Our Dish Network TV Experience (So Far)

As I’ve noted previously, we don’t have the option of cable TV (or internet) at our new house. Thus, we’ve opted for DSL on the internet side, and Dish Network on the TV side. Yesterday afternoon I stopped by the local Dish reseller to set up service, and here’s a quick rundown of what I learned…

First off, we’re getting the “America’s Top 120” service package plus local channels on four TVs, two of which will be equipped with Dish DVR (their TiVo equivalent). This requires one dual-tuner box, and a dual-tuner DVR box. This is how the pricing breaks down:

America’s Top 120: $39.99/month
Local Channels: $5.00/month
Dual Tuner Box: $4.99/month
Dual Tuner DVR Box: $5.98/month
Activation: $49.99 one-time charge (credited back on first bill = free)

Grand Total: $55.96/month plus applicable taxes + free installation

In terms of promotions, they are currently offering a $100 rebate for America’s Top 120 (and above) — this comes as a $10 credit off your bill for your first ten months of service. They also said something about receiving a $5/month credit for plugging our setup into a phone jack (presumably so it can phone home with data on what you’ve been watching). I have no idea if this is true, but it would be a nice added bonus. The one thing that I’m not crazy about is the 18 month commitment. However, the previous owners had Dish Network and liked the service, so I’m confident that we’ll get good reception. And they have a 30 day money back guarantee in case we don’t like it and want to cancel. I called Dish (at 1-800-333-DISH) and verified that this is the same deal that they’re offering if you buy from them directly, so I figured I might as well throw some business to the local dealer.

Interestingly, the previous owners of our house had Dish network, and they left behind their receivers. When I asked if we could use those in place of the rented box, they said that I could, but that I would have to pay a $4.99/month programming fee instead of the $4.99/month rental fee — apparently they get their money one way or another! In view of this, I just went ahead and set it up with the newer units provided by Dish. Perhaps I can eBay the old ones?

All in all, this will end up being slightly more expensive than our previous cable deal, but we’re going to end up with more channels plus the DVR. If we had hooked up TiVo along with our cable, we would have had to buy the hardware, and also pay a monthly service fee, making Dish a (slightly) better deal. And besides, cable is no longer an option.

Anyway, our installation is scheduled for Friday between 12:00-5:00. Now I just hope that they can be as prompt as the BellSouth service technician (who arrived three minutes before the start of his four hour service window).

For more information on moving, check out my Roadmap for a Successful Relocation.

29 Responses to “Our Dish Network TV Experience (So Far)”

  1. Anonymous

    Hello! I had att uverese and it was great! But’ I started to have problems with the audio nd they could not fix it! I made the mistake of going with dishnet. Because ive only had them for 3 days and their costumer sevices gave me attitude,because I call and told them that they offer me one thing and did not get what they told me! Now after 3 days I want to canccel but dont know how to get off the contract! Lookig for help!????

  2. Anonymous

    I’ve been a customer of DishNetwork for over 4 years and have to say that I have nothing but good things to say about them. I subscribe to their service via ATT and recently ATT tried to get me to switch to DirectTv because that is the new service they have partnered up with. Needless to say I agreed because I was told I would be saving money. And then the Bull**** began. I was told I would be getting service at a low price of $39.99 a month for a year and then $65.00 every month after that. I was impressed by how quickly DirectTv wanted to send someone out to my house for setup of their equiptment.Within 1-2 days. I had to reschedule the date (THANK GOD) to a later date then what was orignally scheduled..that gave me some time to look a little further into direct tv and thank the lord I did. I noticed that the low monthly price of $39.99 was only AFTER I turned in some sort of “rebate” through them. I didnt have any of that information so I called Direct Tv’s customer service and was put on the phone with a RUDE service rep that speedily went through instructions for rebate. I asked her how long it would take for them to recieve my rebate so that I could schedule my installation app. for after they have recieved it. She told me “MMMMMM it doesnt take long at all”. From her responce I already was a little put off and iffy about the situation so I got off the phone with this lousy rep and did some research on direct tv. This is what I found in the FINE print. If I did not send in my rebate PRIOR to installation of equiptment I would be charged the original rate of $65.00 until I turned in a rebate. I also found out in the fine print that it takes 6-8 weeks for them to get the rebate information into their “system”(remember what the rude rep said?”mmm it shouldnt take long” 6-8 weeks long?!. ( Now I know why they wanted to send someone out so quickly for setup) They would have charged me $65.00 until my rebate went through! So even IF I had turned in my rebate before installation it wouldnt have showed up in their system (convienently) until 6-8 weeks after that!! UNBELIEVABLE! I wasnt even yet a Direct Tv customer and they were already bending and stretching the truth to their convenience. Imagine how they would treat me after a 2 year contract?!?! Needless to say I cancelled my order and appointment for set up and told them to kick rocks. I found out after if I had not cancelled prior to setup I would have been charged an outrageous fee of $480 for cutting my contract with them, even within 30 days if I wasnt satisfied with their service. HORRRRRRRRRRIBLE company and even worse customer service!!! I’m so glad I stayed with Dishnetwork…I called them about my bill and managed to get the service rep to give me $5 off my bill for the next 10 months and they also sent me out a wireless wall jack so I could plug my reciever in and get another additional $5 off my bill! savings of $10 so far. Which in this economy the way it is right now I am not going to complain about.

  3. Anonymous

    Installed dish network on 2 TV’s a week a go – big mistake. I have had Cox Cable for years with no issues, responsive customer service that showed up at an agreed time. Installation of Dish Network on 2 TV’s took from 1PM to 8.30PM and that was just for a temporay dish – they have to come back and install a permanent one – more time off work. The only reason I ordered it was for Setanta sports that is not available via my local cable company and I wish I had not now. 6 days into it I have been without TV for 24 hours – it was a bit windy yesterday and have had no signal – still waiting for the technician to come as they could not fix the issue over the phone – what a joke. The only thing they are quick to do is send the bill – no wonder they hook you in for 2 years as based on this experience I would cancel today and go back to cable and just live without Setanta sports. If you are happy with cable stay with it.

  4. Anonymous

    We recently got Dishnetwork and it is the worst thing I have ever done. We have 3 TV’s and only two work. We have called customer service so many times and re-ceived different things to do and nothing works. On top of that they said they would send someone out and he didn’t even look at the TV and said he would have to charge us $50 to teach us how to use the transmitter. I have never had so much trouble with a company.

    Get back to cable….dishnetwork is a total rip off.

  5. Anonymous

    Be careful at the end of your contract with Dish Network! They jack up their prices big time. The rate that you are getting is to get you in the door, then at the end of the contract the prices go up and they hope that you are to lazy to send everything back (DVR and Dish Heads) or they just hope that you keep paying the higher rate. You can call them to find out what your normal rate will be after the 18 months is over. BTW…I have OTA and love my FREE High Definition broadcast!!

  6. Anonymous

    Can someone please help me with a problem. We have bellsouth internet dsl which comes in on our home phone line. We hooked up the phone line to the receiver using a type of splitter.

    However, my receiver does not get a dial tone so we are being charged the extra $5 a month. What are we doing wrong?


  7. Anonymous

    Eat my turd sandwich-you moron. Your comment just proves what I said has validity. You’re probably lying when you say you have sued Dish Network and won. Give me a break! If that’s true, why don’t you provide the case # and details to back up your claim? Because you’re a liar and probably a lazy shit who blames everyone else for your problems. By the way, my Dish Network service has been awesome so far and I love it!! I’m sure you’ll respond to this posting (Once you get my turd out of your mouth) with some more lame comments. Grow up you big whiner!!!

  8. Anonymous

    I read all your responses and most of them are lame!! I just ordered Dish Network after doing research and reading all I could on their website and every complaint I hear in this posting was covered somewhere on the site (some in the fine print). Word of advice: Most big companies are out to get as much money from you as they can. Now that you know that, stop whining, do your research, read the fine print, etc, etc, etc. All the problems I see here seem to be the fault of the writer’s for either being too lazy to find out or too stupid to know better. Thanks.

  9. Anonymous

    I had bad experience with dishnetwork too. when I ordered dish, they didn’t tell me that i need to hook up telephone line with dishnetwork receiver. Now they are saying i have to hook up the phone line, otherwise they will charge $5 extra. My problem is i have little kids and i can’t run phone cable in the hallway. Now i have no option since I am in a agreement. This is ridiculous that I don’t see relation between telephone and dishnetwork. this is another way pulling the money from the customer.


  10. Anonymous

    I had a bad experience with Dish Network so far. I just had it hooked up yesterday. I placed an order with Sterling Satellite on the Web, got a print out of the order for the service, equipment, and monthly cost and phoned them to set up the installation. I verified the cost and service with two of their agents when I set up the installation date and both confirmed everything. When I got the system installed and noticed that they had enabled the wrong service (HD), I phoned them and they said they could not honor my original order, even though I had it printed out black on white, and I could still go to the Sterling site and place the same exact order. They would not allow me to cancel as they said that I was locked in for 18 month (on a service I did not request) … again, I had the order in black and white and could still place the same exact order that they were not honoring. I offered to fax or E-mail it to them, the customer service agent said they do not have fax or e-mail access (I think that is a lie!). After an hour of discussion we came to an agreement as they were NOT willing to honor my order and would NOT let me cancel without paying a huge fine (so much for the 30 day money back guarantee! … I guess this only kicks in once you take them to court.) they downgraded the equipment/service, so I ended up paying the amount I had ordered for lower end equipment and service. I would NOT go with them again, as far as I am concerned what they have done is fraudulent and false advertising. By the way, if you have a dual tuner … you MUST plug in the phone or they charge you $5 dollars EXTRA(it is not a rebate as described above, but they charge you extra if you do not have it plugged in at all time “at their sole discretion”. This was also not stated on my order!

  11. Anonymous

    Dish Network has the worst service ever.After my father passed away I traveled out of state to help my Mom.I canceled service with them and returned an extra receiver that I had just ordered.They said my refund for the receiver would be credited in 7-10 days. This was 7 months ago and still no refund.I have made several attempts when I got back in town and they lie right thru their teeth to me.I have a tracking number from UPS for their receiver that was never used and cost me 113.00.They will rob you blind.Be careful with this company!!!

  12. Anonymous

    Does the newest Dishnetwork DVR need a phone line connected to it? I have Dish standard issue recievers and use them without the phoneline with no problems and I don’t pay an extra $5 a month either. I also have Tivo and have it connect to the internet to get the programming, updates, etc… for Tivo. I was curious if anyone knew the answer because I would prefer to have my Dish recievers and DVR all in one. It would be cheaper and I would prefer not having a land line again.

  13. Anonymous

    The phone line hookup is not required at all. The thing is, like they said above, the Box updates itself automatically- every night at 3am PST (atleast for me) in order to keep the software current. If you choose not to hook up a phone line, they make you set-up the auto-update (huge pain in the ass to set up) setting, where the box gets the new software through the dish satellite signal rather than the phone line. This service adds a $5 fee. So you are not getting a “phone line discount”, but rather avoiding a fee. I use my cell for everything and I don’t have a land line so I just had to pay it.

  14. Anonymous

    Dishnetwork Service Sucks , If you call the service to take a new dishnetwork, evry time you call them they tell you the different rate for the package. If you don’t know about the package rate, they tell you the higher rate for the package and then if you negotiate for the rate , they reduce the rate.
    They are not professional , they are like gamblers. I have those F…..

  15. Anonymous

    I just purchased dish network,with dvr,however even after reading the manual i still do not have a clue as what to do with dvr. we have it on 2 tv,s i don’t know how i did this but on the living room tv i could not understand why every time i turned the tw on the same ring was for sale, for about a month will someone please buy that ring. lol

  16. Anonymous

    I don’t know about having a DVR, but it’s not necessary to *keep* your phone line hooked up to order and view PPV movies or just to view TV. When I want to order a PPV movie, I plug into my phone jack and as soon as the movie starts I unplug. I was told it was necessary to be constantly plugged in when I had DirecTV installed, but I read a couple of months ago where a TV news station busted DirecTV for forcing its installers to tell every new customer they had to be connected via phone line at all times – http://urlsnip.com/105177. I learned by doing (because I didn’t want a phone cord stretched across the room) that the plug-in is totally unnecessary – everything except ordering movies works fine without it and I get my upgrades when I plug in to order PPV.

  17. Anonymous

    Dish Network is awesome! We have the Top 120 and a Dual Tuner DVR. It is sweet. Also, we use a splitter on tuner 2 so that we can have a signal on more than two TVs… (but we can only have two at a time). It works out great because if I am downstairs, the kids can watch their shows in the game room. If I am in my room, the kids can watch their shows downstairs.

    Also, the phone line is used to make sure your equipment is at the address you are being billed for. If you have multiple receivers, and a second dish, you could take the second receiver and go to another house with it. So, you could essentially split the bill. Not bad for only having to deal with a $5 fee. Further, you could setup VoIP and have a remote line setup for the Dish to use at the other house.

  18. Anonymous

    I’ve had Dish since DirecTV screwed me over a few years ago. Their CSRs are very helpful if you have problems; however, don’t decide you want additional hook-ups after you’ve been with them a few years because they can’t get it together. I’ve spoken with two different CSRs on the phone and to three via email(five total), and every one tells me a different story – I own/don’t own my receivers, and I can/cannot have the number of hook-ups I want. I finally got them to tell me I can have one or more additional hook-ups, but I have to pay the install fee whereas if they’d installed the additional one I want in December when I had some others installed, it would have been only one service fee. Aside from this, though, Dish has been great reception- and service-wise.

  19. Anonymous

    That’s great. We use Dish Network as well and have the DVR receiver that works in 2 rooms and the basic receiver in another room. We pay roughly the same amount as you too. All in all it’s a great deal.

    Since the receivers have to be connected to a phone line, my husband crawled up in the attic and ran phone, tv, and networking lines where we wanted them. In the living room, we’ve got 2 tv lines, 1 phone line and cat5 all in one jack that connects the dvr, tv, and xbox. We love it!

  20. Anonymous

    There are a couple reasons to keep the phone plugged in. 1) When you do Pay-Per-View, it uses the phone line. 2) More importantly, it’s to get software upgrades for your receivers. We did not have either of our receivers plugged in and we received a call from Dish. There was a mandatory upgrade about 6-9 months ago. If you aren’t plugged in to the phone jack, you can’t get the upgrade. Without the upgrade, our satellite programming would have stopped working. So they had to call everyone who does not have a phone jack and talk them through how to do the software upgrade manually. If they can entice us (with a $5 credit) to “plug in” this will save them lots of operational costs when these types of events do take place (which is about once a year, they said).

  21. Anonymous

    I too had no option but satellite when I moved into my home. I decided to go with Dish network. I love it. I have pretty much the same setup as you (only I got 3 months of free movie channels instead of the $100). The only problems I’ve had are when it rains hard, I often lose signal and my neighbor and I had the same frequencies for our TV2 remote, so we kept changing each others channels. I was able to call Dish and fix the problem quickly. Hope you enjoy it.

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