Dish Network: Pay-Per-View Billing Errors Are Impossible

Five Cent Nickel has had enough of Dish Network, and the final straw was when they told him that they wouldn’t correct a billing error because pay-per-view billing errors (in which one is charged for a movie that they did not order) are impossible.

Science has proven it! There can be no billing errors on pay-per-view movies. Ever.

Because their phone service is atrocious and has extensive hold times, I decided to contact them via their website late last week. Within the prescribed 24-48 hours, I received a canned response that basically said “tough luck.” Here’s the text of their response:

Thank you for your e-mail. Please understand all pay-per-view (PPV) movies are non-refundable once ordered. Our technical specialists have done exhaustive troubleshooting on tuners that were reported to have ordered pay-per-view events independently and have found it is not possible for a tuner to do so. The system requires that you confirm your purchase two times before the order will process.

The process to order a PPV includes:

1) Tuning to an event from the guide or channel itself.

2) Pressing the “Select” button go to the order screen.

3) Pressing the “Select” button again to order the PPV.

4) Pressing the right arrow button to highlight “Yes.”

5) Pressing the “Select” button to confirm the order.

6) Pressing the “Select” button to run the phone test.

7) Finally, pressing the “Select” button again to acknowledge the test results.

We regret that it is not possible to make the credit, as you have requested. If you are unaware of how these movies were ordered on your system, you may choose to either lock out your system’s pay-per-view feature (menu, 5, 3) or call us at 1-800-333-3474 to have a supervisor permanently disable your pay-per-view. Both options will prevent pay-per-views from being ordered on your system in the future without your prior explicit approval.

We thank you for allowing us to be of assistance to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please refer to or reply to this email.

In short, they claim that it’s impossible for their system to make an error of this nature, and they further argued that ordering a PPV movie is so complex that it would be impossible to do so accidentally. The only useful information contained within their boilerplate response is an outline of how to lock out PPV movies. The funny thing is, the movie in question was apparently ordered at 5AM on a Monday morning, at which time nobody in our house is awake.

I’ve responded letting them know that we’ve just about satisfied our original 18 month agreement (we’re seventeen months in) and that I can’t believe they’d risk running off a reliable customer in the interest of defending a $3.99 billing error. Whether or not the PPV movie is technically refundable, they have it within their power to make billing adjustments. They’ve just chosen not to. I’m sure that the CSR that reads my response won’t care, but I’m sick of dealing with dumbass CSRs on the phone. Next stop, a phone call to EchoStar corporate headquarters — this is seemingly the only way to get any satisfaction from them.

Way to lose a customer over $3.99, Dish Network.

Dish Network You STILL Suck [FiveCentNickel]