1/31/09 - Dish Network, what am I going to do with you?

We are going to go back in time to start this post. Roughly two years ago, my wonderful wife and I were living in Conway where Conway Corp reigns supreme. We were paying about $20 a month for basically all the cable channels we needed (although we didn't get Food network at the time). Life was good.

Then we decided to move to Sherwood, where we knew that Conway Corp would not be providing service and instead we would have to deal with Comcast. I have NEVER had a good experience with Comcast. Not to mention, in order to get the same service we had in Conway, it would have cost roughly $60 a month. (although we would have been getting Food network). Internet was also issue, but that is a different story (and on that note, I can't recommend AT&T DSL service more...it rocks).

In an attempt to save us some money, and stay as far away from Comcast as possible, I looked into getting Dish or DirectTV. My research showed that Dish had better service for a better price. I knew going in that the price listed on their website was not the final price as they would manage to sneak in fee after fee. After several phone calls, I was right. There was a fee for local channels, fee for not having a phone line hooked up, so on and so forth. I also asked about HD services as I knew that at some point, I would upgrade to that. I was told it would be an extra $10 a month, end of story...I know, I know, I should have known better.

So here we are, about 3 months ago, and I have now bought a new TV and need HD service. I call up, and ask them to add the HD service at $10 a month. Then I find out that I will need to upgrade my dish AND receiver. It would be an additional $100 to upgrade my receiver. This, of course, did not make me happy. I explained to them that I had apparently been lied to when I signed up, and I pointed out that if I were a new customer, I could get all of the equipment free of charge. They were "nice enough" to discount the installation by $50. The put the $50 on my bill, and we had our stuff upgraded and after a wonderful conversation with the installation guy, found out that when I signed up for the new service, everything was great except for the fact where they didn't actually sign me up for anything. After more conversations, everything worked great on the HD end, as I believe I reported on multiple times.

Next billing cycle, I check my bill and see a charge for $100, with no $50 discount. I had to call which takes time out of my day. The phone call ended with them crediting my account for the correct amount. Problem solved, all is good.

Now comes the really fun part. Last Thursday, I checked my credit card only to find a $300 charge from Dish. Immediately, I called to find out what was going on. Again, I had to take time out of my day, to fix something that shouldn't have been broke in the first place.

If I had to guess, I would say it was about a 30 minutes conversation. During this conversation, I had to explain that I only had one receiver set up at my house, forcefully request that they credit my account, and then explain that getting my refund in 61-90 days was unacceptable. This conversation ended with the $300 being credited back to my card on that day. I said I would give them 5 business days, and then I'd be calling back.

This afternoon, 6 business days later, the money was still not back in my account. That really ticked me off (the fact that our dish has been reliable about 25% of the time over the last two weeks doesn't help this story). I called and spoke with the first Caucasian male I've ever talked to on Dish support, and explained that I was not happy and basically had no reason to continue service with Dish. He said there was a problem with the refund and he had reprocessed it. At that point, I told him flat out that I wanted to know what Dish was willing to do to keep me as a customer. This conversation ended with her saying that the money would be credited to my account in 5-7 business days, I would start receiving HBO and Starz free of charge, and I would be getting a $10 discount for the next four months. They are also coming out Tuesday afternoon to try to fix the problem with our dish.

Altogether, I still prefer Dish over Comcast, I still think Dish's prices are better than DirectTV, but if they screw up this $300 credit again, and if I have any issues with these new "free" services and discounts. I don't think I have a choice but to move on.

I'm sure there will be a follow up to this episode....stay tuned.

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6 Comments - Leave one yourself

I cancelled our cable tv, because in order to get HD service you have to get all the other channels. The total bill was around $120 (This also included Internet service) and we were only watching the same 7 or 8 shows. So now we just have Internet service. Now I just download the shows we watch. In HD no less. Sure we have to wait at least a day to watch them, but it saves a good bit of money. If they offered HD only service I would probably get that.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2009 at 10:53 PM  

The previous post is mine.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 31, 2009 at 10:54 PM  

I would like to know what your total bill is per month. You have the DSL, phone line, and HD, right? All with AT&T? I have the same, but no HD and my monthly bill is $100.

You shouldn't "move on" if your freebies don't show up. It hasn't taken too much of your time and they have (at least, you think, for now) remedied your original issues. If they don't show up, call one more time, to attempt to get your free stuff, but don't waste more time and money setting up service with someone else, especially if you're happy with Dish's services most of the time. You never know if the grass will be greener if you switch to the other guys.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at February 1, 2009 at 12:09 AM  

Oh my gosh I want to MARRY Google Reader!!!! Do you even KNOW how much simpler that thing has made my life???

By Blogger Kelli Stuart, at February 4, 2009 at 3:10 PM  

For those of you confused, I left a comment on Kelli's blog earlier today in regards to Google Reader....I plan on having a similar post soon enough.

By Blogger DJ Walker, at February 4, 2009 at 3:31 PM  

This is how I've been reading your blog lately.

By Blogger Ryan, at February 5, 2009 at 12:20 AM  

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