Dish Network over charges during introductory period and you miss the start of games

http://www.my3cents.com/showReview.cgi?id=97579
same this happened to my grandma. they told her $29.95 for a year and after 4 months they raise the bill by $10 and claim that she is making up terms.
Here are her charges for this year:

  1. Jan $25.75
  2. Feb $25.75
  3. Mar $35.75
  4. Apr $35.75
  5. May $42.25 at this point I think $6.50 insurance was added
  6. Jun $42.25

At this point she calls. See the pattern?

Like my gma, here is another story of a person being suckered into the $24.95 a month dish network introductory offer and being overcharged and lied to. From this I found out that they change their price every february and the introductory offer is an OFFER NOT A CONTRACT. How can these people sleep at night? Specifically, the contract/agreement readsthat they:

“reserve the right to change rates at any time”

Also, her favorite baseball games often do not start until the second inning! It is just a blank screen saying to check back later. That is nuts. It isn’t delayed either, it is CUT OFF. What sports fan would put up with that? Sports games start late on the Root sports channel on dish network. You WILL miss the start of your game – maybe not every time but often. Hopefully one of your friends has comcast so you can call them up and listen to your favorite player making a home run int he first inning. She called up to complain and they told her to watch fox but the game wasnt even on there.

“Never Miss Another Game With DISH Network!” is an outright lie. how can they say that? When you call up they just say to watch fox – but the game isnt even playing on fox! who would have the gall to say such a thing to a sports fan? Here is a similar problem with blacked out games you were promised to have.

On top of all that she has had a problem with her caller ID showing up on the TV. After sending out a tech and sending her 3 replacement boxes I looked around and found the issue: you can’t plug the box into a power strip because it communicates over the electrical lines. I can’t believe they couldn’t trouble shoot that on the phone. Ridiculous.

But wait, it gets better. they say they have over 200 channels in HD but they are counting  on demand channels as well! In the words on one reviewer, “It is no good having 200 channels if they are all reruns or infomercials.”

Also, they are limiting people who have weekend homes to just 3 boxes.

Oh and I came upon this tidbit of information, Dish Network sells thier serves through third parties so it doesn’t matter what THEY say your bill will be, Dish Network can charge you whatever it wants to!

Here is an account of insurance being added onto your bill and you have to pay a fee to have the fee removed -LOL. In the same post the discuss junk channels added to pad their channel list with one of the channels beign BEANO – yeah, a whole channel about flatulence and how to get rid of it. You couldn’t make this stuff up. Later on in the post they demand that she provide them the contract at her expense or it would take weeks for them to retrieve it. My ass – it is all digital pushbutton instant. lies, lies, lies. They just want to know if you have anything to sue them with because if you don’t have the document you can be sure they won’t provide you with a signed copy of the original to use against them!

Another note on insurance – it only pays for half the bill! OMFG – this is crazy world!

any change, even an upgrade, starts a new contract period running.

And don’t even get me started on the $50 credit for signing up new people. I don’t know if anyone gets it but grandma didn’t. She may or may not have got paperwork in the mail (necessitating her to jump through hoops, document and then probably call and contest) but she is 86 years old -I wonder if Charlie thinks his grandma could have  gone through all that.

if the tech offers you a free upgrade, be weary and record it. expect to fight a bill for $49 later, this will be the respose:

“We send out contractors to do that work in the field. They wear our uniform and represent our company and drive our service trucks, but since they are independent contractors, we are not bound by anything they say. This technician misinformed you that it would be free, and you must pay.”

– enjoy your “free” upgrade! ( I think the trick they are using here is called the “cat’s paw” technique of liability deception_someone should write a book about this)

Four rooms for one price? Yeah right. Once price plus $5 per reciever.
Dish network will change the name of their packages and use that to justify a price increase.

Upon cancellation in addition to the boxes they want their dish back. They don’t care if you are a grandma and it is snowing out but eventually they give up. I wonder if anyone has gotten hurt trying to take it down and successfully sued?

new receivers are free. oh, wait…the installation was free, now that is is installed it is $14 a month.

New FREE channels added without you asking – only $5 a month! wow.

Tips for dealing with Dish Network customer service:

  • when you sign or agree to a contract, the monthly price is never guaranteed.
  • use online chat only, that way you can document all interaction and email i to yourself for safekeeping.
  • do not plug it into the telephone jack if you want to have more than three boxes (or have a vacation home you want to share the sub with)
  • if you talk to a supervisor they will just read a script and won’t help at all. Many companies just hand the call to another person who isn’t even a supervisor anyway.
  • anytime they offer you “a deal” be weary. it is a way to make you feel special and they probably wont live up to it or it will have ridiculous conditions or fees. If you take the special, record your conversation and document all conversations. preferably with online chat.
  • When you cancel they will harass you with phone calls and threaten because you haven’t returned the boxes yet – but you are waiting for their prepaid boxes to arrive! I think this is to scam you into mailing it at your own expense.
  • take care of all issues and terms when you are a new customer, after that you are a number
  • if you are feeling picked on and sad try yahoo-ing “dish network lawsuits” and take your pick. lots of consumers sue them, contacting your attorney general is a good first step toward real resolution (read:disconnection) or actually suing them, like this person did – and they won!
  • change the credit card account they are auto billing with. expect to get cancelled and fined.
  • even if you document everything don’t expect to get your way. They have amazing ways of reinventing definitions of words and layering meanings. It is a language game and they play it every day, you will lose.

you should know that dish network settled a huge 46 state lawsuit for “unfair sales practices” but the settlement didn’t admit fault. their response: all of their business practices followed the letter of the law. Of course they did. that is what an office building of lawyers affords you.

The states accused DISH Network of the following, pretty much everything posted here:

  • Representing to consumers that the company isn’t responsible for the conduct of its third-party retailers and installers.
  • Making telemarketing calls to consumers in violation of Do Not Call rules.
  • Failing to disclose all terms and conditions of their customer agreements, including the availability of rebates, credits and free offers.
  • Not disclosing that purchased or leased equipment was previously used and/or refurbished.
  • Making reference to competitors’ price offers when the goods or services being compared were materially different.
  • Charging customer credit cards and debiting bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.

In short, if I ran a small local business like dish network does I wouldn’t last a month. But I would probably be charging $200 a month for tv as well :)  Oh, wait, direct tv is only $5 a month more. Oh wait, they have been successfully sued by the attorney general in my state for the same thing.

Note: it really has been fun to compile these stories and I got most of them off just one website. I consider it a testament to the power of corporations over humans. It is the way the rules are set up, they have more power and their only goal is profit. fighting your tv provider isn’t going to solve the problem, the provider is just a symptom of an outcome of a root cause, that primarily being supreme court decisions that were never and have never had a single deliberation on the floor of this nation’s house or senate. Hmmm…I wonder why no one is talking about that?

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