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Dish Tries To Charge $5 for Downgrading

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by WHNB, Feb 21, 2005.

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  1. WHNB

    WHNB Mentor

    Jan 14, 2004
    Me to Dish CSR: My annual (prepaid) programming subscription is expiring and I don't wish to renew the HD package.

    CSR: I have to charge you a $5 fee for downgrading service.

    :eek2: :nono:

    Me: I read on the website dbstalk that, because of the programming price increases as of February 1st, all the CSRs were told to waive the $5 fee if a customer downgrades.

    CSR: It's up to each CSR's discretion. Since you have good credit and you've been a good customer the fee is now waived.

    (The fee wasn't going to be waived for me until I mentioned what I had read on this website. I thank the Dish insider(s) who posted this info in the forum pages.)

    The CSR also told me that despite the price increases, Dish was still lower-priced than DirectTV. I told CSR that because of the satellite tax that is charged to me, Dish is only twenty cents cheaper (than the comparable DirectTV package).

    Although Dish's programming prices are slightly lower, it charges customers more for the satellite tax than its competitor. That makes the twenty cents difference between the two satellite providers for customers who live in Connecticut, one of the few states that has the satellite tax in addition to the sales tax on programming and equipment. DirectTV's Total Choice also has channels that Dish's America's Top 120 doesn't have, such as Hallmark, for those extra two dimes a month . But DirectTV does require new customers who get their free receiver for the $19.95 shipping charge to commit to a full year.

    With the new price increases that Dish imposed on Feb. 1st and that DirectTV will impose on Mar. 1st (these amounts apply to Connecticut subscribers):

    America's Top 120: $37.99
    6% state sales tax: 2.28
    satellite tax: 2.81
    $43.08 per month

    Total Choice w/o Locals: $38.99
    6% state sales tax: 2.34
    satellite tax: 1.95
    $43.28 per month
  2. BFG

    BFG Hall Of Fame

    Jan 23, 2004
    how can one service have different sat taxes than the other, sat tax is sat tax, something is screwed up.
  3. WHNB

    WHNB Mentor

    Jan 14, 2004
    It's because Dish starts off with an inflated arbitrary flat fee for the satellite tax in the few states that have this tax. To that flat fee they assess and add on a sales tax charge, so the total satellite tax depends on the individual state's sales tax rate plus the base flat fee.

    DirectTV doesn't make up an arbitrary fee; they charge a straight 5% satellite tax as 5% is the rate that Connecticut taxes the satellite companies.
  4. Hoobastank

    Hoobastank Legend

    Mar 9, 2004
    OMG...what is a satellite tax? That's double taxation!

    Don't tell Ohio about it, they are feening for extra money, and they'll screw us anyway their Republican heads can think of.
  5. dishrich

    dishrich Hall Of Fame

    Apr 23, 2002
    If you add locals, (as most people have) D* TC is actually $1 LESS than E* AT120 - & still has a dozen more channels to boot...
  6. JohnH

    JohnH Hall Of Fame

    Apr 22, 2002
    TC or TC+
  7. BFG

    BFG Hall Of Fame

    Jan 23, 2004
    TC has a dozen more than 120
  8. BobMurdoch

    BobMurdoch Hall Of Fame

    Apr 24, 2002
    Hey, it could be worse...... in England they charge the equivalent of $250 a TV per year to pay for the BBC channels. It is a mandatory tax PER TV, and inspectors go around with scanning equipment and make inspections to make sure citizens aren't hiding TVs.
  9. Link

    Link Hall Of Fame

    Feb 1, 2004
    Dish is not cheaper than Directv and still won't be when Directv raises its price in March. The Top 180 is expensive for $52.99, while u get the same basic channels in Total Choice Plus for $45.99. Yes I know Dish has Encore themes and a few TMC channels but they aren't worth $7-10.
  10. drjake

    drjake Legend

    Jun 12, 2002
    Whether Encore and TMC are worth $7-10 more depends on the user. You make a blanket assertion that DISH is more expensive than Directv. That is not true. The expense depends on the package one chooses. Sometimes DISH will be more, sometimes Directv will be more. It really depends on what programming package someone wants.
  11. rurso

    rurso Mentor

    Dec 9, 2004
    This was not a smart thing to do: "Me: I read on the website "dbstalk" that, because of the programming price increases as of February 1st, all the CSRs were told to waive the $5 fee if a customer downgrades". You as much as put out a notice to them that if you want to steal Dish Programming go to "dbstalk". If they don't know the site does this, they will look. Bad Move.If you said you saw it on the Dish Neywork,that would be OK.
  12. boba

    boba Hall Of Fame

    May 23, 2003
    If you are a smart shopper Directv Para Todos Opcion Ultra Especial has most of the channels that are in Total Choice + is only $39.99 and is not subject to the March 1st price increase. :) :) :)
  13. Bill R

    Bill R Hall Of Fame

    Dec 20, 2002

    I see you keep "pushing" the Para Todos package and while it may be popular in Texas where a lot of people speak Spanish it is not popular here in the mid-west. Also it really isn't compariable to the better selection of channels you get in DISH's AT packages.
  14. finniganps

    finniganps Hall Of Fame

    Jan 23, 2004
    Dish IS cheaper than Direct if you get the AT60 with locals.
  15. WHNB

    WHNB Mentor

    Jan 14, 2004
    The dbstalk website provides information to Dish customers that isn't widely available elsewhere. I would never have known that Dish sends down periodic software updates to my receiver to correct existing problems if I had not found and followed this website. I also have found out that I'm not the only customer who's noticed quality issues with the Dish brand 34" HDTV.

    I've also been informed of proper procedures for billing and customer service by the posts on this website, posts that are made not only by customers but also by anonymous Dish employees and liasons. Dbstalk doesn't tolerate any posts about "stealing Dish Programming", so I'm not sure what you're suggesting in your post. There is nothing underhanded, secretive, or shady about this website. If a Dish executive were to read the forums on this website, that person would have a window on the customers' perceptions of the products, services, and public image of the company - the kind of information that many companies pay to obtain for marketing purposes.

    If the CSR to whom I spoke even understood the website name that I mentioned and bothered to relay the name to a colleague, it wouldn't be a big revelation to Dish. There have been people who've called into the "Charlie Chats" that have deliberately mentioned dbstalk. I haven't "spilled any beans". The site has to be well-known to people in the company partly by the fact that there are forum moderators here like Jason who relay customers' problems with the 811 receiver to the Dish engineering team and report back on ways to resolve the problems.

    Having a $5 downgrade fee waived is not "stealing" from Dish. I bought the HDTV-in-a-box from the company, and, as part of the deal I was required to subscribe to the HD Package for one year. I paid the full $109.89 (plus tax) upfront at the beginning of my year's subscription. I wouldn't have subscribed to the package if it were not mandatory. I fulfilled my obligation, and when my year's commitment was honored, I notified the company that I would not be continuing with that package. It wasn't like I was paying month-to-month and then decided to stop the HD pack - one might be able to make a case in that situation that a downgrade fee was justified. The company and I had a pre-agreed upon contract for one year, not for infinity. There was no need for them to charge me a penalty for not continuing with HD, a penalty that equaled 1/2 month of HD service.

    (I mentioned my purchase of the HDTV and the fulfillment of the required package commitment to the CSR to clarify why I felt the $5 fee was unjustified.)

    Then there was the added element of the programming price increases of February 1st, and the informational post that appeared in the price increase thread. That post implied that, because the $3 per month increase was relatively substantial compared to previous years' $1 per month increase, Dish realized the hardship this might cause budget-conscious subscribers. The Dish employee was posting nothing of a nefarious or improper nature when he posted that the CSRs were told to waive the $5 "Change of Programming Service Fee" if a customer downgrades after the price increases took effect. That employee was simply stating a temporary company policy, and giving a "heads up" advisory to customers who had previously asked in the thread if they would get stuck with a downgrade charge.

    Regarding the Dish/DirectTV programming price comparison, I tried to emphasize that it applied to subscribers in my state. In other states that have different sales tax rates and/or that don't have a satellite tax imposed by their legislature, subscribers will not have just a twenty cents difference between the two providers. That will affect whether Dish or Direct is cheaper for them. :)
  16. kzosat

    kzosat Legend

    Aug 22, 2004

    I always thought it was the Dem's that raise taxes. here in Michigan the good old Canandian Democrat of a Governor can't wait to raise em. Maybe that is the worst part... a democrat from a partially socialized country.

    Uh oh, hope this doesn't turn into a political thread... :nono:
  17. Codeman00

    Codeman00 Godfather

    Dec 13, 2003
    Nashville, TN
    I hate their downgrade charges...They should be happy that I decide to take on new programming at certain parts of the year. It seems like i'm paying for it twice.
  18. jakattak

    jakattak AllStar

    Feb 14, 2005

    Dish has charged a fee for downgrading as long as I have been a customer. When I first signed up it was stated very clearly on their website and in additional documentation when I got Dish installed (I've alway been on America's Top 50/60 + locals, so downgrading isn't exactly an issue for me.)

    While I think it's bogus, they are upfront about it, and everyone who I've talked to who has ever downgraded has always had the fee waived. Basically, just tell the CSR you don't think you should have to pay it... that you are still subscribing to Dish, that you still want to be a paying customer. They apparently immediately back down and waive the fee. You don't need any special reason other than you're the customer and you don't think it's fair to be charged for a simple programming change. I only know of one person who had to take it further than that and told them flat out either they allow him to downgrade with no penalty or he was cancelling his subscription immediately. The CSR said no prob and waived the fee.
  19. kb7oeb

    kb7oeb Icon

    Jun 16, 2004
    There is a fee schedule on the back of every bill I have received that lists the downgrade fee.

    While I also think its crap I knew about it even before I signed up.
  20. hometheaterman

    hometheaterman AllStar

    Dec 2, 2003
    I didn't really pay attention to it but when I called adding some channels I asked if I had to pay anything if I decided to remove them and they told me yes $5 since then I have read about it on here and other places. It is supposed to be charged if you downgrade or change anything in your programming package that isn't and upgrade so exchanging premiums. I called to get rid of a distant net and add one of the channels from the superstations pack so basically keep my bill the same and they person told me ok I asked if I was going to be charged the fee and she said no that she would waive it but that normally they were supposed to charge a fee. Had she not done that I would have probably tried to talk her into waiving it but she did right away. I think it is a stupid fee to have.
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