The complaint has been investigated and
resolved to the customer's satisfaction
Dish Networkunable to cancel service for deceased parents


On August 21, 2009 we attempted to close out the Dish service for my deceased mother and father-in-law. We called and talked to Lauren ZHT who gave us a FAx number for sending a death certificate. We tried the number and could not successfully fax the document as their number was not receiving, so we called back and were told to mail it, which we did. They also sent us one pre-paid shipping box for two of their four satellite receivers. We called on approx. Sept 4th to request a second prepaid box for the other two receivers and were told they did not close our account as they had no record of a death certificate on file.

At this point my wife chose to challenge "the system" as we had sent one, and noted that no other utility required a death certificate. She was passed around to three other "customer service reps" all chanting "send a death certificate". We then faxed a copy on September 4th, and were successful, and have a receipt that it was received at dish. I then sent an e-mail to the customer assistance available through their website and asked for confirmation they had received it and asked for a second pre-paid shipping box so we could return the receivers. the following is a copy-and paste of the exact communications:

Sent by me: Friday, September 04, 2009 4:17 PM: "I previously attempted to fax and subsequently mailed a notice to inform you of the death of my father-in-law -----and my mother-in-law ----, who have an account with Dish Network. I
previously sent a copy of Both [their] Death certificates. We received one box for returning boxes/and remotes which is insufficient as there are 4 boxes and 4 remotes. My wife called Dish on September 4, 2009 to request an additional box and the (very unhelpful) person demanded another copy of the death certificates. ... Your staff was very insensitive as this involves the death of our parents. We only want to return the equipment! She was passed around to three people who all said the same thing. Not helpful. My wife was in tears and had to hang up. AGAIN Please close out the following account...

Response from Dish: Friday, September 04, 2009 11:14 PM. Dear -----, Thank you for your email. We understand your concern. Please try to use another fax machine to fax the death certificate. Vanessa S. G5W

Sent by me: Tuesday, September 08, 2009 12:16 PM. It turns out that the problem was with your fax machine. I was able to get one through last week, with a copy of the death certificate attached. Please do not ask for a third copy. Please close account ------- and send me another pre-paid box for the other two boxes and remotes.

From Dish: Friday, September 04, 2009 11:14 PM. Dear ----, Thank you for your email. We do apologize for any inconvenience. Our records show that we have not received the death certificate yet. Vanessa S. G5W

From me: Thank you for your help, Attached to this e-mail is a 3rd copy of the death certificate. One was mailed on [protected] following our initial phone call on August 24th, one was successfully faxed to you on 9-4-2009, and now this one. Please close account # ------ effective August 24, the date of our first request.

From Dish: Dear ----, Thank you for your email. Please fax the death certificate to the fax number that was given to you. We do not have the access to forward this document to the other department. Vanessa S. G5W

My e-mail: Sunday, September 13, 2009 10:55 PM: Why do you exist if you cannot help solve this problem? Tomorrow I will send a FOURTH copy of my parents death certificate to you. I have previously faxed it. Please help me. You are now in possession of the copy I attached to my email. Please simply call your counterparts and tell them you have it.

From Dish: Dear Mr. Pike, Thank you for your email. We understand your frustration and we do apologize for any inconvenience. You will need to send the death certificate to the correct department.

I then faxed a fourth copy of the death certificates to the "correct department" and again received a proof of receipt of my fax. I the phone customer service to verify they received it. They could not do that as the fax number is in a facility far from customer support. This time I was able to discuss the situation at length as I finally found someone willing to take ownership of the problem. She had knowledge that the legal department was backed up 30 days in recording death certificates and powers of attorney, etc. She assured me that if I successfully faxed the documents it would be resolved within a couple more weeks. She then assured me that our initial call of August 21 had been recorded in their records and the estate would receive no more charges.

This was after three weeks of very stressful and inarguably disrespectful communications to a family still in mourning, that simply wanted to close out an account. This should never happen.

I have requested several times acknowledgement of receipt of the death certificates and have received none-to-date. The battle continues. If I can believe the one knowledgeable rep. it will self resolve after a few weeks, but I will believe it when I see it.

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