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Dish Network / fraudulent billing

1 United States Review updated:
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I have had DISH Network installed for over four years now. I have one PVR/Dual-Tuner receiver (522), and one single-tuner receiver (311) installed. These tuners are garbage and freeze, lock up, mangle video, and generally misbehave, but that is not why I am writing today.

In March, I requested that DISH Network discontinue an add-on channel package. I was assured over the phone that the programming change would take place that evening. As this matched my prior experience, I thought little more of it and life went on as before. All my bills are automatically paid through my credit card and bank account, and I am completing a dissertation, so this was not exactly #1 on my priority list. Besides, DISH had been responsive before and took care of programming changes (adding packages) easily in the past, so surely this wouldn't be an issue, right?

Wrong.

In November, I noticed that my satellite bill was over $100. Odd. I looked into it, and I was still being charged for the add-on package - I had been charged continuously since March! I promptly submitted a billing question via their online form, only to find out that my email address was marked 'invalid.' Odd. I looked at the form and took note of where it was going - tech@echostar.com - and wrote an email from my account. I then waited 48 hours for a response.

After receiving nothing so much as an acknowledgement of receipt after 2 days of waiting, I went back to DISH Network's web site. In looking at my statement, I noticed that it is now possible to disconnect service/packages from the account over the web - something that is new. I put in an order to disconnect the package, then wrote a follow-up email to my first (again to tech@echostar.com) to let them know that I'd discontinued the service via their web site. The last thing I wanted to hear was, 'we took care of that in November!'

I decided to try their web site form again, this time using a different email address. This time, the form went through and I awaited a response. A couple more days went by and I still heard nothing. I decided to get satisfaction through my credit card company and filed disputes in the value of the pacakge plus tax on the package.

I then forwarded my original email to the CEO and head of customer service, and filed a BBB complaint. I heard nothing further about my original email. However, I did get feedback from my BBB complaint.

I received a phone call the next day from a woman in Denver - the corporate headquarters. She didn't sound like an axe murderer, so I decided to call back. Her voice mail told me that she'd be out of the office the following day. In my voicemail to her, I left specific instructions outlining terms of negotiation. First and foremost was that I would vastly prefer to be contacted via email rather than on my phone. This would help protect all parties from faulty memories.

The following day I received a phone call from someone (Scott?) who identified himself as a co-worker of the woman from the previous day. He was rude, abrasive, incredulous, and quite unconvincing in the 'I give a damn' role. He interrupted my narrative to tell me that they had no record of a 'discontinue' request in March, and made it pretty clear that he thought I had made the whole thing up in an attempt to bilk DISH Network out of money.

Scott (?) offered a settlement of less than half of the amount I am out (the package price + tax * months of payment). He seemed especially incredulous that I hadn't noticed the bill - as I said earlier, I am completing a terminal academic degree - this requires some degree of focus and concentration on it, rather than the DISH bill. If DISH network incurs a 'carrier fee' that is a per-user surcharge, I would gladly lower my request to cover DISH's losses, but no such offer was made.

Here's where we stand: the BBB notice has been replied to by Scott, and CC'd to the customer service manager. I have been sitting on my hands for a couple of days, but my initial inclination is to refuse the settlement and let the customer service manager know that their agent managed to turn a bad situation worse, and that his demeanor has now got me looking at cable and FTA satellite, rather than continuing on with DISH.

Any recommendations? All I want to do is have a reasonably open platform to record TV (both pay-channels and local) and watch from time to time.

Ma
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Comments

  • On
      15th of Jan, 2010
    0 Votes

    I understand the reasoning for doing everything by email but here's the thing, dish's e-care dept isn't a big dept and if you want to have something done and right then call in everytime you call in the memo field of your account is auto stamped that you did, talking and making sure that your account is properly notated will always help

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