DISH Runs Away With Spoon of Injustice

John has a right to be pissed, he worked in consumer electronics customer service after all, so it’s all the more galling when Dish Network treated him poorly this weekend, asking him to pay for shipping for a new tuner to replace the one he just replaced not a month ago.

A man has a right to some TV over Memorial Day, goldarnit! but to do that would require Dish to do a big favor, namely to service and stand behind its product and provide a minimum of consideration for an unhappy customer.

John’s letter, after the jump…

John writes:


    Well Memorial Day was going along swimmingly well until I decided to turn the tube on at 8:00 last night after putting my son to bed. When I turned on the TV it showed that the satellite signal was being acquired. No big deal, we had a lot of thunderstorms yesterday and I thought some may still be lurking. I Poked my head out the door and I could still see the sun setting so that wasn’t it. Time to call my friends at Dish Network. I actually don’t mind their phone system which had me try resetting the receiver, which I did and had the same problem. After about ten minutes I got on the phone with Stephanie, who asked me to reset the receiver. I told her no need, just tried it and it didn’t work. Well, Stephanie tried her best to troubleshoot the system and after about twenty minutes we both realized something isn’t right. This is when the fun began. We did one final set of test to see if it was my dish outside or the receiver, and after another ten minutes we determined that the receiver was in fact defective. Off course, my Dish network tuner crapped out after only ten months of use on April 29th and this was my “new” unit that was now dead in the water after one month. Stephanie was oh so helpful and made arrangements to send me a “new” tuner FREE OF CHARGE (like they were doing me a favor) all I had to do was pay $14.95 for shipping. I called bullshit on that. I was more than a little irritated that I had to pay $24.95 when the receiver died in April and now they were asking me to pay $14.95 again for a piece of crap tuner that lasted a month. I then asked “Isn’t this under warranty?” No it isn’t, my warranty, when I signed up, was only for 90 days on the installation and on the original equipment. It doesn’t matter that it died a second time, the warranty expired in October, three months after installation and I am now on my own. They position it like they are doing me a favor when in reality they are providing me with crap equipment that they don’t stand behind. I then asked for a service tech to come and install it since I find this business practice more than a little odd and after ten minutes of haggling and me threatening to pull all of their gear and cancel the account she relented and comped the $99 fee for the technician to come out to my
    house. Again, she reminded me that this was highly unusual and they were doing me a big favor. Stephanie wasn’t unhelpful but she never wavered from her belief that Dish was doing me a big favor. When I was done with her I asked to speak to her supervisor. He re-iterated their policy and I reiterated my belief that the charge for shipping was ridiculous. I also asked what the deal was with the different shipping charges. He then mentioned that Stephanie had made a mistake and should have charged me $24.95. I then told Stephanie’s manager that she quoted me $14.95 for shipping and he made a one time adjustment of $10.00 to my account (again, like it was a favor). Of course I have to call back to speak with the billing department to make sure I am credited the time that my Dish is down. Also, I mentioned that when I receive my third receiver from them in less than a year if it fails again I am going to rip out their equipment and cancel my subscription, his attitude was indifferent. Nobody once acknowledged that charging anything for a defective tuner was unusual.

    I worked for a consumer electronics customer for eight years and I NEVER charged a customer for anything, let alone shipping, if I had to swap out a defective component.

    So apparently their business model is lease crap equipment to customers, don’t stand behind it, make you jump through hoops to receive fair credit for using their services, and generally not give a shit if you cancel your subscription. To top it off he mentioned that Direct TV and the cable company charge for shipping as well I asked him if this was their justification for treating their customers like crap. He was understandably silent.

    John C.
    Houston, TX”



Edit Your Comment

  1. Paul D says:

    the cable company charge for shipping as well

    Horseshit. My local cable company (God bless Insight Communications!) has never charged me for shipping for replacement equipment. They didn’t even charge me when I wanted to upgrade to a dual-tuner DVR box.

    Just “We’ll send someone with the dual-tuner box right away. And thanks for being an Insight customer!”

    THAT’S how it’s done.

  2. christy says:

    And we’ve never been charged a dime for anything like that from DirecTV. They practically throw the equiptment and installers at you for free.

  3. Jay says:

    I can’t say either way whether Cablevision charges for shipping, since I live about 5 minutes from a walk-in center and just do everything myself. I do know that any time I’ve had a problem with a box, whether it be an older analog box, a new digital box, or a DVR, it takes me about 20 minutes to get it replaced, including the time it takes me to drive there, wait in line, and drive back. Cablevision sucks in many, many ways, but thankfully the equipment process doesn’t seem to be one of them so far.

  4. matto says:

    DirecTV didn’t charge me shipping when they replaced my broken DVR under warranty.

  5. Falconfire says:

    Comcast has never charged me shipping on anything, they send a guy right to the door. Might take 2-3 days but they do it.

    Even when our cable went out we had a guy there in like 4 hours.

  6. rparacka says:

    This past year my high def DirecTV antennae went south. The LNB on the end of the feedhorn went bad. Long boring story about several phone calls, resetting the receiver, blah blah blah you know the drill. Blamed me for faulty wiring when THEY ran the cable. I said I wanted it fixed and as it had been less then 90 days I would not pay a dime.
    “OK”, they said sweetly. Guess what showed up on my next bill under service charges?
    Bottom line is that after a lot of hollering the charge was reversed. Why do we have to go through this? Isn’t there some way or some authority or some procedure to make companies like this act decently? I don’t care if they make a profit, that’s the name of the game isn’t it? Why do I have to pay in shattered nerves for the priviledge of having 900 channels to watch and nothing on?