Dish Network / fraudulent billing
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?
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 - firstname.lastname@example.org - 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 email@example.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.
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