Do Not Subscribe to Dish Network—They’re Unscrupulous
By David S. Lewis
(Dish Network: see note below)
I signed up for Dish Network about 18 months ago, having become fed up with another subscriber TV service, and after having discontinued TV all together for a few years due to the poor programming, though there are bright spots.
When I signed up, the representative I spoke to by phone said I could get service for about $30 a month, and so I had the service installed—accessing the usual lack luster programming. My sole intention was to access the major news channels for myself, along with C-Span 1 and 2, and for other family members to be able to watch the programs they seem to require, but that I do not.
Since that time, my monthly invoice has totaled $30.99, and I was quite careful with all the Dish Network people I spoke with to make sure that that would be the total bill. They assured me it would. But as soon as they could they hiked it, while requiring me to pay even if I canceled before the 24 month agreement expired. In other words, they hatched a plan to hook people at a low price, then force them to pay a much higher rate or pay whether they continued the service or not. Despicable.
Now, out of the blue, my most recent bill, suddenly, without any changes on my end (no pay per view movies) totals $50.99—a 64 percent increase!
Incensed, I called Dish Network and the man explained, or, rather, hemmed and hawed, that I had actually been receiving a $15 a month discount for a year that had just expired. Who would have thought?
They now bill this nonsense as America’s Top 120. A service charge had also been added to my account. This service charge is the type that they offer for free but then begin charging you for 6 months later when you don’t expect it. You can ask them in advance to cancel the charge, but they won’t until they actually begin billing you for it, so you would have to mark it on your calendar. Then you have to call them the very day it begins in order to avoid charges, in which case you will still be charged for a few days. Their hope is that many of you will simply not monitor your statements, and if you cancel they will still collect pro rated monies for the time the service plan was in effect. I canceled this service plan, and my bill will be pro rated, reducing my total increase to about 50 percent.
The retroactive “discount,” for America’s Top 120, for $15 a month, and which is later charged to your account, is foist upon customers in a similarly deceptive and insidious manner, except that you are stuck with it. Either that or cancel Dish Network, which is the option I will take. In other words, you agree to a low price, then later they tell you that in the fine print of the contract you signed there is language that allows them to raise their prices dramatically as they please, which they do by means of the deceptions mentioned above, even as they claim you were getting a discount all along. What they are doing is exercising their power over customers, while trying to make it seem you’ve been getting something in return. They also throw in a few free B movie channels for a while to soften the blow, but those will go away, and you will be stuck with less programming at a much higher cost.
I told the fellow on the phone that I was disgusted with the way Dish Network does business, that they are underhanded and dishonorable, and that I would do what I could to alert others to their dirty tricks. So that’s what I’m doing here, so that the many thousands who read this publication in hard copy and online (a total of about 100,000) will be made aware of Dish Network's dishonest business practices. I encourage all of you who are Dish Network subscribers to look for a better service—but good luck with that, because there’s not enough competition to keep these outfits honest, and this demonstrates the core problem. If you can go elsewhere, those who sell you goods or services are forced to do better—this includes education for your kids and health care. Prices come down and service goes up. It’s not just a matter of offering competition in the form of one or two alternatives, the case in all of the above (except public education, often a taxpayer funded monopoly dominated by a teachers union, the worst of all scenarios in terms of delivering to the consumer). Powers that be, including unions, corporations, and government in league with both, foster these monopolies so that you must deal with them and nobody else, while locking out those who would offer dynamic alternatives driven by competition. What’s more, they count on your complacency. In the case of subscriber TV, we have meager choices, due to the collusion between private industry and politi-cians. This is not free enterprise, yet free enterprise is the solution.
Note: To Dish Network—it is the hope of this publisher, a subscriber to your service (until my agreement expires), that this posting provides an incentive for you to begin acting forthrightly in your business dealings. To that end, we will feature this story permanently on our website (average monthly visitors: 423,116). Furthermore, let all those considering Dish Network know that while they require you to subscribe for 24 months, and to pay even if you cancel your subscription, they reserve the right to raise your subscription cost within that time period. In other words, they reserve the right to deceive their subscribers and force them to pay more than the agreed upon rate.
If Dish Network would like to address this issue, feel free to email: