Visiting the LA County Fair recently, I spoke with Gary Jacobs of Allegro Satellite about obtaining Dish Network service. During our talk he put out a good list of reasons why Dish was better than my then current provider (Verizon). One key being lower cost.
I liked what Dish had to offer but was very concerned about my high speed internet service and how the pricing would be affected if I were to cancel my TV service with Verizon. Gary explained that Dish would be coming out with their own satellite based internet service offering a "40Mb down / 10 Mb up" speed in the coming months. This was a bit faster than the service I had with Verizon for about the same cost. He also gave me a "script" to use when calling my current provider in order to get them to keep my internet rates at $40 when I cancel my TV service with them. It all sounded like the perfect solution and I was sold. Let me tell you, it is a bunch of crap.
First off, after scheduling the Dish install, I called to cancel my Verizon service. Using the "script", I asked the Verizon customer service rep for the best possible price I could get on my current internet service if I were to stay with them for that but drop the TV. Their immediate response was that the cost would more than double because I would no longer be bundled with the TV. Also, the level of service I had was no longer available and I would be moved up to the newer higher speed service which also costs more. I said I would have to think about it and hung up. I called again the next day and used the "script" with the same results. In the end, my internet cost went from $37.00 and month to $85!! More than double!!
I called Gary Jacobs, the sales guy, twice to ask why his "script" didn't work. His response was one of surprise. He said he had never heard of anyone not getting the $40 deal. However, he reassured me that the Dish internet service would be available for $40 a month and would be the perfect solution for me. Well, Dish announced their internet service a couple of weeks ago. Yes, it was priced at $40. However, the speeds are only 5Mb down and 1Mb up with a 10GB data cap per month. My current service is 50Mb down / 25Mb up with no cap. So you could say I was outright lied to by Gary Jacobs about the whole internet thing. As a result I have stayed with the Verizon internet for the time being.
Now, on to the installation. Allegro sent out two techs to install a six TV system in my home consisting of two of the new Hopper DVRs and four of the Joey add-on boxes. They were using the current cable installed in my home which should have reduced the install time greatly. Almost 9 hours after they got to my home they only had four TVs operating. Nine hours! And they only had to run one cable!. The installers gave up on the last two TVs and promised to come back the following day. The next day I received their call at 3:30 in the afternoon asking if they could come over.
They were almost 70 miles away and heading into rush hour traffic. They would have been at my house around 6:00pm. I said that wouldn't work and they would have to come back the next day. The next day came and went with no call. In the mean time I took it upon myself to troubleshoot the non-working boxes and was able to fix them in less than an hour. These trained technicians worked on two TVs for almost four hours when they were here and couldn't get them to work and I fixed them with instructions I found on the internet in less than an hour. I called the installer and told him I had the TVs working and did not need him back.
The following day I called Gary Jacobs again to complain about the service. He promptly directed me to the manager, Andy Steeples, the manager of Allegro Satellite. I called him and was met with voice mail. He never called back. Two days later I called him again and he answered. I voiced my frustration with the service I received and asked that perhaps they could provide me some sort of compensation for the time I was put out by the installation plus the fact that I ended up fixing what the installer should have. He was unwilling to offer me anything. In fact he rushed me off the phone indicating that he was busy and didn't have time to discuss the matter and that I should call Dish Network directly.
I have since read other complaints about this Dish Network Reseller and had I known beforehand I would have never gone with them. Their service is terrible. They mislead and outright lie to get you to buy the service with them and then they brush you off if you have an issue. I am amazed that Dish Network allows these guys to sell their product.
Now I will say that I am very pleased with the Dish Network service and programming, now that it works. The Hopper system, while it has some glitches, is very cool and was perfect for my needs. If only the reseller I ended up dealing with was honest and reputable. Then it would have been a great experience all around. Instead, I am left feeling like I got taken for a ride from the guys at Allegro Satellite and have no recourse at all except to pay the price.
In a nutshell, the Dish Network service is really good. Especially with the Hoppers. But dealing with Allegro Satellite in Alhambra California was a very painful process. Especially dealing with their sales guy, Gary Jacobs. Do yourself a favor and run the other way if you see this company trying to sell you Dish service. There are plenty of other companies out there that will appreciate your business and offer you much better service without the lies and deceit!