Sigh. You know I really do like the features offered by Dish Network. I like being able to flip channels and have a banner that shows me what's on and with the click of the Info button get specifics on the programming. And, I really do love our DVR. I really do. So, now you are wondering why I am here, right?!
We HAD been faithful and happy customers of the DISH Network for over 12 years, until December of 2007, when we got a letter from DISH explaining that if we wanted to continue receiving our local channels that we needed a service tech to come out and upgrade our DISH antenna for free, and according to the letter this needed to be done soon. Okay. So, we call DISH to schedule for this free antenna upgrade, and guess what?! The earliest we could get it done is in March 2008! Outrageous, especially since the letter made it sound like we would lose our local channels after January 2008. So, we waited til our scheduled appointment in March and, guess what?! The installer calls and says they can't do it that day, and it will have to be in May!!! Ok, whatever. May. This is still outrageous, but at least we still have our local channels and all the channels are working well. May finally comes and the service tech gets to our house late in the afternoon. Does the upgrade, but leaves before the switch installation verification is done, as it takes 35 minutes to finish, and says if there's any issues to call him. Ok, whatever (that was my hubby talking there). Guess what?! 35 minutes later there's an error in the switch installation with the middle transponder! So, every other time we want to watch DISH, we have to wait for the switch installation verification--believe me this is getting old fast. We call the installer, and he says its probably an aiming issue and says he will come out and aim it right when he's back in town in a couple of days. Ok, whatever. The evening after he said he'd re-aim the antenna, still the switch installation verification must be done and the same error comes up on the middle transponder (I'm thinking this is the DISH's middle finger--satellite TV's version of road rage, apparently). We've called DISH customer service several times, as the installer can't come out again to "repair" this without a service order from DISH.
In the middle of July we got a service tech out to fix it. Oh, and Dish had the nerve to try to charge us $75 for the service call, even after we expressly told them that it was Dish that initiated the problem and they said they would not charge us for the service call. My husband spoke with them again and got them to drop the service call charge. The verification error issue is fixed, but now the local channels don't work. When we turn to a local channel, sometimes it comes on for a minute, sometimes it doesn't, but it always will go to an error message. It is frustrating to pay $5/month extra for service we don't get. It is especially disturbing because ever since we started, we pay for the year upfront, but when we started getting the local channels, we have to pay that every month, thus we are reminded monthly how we DON'T get that service.
To make matters worse, several Dish subscribers in our community are having the same problem receiving the local channels, and Dish is basically ignoring the problem. All we want is to be able to consistently get our local channels. I don't think we are asking much. But, Dish apparently cannot connect the dots to help all of us out. The worst part is that all of us are really considering dropping Dish for cable--egads!
In July, when we were experiencing our daily Dish torment, I had written this in my journal: "No matter how much I hate local cable, why, oh why is DISH pushing me to cancel their service and subscribe to crappy local cable??? Don't push me too far, DISH, I'll do it... I'll subscribe to crappy local cable, because right now I have NO SERVICE from DISH." Sad, really. We've been mostly content with Dish for about 12 years now. We've persuaded friends and relatives to subscribe to Dish, and touted their services.
I really hate local cable, but I am really beginning to hate the lack of responsive service so we can receive local channels. If they can't give us local, I wish we could have our East feed of the networks back. I just want to watch Saturday Night Live one of these weekends. I heard the Tina Fey-Sarah Palin impression is impressive. Sigh.