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The Dish Network Runaround

Written by Nickel - 15 Comments

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I haven’t had a good rant in awhile, so please bear with me… Last night I was going through our mail getting caught up with everything that had come in since the move when I ran across the bill for our Dish Network TV Service. As it turns out, Dish requires that you pay a $49.99 installation fee, and then they credit it back to you on your first bill. Seems like an awkward arrangement, but it’s not hard to guess why they do it that way…

Not surprisingly, we didn’t receive the $49.99 credit that we were promised. Naturally, I was a bit ticked off by this, so I gave them a call at 1-800-333-DISH to find out their side of the story. I was informed that this credit is only available to those who sign up for an 18 month commitment. I knew this, which is part of the reason that we opted for the long term commitment (the 18 month commitment also entitles you to the Dish Home Protection Plan for the term of your agreement at no charge). But according to them, we hadn’t. The funny thing is that I’m looking at the contract right now, and they’re just plain wrong

When I tried to explain this to the CSR, she said “Well sir, there’s nothing I can do to help you. You’ll have to contact the retailer that bought our service from.” I responded that it wasn’t my problem — clearly there was a screwup between the retailer and Dish. Why should I have to sort it out? Her response was to simply repeat what she had already said. I then reminded her that I was well within the 30 day satisfaction guarantee (and not actually under contract, according to their records), and was thus free to cancel if they tried to play games. Guess what? Sbahe actually offered to cancel my service.

At that point I asked to speak to a supervisor. The CSR asked why, and I replied that I wasn’t happy with the service that she was providing. She then tried to repeat the same old song and dance, but I cut across her and insisted that I be allowed to speak to a supervisor. When I finally got transferred, the supervisor wasn’t much better… There’s nothing we can do, call the retailer, etc. When I pressed her on why they couldn’t simply straighten it out themselves, she replied that we’ve only had the service for seven days, so they hadn’t received any information from the retailer and didn’t know who to call. Huh? We just GOT A BILL. How could they bill us if they hadn’t received any information from the retailer? At that point she backtracked, stated that they can’t make outgoing calls from their call center, and then offered me a $10 credit for my trouble.

So there you have it. The TV service has been great. The customer service, not so much. And now I get to call the retailer in the morning and try to get this straightened out. To be honest, this whole episode has me questioning whether or not I want the installation fee credited back to me… Maybe I’d be better off paying for the installation and retaining flexibility when it comes to dealing with them, as opposed to signing a long term agreement.

As an aside, it was far more difficult to get them to offer me any sort of ‘reparations’ (the $10 credit) than is typical for other companies under similar circumstances. This was also just the second time in my life when a CSR jumped at the chance to cancel my account — the other time was a problem that I was having with our Discover Card. When I pushed the CSR to straighten out the problems, she suggested that I might want to close my account instead. So I did. But not before I spoke to a supervisor about the way I had been treated.

Anyway, that’s the end of my rant.

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Published on June 16th, 2006 - 15 Comments
Filed under: House & Home

About the author: is the founder and editor-in-chief of this site. He's a thirty-something family man who has been writing about personal finance since 2005, and guess what? He's on Twitter!

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Comments (scroll down to add your own):

  1. Wow. I can not understand companies that actively try to get you to leave their service. That just seems silly.

    Good luck with the retailer. Hopefully, they will give you great service to make up for it.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2006 @ 10:28 am
  2. The real question is were you talking to Kate in California or “Irene” in India?

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2006 @ 10:58 am
  3. Why does the ethnicity of the CSR mattter? You want good service either way and there isn’t one group or the other that gives good or bad service (communication can be a different issue at times, though)

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2006 @ 1:25 pm
  4. The retailer ended up faxing me another copy of the contract, which I signed and faxed back. They claim that it’s not uncommon for Dish to lose these, as they get faxed to a central number without any confirmation of receipt. Whatever. Hopefully this takes care of it.

    Comment by Nickel — Jun 16th 2006 @ 2:29 pm
  5. I just love a good Nickel rant! 😉

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2006 @ 3:00 pm
  6. Arnold,

    You made my point for me. Ethnicity is a direct lead into a communication gap in customer service roles. You can not tell me you do not get frustrated when you call a customer service line and Bob in Indian answers.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2006 @ 3:41 pm
  7. I had a similar experience with a CSR from a credit card company once. I had asked them to lower my interest rate. They declined. I indicated that it was too high and I was going to pay off the card and close the account. They said “Ok! Thank you for being a customer.” So I did. I was kind of surprised they’d just let a customer go so easily. It just goes to show, that as individual customers, we don’t mean very much to many of the large corporations.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 16th 2006 @ 8:18 pm
  8. In November, 2005 I called to request the installation of three additional lines in my home(I had one at the time). I was told I could only have two more because I owned my dish. I argued with them that I don’t. I spoke with several reps and emailed a few, some who agree that the dish is theirs, and some who say it’s mine. It’s really bad when a company doesn’t even know whether property is theirs or someone else’s! This is no problem to them because they will leave the dish sit where it is when I quit them or move.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 17th 2006 @ 12:49 am
  9. Oh good grief, as a csr for a major cell phone provider it gets REALLY old people threatening to cancel their account because they don’t get what they want. However, I do hope you have your dish woes taken care of.

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 27th 2006 @ 7:37 am
  10. Nikki, while I understand the sentiments of your comment, I was digging around for free minutes. Rather, I was asking for them to fulfill their obligation under the terms of the contract. The problem was between Dish and their subcontractor, yet they forced me to solve it.

    When a major corporation such as this fails to live up to the terms of their obligation, the ‘little guy’ has very little leverage. About the only thing that you can do is threaten to cancel your service, and then actually follow through if they still balk at their responsibilities. Yes, I can file complaints here and there, but the only thing that I can do that will have any immediate effect is to cancel my service.

    Comment by Nickel — Jun 27th 2006 @ 11:00 am
  11. hi what the hell do i do with the dish that was left on my roof can i keep it is it mine or what .

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 11th 2006 @ 8:22 pm
  12. It is the mentality of people like Nikki that drive so many customers crazy. There is someone like Nikki on the end of the line everytime you call to get satisfaction from one of these major companies. Someone who is probably a decent person but has no sense of pride in resolving these issues. As a result she has been screamed at and threatened by so many people that she begins to think that her job is to just tolerate the customer who is complaining and put them off or run them off, either way she doesn’t care and she doesn’t do anything because she is tired of her job and isn’t that good at it anyway.

    Comment by Anonymous — Aug 29th 2007 @ 6:40 pm
  13. Dish Network is the worst company I have ever dealt with. They ignore certified mail to their registered agent. They assert contractual commitments that do not exist. They demand return of hardware that they installed 60′ above ground, and which is by law now a permanent part of the home, apparently as a way to harass customers and attempt to extract more money. DO NOT MAKE THE MISTAKE I MADE, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH THESE CREEPS. If you are considering canceling service with them, make sure that you change the number on any credit card you have ever used with them. If you ever let them draft a payment on your checking account, close the account and open a new one. No matter big the hassle and expense, it is nothing compared to what they may do to you. PLEASE: Write your state’s attorney general about these folks – they need to be put in their place.

    Comment by Anonymous — Nov 6th 2009 @ 1:18 pm
  14. The Dish network is a scam. I would love to file a lawsuit against these guys, we got charged for money and now i am spending hours to get a mere 70 bucks credited back which should not have been charged in the first place. What a piece of sh!t business.everytime i try and explain, and finally they cut me off!. do not buy dish, its a waste of time….

    Thanks I plan to write to the states attorney general …I may also file a small claims court suit

    Comment by Anonymous — Jun 19th 2011 @ 5:02 pm
  15. @Ram Shankar – I can understand how this can be frustrating; I know how it can be.

    I would need more information to provide accurate details regarding the $70 as it could be related to a cancellation fee, or a payment.

    I apologize for any frustrations and because this was 7 months back I hope it has been resolved for you. If not you can ask me any questions here, or for sensitive information you can e-mail me at [email protected]

    Tommy Faust
    DISH Internet Response Team

    Comment by Anonymous — Jan 10th 2012 @ 10:57 am

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