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Bad experience with a certain *satellite* company

1135 Views 14 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  snafu
(warning: long post)

Hi All - just wanted to share this with anyone who's interested.

Wow! Where to begin. Not sure who all has had or has DishNet, but I need to let you know about this terrible experience my wife and I have had with them. It may make you think twice.
We've been customers of theirs for almost 2 years now, during which time we've had both of our receivers swapped for a seemingly bad modem (reciever in bedroom and DVR reciever in living room). We've paid around $60/mo pretty much the whole time. The thing is, they say that if you don't have your phone cord plugged into an outlet that you'll be charged an extra $5/mo. What a great way to increase profit, as most people may not notice (or care), don't you agree?
We've had this phone cord plugged in without interruption the entire time (even tried swapping phone cords, dsl filters and ran it into the bedroom jack -- as was the troubleshooting advice they gave).

(fast forward to Monday morning, 7/9)
Eating breakfast and turned on the TV. Channel is snowy. huh? Changed channel. Rebooted DVR. Nothing. Awww crap! What now?
Called them when I got home from work, despite being a little tired and cranky. After going through their bogus troubleshooing ideas, I finally convinced them to send us a new DVR reciever.

(fast forward to Thursday, 7/12)
Package came. Oh goodie! Finally we can watch some TV in the living room. I had already missed most of the homerun dirby and baseball All Star game this week. bah! Anyway, we hooked it up and got to the last step of the installation where it's trying to connect to the phone and it kept saying, "Connection failure - no dialtone".
"Hmm. Let's go check the phone. Yup it works, I hear a dial tone. dsl? yup, that works too." Ok, just for $hit$ and giggles, I ran a phone line into an adjacent bedroom, to make sure it wasn't the jack in the living room. Nope. Still didn't work. I was steaming by this point and ready to cancel. My wife convinced me otherwise.

(today, 7/13)
Get home from work and call. Granted, I'm a little tired and it's Friday and don't really want to be dealing with this. I called Dishnet yet again who I briefly explained my problem to and ended it with, "you guys need to send someone out here or we're cancelling".
They ran me through the same diagnostics that I've been through umpteen times before and kept commenting that it might be the dsl filter or the actual power strip that the reciever is plugged into.....WHAT??? LOL, that's a new one on me. Besides, it's a brand new, somewhat expensive strip that I bough last year. It supplies POWER and if it didn't work, there wouldn't be any. The phone cord goes into the wall. I was also told that the DVR needs the phone line to be free, so I would need to hang up the call to actually test it accurately..yeah, right. Sounds like they're just trying to get me off the phone. I don't know if what they told me was true, but it sounded like hogwash. Anyway, I tried what I said I would after hanging up and of course it still does not work. The reciever in the back bedroom works, but this one is not connecting. As a result, we will continue to get charged an extra $5 a month, plus all the time spent playing technician for them and waiting on hold. I'm pissed and will be cancelling.

I thought some of you might want to know. If someone had told me beforehand, I would have gone somewhere else. Anyway, that sure makes me feel better. Sorry for the long post. Have a nice evening and we'll try to do the same.

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Aww, that's a bummer, Ryan. I'm sure my spouse would be having fits as well if there was no mindless tv to watch after a long day of work. It's like therapy!

I have DirecTV and *knock on wood* after two years almost to the day, I've encountered no problems with it. We have five receivers in the house, and the only issue I've had is that if one of the receivers is not used after a certain amount of time, they have to reactivate it from their office. Not a huge deal, but it's funny that it will become inactive, and yet my charges do not. :p

Hope you find someone new you can count on.
I switched to cable about three-four years ago and will never look back.
Yeah, the cable company around here is Comcast, who I had several years back. I'll look into that as well. Thanks.
I've tried satellite several times in the past with pretty much the same experience, ringram.

For a real good time, get sat. tv. and sat. broadband internet, then move to a state where it storms a lot. TV and internet goes out at the same time, LOL. I'll never forget that situation... pretty much a bad idea from the start.

I've had my share of problems with cable companies as well, so I can't totally trash satellite. I've been in this town 5 years, two different places, two different cable companies ( one took over the area from the original one), and I still can't get any better than intermittent quality service.

I could construct the tech. support handbook they use from memory.

1) Unplug router and modem power for 45 seconds.

2) Plug modem back in. Tell me which lights are blinking.

3) Plug router in. Internet still not working?

4) Run internet straight to computer from modem. Restart computer. Still don't work?

5) Type CMD and choose " Run as administrator". Type in netsh space int space ip space reset. Still don't work?

6) Repeat step 1-3.

7) Tell customer that it's their router, even though their cable tv is not working either. They should get a new router. Tech support does not cover routers.

8) Promise that someone will be out to check into it tomorrow, sometime between the hours of 8 am and 7 pm anyway, cause this person just won't get off the phone.

9) Have someone call customers at 10 minutes till 7 p.m. the next day to see if their stuff is still messed up, after they've been waiting all day for someone to come out. It's still messed up? Ohh... it's too late to come out today, we'll be there tomorrow between 8 a.m and midnight. Don't send anyone out for this call either.

10) After a weeks worth of phone calls from this person just tell them ' We are aware of the problem in your area and are doing what we can to rectify the problem. Sorry for any inconvenience. "

11) A week after that, send someone to the house to let them know that it was a loose screw 3 miles from them that was causing all the problems. Yes, that's right... a loose screw stumped our entire tech support team, technician team, and pretty much our whole corporation. You believe us, right?

12) If those people call again, don't tighten that screw again. Have them go through steps 1-10 just in case. Throw in a few extra steps that won't do anything as well, just to discourage them from calling so often.
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We had Dish Network for less than 4 months.

When it was installed, they said they had trouble getting a good signal and had to install it on our roof (2 story house) but we did have enough of a signal for it to work.

For three days, then we'd lose service every time a cloud got to big apparently. I logged at least one call every week for support, finally they said they'd have to send a tech out at my expense to correct the problem, which was ridiculous since the installer noted it was not ideal when they left. They also tried to blame it on weather on sunny days; they once told me to clear the snow from the dish (no snow on the dish) etc etc blah blah.

Finally I contacted the AGs office (they said they had 100s of complaints against this company) and they referred me to a form letter to send the company giving them 30 days to fix the problem at their expense, At the end of 30 days, their only solution was to have the dish relocated at my expense, so I cancelled my service with them citing the AGs opinion.

About two weeks after canceling, I went to use my check card and had it declined. I called my bank to see what was going on, should have had around $40.00 in the account, Dish Network had tried to charge a $160 "early cancellation fee" to my account, when that was declined they went back and charged $0.99 in consecutive individual transactions until they had emptied my account.

The bank took one look and immediately rescinded the transactions as fraudulent and gave me the money back. Two days later they did the same thing (I was watching my account like a hawk at that point) only this time I had a substantial amount of cash. I literally ran to the ATM a few blocks away and drew out every dime I could, but they still ended up with about $50.00, when the bank opened Monday, I canceled the card and was issued a new one and once again they refunded my money under fraud.

For two weeks after they tried to debit the canceled card, even after they were notified the account had been closed. I filed a formal complaint with the AGs office, but Dish didn't respond and that's where that ended.

Then they turned the account over to a succession of collection agencies, each time I sent them a copy of the letter from the AGs office and they'd delete it from my credit reports and Dish would just turn it over to a new one.
This continues to this day.

My wife and I are now in the process of retiring our debt thanks to the sale of the families company, unfortunately this "account" is now held by an agency that has been playing games left and right. I'll get it removed, they put it back in. They have been sent three letters now, registered mail, informing that I dispute the debt and will not pay it. They persist in calling me even though such calls are in violation of the consumer credit act, and refuse to sue me (apparently they think I'll cave), we got a statement placed in our files regarding the account being fraudulent and it hasn't affected our credit rating, it's just a constant annoyance.

I even have a set script for when they call; basically it involves a constant string of profanity adjusted for the gender of the caller. Once they even told me that they were going to file charges against me for harassment (they're calling me) at which point I invented some new words for them and laughed.

If my wife answers, she's too nice to swear at them, her favorite tactic is to ask them to hold while she brings our attorney in for a conference call (they once told her that would be illegal).

We figure we'll let it slide for awhile, let them rack up a few more violations and then we're going to file suit, Dish obviously thinks we won't.

Their mistake.
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Sorry for your troubles glass-gardens, but that was an entertaining read.
one thing you can do to better close the link is upgrade the dish from 18" to something larger (say 24" or 30"). i've had directv for over 10 years and have had rain fade with pixelization or signal loss maybe 4-5 times. i'm also at slightly lower latitude (southern cal) too. like another poster, i really like my directv.
We went back to cable.

In fact we've had cable for eveything including phone service for a year, love it. Just as many channels and features as a dish, 15 megabit down/ 1 megabit up and VOIP for less than what dishnetwork was charging for TV only.:wink:
one thing you can do to better close the link is upgrade the dish from 18" to something larger (say 24" or 30"). i've had directv for over 10 years and have had rain fade with pixelization or signal loss maybe 4-5 times. i'm also at slightly lower latitude (southern cal) too. like another poster, i really like my directv.
That's not the point though is it?
I'm curious. What features does dish network have that would have so many people subscribing to them and not cable (besides cable not being available in the area)? I've only had cable and every once in a while I will get disconnected from the net and the problem can be remedied by jostling the cable or reconnecting it.
I have had dishnetwork for over 3 years never had one problem with them. Now DirectWay internet that is another story. Worse company ever to get satellite internet with.
Good grief glass-gardens, that's quite a story. Sounds like they try to use their trickery more often than not. I'm looking into deals with cable or the other satellite company in town (Directv). We didn't cancel Dish yet, as my wife called them after my episode last night and got it working, as I was too mad to even talk. If I talk to them again, it's over. We're out of contract anyway (it was only 1 yr, we've had for ~2), so the early cancellation fees won't apply. If they try anything funny, we know quite a few lawyer friends and I have a family member who's an ex-Congressman and lawyer by trade. I hope it doesn't even get to that though.
AlGee - the reason we went with Dish was the free 4-room installation and the DVR upgrade for $5/mo. We initially paid $19.99 for 12 months (+$5 for extra reciever + $5 for DVR + taxes and stuff). Even still, it's cheaper than the cable around here and cheaper than Directv from what I've seen. Comcast cable (at least in my town) seems to be about $15-20 more per month for equivalent services (DVR, 2nd reciever, 60+ channels). We'll see. I'm looking around now.
I sure liked the old days when satellite was a new product. My parents had their gargantuan dish in the backyard that we had to manually rotate (took two people). If we saw something on a channel that we didn't get (movie, sporting event, etc), we could just call them up and exchange that channel for one of the ones we have. They allowed several switches per month I believe. There was no such thing as all these packages you have to buy with 80+ channels you don't watch to get 10-15 channels you do watch. lol
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My problem was basically service, they wanted me to pay to repair the flaws in their installation. I gave them well over 30 days to fix the problem, they didn't, they broke the contract and then tried to charge me for their breach.
That's not the point though is it?
the point is you're getting screwed by dish for poor customer service/installation and fraudulent transactions; i completely understand that. i'm trying to point out that link problems are easily solved using larger apertures. a 30" dish on ebay might run 30 to 40 bucks. anyways, sorry to hear about the bad experience.
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