Make Sure You Really Want Dish Network Before Signing A Contract

If you order Dish Network, make sure that you really, really want Dish Network. Or you could end up like Tony, who signed up for the service, realized it wasn’t for him, and now has to pay a $450 early termination fee, in addition to subscription fees and shipping the boxes back.

I have just moved and decided to order Dish Network to take advantage of a bundle with my new local phone company, TDS telecom. I ordered their “America’s Top 120″ for 29.99 per month. I do not watch too much TV and just really wanted their basic plan. The Top 120 is very low on their tiers.

The installer came by this past Friday afternoon, March 11th. He did a great job getting everything installed and working. I signed all the necessary paperwork for activation.

Afterwards as I flipped around the channels, I noticed that there wasn’t really much on. I pretty much disliked the channel choices. There were only a few channels that I normally watch that wasn’t available over-the-air with just an antenna hooked up to my television.

After one day, I had decided that even at $30 a month, it didn’t really make too much sense paying a service I would rarely watch. I figured it made much more sense financially to just buy a kick ass TV antenna and surf CNN.com for my news.

I called Dish Network this afternoon, March 12th, and spoke to two people about cancelling. I told them I had Dish for one day. I told them I had buyer’s remorse. I also told them I didn’t like the channel line up. They quickly agreed to cancel and informed me of a $420 cancellation fee. They reflected my statements of, “but I have only had it for one day…”, with the fact there is no grace period with their contracts. NO GRACE PERIOD? They also want back their equipment. They’ll charge $15 per box shipped back. They also want to charge for 1 day of service. All this will be deducted automatically from my debit card that was used to pay the $25 deposit.

They were speaking plain English. I signed a contract. I owe them a large cancellation fee. But in less than 24 hours I had already experienced a terrible product and poor customer service. So I told them to cancel it anyways. Dish Network has cost me +$450 for 24 hours of TV.

Dish Network’s main competitor, DirecTV, has the same policy. Unless he could get an exception made, Tony might have fared worse with Dish competitor DirecTV: they charge $20 per remaining month of the contract as an early cancellation fee, or $480 for a two-year contract.

This is easy to understand from the company’s point of view: If they’re going to send an installer out to your house to climb on your roof and install a dish, it’s a waste of everyone’s time and resources if you decide you don’t want it anymore after four hours.

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