I was in the process of upgrading to digital cable to get HDTV when on May 17th 2005 I received a brochure from Dish Network advertising a special sale for the residents of NY,NJ,PA & CT. The Americas top 180 channels package was listed at $40.99 for a one year contract.
I called Dish Network and thats when my consumer ripoff and credit card nightmare began. I wanted to know how much my total bill would be per month and was quoted the following, which by the way were the prices shown in Dish Network's brochure, $40.99-America's Top 180 channels, 13.99-HBO 8 channels, 5.00-extra receiver charge for 4 rm system, 4.98-DVR charge, $64.96/per month for a 1 year contract.
There was an installation charge of $49.99 that was to be refunded on the first month's bill and a $19.99 one-time charge for the DVR. I gave them permission to charge my Visa the $69.98 for the installation and DVR charge and made arrangement to have the dish installed on May 27th.
I usually check my charge card website at least once a week as I use my Visa for nearly everything I buy and don't want a fraud if one occurs to get out of hand. When I checked my charges on May 19th Dish Network had charged my card twice in the amount of $69.98.
I immediately contacted my card holder and disputed the extra charge. I was contacted by the fraud department of Visa who told me Dish Network had put the charges on my card using two different merchant numbers and that they would contact Dish Network and have them cancel these fraudulent charges, which they did.
I then contacted Dish Network and they placed the $69.98 charge for the installation on my credit card and the installation took place on schedule. About a week later there was a charge on my credit card to E-Satellite Marketing Co. for $19.05. I never heard of them and when I called the 800 number on the charge they told me the charge was for a sattelite system warranty service and would be billed at $19.05 quarterly, and cover and service needed on my Dish Network equipment.
I thought why the heck do I have to pay for Dish Network equipment that wears out, that equipment should be part of the subscription cost, the cable company doesn't charge extra for the cable that brings the programming to a persons house, why shoud I have to pay Dish Network to bring a signal to my home when I am paying their subscription fee.
I called Dish Network and inquired as to my responsibility concerning the equipment and was told that the equipment was fully covered by Dish Network's warranty and that I did not need any extra coverage, and they did not know who E-Sattelite Marketing was.
I called E-Satellite Marketing back and cancelled the coverage and they did issue me a credit for the $19.05. I asked them where they got my credit card number and the girl flat out told me that when I signed up for Dish Network they were given my credit card number and went ahead and, without any permission or knowledge, signed me up for satellite equipment warranty service.
I guess you can see where I am going here. Charged twice for the installation under two different merchant numbers. My credit card number given to a third party who also charges my account. and now I find out the $64.96/month satellite Tv cost is going to be $77.99/month because Dish Network has no deal on America's Top 180 channels for $40.99/month in NY,NJ,PA & CT.
They claim it is a bogus deal dreamed up by one of their dealers to get more signups for Dish Network and they will not stand behind it. Talk about sleazy businessmen. The whole bunch from the CEO of Echostar, Dish Network's parent company right on down to the crooked dealers.
I wrote to the CEO Mr. Charles Ergen, 9601 Meridian Blvd, Main Office, Englewood, CO 80112 and complained about his company's underhanded sales tactics and I received a call from one of his flunkies who very rudely pointed out that I was deceived by a company that represented themselves as Dish Network, turned my money over to Dish Network (Half of it anway) but lied to me about the cost of the service. That Dish Network would do nothing to help me get the deal I was promised and I'm just you know what out of luck.
Here lies the heart of my complaint. The brochure I received in the mail said it was from Dish Network. Dish Network took my money and deceived me. Dish Network turned my credit card number over to a third party who put fraudulent charges on my account. Ther must be other Rip-Off readers who have been scammed by Dish Network.
I am going to file a consumer complaint with the Attorney General's Consumer complaint division in both Pennsylvania and New Jersey(Thats where E-Satellite Services is located.) PLEASE!!! if you have been ripped off by Dish Network post it here and join me in filing complaints with the Attorney General. Together we can show Dish Network that they can't rip-oof innocent consumers who are stuck with them for at least a year.
Dickson City, Pennsylvania
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Dish Network