I’m starting to feel like a broken record here, but I think we’re getting close to the end of our Dish Network saga… About a week after filing a complaint against our Dish Network reseller, I still hadn’t heard back from the Better Business Bureau, so I decided to escalate the situation on my own… I hopped on over to Yahoo! Finance and looked up the contact information for Dish’s parent company, EchoStar Communications Corporation (DISH). Once I had the number for their corporate headquarters (it’s 303-723-1000, by the way), I grabbed the phone and settled in for a fight.
When the receptionist picked up, I explained that I’ve been having trouble with my Dish Network service and that the ‘regular’ customer service reps had been unable to help me. I then asked if they had a higher level of customer service that could intervene. She said yes, and asked if I’d be willing to hold while she got someone. I agreed, and after a ten minute wait I was speaking to someone in their Corporate Customer Service wing.
After explaining for the umpteenth time that we hadn’t received the $49.99 credit for what should have been a ‘free’ installation because the reseller screwed up and failed to note that I had signed an 18 month agreement, the rep explained to me that the reseller is responsible for setting up the account, so I really need to deal with them. I then re-explained that I had been trying to deal with the reseller for nearly three months, and had gotten nowhere. After a bit more prompting, she agreed to put me on hold and call the reseller on my behalf. A few minutes later she was back on the line. Apparently the reseller claimed (as they have been telling me for months) that they’ve been trying to send the paperwork to Dish to change the account, but they’ve had no luck. I told her that’s the same runaround that I’ve been getting all along, and so she put me on hold again and went to speak to her ‘Promotions Manager’.
When she got back on the line, she had good news… The Promotions Manager had agreed to manually change our account to reflect the 18 month agreement. According to her, this means that we’ll be receive the $49.99 credit on our next bill, and that we also now qualify for the Digital Home Protection Plan free for the duration of our contract. This service, which is basically an extended warranty on our Dish hardware, normally runs $5.99/month. I wouldn’t have paid for it in the first place, but since it’s free, I’ll take it. I just have to remember to cancel it at the end of our contract, as I’m sure they’ll automatically ‘upgrade’ us to the paid version as soon as our agreement lapses.
Anyway, I digress… The bottom line here is that going straight to the corporate mothership was the most direct route to salvation. Granted, I spent 32 minutes on the phone (yes, I’m anal, and I time stuff like this). But this saga is now (hopefully) coming to an end.
As an aside, escalating things to the corporate level is often a good way of getting satisfaction. I had similarly frustrating troubles with service on my Apple laptop about 18 months ago. The logic board had gone out for the second or third time, and the replacement part was on seemingy eternal backorder. I was finally able to get this resolved by going to Apple’s Corporate Customer Care. Their solution? They sent me a brand new laptop in place of my nearly three year old PowerBook that was almost out of AppleCare coverage. The replacement was the current top of the line, complete with a new warranty, and eligible for three more years of AppleCare. Some companies just know how to take care of their customers. Apple is right up there with Hampton Inn in my book.
Oh, by the way… Later in the day I finally got an e-mail confirmation from the Better Business Bureau saying that they’re on the case, and that they will be working for a resolution. They also asked me to notify them if I had resolved the situation on my own. Given my experience thus far, I decided that I’m going to leave the BBB on the case until I actually see the credit for our installation fee show up on our bill.
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