Updated: June 14, 2013 at 10:14 am
After Jeremy Beach's Black Forest home burned to the ground Tuesday, leaving him with little more than the clothes on his back, he started making calls to cancel the trash pickup, utilities, and other services for a house that no longer exists.
Most of those providers were understanding, he said. Then he got to DirecTV.
They told him he would owe $400 for a satellite dish and two receivers destroyed in the blaze.
"I couldn't believe it," he said Thursday. "I had lost everything and they acted like they could care less."
Beach escaped the fire with his 5-year-old son, two dogs and his wife, who is 37 weeks pregnant with twins. They left behind chickens and a rabbit along with most of their possessions.
"I need that money to rebuild my life: cups, plates, shoes, a new bike for my kid. I got so angry I had to hang up."
This is not the first time locals hit by wildfires have found DirecTV less than sympathetic. During the Waldo Canyon fire in June 2012, when 347 homes in Mountain Shadows were destroyed, DirecTV also charged customers.
Many companies write off such losses. During the Waldo Canyon fire, the Pikes Peak Library District told people not to worry about books lost in the fire. Same with Comcast and CenturyLink with destroyed equipment.
A spokeswoman for DirecTV told The Gazette at the time that it was still charging because most peoples' insurance would cover the cost of its equipment. DirecTV did not respond to requests for comment Thursday.
Beach said DirecTV told him to get his insurance to pay.
"I tried to explain that a couple hundred dollars is nothing to them but a lot to me," said Beach. "I need that money. I can use it to buy diapers, clothes for my family."
UPDATE FROM A DIRECTV TWEET
Note: The Gazette hopes to talk with a DIRECTV representative Friday.