Dish Network / no bill, but charged credit card 3 months after disconnect
I subscribed to Dish Network in December of 2012, after my contract had ended with Directv. Dish offered a 2-year promotion that would lower my monthly bill to about half of what I paid DTV, and at the time, DTV could not compete with that offer. For the entire 3 months of my subscription with Dish, I experienced frozen pictures, and the advertised Hopper never did show a television show or movie in its entirety. Customer service was a joke. I would stay on the phone waiting for assistance for at least 15 minutes per call; and their remedies in fixing my problems never lasted over 24 hours. After about 3 months of this mess, I called DTV and explained that I wanted to come back. At that time, DTV offered me a comparable package for a slightly higher rate than Dish, and I did not hesitate at the offer. In addition, DTV offered a $200 Early Cancellation Refund for leaving the other satellite provider. I knew that I could not keep the service with Dish for the contracted 24 months, so I went back to DTV.
When I called Dish to disconnect, I told them the reason for my discontent, and also explained that I had chosen to return to my old provider, and that I would gladly pay the Early Cancellation Fee (which had been explained during my initial telephone installation order. They told me that I would receive a bill ($383.00) for the time left on my contract. This was a lot of money, but it was worth it to end my mistake with Dish. Again, I ended the service in December of 2012. From December 2012 until March 25, 2013, I repeatedly called Dish to inquire about this bill. To this day (April 9, 2013) I have never received that bill. Each time I called to inquire, they told me that the bill would be sent in the next few weeks. However, on March 25, 2013, I received an email from Dish notifying me that they had charged a credit card (from my previous account) the amount of $383.01, which was the Early Cancellation Fee. I was not pleased with this because the charge was never authorized. More importantly, I had never received this bill, as they had been promising since my disconnect in December 2012. I contacted Dish on that same day, and requested a copy of the bill. The said that it would be sent (again) in the next week. After calling Dish every other day since March 25, 2013, I did receive a letter on April 5, 2013, advising me that my account with Dish had a "zero balance". I called the number on the letter, and (again) requested a bill. That representative told me that the bill was sent out on the same day as the letter and I should receive it on the following day. I waited until April 8, and still no letter. I called Dish again on April 8, 2013, and was told that since Dish charged my card on March 25, 2013, no bill would be generated. I asked that representative to verify on my account that I had requested this same bill since December 2012. She verified that this information was on the account. After being promised a bill for the past 3 months and was repeatedly advised that the bill would be mailed. On April 8, 2013, this representative finally informed me that no bill would ever be issued. The representative stated that she would email me the bill 'since I had repeatedly requested a bill, and there had been a misunderstanding'. Of course, I never received the emailed bill.
This angers me for a number of reasons: my experience goes beyond untrained Dish representatives who gave out wrong information. My experience points to an orchestrated reprisal of customers who are so dissatisfied that they chose to end the service before the contract period. I believe that Dish is fully aware of the offers of their competitors in the area of promotions to switch mid contract. All of these promotions require a copy of the bill which contains the Early Cancellation Fee amount. I believe that Dish purposely withholds this bill as a way of punishing the customer for ending their contract. It is a shame that Dish did not us this ingenuity in keeping the customer in the first place.
I had already decided that I would pay the Early Cancellation Fee regardless of any offer received from a competitor. However, I have an issue with Dish pulling an old credit card and charging the amount without any bill showing these charges, or even notifying me that they would be charging the card (until after the fact).
I would advise any customer that is unfortunate enough to use Dish Network, to never use your credit card as a method of payment. Actually, I would advise against choosing Dish Network in the first place.
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