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My Dish Billing Rant

Discussion in 'General DISH™ Discussion' started by dhvt, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. dhvt

    dhvt New Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    I don't usually do this, but Dish has me wanting to vent somewhere. Maybe it will prevent someone else from going through the same thing.

    Last month, I got a notice from Dish that my payment (autopay) was declined. I knew there was no way that should have happened, so I contacted them through chat support. It was determined that Dish's system had spontaneously changed my credit card expiration date (I'm not even kidding - and Dish isn't disputing this), so my payment was declined in error, due to an "expired credit card". The chat rep asked me to change the expiration date to the correct one online, but the system wouldn't let me. Then he tried to do it, and it wouldn't let him. He said he had to escalate the issue to the "ERT department". He said it would all be taken care of for me. I asked him several times to make sure that the account be put back on autopay.

    Today, I got a message from Dish saying that my account is past due. To make a long story short, it was never put back on autopay. And they charged me a late fee. I have been on autopay for 7 years and have never had a late payment - until this fiasco - so this really bothers me. I contacted them and was told that as a one-time "courtesy", they would waive the late fee. While it's very courteous of them to undo the charge that they created with their own incompetence, I was not very happy about the way they phrased that. Then I was told that in order to put myself back on autopay, I have to not only pay the amount that's due now, I have to pay the amount that's due next month. My only other option - if I want to fix this myself - is to pay what's due now and to remember to make next month's payment exactly on the due date, at which time I can put myself back on autopay. Or, I could have them take care of it for me, which is what got me into this mess to begin with.

    I talked to a supervisor who told me the same thing. The supervisor suggested that I talk to the Executive Resolution Team, and they told me the same thing. I asked what would happen if I happened to forget to make my next payment on exactly the due date, and I was told that it would result in a late fee that would be considered legitimate since I knew about it in advance. I told them that I wouldn't consider it to be legitimate since none of this would have been necessary if they hadn't screwed up my billing. So we got nowhere, which is exactly what happens any time I contact Dish.

    The lessons I learned...

    1) Autopay is autopay, unless it isn't. Check that your card number, expiration date, autopay settings, etc. are correct every single month right before your payment is supposed to go through.

    2) Check again on every payment date to verify that the payment did actually go through.

    3) Check again on the day after your payment date to make sure the payment is reflected on your statement and that your autopay settings have not changed.

    4) Do not allow Dish to help you with anything that you can do yourself. If they do it incorrectly, it could end up costing you.

    5) If you have absolutely no use for your time, by all means, contact Dish. Otherwise, in almost every case (in my experience), avoid doing so, as it will probably get you nowhere.

    Or... Look into other TV providers. I know I will.

    (P.S. If this post is deleted, I understand. As I said, I never complain online like this, but I think it's important for people to know how Dish deals with issues like the one I had. Plus, I really did need to just vent.)
  2. jimmie57

    jimmie57 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 26, 2010
    Texas City, TX
    I am not with dish but I have had the same basic problem you stated except my card date had expired. I still carried the same card and number but the expiration date had a newer one than was on file.
    What is strange is that sometimes, especially with AT&T, the payment will not start until the next billing period. I have had this happen also. You can give them the same information on the phone and it will take it immediately.

    One thing people can do is to add a new card ( same card with a different expiration date ) and then delete the card that was on file. This usually works.

    If you do online banking you can set up auto pay from your bill pay section of your banking and have your bank system take care of bills like that.

    If I thought I had to do all the checks that you suggest, I would not do auto pay.
    I have auto pay set up for several accounts.
    They send me emails telling me what the bill is and when it will be charged to my card. I review the email the same as I would if I got a mailed bill.

    I do sympathize with you for all the problem that was their fault.
  3. Inkosaurus

    Inkosaurus Icon

    Jul 29, 2011
    Thats normal. If they were to put your account back on auto pay with that balance there the system would automatically charge the card to 0 it out. There telling you ahead of time and giving you the option to pay it and get CCA back on or choose to leave it be and let the balance hang till you can pay it off.

    Whether they screwed up initially or not is irelevant after your aware of it and are told exactly what to do it definitely would be your fault if you let it slide again.
    If you really did contest that over the phone it just seems like your looking for an excuse to have a "debate" over the phone.

    Thats the name of the credit and is generally the term used for the notes. Your anger is making you get hung up on words that dont matter.
  4. James Long

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

    Apr 17, 2003
    No problem here ... complaints about DISH are acceptable and yours was politely worded. Not bad for a rant.

    It is a shame that you have to do any work to fix a mistake made by DISH. If such mistakes are possible in their system they are going to need to make the solutions available in their systems (for example, a $0 payment today checking the autopay box will restart auto pay the next day it is due).

    Hopefully you did not lose any "must remain on autopay" promotions in the process. Paying attention to one's accounts is a good thing ... but it defeats the purpose of autopay when one has to keep better track of the payment than DISH.
  5. Jim5506

    Jim5506 Hall Of Fame

    Jun 7, 2004
    If you do update your card date, Dish computers will immediately charge the card, so do your update to your card on the day before it is due or at least be aware that any change in the info on your credit card will immediately trigger your bill to be charged to that card.
  6. euro_boy

    euro_boy AllStar

    Jun 20, 2005
    I experienced and issue with auto-payment as well.

    In my case, I updated my credit card info with a new card (old was about to expire). The new card was charged correctly for two months. When a payment for the third month was due, Dish's system reverted to the old, now expired, card. The payment was denied.

    I updated my card info on-line to reflect the new card, however, one-day later it reversed itself to the old card information again. I had to call Dish and they had to input new card information in the system themselves. They had no explanation as to why it happened.
  7. EdJ

    EdJ Legend

    Jan 9, 2007
    A few months ago I got an e-mail from DISH that my auto CC payment was declined. I did not bother calling up to try to find out the problem. I just used the same credit card to pay manually at the web site. I then deleted the 'auto' CC and re-entered it and told the system to use it to auto-pay. No problems since then.

    Sometimes computer systems just 'burp' and it is easier to re-enter than try to find the reason or to repair it.
  8. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004
    Laurel, MD

    I never let anyone other than my bank "pull" money from me. I always "push" it out myself, especially when it comes to checking accounts (credit cards I slightly more lax about, as that wouldn't cause other items to bounce).

    If their system can spontaneously change your exp date, it could also spontaneously decide to change the amount due, or keep charging you after you have cancelled.

    The one thing I don't understand is I have had some membership accounts on web sites with monthly billing against a credit card that didn't have any kind of flag to update when the card expired. They just got a declined charge and went on their merry way. It wasn't until months later sometimes, when I tried to log onto the site and was denied that I found the problem. In the meantime, they lost revenue from me for the denied charges.
  9. TMan

    TMan Legend

    Oct 30, 2007
    These systems know the expiration date of one's card, yet many seem too stupid to notify the customer that said card is about to expire so that new card information can be provided in a timely manner.

    I am not a fan of direct checking account access, either. Better to dispute a credit card charge than a checking charge. I never use my debit card for retail transactions, either.

    The satellite companies get you because they often offer some small discount for agreeing to establish autopay on your account. Absent that, I would prefer to initiate a credit card payment in an amount I specify, but they sort of have you over the coals a little bit.
  10. Inkosaurus

    Inkosaurus Icon

    Jul 29, 2011
    Too stupid to notify you of an event you should have already been aware of?
    How hard is it to call up a few companies or hop onto there website when you get the new card? All of a sudden its these other companies responsibility to remind you of something you should be doing, and if they dont THEY'RE the stupid ones?

  11. TMan

    TMan Legend

    Oct 30, 2007
    Yes, if they revert to a previous card that has expired despite the user giving them an updated card, as euro_boy described.

    But also it behooves them to do it as a courtesy anyway, as there is an expense in them paying people to straighten it out on the phone if they won't do it online. And it enables them to get their hands on the money sooner.

    Of course a person should be aware of their cards' expiration dates and any impact that may have on their recurring payments when an expiration arrives. But, people are kind of forgetful and irresponsible, and do not operate vast billing systems to manage their monthly bills like a large company does. It isn't a big deal for a company to do a monthly query of autopay cards that are a month or two from expiration and drop a courtesy email to the subscriber. It also doesn't hurt to repeat that query a couple days before an autopay charge is to be made.

    I have received such emails from other vendors even though I was fully aware of my need to change my card before the end of the month, etc. I believe Netflix once sent me such a reminder, for example.
  12. dhvt

    dhvt New Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    This is EXACTLY what happened to me. I updated my expiration date, the payment went through as scheduled the next two months, and the third month my expiration date reverted to the old one. Part of my reason for posting was to see if others had experienced the same thing, and indeed you have. To me, this seems to be a pretty serious issue with Dish's billing system.
  13. dhvt

    dhvt New Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    I disagree. I am on autopay for a reason. If I wanted to remember to pay each of my bills on each exact due date, I would not be using autopay. And keep in mind that Dish offers incentives for using autopay, so it is important to them that I use it, too. I did not take myself off of autopay. Dish did. If I have a lapse and don't remember to go online exactly on my due date and make the payment that I shouldn't have to go online and make, let's just say that Dish at least shares some of the blame. I don't know how you could argue with that.

    In addition, and this is important, this would not be necessary if I could pay the amount that is currently due (not the amount that is due now plus the amount that is due next month, as Dish requires) and put myself back on autopay right now. Then the issue would be resolved quickly, easily, and correctly without any additional steps or the possibility of further complications. The fact that I can't do that is baffling to me.

    I should point out that I run an Internet access company (and have been doing so for the last 15 years). I would never require that a customer pay in advance in order to be put on autopay or to simply change a credit card expiration date. And I would be going through my billing code line by line, non-stop, if I even suspected that my billing system was changing people's expiration dates. Then I would bend over backwards to rectify the error and compensate for it in some way. I would not ask them to take steps (and possilby be punished for not doing so in a timely manner) to fix a problem created on my end. And seriously, I feel like the things I would do are just common sense, not anything out of the ordinary.
  14. DaveM

    DaveM Mentor

    Feb 16, 2011
    The bottom line, if I'm reading this correctly, is that it was Dish's screw-up in the first place, and then a second screw-up on their part as well (i.e. the promised fix), that caused this fiasco. Correct? They've as much admitted it. Thus, the onus should be 100% on them to make it right and return things to the way they were with his account. No late charges. No conditions or efforts on his part needed for him to return to AutoPay. End of story. That's how any respectable company operates.

    The fact that this was escalated higher up the ladder, and with the same (frankly rude) response, is appalling to me. They should be apologizing to him! Not making him jump through hoops -- no matter how "small" those hoops might be in their eyes.
  15. Stewart Vernon

    Stewart Vernon Roving Reporter Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

    Jan 7, 2005
    Kittrell, NC
    I haven't been on AutoPay with Dish... but have been with some other companies. Unfortunately, this kind of thing isn't new. There are worse ways to screw up an automated system, but any screw up flies in the face of the supposed "convenience" of AutoPay in the first place.

    This was one of the most reasonable rants I can remember reading... seriously... and computer limitations or not, it doesn't sound like Dish was very good at wanting to fix the problem.

    While I also agree that even if I'm on AutoPay it is still my responsibility to make payments on time... the whole point of AutoPay is to not have to monitor that closely... as such, AutoPay becomes a service Dish (in this case) is "selling" you on... so if there is a failure with AutoPay that isn't your fault, then it's hard to blame the customer.

    I remember years ago moving... and updating all the companies I did business with to my new mailing address... and one of them, a credit card no less, somehow switched my address back to my old address and even after sending one statement to my new place, then started sending them to the old place.

    It was a card I rarely used, so didn't remember I had used it... and two statements later I wondered about it and called them to find they had put a late charge on a $25 balance. I blessed them out (nicely) for changing my address and paid the bill over the phone. They then kept changing my mailing address back.

    Ultimately, in that case, I cancelled the card because it was more trouble than it was worth because someone (or some system) kept changing the info. That was the only company I had that kind of issue with though... but had to close the account to deal with it.
  16. tampa8

    tampa8 Godfather/Supporter

    Mar 30, 2002
    This happened to me - but with ATT. I did what someone else did - simply paid with the same credit card manually, then deleted the card and added it back in for autopay. Problem solved.
  17. dhvt

    dhvt New Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    I want to thank everyone for the comments - even those who didn't agree with my perspective. I called the Dish "ERT" department again today, because it appeared that the one thing they agreed to take of yesterday hadn't been done. I went through the whole issue again, because I was speaking to a different person. Surprisingly, they are going to resolve everything to my satisfaction. I even got the things I wanted most - an apology and an assurance that they will look into why their system is changing people's credit card expiration dates. Prior to that, not once had anyone apologized for the initial error or the subsequent one, and not once had anyone shown any concern over the expiration date problem. Anyway, I want to give credit where credit is due and aknowledge that Dish did come through in the end.
  18. DaveM

    DaveM Mentor

    Feb 16, 2011
    Glad it all worked out. And glad Dish stepped up to the plate, came through and did the right thing in the end.

    Frankly, as an AutoPay customer myself, this was something that I never even gave a second thought to. Basically the extent of my interaction was when it was time to update my credit card info into the system every few years. So, it was a good heads-up for me. Hopefully, I'll never have to go through what you just did. Sounded exasperating.
  19. 4HiMarks

    4HiMarks Hall Of Fame

    Jan 21, 2004
    Laurel, MD
    A few months ago, I got a call from Verizon that my paper bills were being returned as undeliverable. I hadn't noticed the lack as I handle everything online, and the e-bills were coming in fine. The first issue was that it was a robocall that I kept ignoring because they never left a message and I don't generally answer calls when I don't recognize the number.

    One morning I noticed they tried to call twice in a hour, so I answered it, thinking it might actually be important. That was when I learned about the bills being returned. It gave me a number to call to rectify the situation. Was it a special number for people to respond to robocalls notifying them of a problem? Of course not. It was their regular customer service number. So first I had to go through a big long explanation of why THEY called ME. Eventually it was determined that they had spontaneously changed my billing address back to the apartment I lived in over ten years ago. They still had my current phone number though.
  20. lee635

    lee635 Hall Of Fame

    Apr 17, 2002
    I don't understand why E* pushes it as "CREDIT CARD" autopay. We have been on checking account autopay for about 10 years now. No need to worry about expiration dates. JMHO.

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