AndyPargh, The Gadget Guru


A Dish Network Experience From Hell

Posted April 18, 2012 by Andy Pargh in Electronics

The following is a detailed accounting (okay, he’s venting, and rightfully so) from a prolific poster on our sister site, regarding his recent dealings in attempting to switch from Brighthouse cable to Dish network. This post has not been edited and is from the point of view of a potential new customer:


I went the other night to rent a movie on my cable box and it didn’t work. So I tried a different movie and same issue. Then I tried to watch something “on demand” from CBS still same problem. I have had this problem before with Brighthouse so I just put in a DVD. A couple of days later I received my bill and was charged for the movies even though it said I wouldn’t be. So I call Brighthouse and they say no problem and take it off my bill. Happens to be I get a direct mail advertisement from Dish Network on the same day and the price is unbelievable. $79.99 for the Everything Package with free Hopper and HD for life. So being reluctant and figuring this is a three month price I go online to verify. Well, it is an introductory price but it is good for a year and goes up to $105.99 after that. Still a hell of a deal considering cable cost me $190.00 with internet. Internet is $50.00 so I am still saving around $40.00 and getting HBO, Cimimax, Showtime and about 100 other channels I don’t get with cable. So the next day I go online and do an online chat with a CSR, I probably annoyed her because I asked to many questions and kept her online for more then two hours. But in my defense it sounded like to good of a deal so I wanted to be sure before switching. So we settle it up and I am getting (1) Hopper, (2) additional things to make it hop(?) and two additional digital boxes. Also, she talked me into the sports package for and additional $11.00 per month (Not sure why they call it the Everything Package) but heck it is still a big savings for what you get. So I sign up and it is $111.00 per month plus taxes. Cool schedule the install. She schedules it for the next morning between 8-12. The installer calls me at 7:30 to let me know he will be know later then 8:15. Great so I wait and he comes right on time. I leave him at the house with my father because I actually do have to work sometimes. 

About an hour later I get a call from him that he stepped through the ceiling in my garage. I ask him if he is okay and he says yes but he has to have his supervisor come out and look at the damage. I let him know that as long as my bikes are okay it is not a big deal and him and my father assure me it was no where near my bike. Great, then about a half hour later I get another call from him about adding a hopper or something like that. I am in a meeting and just tell him to install whatever is on the work order and if I want to upgrade I will do it at a later date. Fine… 

So I am sitting in my office and I get an email from them. It is saying the installation is complete and everything is working fine. Then I look at the list of installed equipment and low and behold no hopper. So I get online with a CSR again and he tells me I don’t qualify for the Hopper because I am not a new customer. I lost it like I do in a political thread after three drinks! What do you mean I am not a new customer? I never had Dish Network in my life! He then tells me well someone at your residence had it. I told him first of all I am the only one that has ever lived here and even if someone else did it wasn’t me so I am still a new customer. He comes back and says I am very sorry sir we will get one out to you, we just need your credit card information to apply the additional $11.00 to. So I ask, what additional $11.00? It is included in the promotion. But sir you don’t qualify for the promotion. Whay don’t I qualify? Because someone at your residence had Dish Network. Okay, that is fine, just come get your equipment and cancel my account. But sir, I am willing to give you an additional $5.00 off a month for 3 months. I respond with a Hopper included for no additional charge like you advertise. Sorry sir I can not do that. Okay, come get your crap. Okay, but there will be a $420.00 early termination fee (at this point I am losing it). Termination fee? Are you out of your mind? You didn’t install what I purchased and I am giving you every chance to make it right and you are going to charge me? Like hell. Not only aren’t you charging me but your refunding my first months payment! Sorry sir let me transfer you. 

I get the next CSR. She ask how may I help you and how is your day going? I copy and paste the whole chat stream and after a bit she comes back and says I guess your day is not going well. I am so sorry. I will refund your money and you will not be charged a cancellation fee. I will send you boxes out so you can ship the equipment back. So I say thank you have a nice day…. 

Now I get into my car and receive a call asking me how I would rate my Dish Network experience. So I give them an earful. Now they ask me to hold on and we will get this resolved. They transfer me to someone in retention services. I go through the whole story again. The lady tells me that she can not access the sales part of the network since it is done by an outside company. So I say as politely as I can, do you know how to use a computer? She responds yes. So I say, again as politely as I can when I feel like my eyes are bleeding, would you mind typing in Dish Networks homepage and look at the first thing that pops up. I hear her typing then she comes back and say… wait for it…. Sir, I am sorry but our network does not allow us access to that site. I say really? your network administrators don’t allow you to access your own site or give you a sheet with the current promotions? No sir, but let me transfer you to someone that can help you. I told her well you were the one that was supposed to help me? Sorry sir I can not help you, please hold… 

I get transferred to a gentleman this time I tell him the story and he tells me I am absolutely correct. With the package I chose I get a free Hopper. Great now I am getting somewhere! So he does some typing and then comes back and tells me I need to transfer you back to sales and I made all the notes on your account. This is all resolved. Again I am thinking great (especially since I cancelled my cable). He transfer me to the wrong department …. uggg! I ask them to transfer me back to him. Sorry sir we cant transfer you back there. Please call back to customer service, well can you transfer me back to them. Sorry sir we are in a different department and don’t have access to that. Even though they transferred me to you, you cant transfer me back to them? That is correct sir…. 

I call back and there are no notes in my file, try back tomorrow and they might be updated by them. I just said nah, I will just send the equipment back. 

Now I am thinking, I have this dish on my roof, who the heck is pulling that down and patching the holes in my roof? 

I guess Direct TV is my next call…. Done with vent!

About the Author

Andy Pargh

Andy Pargh, a.k.a. The Gadget Guru has been involved in the new products and technology industry for more than a quarter of a century! His everyman straight talk (not technobabble) style of journalism makes consumers feel comfortable, not intimidated with the latest technologies. Andy is best known for being a regular on the Saturday Today Show on NBC.

One Comment

    Ben Waugh

    I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I’m looking forward to reading more from you.

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