertainment only.”

Joel Eisenberg
4 min readApr 10, 2020


Last night was Passover.

My wife prepared a special dinner in the midst of the pandemic. She does amazing things with food, and though we didn’t have the requisite Jewish accoutrements or typical Seder-style food this year, the dinner was amazing.

At about 8PM I re-entered my home office, turned on the television, and received this message:

I unplugged the television to try to reboot. The new screen returned with “Error Code 726,” along with information about how to “refresh” our service.

We had never had this issue before. I followed the instructions, logged onto the DirecTV.com website, and was unable to complete the instructions as the website too said: “No servers were detected.”

I again tried to fix the issue manually; unplugging the television then plugging it back. The new message read, “Your account is only authorized for 0 locations. You must remove 3 locations from the list below.”

The three locations were all the rooms in which we have DirecTV service.

I tried calling the 800 customer service number. They were closed. The recording said they opened at 8 Eastern.

I called at 5AM Pacific the following morning. Today. The supervisor I spoke to told me my service was disconnected, and we would have to pay $199 for its resumption.

This was unacceptable. I just went through a dispute with them not two weeks prior when they had disconnected our service. The dispute was allegedly resolved, the bill was paid. That was that.

Last night, on Passover, they disconnected us again. Nine days later, on a holiday. I spoke to a company supervisor this morning. He said they cannot reinstate the service until we pay…



Joel Eisenberg

Joel Eisenberg is an award-winning author, screenwriter, and producer. The Oscar in the profile pic isn’t his but he’s scheming. WGA and Pen America member.