Sunday, December 02, 2007

Dish Network - See you in Court

Following my recent experience with the US Justice System, I am keen for more.

At issue is Dish Network.

I have been trying to bring our payments to this company in line with the statements they are sending, regularly paying about $20 more in the hope that over a brief period this will catch us up. The problem has been that it has only been keeping pace, so we appear to be being charged around $20 per month more than we should be.

Back in September, I contacted Dish and told them I wanted to upgrade the package. I wanted America's Top 250, plus HD service, and nothing else. This should come to around $80 per month.

It seems that they remembered to note the increase, but somehow forgot to note that I asked all other services to be stopped (principally, 2 special offer premium packages that were included as a free trial on sign-up).


So, today, I contacted Dish Network again. They were willing to stop the premium packages from today, but unwilling to refund the excess charges back to September (the time I asked for them to be stopped), on the basis that they had supplied the programming and had no record of my having requested it to be removed. I patiently explained that I was not responsible for their record keeping, and as I HAD asked them to stop those packages, and had never watched them, and had no knowledge that they even existed, that I wasn't going to pay for their mistake.

I was informed that they hadn't made a mistake, and that the proof was that they had no record of the request.

At this point I wondered if I was in the Twilight Zone, or when Mulder and Scully would appear .... or even when I would wake up from this bizarre form of logic.

Dish Network appears to hold the view that it never makes a mistake, and cites as proof the fact that they have no record of making one !!!

A quick search on the Internet reveals many thousands of similar customer errors, all people trying to screw Dish Network for having the temerity to help themselves to cash from checking accounts and credit cards because their customers are willfully refusing to pay for services they have been supplied with; whether they asked for them or not.

I suspect the disputed amount is less than about $60. But it is MY $60, not theirs, and they are not getting it.

So here is the next step.

Today, when their website will consent to allow me to sign in, I will pay the amount I think brings us up to date. They will carry the disputed amount forward to our next statement, and continue to add $5 per month late charge. From today, that amount is in dispute.

Tomorrow I shall call Echostar, in Colorado, and inform their Executive Dispute Resolution Centre that I am holding them in breach of our 18 month contract, and ask them how they intend to remedy the breach. If they try to deny the breach I will cease paying, and request that they collect their equipment at their earliest convenience.

They will cancel my service, and bill me for breaking my contract. This is a bill I will not pay. At this point I have no recourse against them, as they don't owe me money. If they try to debit my checking account (which I shall watch daily), I will have the charges instantly disputed and reversed. I will tell the bank we will sue them if they allow those charges to post to our account.

If Dish Network sends the account to Collection, I will inform them they will be sued under the Unfair Credit Reporting Act, and the damages are around $1000.

I am on a mission here. The money is small, but the principle is not, and they are doing this to many thousands of people all over America.

Tune in and I'll follow this up as and when there is new info.

Now .... what is the phone number for Direct TV?


Anonymous said...

I've missed so much not being home to read your blog over the last several days!

Here's a suggestion...and you may have already tried this. Call in as if you were going to talk to someone in customer service. But when you get to the point of selecting a topic, or they ask you what you need, tell them that you are choosing to cancel the service. You will most likely end up with the call being escalted immediately, where as if you ask for a manager you will never actually get one. (Call center trick!) However, the people that handle cancellation calls are given the authority to do alot more to keep you happy than the average CS rep.
When you get this person on the phone, and they ask you why you would like to cancel your account, you tell them that you don't really want to (even if you do!) and explain that because they won't admit to a mistake being made, that you would rather not do business with their company. You will be asked to explain the situation so, and then let them make an offer.

This might solve your immediate problem alot easier than going through the court system and such. It's worked for me on a couple of different companies.

All I can truly say is watch Direct TV as well...We had their service when we lived out in the sticks, and they had a very similar "scam" going.


Anonymous said...

DISHTV reps lied to me and charged standard fees although the rep understood that I was requesting a special offer that was in effect. The reps lie!

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3Dee said...

had a similar nightmare encounter with Dish a couple years ago - finally filed a complaint with the State AG and then received a very contrite call from Dish Dispute Resolution (resolving my issue) - we're now looking at upgrading from 200 to 250 channels, but after getting bounced among 5 Dish reps yesterday, I am scared to actually change anything on my account...may just call the Dispute Res. mgr. and remind him how bad Dish customer service really is - 3Dee