The price increase is indeed real... Already confirmed by DIRT.
Until it shows up on a bill, or its officially announced by Dish in some way shape or form, I don't consider the internet customer support team a completely valid source for this type of information, while I could be wrong, It seems odd that Dish would tell these staff members of a price increase, when other CSR's are routinely maligned for their lack of information when one call's Dish. Why would the internet team get info that I suspect if you called Dish on the phone about a coming price increase you would probably not get a straight answer.
Again, could be way off base and the increase is merely weeks away, but its going to hit us all one way or another it appears, whether I upgrade to a Hopper or not, the issue then comes down to whether I consider having a Hopper/Joey setup worth the few extra $$ a month over my current configuration. While I am still considering the upgrade, the extra costs are a damper no matter what..
While some people are under the mis-conception that the economy is improving, its all media smoke and mirrors.. So any company raising prices now I think may in the long run may wished they had found better ways to augment their bottom-line other than with price increases on their products and services. While those options may not be easy, there are always things companies can do, hopefully other than cutting staff, that would save them money and not increase prices.
In Dish's case, based purely on the news, trying to buy Sprint and seemingly sitting on billions of dollars to try and do that, would seem like there are far better uses of that cash, like maintaining or reducing prices.. Or working to re-negotiate contracts with content providers for better rates where they can to lower costs. While I am sure this one is pie in the sky, at some point, it has to stop... otherwise no one will be able to afford it.