Dish Network Sends Prepaid Return Boxes To Wrong Address Three Times, Bills For Unreturned Equipment

Reader Ryan called the Dish Network three weeks before moving to disconnect his service. Dish graciously offered to send prepaid return boxes for his equipment, but instead of sending them to Ryan’s new address, Dish sent them to his old address. Three times. Oddly, Dish managed to properly address a bill to Ryan’s new address. Ryan writes:

My wife and I signed up for Dish Network service last summer ’06 and were fairly happy with it. Come this August we moved into a new house where another service was available and decided to switch. I called and canceled our service approximately 2-3 weeks before we were set to move (paying a prorated disconnect fee in the process), scheduling the last day of service to be the last day of the month. I was told by the Customer Service rep that I would receive pre-paid ‘courtesy’ UPS boxes to return the equipment. We expected the boxes to arrive before we moved, considering we’d given ample notice.

However, come moving day, no boxes had arrived. “No problem” we thought. After all, we had a forwarding address set up and if junk mail can find its way from the old address to the new, surely something as large as this will too.

Come next month I happen to look at my bank account and there’s a $300 charge to Dish Network. I received no bill, no phone call, my bank account is simply $300 poorer. I immediately called them back and requested an explanation. It seems that the boxes were sent to our old address and not forwarded. They’ll resend the boxes which should arrive in 3-5 business daysand as soon as we have a UPS tracking number, the money will be refunded. Case closed. Or so I thought.

Fast forward two weeks and the boxes haven’t arrived. I called customer service again. Guess what? They sent the boxes to our old apartment address… again. I asked if there was a location near where I lived so that I could drop the equipment off myself and get my money back. I’m given a number to a local distributer. I’m told to leave a message and they’ll get back to me. While waiting to hear back from the distributer I received a bill for $24.75 from none other than Dish Network. But I canceled the service! Ah, but I owe $25 in sales tax for the $300 worth of equipment I don’t want. And here’s the kicker: it’s addressed correctly at our new house.

I, for a fourth time, call up customer service on Monday Nov 5th. In a rather irritated tone I skip the niceties and ask for the boxes to be sent to the address that I now know is quite firmly in their computer system. I’m assured that they’ll be resent and that I’d have them by Friday. That was yesterday. Calling again this morning I’m told that the boxes have been mailed to my old apartment complex for a THIRD TIME. Supposedly they’ve sent a fourth set to my house this time, (which apparently will take 7-10 business days to arrive, contrary to the 3-5 it’s always taken before) and I can finally get my money back.

I’m hoping that the inept CS reps can connect the addresses long enough to get these mailed correctly, but I expect in about 2 weeks I’ll call back and yet again be told that they were sent swiftly to my old address along with a $24.75 charge going to collections (assuming it isn’t withdrawn from my account without my permission again). Any advice (and publicity) is appreciated.

If Dish still isn’t able to figure out where you live, kick the problem from the call center to the corporate office. Send an email to EchoStar’s CEO, Charles Ergen, at CEO@echostar.com.

(Photo: diaper)