I signed up with dish network June 2004. In March 2005, due to personal budget cut, I decided to try to discontinue dish network service. So I called their customer service and talked to one of their representative. Dish Network reassured me that I have no contract or obligation with them and that I would not be charged any fee if I disconnect.
I thought that story was over until I recently (3 months after disconnection) received a threatening letter from the Dish Network retailer (VMC Satellite) demanding that I pay a termination fee of $290.
"Your account is in default!, when you signed up through VMC Satellite, you agreed to maintain service for a period of one year". " if $290 is not received in our office within 7 days, will turn your BAD DEBT over to our collection agency" "OUR COLLECTION AGENCY IS VERY GOOD". The letter had more and more of threatening language.
Shockingly, this was the first time I hear from VMC in writing EVER. The only time I dealt with VMC was when I initially signed up with Dish network. I called a number that a friend provided. I signed up and after that it was ALL DISH NETWORK. I mean scheduling the installation, the installation, costumer service were all through dish network. I still don't understand what the role of VMC was.
I never received from them any verbal or written explanation of their terms and conditions or anything that says I have one year contract with them.
When I called VMC Satellite, The representative was as rude and aggressive to me as the letter. He threatened that if I don't pay immediately a $100 will be added for a total of $390 and will be sent to the collection agency.
I asked him whether if he would waive this fee if I signed up with Dish network for additional 3 months (to complete one year)and the answer was no.
IN SUMMERY: VMC Satellite never mentioned anything verbally or in writing about their 1-year contract (I signed up by phone). Dish Network failed to warn me about VMC Satellite termination fee when I disconnected my service.
In the letter from VMC Satellite: "we earn a commission from the carrier [Dish Network] when we set up your new account. Since your service was disconnected before one year was up, we have been forced to pay our commission back". So Dish Network gets some money from VMC Satellite and I have to pay an outrageous termination fee to VMC Satellite. IS THIS BAD BUSINESS OR A REAL SCAM?