Worst Company In America Round One: DirecTV Vs. Dish Network

Day 3 of competition in the arena suspended high above above the Worst Company In America Sarlacc Pit brings us a pair of pugilists that already spend most of the year trying to dish out some hurt on each other.

In the blue and white trunks and hailing from El Segundo is DirecTV, which may be both the country’s largest satellite TV provider — and it’s most complained-about.

Despite its ads touting how much un-cable-company-like DirecTV is, the complaints we hear from readers are awfully similar to the ones that irk customers of Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Charter, and other terrestrial service providers.

Like the woman who found out her ID had been stolen to open a DirecTV account. The satellite company not only didn’t care about her issue, they told her she needed to contract the local subcontractor responsible for the satellite service at a building she doesn’t even live in.

Then there was the reader who found he’d been charged for two $15 porn movies that had been ordered while he was out of town. Even when he offered to prove that he’d been away and that no one had been in the house during the time in question, DirecTV only offered to refund the $30 in six monthly installments of $5 each.

What about the man who called to have his recently deceased father’s DirecTV cancelled, only to have the CSR use this as the perfect opportunity to make a sales pitch to the grieving man?

In the bigger picture, readers also nominated DirecTV for taking part in a string of childish, very public slap fights with broadcasters. And then there were the “NFL Sunday Ticket is free on DirecTV” ads that were so misleading that Comcast — yes, Comcast — felt compelled to file a lawsuit over them.

Like DirecTV, Dish Network is no stranger to disputes with broadcasters. Just ask any sports fan in New York City who also happens to be a Dish customer. They can’t get Knicks or Rangers games on MSG, Mets games on SNY or watch the Yankees on YES.

Dish also has the same problems as its cable competitors of keeping service appointments — and then actually doing the work competently when the tech finally does show.

A number of Dish subscribers wrote to us saying the feel like the company is focusing even less on providing quality service and more on upselling new products related to its acquisition of Blockbuster Video. At the same time, Dish has used floor space inside the still-standing Blockbusters to try to sell video-rental customers on its satellite service.

All of this factors into how Dish recently ended up on the ACSI’s “Most Hated Companies” list.

There is one former Dish customer who probably won’t vote for the company — that’s because he sued Dish in small claims court and won after no one from the satellite provider bother to make an appearance in court.

Now it’s time to vote with your heart (Not literally; that would be gross).

(Voting for this poll will close at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, March 16)

This is a post in our Worst Company In America 2012 series. The companies competing for this honor were chosen by you, the readers. See the entire WCIA 2012 bracket and schedule of match-ups HERE.

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