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I Hate Linux

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Dish Network Woes

Not being a fan of service contacts (ie preferring the month to month sort) or leasing of hardware, a few months back I bought an Echostar (DISH Network) receiver on eBay as well as a dish, hooking everything up worked fine and I had a good signal, all I needed was the receiver to be authorized to decode content, and to do so I would have to call them up and pay for service, so I did.

After navigating my way through the customer service # last night, and being told that as I had existing hardware, despite my being a new customer, I would have to talk to the reactivation group and may have to pay a $25 reactivation fee. I suppose I can listen to what they say.

In talking with this next person, I was told that there was a balance on the receiver, of $107, and for me to use it, it would need to be paid off.

This is where I was confused, so I asked:

My understanding is that to sign up for DISH Network service, you require both a credit card number, and a social security number... I don't understand though, why you don't just cause bad things to happen to the deadbeats credit, instead of attaching the debt to the receiver.

To which he replied:

Actually, we do that that too, it's kind of a double hit, this account is in collections and seems to have been for some time.

Hitting the persons credit makes sense, which I would have expected alone, but still attaching the debt to the receiver still seemed crazy, so I continued:

Well, that makes some sense... but I am still confused... why continue to attach the debt to receiver? Doesn't that permit the same deadbeats who you are going after to cause even more trouble by selling their old and now worthless receivers to others who may not know until it's too late about the debt? They make money, all the while continuing to screw you over, and then adding someone new to the mix.

He agreed that it was unfair, and repeated the typical grunt line of "I can't explain it, it's just the policy that we have".

Fair enough, time to look into another way of getting a couple more channels in my home so that I will be able to watch Battlestar Galactica when it returns on July 15th.


  • Strange.

    You may be able to argue that there was no "meeting of the minds," if not that there was actual fraud, in a small-claims suit.

    By Blogger Dan tdaxp, at 9:24 AM  

  • I'm sure the auction listing said something to the effect of "item is sold as is"... but even then, I'm not too angered about the not so honest eBay seller... I’m more angered at Echostar and their methods. Yes, by attaching the debt to the receiver as well they control their hardware distribution... however I would expect that that also limits the # of customers that will easily come to them.

    You've got to admit, if you want satellite tv as soon as possible after you decided you want it and you just happen to have hardware laying around... you are far more likely to have them use that hardware than wait a few days or a week for a technician to show up and give you what you need. The fact that I am forced to wait at all now, makes me less inclined to subscribe to their service.

    By Blogger Brendan, at 10:24 AM  

  • Call them up, ask for a manager and tell them you are going to setup a web site and tell everyone you meet about their unfair practices. That is usually enough to turn their 'no other option' mantra on its ear.

    Barring that I would call your local Attorney General or District Attorney and ask if what they are doing is legal...I doubt it.

    By Anonymous Mitch, at 7:57 AM  

  • I tried something similar Mitch, all to no avail. They are remarkably inflexible, even at the cost of new paying customers, who knows, maybe one day I’ll understand why.

    By Blogger Brendan, at 2:45 PM  

  • I work for dish network, Maybe you should have been a educated consumer and asked some questions before you bought the reciever...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:01 AM  

  • Funny thing about being educated is that it depends on your background. You of course, working for Dish Network have one education, indoctrinating you with their version of facts, while I, have been self educated on this topic, learning from a variety of sources that you probably do not have access too.

    My education as a customer is pretty complete and it can be summarized as "Most companies will be willing to make some sort of a deal with you in order to get your business." I think you would be surprised how often this is true. Dish it seems is unfortunately (for them) not one of those willing to make deals.

    Regardless of if I should have asked questions prior to buying the receiver, it comes back to Dish's policy on this, because if it didn't happen to me with this receiver it would have probably have happened to another person, and lets not forget all of the other receivers that are bought and sold daily to which this policy applies.

    Had I known fully the backwards policy of Dish Network to attach an outstanding balance to a receiver, preventing further use of it without paying off the bill and I had called Dish early on to check if this receiver had a balance... would I have purchased the receiver? Probably not. The question still comes in, where is the fault here? Is it on the side of the consumer who may not have spent many hours trying to get every single relevant fact... or is it on the side of Dish Network who uses such a backwards policy? I think you know what my answer is.

    I must ask you though... is it normal for Dish Network employees to spend their Saturday mornings searching Yahoo for 'hate dish network' as you did?

    In either case, funny thing about finding my blog with such a search string is that I at no point say that I have any level of malice of hate towards Dish, unfortunately given the name of this blog I would show up under search strings for many things such as 'hate i600', 'hate battlestar', or 'hate LOST' (you know, the tv show?), only 1 of which do I actually hate... and yet I keep watching.

    Very interesting how high my blog ranks on Yahoo.

    By Blogger Brendan, at 8:34 AM  

  • It still sounds like theres a hint of a double jeopardy suit there. Or on the part of the seller of the property a "Deceptive Trade". Deceptive Trade can be used even if the seller had no knowledge they were doing something illegal, just that they had done it. If they do it knowingly you can get up to 3 times the damages in the state of Texas.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 6:21 AM  

  • I am sorry to hear about your dispute. I am very interested in your story and if you could please send me a email reguarding this activity, I have several claims against Echostar and am gathering same or similar activity. Echostar runs thier business like one plays cards, a numbers game, they prey on customers like you not knowing the law, this I can prove. Bottom line attaching the same debt to (2) seperate lines, is breaking the law. I bet with more research you would find that if you paid the balance on the receiver, they still would have tried to collect that same debt from the customer. Send me as much information as you can reguarding this activity, I will research and make sure Echostar pays for these actions. brandon@logixonline.com

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 8:50 AM  

  • Just got a bill from Dish network for 1200.00 for early termination, three months additional service, and receiver costs, in spite of having only a 104.00 balance, being told the 250.00 deposit I had put down would cover the early termination(we moved into a house with paid for cable)and that we had bought the equipment when we signed up. B****** I'm not payng a dime, but am being harrased by a lawyer, now. Ridiculous.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:27 AM  

  • If the receiver was leased, you should of filed a complaint with ebay I bought a receiver off ebay just like you did and argued the case. I finally got my money back. Even if the receiver wasn't leased they sold you a receiver with that wasn't free and clear of all debts.

    By Blogger sigman, at 1:29 AM  

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