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Check your bill carefully for fees

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by 921tiger, Jul 2, 2010.

  1. Jul 2, 2010 #1 of 24
    921tiger

    921tiger Mentor

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    Feb 13, 2005
    So I purchased a 942 years ago for cash to get HD programming (at the time).

    I subsequently was pretty much forced to get that replaced with a 722 which a DISH-authorized installed brought to my house--and left with my 942--and installed.

    That's when the billing nightmares started: DISH started putting a $7 lease fee on my bill, and giving me a $7 credit. That held for a year, then I've had to call at least once a year as the credit would "mysteriously" disappear.

    Then recently the leased fee bumped up to $9, and the $7 credit didn't.

    Another call to a CSR (sic) and now I'm told that I have two receivers (I haven't a clue where the other one is, as I only have ONE in my house), and the 722 is *leased*. This is the first time in several years that I've been told that.

    Anyone else having this issue? Sounds like an airline industry tactic of slipping fees in to boost revenues. Most subscribers, especially if you're on the strongly-pushed AutoPay system, won't notice this, resulting in many MANY extra dollars of revenue for DISH.

    Needless to say, I'm ready to switch to another provider and drop-ship (literally) this 722 back to them.
     
  2. Jul 2, 2010 #2 of 24
    TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    Anyone on auto-pay that doesn't check that charge on a monthly basis is an idiot. Mistakes happen and I would think it would be in the best interest of the customer to make sure the mistakes are caught and resolved in a timely manner.
    Now, if you want some suggestions as to how to go about resolving this matter, just ask.
     
  3. Jul 2, 2010 #3 of 24
    921tiger

    921tiger Mentor

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    Feb 13, 2005
    I strongly agree. I've had my credit card number misused a few times so I watch my account activity like a hawk. When I see a change in the DISH charge, I investigate, and hence how I've found their "oopsy, silly us" antics in the past--which is getting really old.

    The CSR's attitude and comments indicated that he--as a representative of the company--didn't care if I terminated my subscription with them. Absolutely no indication that they were interested in keeping me as a customer. And I got stonewalled when I asked to talk to his supervisor ("busy", yeah).

    If you have suggestions--because I pay annually, so I'll let my subscription run out later this year, I'd appreciate any tips.
     
  4. Jul 2, 2010 #4 of 24
    JWKessler

    JWKessler Legend

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    Jun 2, 2004
    Looks to me like buying your own equipment is fraught with danger. I don't know how many posts I've seen mentioning how Dish has magically converted a piece of equipment that was owned by the customer into one that was owned by Dish. Beyond the simple fact that this should be called theft when it happens, I don't think it pays to buy Dish equipment. After all, it's not like the stuff serves any purpose without having a Dish subscription.
     
  5. Jul 2, 2010 #5 of 24
    finniganps

    finniganps Hall Of Fame

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    Jan 23, 2004
    Can you clarify how you got your 722 - did Dish bring it or did you buy it from a retailer? If you got it through Dish it probably is leased.
     
  6. Jul 2, 2010 #6 of 24
    4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

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    Laurel, MD
    I had essentially the same thing happen to me with a 921 that I owned. An email to ceo@dishnetwork.com solved it.

    The pricing structure now is such that you pay the "lease" fee whether or not you own your receiver. They just call it something different.

    The only advantage I see to owning vs leasing these days is you can deactivate an owned receiver and not have to send it back, so it can be reactivated again on extremely short notice. You may also be able to use certain models as an OTA HD DVR if you program it manually, or just use the live buffer to pause live TV.
     
  7. Jul 2, 2010 #7 of 24
    knot

    knot Mentor

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    Feb 4, 2010


    Why would you let the installer leave with the 942 if it was owned by you?
     
  8. Jul 2, 2010 #8 of 24
    James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Michiana
    DISH had an upgrade deal intended to remove older receivers from circulation. Part of the deal was to turn in your existing receiver.

    This was years ago and there was a lot of discussion over whether the new receivers were owned or leased. Generally people were losing their owned receivers for a leased receiver.

    This particular account seems more messed up than most. I'm not sure where a $9 receiver lease fee would come from. He should also check to make sure there is only one receiver on the account (this can be done online). Under today's pricing the first receiver should be included - even if leased - so the $7 lease fee should not be there. At one time DISH did charge the lease fee on the first receiver if it was an upgrade via "Dish'n it up" put didn't for new customers. Their billing system was far from consistent but has been getting better.
     
  9. Jul 2, 2010 #9 of 24
    coldsteel

    coldsteel Hall Of Fame

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    Only reason for a $7 or $9 lease fee is if he does not have qualified programming for a lease promotion.
     
  10. 921tiger

    921tiger Mentor

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    Feb 13, 2005
    Thank you for sharing your comments and suggestions. I've been a DISH subscriber since 1997 when I bought a 5000 receiver from CostCo. I bought my 942 through a local dealer for cash, and activated that myself at home.

    I got the 722 through a DISH installer since DISH required an installer to do the three-satellite antenna installation (I had a single dual feedhorn 110/119 antenna with the 942). And it was as stated--give up the 942 for the 722.

    As one reply mentioned, the term, "theft" did cross my mind. Ignorance that a subscriber can produce a receipt showing legal physical ownership of a receiver isn't an excuse.

    Imagine if someone came to your home, offered you a similarly-valued car for your car, then started billing you for lease fees on the replacement car. When you complain,they don't drop the lease, but send you a bill with a credit for the lease fee. They strongly push auto-pay so you don't have to send a check every month.

    Then, oops, a few times a year, the credit either disappears or conveniently drops a few bucks. To bury it further, stop sending paper statements and they tell you to check your bill online. That's what I've been fighting. I spot their occasional "oops" when I see their credit card charge deviate from what I expect.

    At this point, I've been fighting this battle several times a year since I got the 722. With the ongoing billing issues that I have never had with my other subscription services (water, telephone, etc), either I'm the only subscriber DISH has (sic) or they're unable to deal with a limited or unique case, which is pretty pathetic. Since no single person owns an issue, there's no accountability to any single person to fix my account. The regular response has been to punt the few bucks of credit onto my account and shut me up for another couple of months and let another CSR deal with it. It's in the numbers: the majority of subscribers will overlook the discrepancy, and it helps the bottom line. Profits over ethics.

    Diving into the true cost of my DISH account, plus my phone bill, it's clear to me that it would be more cost-effective to--finally--migrate to a bundled terrestial package. DISH was cost-effective 13 years ago, but they're no longer competitive to me, especially if I have to play the CSR game every couple of months.

    For those who haven't had billing issues, cool. I'll give the ceo email address a try, but the attitude I've gotten from DISH is that ethics has taken a back seat to profits, which is a dangerous place for any business to trend.
     
  11. CABill

    CABill Hall Of Fame

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    Mar 20, 2005
    I'm in the same boat as 921tiger, except I still have the 942 which will still record OTA digitals with a manual timer (Digital Service is in the guide for days as a single event).

    coldsteel's "qualified programming for a lease promotion" is likely correct from the perspective of someone I talk to if I call in to DISH, but lease promotion doesn't strike me as the right term for DISH wanting 942's to go away and forcing replacement of owned receivers.

    I owned two 942s. I sent one in on an RMA for the HDMI connector and it returned as a 622 (owned). The 2nd 942 became a leased 722 which arrived with a DISH subcontractor (only time anybody from DISH has ever been to my place). I still have that 942 because the installer didn't take it (and wouldn't have been permitted to do so).

    I've always had AT120 programming (named various things) but that programming apparently is only "qualified" if paid monthly. I was always an annual sub and at times during the past two years that hasn't mattered, and at other times it has cause a $7 leased receiver fee, or more recently a $9 fee, to suddenly appear on the bill without changing anything. Depending on who you reach when you call, you might be told (after holding for "research") that the charge is legitimate or that something isn't setup right for an annual sub and they'll issue an offsetting credit. It SEEMS like the length of time for a credit is up to the CSR, with maybe a 2 year max.

    I deactivated the 622 when it went to $17, and that's when a $9/month lease fee appeared on my bill. The $9/month disappears if a 622 is reactivated on the account, or if I give up the one month free from the annual sub. A CSR did "something" on a calculator to come up with a monthly credit:
    Mar 09 Annual America's Top 120 - Adjustment -8.33
    I gave up on the annual and don't have to call to have a credit restored because it had an end date. I do still check the account only MORE than once / month because there are LOTS of ways DISH manages to screw up my bill. Once just under a year ago, the balance went up and there was an additional receiver fee added to the account. I hadn't added it, the CSR said there was no record of who might have done it, and it turned out to be that the $7/month was because the 942 was again "active" on my account. I couldn't have activated it if I'd asked as it was long past the "no 942 date".

    The number of people with leased 722s because they had a 921/942 isn't a big number, and the subset of those that pay annually makes it even smaller. I've just become accustomed to DISH screwing up my bill periodically, and watch it closely. Even someone with a "normal" account should watch their bill closely.

    FWIW, I've also been a DISH sub since '97.
     
  12. nmetro

    nmetro Godfather

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    Jul 11, 2006
    It is one thing to tell people that a service is going to raise fees and quite another to "surprise" the customer by raising fees without mentioning a word. I just received my July bill, both the Super Station and Sports Net packages were increased by $1.01. Also, DISH now charges $10 for HD Platinum. In addition, AT 250 was increased $2 last month when DISH instituted "HD for Life".

    OK. So this is only $14.02, but DISH could at least inform their customers about a fee increase. Also, I get my bill via e-mail and they could have mentioned a fee increase other than say that "some customers may see some adjustments to their bill fee structure" or something to that affect.

    Personally, I do not care about paying a higher fee, but I would like to know in advance that a change in fee structure is coming. Unlike government, I do stick within a budget.
     
  13. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    It did state on the bill that "some adjustments" may be made. Not much of a surprise there. Hasn't HD Platinum always been $10?
     
  14. nmetro

    nmetro Godfather

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    Jul 11, 2006
    The HD Platinum was not a surprise; I expected that when DISH introduced "Free HD for Life"; sort of an oxymoron here. The surprise were in the increase in the Super Stations and Sport Net. The e-mail, with my bill, indicated nothing about this change.
     
  15. lparsons21

    lparsons21 Hall Of Fame

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    Seems odd. I only deal with Dish via email or chat and even then, I got a letter showing all the rate changes.
     
  16. slt101

    slt101 AllStar

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    Jun 17, 2010
    I agree, they should of sent us a notice if our rates were going to go up. I am on auto pay and was never notified of any price increase except that "some customers may see some adjustments to their bill structure". Why not come out and say we are having a price increase again this year for some of our customers.
     
  17. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    And what did you think that meant? :confused:
     
  18. 921tiger

    921tiger Mentor

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    Feb 13, 2005
    Notification or not, compared to the other periodic-payment service I've dealt with, DISH stands alone in the need for me to call them several times a year to straighten out not cost increases, but outright billing errors.

    With alternatives available, I'd rather just change providers. We use DirecTV at work, and I'd defect to them except the admin who manages DirecTV bills has her own collection of war stories.

    Thank you for all of the comments and suggestions. It helps to hear that I'm not the only one DISH is playing with. It nixes the possibility that I'm DISH's only customer :grin: hence their inability to resolve this ongoing issue.
     
  19. James Long

    James Long Ready for Uplink! Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    I've had DISH for several years and never had a billing error. Perhaps it is because I pay attention here and know what they will be charging me and when adjustments are made I see them properly as price changes and not errors. Or perhaps I'm the one in 14 million that DISH charges correctly.

    To assume that because your bill does not match your expectations that everyone's or even a majority of bills are incorrect is wrong. I believe that they get it right in most cases (which would be at least 7 million customers getting correct bills). They wouldn't stay in business misbilling everyone and overloading their CSRs with complaints.
     
  20. TulsaOK

    TulsaOK New Member

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    In the 14+ years I've been a Dish customer, I can count on one hand the times I've had to question my bill. If it was truly a billing mistake, it's always been taken care of immediately and professionally. If someone has billing issues month after month, well there's probably something else going on.
     

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