Dish Taking Away Users’ Right To Sue Company In Court. Here’s How To Opt Out

Over the weekend, a number of Consumerist readers wrote to us with the bad news that, like a growing number of companies, Dish Network is updating its terms of use to strip customers of their right to dispute legal claims in a court of law. There is a way for Dish subscribers to opt out of this restriction — but only if they do it right away.

The updated Dish “Residential Customer Agreement” [PDF] includes a new provision that requires that all customers settle their disputes through either mandatory binding arbitration or in small claims court. Both situations put severe limits on the damages that can be awarded.

Additionally, Dish customers are barred from joining other wronged customers in any sort of class action. So even if the company were to do something that negatively affected millions of customers, each individual subscriber would need to file his or her own dispute with the satellite service… and then have it heard by a third-party arbitrator, or in a small claims court without legal representation.

However, Dish is providing subscribers with the ability to opt out of this provision, but only if they do so within 30 days. So if you’re a Dish customer, check your e-mail inbox because you probably have a boring-sounding message from Dish with details of the new arbitration rules. Your 30-day countdown started whenever that e-mail was sent.

This form [PDF] must be filled out and returned to Dish within that time frame.

Make sure you send the form to the correct address:
DISH Network L.L.C.
Attn: Dispute Resolution
P.O. Box 9040
Littleton, CO

“Any opt-out not received within the thirty (30) day period set forth above will not be valid,” according to the terms.

For new Dish customers, the 30-day countdown clock starts the day your service goes active.

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