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Guest Message by DevFuse

Contracts are void


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24 replies to this topic

#1 Guest_A Thinking Being_*

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 07:04 PM

With the channels being shut off due to the Dish vs Viacom dispute, your contract is void. Dish is not providing what they agreed to provide. You should be able to cancel without a fee, or sue them.

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#2 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 07:39 PM

You must be a lawyer, but not a very good one I would venture. Read your Dish agreement. Channels come and go - get used to it.

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#3 OFFLINE   Jim Parker

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 07:43 PM

Nick
Are you saying that a lawyer is a Thinking Being? :nono: You're giving lawyers way too much credit. :lol:

#4 OFFLINE   amit5roy5

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 07:47 PM

Unfortunately, it is much more money to get a lawyer to sue Dish Network than to cancel and pay a termination fee. :( ARRG!!

#5 OFFLINE   Nick

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Posted 09 March 2004 - 07:52 PM

Nick
Are you saying that a lawyer is a Thinking Being? :nono: You're giving layers way too much credit. :lol:

Not to mention 'lawyers'! :sure:

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#6 OFFLINE   kstevens

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 04:54 AM

With the channels being shut off due to the Dish vs Viacom dispute, your contract is void. Dish is not providing what they agreed to provide. You should be able to cancel without a fee, or sue them.



Then cancel already and begone troll!!!


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#7 OFFLINE   Ray_Clum

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 05:11 AM

Problem is that pesky caveat in the customer contract - prices and programming subject to change without notice...

The can still hold you to it.
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#8 OFFLINE   jrbdmb

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 09:56 AM

Could Dish drop all the Viacom / Disney / ESPN / GE / Fox channels at once and say "hey, prices and programming subject to change without notice?"

At *some* point I expect that you could claim your contract is null and void if Dish lost a significant percentage of its programming. Of course, hiring a lawyer to fight this would cost far more than just eating any penalty involved ... :money:

#9 OFFLINE   MarkA

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:01 AM

"Could Dish drop all the Viacom / Disney / ESPN / GE / Fox channels at once and say "hey, prices and programming subject to change without notice?""

Absolutely, and you can say "tell that to my lawyer". Now, who a court will find right, that's another matter. I'd guess a sympathetic jury would find for you, but if you look at your service agreement (I haven't); there's a good chance you've waived your right to a jury trial (most companies have that in their service agreement); which itself is legally questionable and you could sue them over (which would probably head to the Supreme Court since it's been questioned so often without ever a lawsuit). It could drag on for years and eat 100's of times the contract cancellation fee; and you might not even win. While I hate them, this is what the Class Action was meant for, but the only people who seem to really end up benefitting from those are the attornies...

#10 OFFLINE   md_paul

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:11 AM

As is stated above, the contract all Dish subscribers sign allows for channels to come and go at any time without penalty. The agreement also states that Dish is not obligated to replace the lost channels with other programming However, I did see part of the special Charlie Chat last night at 11:00pm EST (My receivers are set to auto-tune to my local Baltimore CBS O&O station at 11:00 for the evening news, and instead tuned in to the special Charlie Chat showing on that "Off-Air" channel), and someone sent in an email stating that they were a new customer and could not now receive the channels that were the reason for their subscription to Dish. They asked if they were still bound to their 1 (2?) year contract. Charlie seemed to indicate that early termination of contracts may be possible on a case-by-case issue.

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#11 OFFLINE   HeavyC

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:12 AM

I sincerely think that Dish will release people from the contracts if this goes on beyond 2 or 3 weeks. The negative press on the company will be too great. I don't think this will last that long, but if it did Dish would most definitely have to release people from those agreements regardless of whatever wording is in the service agreement.

As much as it pains me, I'm looking into my local cable. I can get local channels in HD without using an antenna and I'll most definitely get the new Chicago Sports Network starting this fall. After seeing how Dish Network has dealt with stations like YES, I'm not convinced they'll be carrying the new Chicago Channel. To me, that's a basic necessity.

#12 Guest_Joey_*

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:24 AM

people should sue dish, not for taking away channels, but for having fuzzy/grainy picture, and for not having cool hd channels that cable offers.

#13 OFFLINE   junki

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 10:57 AM

people should sue dish, not for taking away channels, but for having fuzzy/grainy picture, and for not having cool hd channels that cable offers.

DUDE. The HD that cable offers is not real HD. If you have a fuzzy/grain picture? Is it on your locals?

#14 OFFLINE   freakmonkey

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 11:13 AM

read your contract:

http://www.dishnetwo...RCA/index.shtml

#15 OFFLINE   greggg

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 11:49 AM

So freak if Charlie lost all his programming we would still be obligated to pay? No, at some point the terms of the contract get rewritten by a court because of bad faith. At this point it's a loser because it is only a few channels and he is giving compensation. Taken to ridiculous levels though at some point a court would say Charlie is acting in bad faith and would allow people to walk w/o paying a fee.

#16 OFFLINE   freakmonkey

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 12:08 PM

Then hire an attorney and sue E* the contract says

G. Changes in Services offered. DISH Network reserves the right to change the Services that we offer, and our prices or fees related to such Services at any time. If the change affects you, we will provide you notice of the change and its effective date. The notice may be provided on your billing statement or by other communication permitted under Section 9B. In the event of a change in the contents of any programming, programming packages or other Services, you understand and agree that we have no obligation to replace or supplement the programming, programming packages or other Services previously offered that have been deleted, rearranged or otherwise changed. You further understand and agree you will not be entitled to any refund because of a change in the contents of any programming, programming packages, or other Services previously offered.

So yeah people are SOL. Now if something as grave as described above the loss of all channels then E* would have to let people out of contracts and so on. but what we are looking at is not that bad.

#17 OFFLINE   HeavyC

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 12:38 PM

That may be in there, but I would doubt how legally binding it really is. When something happens that fundamentally changes the nautre of the agreement, and you were not given fair warning of that change (which no regular Dish subscriber was) that really goes a long way to erode that. Dish isn't fufilling the contract in good faith.

Good faith would have been informing customers via mail, email, and commericals of the impending change weeks ahead of time to prepare them which they did not do. Most Dish customers simply tried to watch their favorite channel yesterday and were blindsided. I think we forget that, since we follow the company so closely here. Joe Schmo certainly had no clue what was going on.

Dish acted wrecklessly, and failed to inform their customers of the changes as they are required to do. That in and of itself would probably be enough to void the contract. Dish knows that, and if this thing lasts more than a couple of weeks, you can bet they will start voiding contracts. The last thing they need is the bad PR which would come with forcing people to stay. I can see the articles being written already.

#18 OFFLINE   scooper

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 01:39 PM

HeavyC - if you REALLY want out of your contract with Dish - pay the $240 (or whatever it is) cancellation fee, return your equipment (if it is leased), and go on to cable or DirectTv. If you holler and make enough noise about it - you MIGHT (but no guarantee here) be able to get Dish to waive your cancellation fee.

"Good Faith" on notification - I guess you haven't watched Charlie Chats before this week either. Because I certainly remember these coming up. Not everybody has an email address, and all that most folks get from Dish in the US Postal mail is their MONTHLY bill / statement (some people don't even get that - Annual subs, for example).

I wouldn't get upset about this just yet. If they're gone for a couple weeks - then there is plenty of good reason to leave.

Yes - I'm an "Old-Timer" - I've been with Dish since Oct 2000 (or was that 1999 - it was when Model 4700 receivers and the Dish500 were still pretty new) - I saw the great "Disney - Time-Warner" cutoff on my local cable system - I put a VCR on my OTA tuned to ABC to seamlessly pass it on my Dish / lifeline cable at the time. We'll survive - and it's just TV, after all...
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#19 OFFLINE   Mark Holtz

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 01:53 PM

The attorney fees would cost more than the cancellation fees.

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#20 ONLINE   BobMurdoch

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 01:59 PM

Feel free to hire a lwayer to sue E* and/or Viacom.

I'm sure you won't wind up spending more than the $250 cancellation fee.

With a lawyer getting $400 an hour nowadays, you can talk to him for just over 30 minutes, after which he'll tell you that you have no case. And you'll be back at square one.
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#21 OFFLINE   HeavyC

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 02:05 PM

Look, I'm not hiring a lawyer, I'm merely discussing the validity of the service agreement. I'll ride mine out if I have to. To me, it's not worth taking legal action against. I was just discussing the hypothetical situation.

Also, I don't care how many Charlie Chats this was discussed on, it still wasn't fair warning. I'd like to know what percentage of customers actually watch it. It's got to be less than 10%. If Dish really wanted to alert customers ahead of time, they could have notified them via a commercial with no problems. I see enough commericals for that HD TV deal all the time. They had more than enough time and opportunity to notify/educate their customers. I do stand by my statement, that Dish didn't give enough warning, and as such could be considered to not be fufilling their service agreement.

#22 OFFLINE   jim993

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 02:05 PM

"G. Changes in Services offered. DISH Network reserves the right to change the Services that we offer, and our prices or fees related to such Services at any time. If the change affects you, we will provide you notice of the change and its effective date. The notice may be provided on your billing statement or by other communication permitted under Section 9B. In the event of a change in the contents of any programming, programming packages or other Services, you understand and agree that we have no obligation to replace or supplement the programming, programming packages or other Services previously offered that have been deleted, rearranged or otherwise changed. You further understand and agree you will not be entitled to any refund because of a change in the contents of any programming, programming packages, or other Services previously offered."

Notice that they specifically state that they reserve the right to change the services and their prices. It does not, however, state that you do not have the right to cancel the contract as a result of the change in service/price. Dish will still probably refer it to a collection agency but those who are attys or have atty friends ... :D

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#23 OFFLINE   HeavyC

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 02:07 PM

That's a good point, I didn't read it from that angle. I think the whole service agreement is very open to interpretation.

#24 OFFLINE   freakmonkey

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 03:41 PM

The entire thing is tilted towards E*. I love the part about giving notice.

B. Notice. If we send you notice, it will be considered given when deposited in the U.S. Mail, addressed to you at your billing address or hand-delivered to you. Our notice to you will also be effective if provided on your billing statement or by telephone. If you give notice to us, it will be deemed given when received by us at the address listed on the first page of this Agreement.

Me the cancleing of E* would be no big deal I own my epuipment and am month to month. I just dont see this as such a big deal. If you are in a O&O area you can always move and get distant nets to replace the lost CBS.

#25 OFFLINE   Jerry G

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Posted 10 March 2004 - 04:54 PM

With the channels being shut off due to the Dish vs Viacom dispute, your contract is void. Dish is not providing what they agreed to provide. You should be able to cancel without a fee, or sue them.


Thanks for the legal advice. Either you're not a lawyer or you're a very bad one.




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