Dish CEO Office fails to honor verbal contract (1 Viewer)

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Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
May 5, 2005
3,601
1
Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a rash person, who flies off the handle at a moment's notice to scream about perceived injustices. I am a very patient person. I am also a high level executive at a $50M+ company, who is sometimes involved in contract negotiations. So I know a thing or two about contracts and honoring them.

In late November, 2005, I wrote to the Dish CEO office to request permission to lease a 942. I cited that I had been a Dish subscriber for 7.5 years, was presently sub'ing to the AEP package plus HD, VOOM, Superstations, and PBS, with Autopay. I had previously attempted to lease a 942 in June, but was turned down and offered an 811 for a $99 lease.

Within 48 hours, a representative of the Dish CEO office contacted me to tell me that my request was accepted and that I could now get a 942. I then brought up my June experience where I had been denied and had paid $99 for an 811 that was only 5 months old, for which I certainly had not gotten my money's worth. The Dish rep then graciously extended an offer of giving me $99 in programming credits if I exchanged the 811.

I thought this was very fair. Before the conversation ended, I verified two more times that what we were agreeing to was that I would have to make a payment of $250 to Dish for the 942, and that I would then receive the $99 programming credit. That I would not simply get away by paying $151. Our agreement was quite clear and she repeated it back to me. I thanked her and she said she was glad that she could keep me as a happy Dish customer.

So I paid the $250 and received a 942 (a very buggy 942 that to this day does not function correctly), but a 942 nonetheless. After 4 weeks I noticed that the $99 programming credit never materialized on my bill. However a $25 credit for turning in a 2nd older receiver did.

Believing this to be an oversight, I politely contacted the Dish CEO office again, citing the earlier conversation and asked them to correct the situation. In this email I said that I could understand if it had been overlooked as this wasn't a common procedure. I sent that email just before Christmas.

After not hearing back from Dish, I sent a second email in early January. I figured that with the Lifetime situation and the holidays that my first email had been lost in the flood. In it I again cited that as an honorable company, I expected Dish to fulfill their commitment. Never doubting that they would. Why would Dish lie to a high paying, long-term customer to save a $99 one time write off?

A couple days after sending the 2nd email, I received a response from the CEO office rep who had extended the offer. She asked for more information, and included a statement which indirectly inferred that she had never made such an offer. Now had we only touched on the subject one time in that original conversation, I could understand her claiming that it was a misunderstanding on my part. But as I confirmed it a total of three times, with her given me explicit instructions about how the process would go, there is simply no doubt whatsoever in my mind that the credit was offered.

I still held out hope that Dish would do the right thing, even if they believed that I was the one who screwed up the communications. After all, a $99 credit is less than one month of my payment. And my letters were not argumentative or disrespectful, likewise my 7.5 year history was a clean record, always paying on time, never arguing with a CSR.

My last email was sent 10 days ago. There has been no response and nothing has been credited to my account. It has been 4 weeks since my first email and 8 weeks since the original offer was extended and accepted. Apparently the Dish CEO is indeed going to fail to honor a promise and has run a scam operation on me.

As I have no proof, there is nowhere I can go with this. Except to pass along the story to others, and to reduce my programming subscription to recoup my losses, which I will be doing. However I am limited as to what I can do as I now have a leased (partially functional) 942 with an 18 month commitment to AT60 & HD Pak. Note that I gave Dish a full 4 weeks to resolve the situation before airing it here.

In the end, I will far more than recoup my $99 from Dish in reduced programming fees. That's why I think Dish's actions are foolish. They dishonor their company and lose money too. I can afford the $99, but there is no way I'm going to let them lie to me without any repercussions. And where I was thinking about just waiting out my 942 problems until I obtain a 622 replacement, I will now press Dish Tech Support for a replacement 942. The cost of the tech support time, sending another 942, getting my 942 back and refurbishing it, and potentially a return visit by a local Dish installer to make the swap, will cost Dish more than $99. There is no way they come out a winner in this deal.

I never believed it would come to this.
 
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volfan615

Pub Member / Supporter
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Dec 3, 2003
89
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Where did the 18 month commitment come from? I can't believe that you have been a customer that long and still had to commit to 18 months.
 

BobMurdoch

Playing XBoxOne SeriesX/Supporter
Supporting Founder
Sep 12, 2003
5,770
190
Brielle, NJ
Anytime they subsidize equipment upgrades they lock you in with a commitment. When they added a 510 to my account 2 years ago, they did it for free with a 1 year commitment (it was a deal they were running at the time).
 

mwgiii

Gaming Guru & Pub Member
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
2,099
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Birmingham, AL
I just don't understand Dish sometime.

You would think that they would give you the credit just so they don't get bad PR from a long time customer.

I would think this thread alone would cost Dish a lot more than $99 in new customer revenue, not to mention the lost revenue from Tom.
 

lakebum431

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Sep 5, 2005
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BobMurdoch said:
Anytime they subsidize equipment upgrades they lock you in with a commitment. When they added a 510 to my account 2 years ago, they did it for free with a 1 year commitment (it was a deal they were running at the time).

Not necessarily. When I got Dish service (end of last Summer) I got a 942 (lease) and a 322 (lease) for the $250 fee and I am not on any commitment.
 

asiegler

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 1, 2005
41
0
A similiar thing happen to me regarding leasing a 811 reciever. I was going to purchase the reciever but first called Dish to check out how much to lease. Dish told me if I lease the 811 from them it would only cost me 1 cent per month if I returned to old recievers which I owned and that they would give me a $25 credit for each reciever. Everything was fine for a couple of months until one bill we got a $5 charge for leasing the 811 and addition lease back charges. Called about the charger and was told that they audited my account and their was nothing in the records to support my position. I too have been with dish for over 8 years. What I learn in dealing with Dish is: consumer be ware!
 

sprintcarcrazy

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Dec 18, 2003
820
0
Dish Lost me as a customer over the same type of incident. Read this story !
I had been a Dish customer for 7 years until December, that all changed.
I had 7 receivers in my house, I had to go through the CEO's office to get #7 activated. I had 3 811's, a 921, a 510, and two 311's. All bought except two 811's which I leased 1 year and a month ago.
I decided to get my two girls new 17in Widescreens for Christmas to replace their old TV's. I called dish to ask for 2 811's to replace my 311's. They said no, It hadn't been a year yet, well they were mistaken as the receiver I got in february last year was given to me as a winner of the HDTV giveaway Dish had going, also won a 34 in TV with the 811. I ended up going through the CEO's office and they said no problem, they charged me $50 handling fee and said they were shipping out 2 811's. In about a week, two boxes showed up with a couple of crappy 301's. I called back and said I had no use for these and they said they made a mistake and sent wrong boxes. A week went by, still no 811s', so I call back and they give me the order numbers for the 811's and said they were shipping today. Another week goes by and still no 811's. I call back and the CEO's office says, we made a mistake, we are not going to ship you 811's as you can only have 2 811's for life.
After all this, and hours on the phone, I was furious, I told them to just cancel the account, which she promptly say, no problem, few bangs on the keyboard in background, Dish gone. She was a bitch and couldn't care less about Dish's customers and this was the CEO's office. (Nicole was her name).
She then tells me I have to pay to ship the crappy 301's they sent me. I said you better send some call tags or they will be in the street. They did do that.
Over the next week, I called and spend many more hours trying to get the $50 credited back to my account they charged for the 811's I never received. Still no luck, I was on auto pay, never late, and when I log on to the website, it says my account is past due, balance $50.00.
I spend many more hours on the phone trying to explain that they owe me $50.00, still no credit, but they say ok, we will credit you.
Another week, I put my receivers on Ebay, I have 150 plus positive feedback, no negatives. So when bidders ask for receiver numbers, they are mine to sell, I gladly tell them so they can verify they are not leased.
All of a sudden, I start getting emails 1 hour before the auction ended that I have an overdue account and they won't activate the receivers.
I call dish immediately mad as hell and tell them if they don't want one hell of a lawsuit, they better get their act together and credit my $50 right now. I also lost money on the 811 because the bidder would have bid more had it not been for Dish saying my account was overdue. I verified this with the bidder after the auction.

The credit posted at midnight, finally, I am now a digital cable subscriber, they gave me 2 HD DVR's and 4 cables boxes lease, no problems.
Dish could easily surpass direct TV if they actually had decent customer service. I can't imagine owning a company and allowing this kinda crap to take place. Charlie either has no idea or doesn't care. I liked Dish better than this cable, but I am not sure I would ever go back to Dish Network.

AND THE SAGA CONTINUES ! They sent me two boxes for the 2 811's I had leased, other 5 were mine. As I was shipping them off per instructions at the UPS drop off, one box had no call label/return tag. I called Dish to say one was on the way, the other needed a tag per UPS. This was after being on hold for an hour, then getting cut off, then hold 45 minutes, then on hold 25 minutes, I finally hung up. I have spent probably 10 hours on the phone with these people. They have no clue what customer service even means.

So, no more wasted time with them, I went to the bank, had the card I was on autopay with them, voided, so when they try to charge me for an 811 and it won't go through, maybe some idiot will call and ask, Why didn't you send back the 811 ? Then I am going to say hold, lay the phone down for an hour by the stereo and have a few beers while I laugh !
 
Last edited:
Feb 7, 2004
6
0
Wheaton, Il
501

bobmurdoch you better check out the status of your 510. The first $25 upgrade deal I received (for a 4900) I understood to be an upgrade with a 1 year committment and I own it, I verified this several times. The second 4900 I upgraded to a 510 I was told it was a lease upgrade for $25. When I, at this time, inquired about the first upgrade, guess what, it was a lease. Since I had just recently sold my first 510 and bought an 811, I now owed Dish $200 because I could not produce the receiver.

Not getting the correct story from Dish is the norm and not the exception. I make it a habit now to call 2 or 3 times and ask the same question. That's too bad, because I love the product Dish supplies.

Kelly
 

rad

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Sep 7, 2003
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On thing that I've learned over the years when doing contracts, "If it's not in writing it's not said" is a good lesson. Guess I've been burned once too often by broken promises made over the phone.
 

Tom Bombadil

Supporting Founder
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May 5, 2005
3,601
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Chicago-Milwaukee Region
Oh the irony.

I wrote this up last night and when I came into work this morning I had a meeting with one of my company's departments. They have a need to set up a moderate-sized A/V room which will include the installation of 8-10 DBS receivers. The video output from the receivers will then be routed to different areas in the complex.

The channels they need access to are available from both Dish and DirecTV. So it doesn't matter which one is chosen.

Guess who gets to make the decision and establish the contract with the DBS provider?

I hope Dish is enjoying my $99.
 

dlm10541

Supporting Founder
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Aug 31, 2004
165
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Carmel NY
Tom Bombadil said:
Oh the irony.

I wrote this up last night and when I came into work this morning I had a meeting with one of my company's departments. They have a need to set up a moderate-sized A/V room which will include the installation of 8-10 DBS receivers. The video output from the receivers will then be routed to different areas in the complex.

The channels they need access to are available from both Dish and DirecTV. So it doesn't matter which one is chosen.

Guess who gets to make the decision and establish the contract with the DBS provider?

I hope Dish is enjoying my $99.

I am sorry for your your experience but this post seems like childish sour grapes
 

KeithInDallas

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 13, 2005
71
0
Dallas, TX
I think Tom's post is a perfect example of the general disdain being shown to Dish's customers. Several months ago Ergen said on a Charlie Chat that Mpeg4 was a long way off. A number of us made purchase decisions based on that information. Then suddenly everything changes. IMO E* has a great product and very poor customer service. They seem to choose to show disdain to some of their best customers. It makes no "business sense" to do that. We are the types that would sing their praises if they would make good choices. Tom waited patiently for a month to resolve this before posting. Customer service is becoming a lost art in so many businesses. In the end, it does not benefit the business or the customer. I appreciate the irony of the situation at Tom's business.
 
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mikew

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Sep 7, 2003
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dlm10541 said:
I am sorry for your your experience but this post seems like childish sour grapes
Where else will his voice be heard? He's tried communicating with Dish, to no avail. I appreciate his stance and I'm glad he can further demonstrate how this type of customer relations can effect Dish. It's only one customer at a time, but some day it really shows up on the bottom line.
 

dlm10541

Supporting Founder
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Aug 31, 2004
165
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Carmel NY
Why not cancel and go to D* or cable? That would have more impact. His post was more like since you will not let me play quaterback I am taking my football home now.

I am sure that the "CEO office" is anyone in their home office or maybe a glorified CSR. I doubt it gets anywhere close to the executive suite

I sympathize with him and agree with the other poster that customer service is a lost art in this country: however, we speak with our pocket book and loss of a long time customer has more impact than saying he is going elsewhere at work.
 

mwgiii

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Sep 8, 2003
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dlm, if you read his 1st post instead of trolling you would know that he is locked into an 18 month commitment on a 942 leased to him in November but he is reducing his programming to the minimum as well as not recommending Dish to others.
 

Sarang

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 30, 2005
315
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I think this serves one lesson. Whenever dealing with Dish and it's spoken CARRY a tape recorder. Sucks it has to come to that but that's the deal.
 

bookwalk

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 10, 2005
568
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Ditto on the recorder--get a good one and tape every Dish conversation--get their name and employee ID number or whatever. I had a similar experience last summer regarding an offer to former VOOM customers and getting AT180 for $19.99 for 3 months. They did not give me the programming credit promised and so I had to keep calling a CEO dish rep. I kept calling and calling and calling--finally, they did credit me, but it was not without a lot of hassle and my time wasted on phone calls!

After losing Lifetime, the old "reality" channel, the HD Lite issue, I will probably not lease anything from DISH and look into Direct TV. I am, then, unfortunately, "out" my $250 ($200 with a Club Dish credit, however) and don't feel like "eating" another $99 come April 1.
 

bnaivar

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Dec 4, 2003
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Atlanta, GA
It's illegal to tape a conversation without notifying the parties in advance that the conversation is going to be recorded. You must then get permission to record from the second party verbally at the start of the recording before anything else is said.

That being said, remember the words of Will Rodgers "A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's not printed on".

I'd be willing to bet that the Dish (lack of) customer service people are "empowered" to make all kinds of deals, but those deals ultmately can be vetoed by a Manager. When they do veto it the poor CSR is stuck facing the wrath of the customer or just denying the whole thing took place so they don't look like an idiot or a liar.
 

lakebum431

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bnaivar said:
It's illegal to tape a conversation without notifying the parties in advance that the conversation is going to be recorded. You must then get permission to record from the second party verbally at the start of the recording before anything else is said.

That isn't true. Only 1 of the parties INVOLVED in the conversation needs to be notified. That is why a wire tap must have a court order to be approved, but you are free to record every conversation that you take place in.
 
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