Although the following is lengthy, hopefully, it will help you avoid the same costly mistake I made.
April 30, 2007 - Received a telemarketing call from Dish Network representative “Allen” stating that since I'd been a stellar customer for almost 4 years, if I agreed to contract 18 more months with their service, they would cancel my account and open a new account. At that point, I would initially incur a one-time activation fee of $49.99, but that amount would be refunded to my MasterCard account. Additionally, I would receive a new state-of-the-art receiver since the one I had was obsolete and I'd be able to receive satellite TV on two TV's instead of just one for 10 months at $19.99. After that, my monthly charge would revert to what I'd been paying all along. Hey, since this was a no-brainer, I agreed. A major mistake on my part! Why? Read on:
April 30, 2007 - MasterCard charged $49.99 “one-time” activation fee
May 4. 2007 - MasterCard again charged $49.99 “one-time” activation fee
May 10, 2007 - MasterCard credited $49.99
May 15, 2007 - Called “Shane” at Dish Network and explained three times the $49.99 double-charge and asked that it be rectified. However he told me that the extra $49.99 charge was not showing on my account nor did it appear on the Dish Network billing statement; however, my MasterCard was clearly billed $49.99 twice.
May 15, 2007 – I emailed Dish Network explaining the overcharge and requested that the error be rectified, No response.
May 16, 2007 - I again emailed Dish Network requesting assistance to correct the overcharge. No response.
June 12, 2007 – Realizing that Dish Network would not assist me, I emailed to my credit card company and requested they remove the erroneous over charge. After several email exchanges, phone calls, and furnishing written documentation, they removed the $49.99 overcharge in question.
July 24, 2007 – I received a bill from Dish Network citing a $49.99 “chargeback” (rejection of charge by my credit card company) and again charged me $49.99. I called Dish Network and finally reached a person, whom I could barely understand, and was told that although they now admitted the overcharge, ($49.99 was charged twice; one to the old canceled Dish Network account; one to my current account), that I would be required to pay $49.99 and then receive a full refund. Completely exasperated at this point, I decided to pay the amount which by this time totaled $106.24. So much for that $19.99 monthly fee!
August 13, 2007 – When I attempted to make the payment by credit card via Internet, instead of the $106.24 bill, they said I owed $37.60. What?!? However, no complaints from me on that aspect. Then when I clicked "pay" I was notified that due to the “chargeback”, that I would not be allowed to make any payments by credit card for a period of 6 months. After finally reaching a Dish Network representative and being told that nothing could be done, that I would have to make all future payments for 6 months by check, money order, etc. I explained that since Dish Network admitted to being in error for the double charge, I should not be punished for their mistake. The representative again explained in a scripted fashion that nothing could be done. At this point, I demanded to speak to a supervisor or anyone who would have the authority to rectify the problem. The representative absolutely refused to transfer me to another person and the conversation was subsequently terminated.
August 16, 2007 – MasterCard again charged $49.99 “one-time” activation fee.
Since I was unable to talk to any person at Dish Network who had the authority to rectify their error and was very concerned that my pristine credit rating may have been negatively impacted by their incompetence, I recently submitted this complaint to the Florida Department of Consumer Services and received an acknowledgment, but no further feedback to date.
Please be extremely wary about Dish Network because it's all too clear they don't have a clue what customer service is and it's readily apparent that their billing department is utterly incompetent.