Refunds for Boob Tube Rubes 

Admit it: Deep down, you've always suspected that "fine print" in advertising is an excuse to rip you off. Now you might be able to back your paranoia up with a check. On Monday, satellite TV provider--and big-time Boise employer--DirecTV agreed to offer refunds to remote jockeys in 22 states who were affected by the company's deceptive advertising and teency-weency fine print.

Here's who's eligble: customers who were charged a fee for not activating their subscription; did not receive local channels as promised; or were charged a termination fee for canceling their service before the "free programming offer" ended. DirecTV will review each written refund to determine who is eligible.

If you think your beef qualifies, download a complaint form from the Idaho Attorney General's Web site at www.ag.idaho.gov or by calling 344-2424. Idaho residents outside of Boise should call (800) 432-3525. The office will then send the complaints to DirecTV. Or you can send a refund request directly to the company at DirecTV State Complaint Program, P.0. Box 29079, Glendale, CA, 91209-9079. The deadline for submitting comments is May 11 of next year, but if you actually watch enough TV to qualify for one, you probably don't have the attention span to wait that long. So do it now.

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