Saturday, February 20, 2010

Dish Network is Vile

And they will screw you over if they get the chance.

This is my roommate's story, not mine. Her father passed away in September, and she was the executor of his estate. That gave her the unpleasant task of canceling all of the services he received, one of which was Dish Network.

The phone company did remarkably well, considering other people's experience, but Dish Network was another story altogether.

My friend's dad had paid $700 in June, to cover a year's service, plus he paid a monthly fee for local channels. In early October, my friend called Dish Network to cancel his service and have them refund the remainder of the annual service fee, since he certainly wasn't watching TV anymore.

They refused to do anything unless she could tell them his account number. They weren't about to look up his account for her. Privacy, you know. And when she asked to speak to a supervisor, they put her on hold for a half hour, until she got tired of waiting and hung up. They did the half-hour-hold-for-a-supervisor trick twice before she quit asking for one of those.

They told her they wouldn't accept his death certificate without his account number, which she was unable to find among his papers. So my friend decided to wait until they sent him a bill for his monthly fee, and then she'd have the account number and could get the refund.

They didn't send him a bill until January. When it arrived, my friend sent a copy of the death certificate, along with a letter that contained his account number and asked for them to cancel his service and send the refund.

They didn't. This month they sent him a notification that they were canceling his service due to non-payment. No refund. No statement of his account and where the money went.

Naturally, a company can't be expected to simply take the word of some random person calling and claiming she's the daughter of one of their customers, who she says is deceased, while she is requesting money from them. Identity theft and fraud are real issues that businesses face. But every other business she contacted eventually accepted the death certificate as actual proof that their customer was indeed dead and no longer in need of their services, and they took the appropriate action.

Not so Dish Network. Apparently they waited until they had churned through the remainder of Dear Old Dad's $700, and then they were happy to cancel.

I've advised my friend to contact the Better Business Bureau and make a complaint, as well as contacting the state Public Utilities Commission about how she was treated. Unfortunately, she doesn't have written proof of any of this, since most of her contacts with Dish Network were made by phone, except for the letter, which she didn't keep a copy of. They could deny any contact with her.

If you're considering signing up with Dish Network, think again. And if you already have them, don't lose your account number, and by all means, make all of your contacts with them in writing, retaining documentation for yourself.

This is a vile company who treated my roommate shabbily during a time of grief, and I don't wish them on anyone.


Anonymous said...

You also wouldn't want to deal with them after your dish blows away in a tornado. Many people in our town spent hours trying to convince DISH that we didn't have receivers left to send back. "Well, just send us a remote." Yeah, the tornado left those behind. We are now Direct TV customers. --Lori (sister of Bekah)

SkyePuppy said...


Yes, I followed your saga through Bekah's blog. I'm glad you're put back together and with a better company than Dish Network.

chankansin said...

This was a bad stand from dish network side,which has to be taken care of at any cost.