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Dish HD Upgrade


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23 replies to this topic

#1 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 01:41 PM

Like many, my family got an HD TV for Christmas. We're still using SD boxes (625 DVR and 322). I called Dish today to see about upgrading to HD. I have no problem with the $10 per month HD fee, but I'm not too thrilled about the $200 HD 'upgrade fee' and the 24-month commitment. What I really don't like is obligating myself to 24 months of service with no cap on rate increases. When I started with Dish 3 years ago, I had no installation fee or commitment, though I paid a one-time extra fee of $25 due to the lack of commitment. The installer came out and installed the dish, ran cables to 2 receivers and the additional tv's, and set-up the receivers. I also got some sort of price assurance (I can't remember what it was called) with a fixed rate plan for 12 months.

Is what I've been quoted by Dish standard for those wanting to upgrade to HD? As much as I hate to admit it, Time Warner is looking to be about the same price without the initial $200. I would have a 12-month commitment, but my rate would be guaranteed for that period. If it matters, I talked to Dish directly - to a CSR and to somebody 'higher up' (account specialist maybe?) Thanks for any feedback.

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#2 OFFLINE   Jim5506

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:39 PM

Let Dish know you are looking at TW, they should escalate your case and give you a better deal.

It probably will not be a free upgrade, but they can do much better than $200.

Be aware that they will have to install a new dish and a new receiver - not a cheap conversion.

Since you have the 322, they will probably just add a wing dish for 61.5 to your D500 because the 322 is not compatible with the Eastern Arc dish setup.
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#3 OFFLINE   GrumpyBear

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 02:41 PM

Let Dish know you are looking at TW, they should escalate your case and give you a better deal.

It probably will not be a free upgrade, but they can do much better than $200.

Be aware that they will have to install a new dish and a new receiver - not a cheap conversion.

Since you have the 322, they will probably just add a wing dish for 61.5 to your D500 because the 322 is not compatible with the Eastern Arc dish setup.

Yes, pushing I am looking at your local Cable, or Direct and pushing to talk to somebody in retention will get you a better deal.

#4 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 03:13 PM

The bad part is that I DID let them know I talked to TW prior (and had prices from that 45+ minute long TW conversation). I asked about adding the wing dish but was told that an entirely new dish would have to be installed, for some reason. I was also told that I could keep the 625 and upgrade the 322 with no additional charges. Can a 625 work with the a 'new' HD dish or would it have the same incompatibilities as the 322? No matter what's involved, it won't be more involved than the initial installation of all the cables, switches, mount, etc that will be reused. I asked to speak to somebody in retention and got an different individual. His numbers were no different than the first CSR's. Perhaps I need to call again and again until somebody seems to want to keep my business (or until I get tired of messing with it and resign myself to TW!) Also, I was told that instead of a 722, I'd be receiving a 622 with its smaller hard drive, which isn't even on their site!

As an aside... I'll never understand the how companies like this work in terms of customer retention. A customer of 3 years that's never had any sort of payment problems is, to me, more valuable than a new customer. Why not retain me? Why try to force me into a 2 year commitment? When I worked in any sort of retail or service positions, I always tried to take care of good, existing customers over a new customer.

Edited by David_NC, 01 February 2010 - 03:22 PM.


#5 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 04:22 PM

Unfortunately, the reason you are being asked to pay a high upgrade fee is likely due to your payment history. Given the price you were quoted, you are a "C"-rated customer, meaning you've either had service disconnected due to non-payment or had several late payments in the last year. Your payment history is given FAR more weight than your length of time with the company.

While there are other factors involved, the primary factor in determining your rating is paying your bill in full on or before the due date on the bill. Credit card autopay is one good way to do that; another is setting up an auto-payment with your bank.

The bottom line is: Dish isn't likely to budge on their upgrade prices due to your rating with them. Sorry.

#6 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 06:57 PM

Unfortunately, the reason you are being asked to pay a high upgrade fee is likely due to your payment history. Given the price you were quoted, you are a "C"-rated customer, meaning you've either had service disconnected due to non-payment or had several late payments in the last year. Your payment history is given FAR more weight than your length of time with the company.

While there are other factors involved, the primary factor in determining your rating is paying your bill in full on or before the due date on the bill. Credit card autopay is one good way to do that; another is setting up an auto-payment with your bank.

The bottom line is: Dish isn't likely to budge on their upgrade prices due to your rating with them. Sorry.


I don't want to sound rude, but that is total BS in this case. I have NEVER had a late payment with a Dish bill or anything else in over 24 years with one exception: Time Warner actually lost a payment back in '92-94 and I had one month's payment late. In fact, I can proudly say that my credit history is near flawless. Besides, my Dish bill is a bit under $68 per month; paying it is no problem.

#7 OFFLINE   gomezma1

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:27 PM

This is a no win situation. What's gonna happen is that you will commit and someone will be offering a better deal. Stick to your guns and see what happens. Good Luck!

#8 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:45 PM

I don't want to sound rude, but that is total BS in this case. I have NEVER had a late payment with a Dish bill or anything else in over 24 years with one exception: Time Warner actually lost a payment back in '92-94 and I had one month's payment late. In fact, I can proudly say that my credit history is near flawless. Besides, my Dish bill is a bit under $68 per month; paying it is no problem.


If that's the case, you should try to find out why Dish has you rated so low. It's a mostly-automated system, but if you escalate high enough (a front-line CSR won't have any idea), you should be able to get to someone who can explain your rating.

#9 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 07:54 PM

If that's the case, you should try to find out why Dish has you rated so low. It's a mostly-automated system, but if you escalate high enough (a front-line CSR won't have any idea), you should be able to get to someone who can explain your rating.


I wonder how many higher-ups I'll have to talk to. Like I mentioned, I talked to a CSR and somebody in 'account retention'. I asked him why I was not getting any better treatment. Perhaps I'll call again tomorrow.

#10 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:40 PM

I just got off the phone with another supervisor. This time she offered no installation ($100) and no equipment fee ($200). They will not budge on the 24 month commitment. With a screwy economy and one household member out of work, now's not the best time to commit to something as non-essential as Dish Network service. I asked about my payment history; she said that my account was always paid on time i.e. no late payments or disconnects.

What's so annoying is that TW called after I switched to Dish with all kinds of promotions... the same promotions that would have kept me with them in the first place! I'll bet Dish will do the same thing. Thanks for the feedback!

#11 OFFLINE   GrumpyBear

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 08:52 PM

I just got off the phone with another supervisor. This time she offered no installation ($100) and no equipment fee ($200). They will not budge on the 24 month commitment. With a screwy economy and one household member out of work, now's not the best time to commit to something as non-essential as Dish Network service. I asked about my payment history; she said that my account was always paid on time i.e. no late payments or disconnects.

What's so annoying is that TW called after I switched to Dish with all kinds of promotions... the same promotions that would have kept me with them in the first place! I'll bet Dish will do the same thing. Thanks for the feedback!

You wont get away from the 2yr agreement unless you go with U-Verse.

#12 OFFLINE   VDP07

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Posted 01 February 2010 - 09:57 PM

Dish only has 2 customer ratings for upgrades now, A or B. An "A" rated customer will be asked to pay $100.00 for a 612, 622 or 722 upgrade plus the new "Technician visit fee" of either $15 or $95 depending on whether or not you have the $6 mo. "service plan". A "B" rated customer will be asked to pay $200.00 plus the "Tech vist fee" for the same.

#13 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 10:59 AM

I was reading the lawsuit against D. One section, in particular, caught my attention: "Additionally, when a customer adds an additional receiver to a home that already has defendants' equipment, or upgrades to a different type of receiver, defendants will obligate the customer to a new additional term of service of up to 24 months." from pages 12-14 of http://atg.wa.gov/up...t2009-12-14.pdf. This is exactly what Dish is doing as well. I'll be interested to see what, if any, changes to terms and conditions of both D and E occur. The difference I see is that Dish was did disclose to me that an upgrade would incur a commitment.

Another odd thing is that Dish wanted to put a $1 charge (and then a $1 refund) on a credit or debit card even if I don't 'link' that card to my account or pay my bill through it. I was told that this was a technicality and that the card only had to be active at the time of the charge. She couldn't explain why this was done.

You wont get away from the 2yr agreement unless you go with U-Verse.

Or Time Warner - 12 months of preset rates with no agreement required from me.

#14 OFFLINE   coldsteel

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 11:09 AM

Actually, Dish only requires the commitment if you agree to a discount in the cost of the receiver. Pay $500 instead of $200 for that HDDVR, no commitment.

The $1 hold is supposedly an 'anti-fraud' measure, since the card has to be in the account holder's name.
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#15 OFFLINE   GrumpyBear

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 12:29 PM

I was reading the lawsuit against D. One section, in particular, caught my attention: "Additionally, when a customer adds an additional receiver to a home that already has defendants' equipment, or upgrades to a different type of receiver, defendants will obligate the customer to a new additional term of service of up to 24 months." from pages 12-14 of http://atg.wa.gov/up...t2009-12-14.pdf. This is exactly what Dish is doing as well. I'll be interested to see what, if any, changes to terms and conditions of both D and E occur. The difference I see is that Dish was did disclose to me that an upgrade would incur a commitment.

Another odd thing is that Dish wanted to put a $1 charge (and then a $1 refund) on a credit or debit card even if I don't 'link' that card to my account or pay my bill through it. I was told that this was a technicality and that the card only had to be active at the time of the charge. She couldn't explain why this was done.


Or Time Warner - 12 months of preset rates with no agreement required from me.


Well that works, I went to the TimeWarner website and for new equipment 2 DVR's using this address 3801 Rock Quarry Road in NC. Fine Print had 2yr agreement. If you can get if for no commitment, go for it. It maybe different as I didn't fill out the Credit check part, I used autopay. To get the same channels but fewer in HD, was more than my Dish Bill.

#16 OFFLINE   BattleZone

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 01:36 PM

Actually, Dish only requires the commitment if you agree to a discount in the cost of the receiver. Pay $500 instead of $200 for that HDDVR, no commitment.

The $1 hold is supposedly an 'anti-fraud' measure, since the card has to be in the account holder's name.


Right. Folks aren't "getting" the fact that they're getting deep up-front discounts on the equipment via the lease program, but that leasing comes with "strings attached", i.e., the commitment. You can always purchase your equipment outright and have no commitment.

#17 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 02 February 2010 - 02:38 PM

Right. Folks aren't "getting" the fact that they're getting deep up-front discounts on the equipment via the lease program, but that leasing comes with "strings attached", i.e., the commitment. You can always purchase your equipment outright and have no commitment.


I get it. I guess what bothers me is that 3 years ago, when I first signed up with Dish, I paid an initial $100 which was credited back over 10 months $10 at a time. I had no commitment or payment history with them (new customer). I have no problem paying the fees or a commitment if they'll lock the prices for the commitment period (or at least some portion of it).

TW doesn't require a commitment from me, for some reason. Perhaps it's because I have a good payment history with them (they supply my RoadRunner). Plus, they'll guarantee their prices for 12 months. Oh, and I don't have to lease or buy hardware. I just don't care for TW. I was hoping for the same from Dish, that's all. At this point, I'm going to stick with Dish & SD I suppose and maybe be on the lookout for a HD DVR. Thanks.

#18 OFFLINE   David_NC

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 11:21 AM

I thought I'd post an update to this. Before switching to TW, I decided to try Dish again. I sent an email to the ceo address. The next day I got a reply. We had a couple of back and forth emails about details. The result is that a technician is coming out on Saturday to install two 722K's. I didn't want to post all the details, but I am happy with the resolution and with Dish for taking care of me.

#19 ONLINE   lparsons21

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:31 PM

Glad to see you finally got a deal you liked. You'll love those 722K's, and if you also get the OTA modules (if you need them), you can record 2 SAT and 2 OTA events in HD/SD at once while watching a 5th prerecorded event. That can be real handy at times.

And the programmable/learning remote can be quite handy too.

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#20 OFFLINE   Paul Secic

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Posted 15 March 2010 - 12:51 PM

You wont get away from the 2yr agreement unless you go with U-Verse.


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