Dear Consumer Reports..

I have been an avid reader and subscriber of Consumer Reports for many years. I think you do a great service in policing the industry and standing up to the Manufactures of what's bad, unsafe and what's good for the consumer.

I have a beef with Dish network. I have been a customer for almost 9 years. I have upgraded from time to time on programming and ended up with their top 250, plus local channels, plus fox sports and second receiver. My monthly bill was $74 a mo. I recently purchase a new Sony 52'' LCD TV. So I called Dish to discuss up grade to Hi Def. They quoted $200 for their "$600" satellite receiver and would throw in a movie pkg. for three months free and another movie package for 1 cent for a year plus free installation plus another dish antenna to get hi def. satellite at 61.5 deg. The upgrade would be $10 mo. I said, no way, I see ads where you will give the receiver free for new customers and if I don't get it I'll drop you and sign up with Direct TV. The Gal said, Oh, OK your call is being transferred to another dept. The second gal said the receiver would cost me $50. Again I said no way and repeated my threat. Again my call was transferred. This time a guy apologized and said, he would give it to me free. However, I had to make a two year commitment and had to give a charge card so payments would be made automatically. I balked about that because we had been billed monthly and paying by check for 9 years. So we had a good payment history. By this time after being on the phone for several hours I reluctantly gave in on the credit card.

When the credit card statement came the first time a charge was made of $174. I called dish network and the guy said It was an "honest mistake", $50 of that charge was for the receiver. I was furious. After we got that straightened out I said the bill is still to high. Further investigation showed I was being billed for three month of "free movies" at $10 month. So they had billed me $80 too much. Then I said to the guy. You know, the Company you work for (Dish) is guilty of theft. They never have to borrow money to improve their infrastructure or expand operations, they just dip into their customers account with "honest mistakes"and have the use of free money for the time until it gets resolved. He said, I can't comment on that, I just work here. I said if we assume that in one months period 50,000 people make programming and upgrade changes and multiply that by $80 that would be 4.5 million dollars of free money to use. Then I told the guy I insist that I make payments by check because you're using my money, and go back to sending a monthly statements so I know what I'm being billed for. He said, Oh you can do that. You don't have to do it by credit card.?? The marketing strategy is to use complicated rules with constantly changing promotions and "give a ways" so as to make it difficult to know what precisely what you get for what you pay. Another deception is the free movies. You are actually charged for them on your bill and then later you get credit. Duh. Another requirement is to have a phone line connected to the receiver. If you don't then it's another $5 a mo. Is it possible they can record data on what you watch and then phone it back to Dish. Invasion of privacy?

Dave Straub

2612 H Rd.

Syracuse Ne. 68446.

Product or Service Mentioned: Dish Network Tv Package.

Company wrote 0 public responses to the review from Feb 07, 2009.
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go to comcast or directv and see what you pay.


I thought I would comment your rant on your frustration with Dish Network. I too have a similar beef with Dish Network. In Sept of 2007 I was lured into a Dish Network subscription with a free VIP722 HDDVR and free movie channels for 3 months. All was well, no problems, although the monthly bill was very confusing indeed. After awhile, I figured it out, somewhat. Feb of the following year I experienced a job loss. I had to cut my costs and my television service was one of the firsts. I went onto Ebay and purchased a model 322 Standard dual receiver for 50$. Free and clear, this box was purchased 3rd party, with noones outstanding balance, confirmed. I called dish to activate this receiver and to remove the 722.. all went well, except the part where these idiots couldnt tell me where to find my receiver numbers, which I later found on my own and read off to a rep, and had to repeat at least 5 times. I was told I was to receive a box to ship back my 722. All was well, although I never received my return box within 10 days. Come to find out, they added my 322 as an additional receiver, 5$/mo .. and a programming access fee 5$/mo ... I called and had this straightened out. After this call I did receive a box about a week 1/2 later, and I found a job also. I called back and told them I would be keeping my 722, thinking I could sell my 322 back on ebay. BIG MISTAKE.. this is where the fun started. A week or so after this call I started receiving boxes for the return of MY 322 I purchased on ebay, and also received a call from a rep regarding this. I explained this was MY owned receiver, and that I had bought it 3rd party. He asked if I had proof, which I didnt have on hand at the time, but asked if HE had written proof that this belonged to dish. I was told the matter was resolved. I received yet ANOTHER box, and an automated telephone call about returning MY own equipment. I asked to speak to a supervisor at this point. After speaking to a supervisor and explaining my situation I was assured that the problem was resolved. I used the "DirecTV" talk and was given some free movie channels for the problems. I was satisfied, up until I received a charge for 200$ plus tax on my American Express card for MY receiver. I was furious. Very. At this point, 2AM, I gave them a call. Immediately asked to speak with their supervisor, asked why, told them it doesnt concern them. I asked their supervisor in a nice tone, to review their notes on my acct, and tell me why I would be calling. I reminded him I had drafted letters to both the BBB and Echostar's Customer Relations dept regarding this matter, and it must be resolved to my satisfaction. I was refunded and given a free months service. Prlly could have asked for more but ***, Im not selfish, just wanted them to make it right. What a load of *** right? This story came to light recently because I am once again looking for work, and decided to reactivate my 322, saving me 25$/mo. The rep this time was nice enough to offer me a 5$ credit for 10 mos, and still receiving "Skinemax" until at least next Jan for 1 cent. I just waiting to see if I get my box, and if they try this sh*t again when I buy a DVR and get a new HDTV. We'll see.



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