Never accuse Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick of punting on problems when he finds them.
The freshman city commissioner put out a press release this morning saying he took a look at his DIRECTV bill and noticed he was being charged $37.49 a month for an "NFL Sunday Ticket" package he did not ask for.
“They’re trying to steal money from innocent people," he says in the release.
Novick—who oversees the city's transportation and emergency management and communications bureaus— says “there oughtta be a law against this kind of thing,” and that his office has asked the Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum's office to see if the practice violates any rules.
He wants DIRECTV users to know now, Novick says, as he spotted a note on the side of the bill saying subscribers must cancel the package before Sept. 8, when the NFL season starts.
“Apparently they gave me this package for free when I signed up last year – I didn’t even know about it,” Novick says, “and now they’re billing me for a ‘renewal.’ I’m sure they’re doing this to millions of other people. They’re counting on people who use automatic bill pay to not even look at their bill, and if you don’t notice it until after September 8, they’ll say ‘sorry, you’re out of luck.’”
Novick's statement did not elaborate on what he's got against the greatest sport on television.
Update 11 am: The Attorney General's office is looking into Novick's complaint, spokesman Jeff Manning confirms.
Upon receiving a complaint, the first step our consumer protection folks take is to ask the subject of the complaint for their side of the story, which can take 15 days, Manning says. They're still waiting on a response from DIRECTV. He adds his office has had "a lot" of complaints against the company dating back to the mid-1990s, with 49 already in 2013.