I live for these kinds of customer service stories. I learned this just today from my friend Lisa who lives in Austin, Texas.
The set-up: Lisa's brother used to live with her in house in Austin. When they decided to get DirecTV for the household, the account was put under the name/account info of her brother Dan. To make a long story short, when Dan moved out, Lisa decided to get the account switched over to her own name.
The verdict: Agents at DirecTV told Lisa firmly that they couldn't do this. It was against policy...no account switching was allowed, she would have to start from the beginning and apply for an account herself, linked to her social security number, credit, address, etc. Finally realizing the idiocy of the situation and realizing she would never get the agent to see reason, she said, "Fine".
The result: She is currently waiting at home for DirecTV to come to her home, REMOVE THE CURRENT EQUIPMENT AND REPLACE IT WITH IDENTICAL EQUIPMENT for her "new account."
The cherry on top? As a "new customer," she will get one month free of DirecTV.
Telecom companies are truly their own worst enemies.