Dodging an ETF and Other Charges (1 Viewer)

HanoverPretzel

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2006
573
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For various reasons, I want out of my Dish contract (I'll enumerate briefly at the end of the post if anyone is curious).

I can't afford the EFT and don't want to pay to ship their equipment back to them (That's ridiculous).

Anyone know how to get out of subscribing to Dish without paying the stupid thing?

My credit is already bad because of stuff from 10 years ago or so, so I'm not really worried about a credit rating hit at this point. It doesn't seem like I'm in the financial position to have good credit anyway. Apparently always paying bills for stuff on time for ten freaking years didn't help, so screw it (If I'm not going to have good credit no matter what, then I'd got no reason to try to avoid a credit hit).

However, I hear they automatically try to charge cards and stuff associated with the account if you get out. Do bank charge backs work in that kind of situation if it's a debit card?

Obviously, I'd prefer a way to get Dish just to waive it, but barring that, if anyone knows a way to just fight them being able to charge the bill, please let me know.

Here is in brief my list of reasons for canceling:

1. Advertises free installation, I had to pay $100.
2. Advertises free HD for Life, I wasn't allowed to get it without an equipment fee I couldn't afford, yet have to pay the same monthly rate for service as everyone else.
3. Dish raised the rates $5 a month within a month or two of me signing up, even though I am under contract (Which should guarantee my rate).
4. Dish doesn't carry Versus in their AT120 or AT200 packages (Though it's in the cable equivalents), so I miss a lot of Caps games and playoff games.
5. Dish doesn't carry MSNBC in their AT120 package (Though it's in the cable equivalent), so I miss my favorite news channel.
6. Dish goes out in bad weather, so stuff I'm watching gets interrupted.
7. Now my Dish is "misaligned" so I can't watch period, and I can't afford the fee to get it fixed for a couple weeks, so I've prepaid for programming I can't watch.
8. I'd soon have to pay a fee to get my Dish fixed even though cable fixed the stuff for free.

It's a bad deal. I want out. This company is the pits.

I am very low income and sacrifice every month to pay this stupid bill. Given that, it's not something I want to just suck it up and keep paying for next 16-18 months or whatever if I'm not happy, and I'm not (Especially with the prospect of having to pay a stupid repair fee to get the service I've already paid for this month). I have at best like $40 in the bank, and I need to have it in case of an emergency (Dish being misaligned doesn't qualify).
 

Iceberg

The No Pain Train
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
282
35
None Your Business
1. If your credit isnt the best that is probably why they asked for a "Deposit"
2. what equipment fee? If you've only been a customer for a little while that might be what you're referring to. In your other post you mention a 322
3. read the contract. Dish can raise rates whenever
4 & 5. Should have done your research to verify the channel is in the package you want
6 & 7. If the dish is misaligned that will happen (cant watch anything)
8. Have you verified it with Dish yet?

bottom line you signed a contract and I hate to say it, you're stuck with the ETF if you cancel early.
 

HanoverPretzel

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2006
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1. If your credit isnt the best that is probably why they asked for a "Deposit"

If it were a deposit, that would mean that I'd get my money back at some point (At least in the form of a programming credit). I'll never see that "installation" money again no matter what I do or don't do.

As far as credit in general goes -- the whole good credit/bad credit system we have in this country is a sham. Want to know how I got bad credit? Like 10 years ago, I had severe medical issues and had to charge up credit cards to pay basic expenses. Before and after that, my record is perfect -- I pay every bill, and I do it on-time. Yet, somehow, my credit still sucks. It's like a freaking scarlet letter and I still have companies like Dish that try to screw me because of a few months 10 years ago. It makes me really upset that three unelected unaccountable private businesses (credit rating agencies) can basically disqualify me for life from getting decent offers that most people get because I got sick and had to eat somehow.

2. what equipment fee? If you've only been a customer for a little while that might be what you're referring to. In your other post you mention a 322

When I first called to sign up, the guy on the phone said I didn't even want to know how much HD for Life would cost me -- and SD cost me $150 out of pocket, installation plus first month upfront. When I mentioned it in a thread later a CSR looked up my account and said I would have to pay an equipment fee if I wanted HD.

3. read the contract. Dish can raise rates whenever

I find it legally and ethically questionable that a company can bind you to a contract that essentially says they can charge you whatever they want for whatever they want (Unlimited fee increases and programming deletions) and that you can't quit without paying an EFT. There is at least one law firm soliciting clients who've paid EFTs for a class action law suit online. I've never sued anyone in my life, but it's something I would consider if I did wind up paying an EFT (I don't know if I can stomach the hassle of being involved with something like that, but I'm just mad enough to consider it).

4 & 5. Should have done your research to verify the channel is in the package you want

Maybe so, but you can't research everything all the time. I verified a lot of stuff in advance, but I had to drop a package under what I had, and even in my initial package, I didn't get Versus, which is one thing I admittedly forgot to check on in advance, but is a really odd exclusion. It'd be fine if I could drop them at any time, but now I feel trapped.

6 & 7. If the dish is misaligned that will happen (cant watch anything)

Cable would fix it for free.

8. Have you verified it with Dish yet?

I'm too angry right now to be diplomatic with a CSR on the phone or whatever -- especially not with the obnoxious wait times and hold music and such. I need to calm down first.

Besides, what are they going to tell me that I don't already know? I'm a second class customer, and get the worst of everything.

bottom line you signed a contract and I hate to say it, you're stuck with the ETF if you cancel early.

I didn't sign a blessed thing. They mailed me a contract where the installer had put a little circle on the signature line.
 

HanoverPretzel

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2006
573
0
If MSNBC is your favorite news channel then you really have a problem.

Hey, maybe I should watch FOX News, full of propaganda about how if you're poor, a minority, or different in any way, you should just crawl into a hole and die. That would make feel much better about my life as someone who is permanently going to be poor due to disabilities.
 

TG2

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 7, 2011
1,380
7
Viginia
HP .. I know your pain. And I agree with the system being a mess ... having a bad rating pretty much gives everyone license to take what they can from you, while they can, and then heap on you additional bad credit reporting when things go further south, ie early termination and if not able to recoup their ETF further hurting your credit rating, and onward.

That aside ... I've read several times where people "turn off" Dish but continue to pay a holding fee (not sure of correct term) ... I want to say it was in the 5 dollar range but I could be wrong. While it would still be giving them $$ and not getting any truly valuable service from it ... the value it has, is in stopping them from coming after you for the ETF ... and also gives you the option if things pick up, to turn the system back on, etc.

That's the best thought I could come up with ... the rest of the Dish dislikes / their marketing BS .. its unfortunate that they can't be honest with people up front ... tell people straight.. "those offers are for good credit people, etc etc, and we (dish) would have to check ratings before being able to honor those offers" ... but as usual it never becomes clear enough to people until after they've been sold the bill of overhyped goods.

And in reality ... that 150 .. you're basically paying for the hardware with that ... since 211k's are 109 to 129 locally, and you can get 1000.4 dishes for 50 to 100 dollars (or pick one up at the dump when someone wants theirs gone)... dish's deal in that case is getting it professionally installed...

Either way ... good luck!!
 

Bluemonick

SatelliteGuys Family
Jul 24, 2011
105
0
Georgia, USA
HP .. I know your pain. And I agree with the system being a mess ... having a bad rating pretty much gives everyone license to take what they can from you, while they can, and then heap on you additional bad credit reporting when things go further south, ie early termination and if not able to recoup their ETF further hurting your credit rating, and onward.

That aside ... I've read several times where people "turn off" Dish but continue to pay a holding fee (not sure of correct term) ... I want to say it was in the 5 dollar range but I could be wrong. While it would still be giving them $$ and not getting any truly valuable service from it ... the value it has, is in stopping them from coming after you for the ETF ... and also gives you the option if things pick up, to turn the system back on, etc.

That's the best thought I could come up with ... the rest of the Dish dislikes / their marketing BS .. its unfortunate that they can't be honest with people up front ... tell people straight.. "those offers are for good credit people, etc etc, and we (dish) would have to check ratings before being able to honor those offers" ... but as usual it never becomes clear enough to people until after they've been sold the bill of overhyped goods.

And in reality ... that 150 .. you're basically paying for the hardware with that ... since 211k's are 109 to 129 locally, and you can get 1000.4 dishes for 50 to 100 dollars (or pick one up at the dump when someone wants theirs gone)... dish's deal in that case is getting it professionally installed...

Either way ... good luck!!

Your talking about SUSPENDING the service fee, where you temporialary keep the account active (programming off) for X amount of days/months and there is a set Fee. I'm not sure Dish still does this, but I think they have in certain situations in the past. (Im almost sure if they suspend your service, it lengthens your contract)
 

sethwell

SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 16, 2008
1,611
58
Booneville, AR
Sorry to hear about your troubles but you might want to see if Dish could shift you to the Welcome Pack.
Welcome Pack has been reinstated by Dish Network for $14.99 a month including locals. It is NOT a qualifying package, so cannot be added to an account that is currently under a commitment. It will include: 107,Comedy Central; 110, Food Network; 112, Home & Garden Television; 120, History; 127, Oxygen; 128, WE: Women's Entertainment; 130, AMC; 134, ShopNBC; 137, QVC; 139, TBS; 161,MTV2; 166, CMT; 175, Boomerang; 179, The HUB; 183, Learning Channel; 185, Hallmark; 203, Bloomberg; 209, MSNBC; 214, The Weather Channel; 222, HSN; & 230, ICTV. We have not updated our website yet so it is not available on-line right now.

You might pm one of the DIRT members and see if they could help you out with it, never would hurt to ask. I would just explain that you are in a tight spot and need to free up some cash. You would essentially be paying about the same amount as the EFT would be, but you would get to keep some programming, plus you would get MSNBC! Worth a try, and i would either pm one of the DIRT members here or go to their twitter page and send them a message rather than calling. good luck and hopefully they will help you out, tough times for us all right now!
 

whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Your talking about SUSPENDING the service fee, where you temporialary keep the account active (programming off) for X amount of days/months and there is a set Fee. I'm not sure Dish still does this, but I think they have in certain situations in the past. (Im almost sure if they suspend your service, it lengthens your contract)
He can't do that as he is still under contract. You can only do that once out of the contract.
 

whatchel1

SatelliteGuys Master
Sep 30, 2006
9,099
48
Great High Plains
Sorry to hear about your troubles but you might want to see if Dish could shift you to the Welcome Pack.

You might pm one of the DIRT members and see if they could help you out with it, never would hurt to ask. I would just explain that you are in a tight spot and need to free up some cash. You would essentially be paying about the same amount as the EFT would be, but you would get to keep some programming, plus you would get MSNBC! Worth a try, and i would either pm one of the DIRT members here or go to their twitter page and send them a message rather than calling. good luck and hopefully they will help you out, tough times for us all right now!
In another thread I suggested something similar to what you have just told him. I suggest again contacting a DIRT member and maybe they can help you out. I had bad credit years ago do to med bills but after several years worked it out. Mine isn't stellar now either but sounds like it might be better than yours. Good Luck guy, hope you can work something out.
 

Claude Greiner

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Sep 8, 2003
13,225
3,761
Detroit - The Paris of the Midwest
I have been selling Dish for 12 years, and the only thing I can agree with you on the fact you have to pay to ship the equipment back. That fee is really not disclosed till you actually call in to cancel the account. But if you don't want to be charged to ship back the equipment, you can ship it back with whatever shipping company you want.

I persoanlly think the $15 Dish charges to use the UPS label is a bargain, considering you can ship back everthing in 1 box.

As far as your other points...

Here is in brief my list of reasons for canceling:

1. Advertises free installation, I had to pay $100.

The price was quoted to you before you signed up based on your credit, so if you did not want to pay the $99 activation fee you had the choice not to sign up.

2. Advertises free HD for Life, I wasn't allowed to get it without an equipment fee I couldn't afford, yet have to pay the same monthly rate for service as everyone else..

Again, the equipment configuration was based on credit. You where advised of the additional fees for HD equipment, and you still choose to sign up with standard definition equipment anyways. You had the choice not to place your order.

3. Dish raised the rates $5 a month within a month or two of me signing up, even though I am under contract (Which should guarantee my rate).

Pricing and packages are subject to change without notice. If you would have read your contract when they where installing your system it would have stated this and you could have cancelled your installation and got your money back.

4. Dish doesn't carry Versus in their AT120 or AT200 packages (Though it's in the cable equivalents), so I miss a lot of Caps games and playoff games.

Did you ask if Versus was included with the Top120 or Top 200 package when you signed up? Unless you where lied to and told this channel would be included with Top120 or Top200 then this is not a valid argument.

5. Dish doesn't carry MSNBC in their AT120 package (Though it's in the cable equivalent), so I miss my favorite news channel.

Did you ask if MSNBC was included with the Top120 package when you signed up? Unless you where lied to and told this channel would be included with Top120 then this is not a valid argument.

6. Dish goes out in bad weather, so stuff I'm watching gets interrupted.

Then you need to schedule a technician visit to make sure your Dish is aligned property. First 60 days they would have come out for Free, and from 60 days till 180 days the technician visit would only be $15. After 180 days the technician visit is $95 unless you choose to keep the Protection plan on your account which is free for the first 180 days.

7. Now my Dish is "misaligned" so I can't watch period, and I can't afford the fee to get it fixed for a couple weeks, so I've prepaid for programming I can't watch.

Again, see ansewer to #6. If you talk to retention, there is a very good chance (Not guaranteed) that they may waive the $15 technician visit free considering your a new customer.

8. I'd soon have to pay a fee to get my Dish fixed even though cable fixed the stuff for free.

See ansewer to question #6. Cable doesn't always fix stuff for fee. I had Comcast charge me $50 (4) times for a total of $200 to install a cable card for an HD TIVO. I though it was free also to have them come out and agreed to (1) $50 charge. I didn't figure Comcast charging me $150 for the (3) additional visits because they couldn't get it right on the first visit.

The fact of the matter is that, not all cable companies fix stuff for free unless you have a service plan on your account.

I am very low income and sacrifice every month to pay this stupid bill.

All I can say is find a lower package if you can't afford to pay, the Welcome pack is only $9.99/mo without locals. Cheaper to go that than pay the $17.50 for each month left in your contract.

But seriously, the grass isn't greener on the other side. Directv and the cable company may make you think they have a better deal, but for the lower packages that Dish offers such as the Welcome Pack, Family Pack and Top 120 its really not as bad as a deal as yoy pay think.
 

HanoverPretzel

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2006
573
0
The price was quoted to you before you signed up based on your credit, so if you did not want to pay the $99 activation fee you had the choice not to sign up.

Again, the equipment configuration was based on credit. You where advised of the additional fees for HD equipment, and you still choose to sign up with standard definition equipment anyways. You had the choice not to place your order.

If I had thought about it carefully, I probably wouldn't have signed up. But I got that sprung on me toward the end of a call with a lot of hold time and so forth thinking I was getting a better deal than that and was just kind of like "Okay, fine.". I could have said no at that point, yes, but I was already sort of geared up to make a decision based on having considered the offer made in their advertising for a couple weeks and going through the whole calling process. If their advertising had said straight out what I'd really be getting, I'd never have placed the call.

I also sort of had my back against the wall. I'd cancelled cable because it was getting too expensive and tried to go without television for a while and really found it depressing, so I didn't feel like I had a lot of options. I thought about calling Directv and probably should have, but I let some things I had heard about them really screwing people with bad credit and some good things I had heard about Dish being really cheap (Not true when you get right down to it) sway me.

And, let's face it, the fact that I personally have a tough time changed my mind on the fly is one thing, but it doesn't excuse the fact that Dish has an unethical system that really screws people without money. Me not being a super savvy flexible consumer doesn't make what they do right.

Pricing and packages are subject to change without notice. If you would have read your contract when they where installing your system it would have stated this and you could have cancelled your installation and got your money back.

I was mailed my contract after installation. I never saw the thing during.

Then you need to schedule a technician visit to make sure your Dish is aligned property. First 60 days they would have come out for Free, and from 60 days till 180 days the technician visit would only be $15. After 180 days the technician visit is $95 unless you choose to keep the Protection plan on your account which is free for the first 180 days

I'm past those thresholds. I literally do not have $95 in my checkings and savings combined. I could come up without about $40, but that's sort of an emergency fund in case I need extra food or gas or a co-pay for a doctor's visit or any number of unexpected things happen in the next couple weeks. It really aggravates me that I paid for this service -- in advance -- my account is prepay -- and now I can't use it.

Again, see ansewer to #6. If you talk to retention, there is a very good chance (Not guaranteed) that they may waive the $15 technician visit free considering your a new customer.

I may try that. I'm going to place a phone call. The question now is really whether I threaten to quit or what I do in the course of that phone call. Like I said, I really can't pay the $95 for a couple weeks, and even then, it'd kill my budget and really cause me suffering to do it then. Television I'm not happy with that I already pay a monthly fee for is really not worth sitting here without television for a couple weeks and then paying a fee that forces me to sit in my apartment eating ramen for a week or two or something.

See ansewer to question #6. Cable doesn't always fix stuff for fee. I had Comcast charge me $50 (4) times for a total of $200 to install a cable card for an HD TIVO. I though it was free also to have them come out and agreed to (1) $50 charge. I didn't figure Comcast charging me $150 for the (3) additional visits because they couldn't get it right on the first visit.

The fact of the matter is that, not all cable companies fix stuff for free unless you have a service plan on your account.

In my experience with cable, they always fixed things for free. However, I've had other customer service issues with cable, pretty large ones, and I know they're not really great to deal with either. If not for sporting events, and the fact that due to health and financial issues, I spend a lot of time cooped up in a small apartment and need entertainment options, I'd probably not have either. I honestly don't feel I can get a deal and a service level I'm happy with from any of these companies.

All I can say is find a lower package if you can't afford to pay, the Welcome pack is only $9.99/mo without locals. Cheaper to go that than pay the $17.50 for each month left in your contract.

I'm not sure I'm allowed to drop below AT120 while under contract. And, in any event, my dish physically is misaligned now, so I can't get anything in from it -- so even if I had the option of paying that $10 a month (and it doesn't sound like I do), I'd really literally be paying it for nothing.
 
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HanoverPretzel

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2006
573
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Alright, I called them. They are sending a tech out tomorrow. They say it's free. If they can fix it for free, then I guess I'll stick with them under the circumstances.

I am a little surprised, because it doesn't really match their published policies, but I'll take it.
 

lparsons21

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 17, 2009
9,627
7,636
Herrin, IL 62948
I have been selling Dish for 12 years, and the only thing I can agree with you on the fact you have to pay to ship the equipment back. That fee is really not disclosed till you actually call in to cancel the account. But if you don't want to be charged to ship back the equipment, you can ship it back with whatever shipping company you want.

I persoanlly think the $15 Dish charges to use the UPS label is a bargain, considering you can ship back everthing in 1 box.

As far as your other points...

The $15 is cheaper than you usually can get from a good shipper, but you can't send everything back in one box. You can send one receiver per box, in one of those boxes can be the LNBs too. But they don't use the old 2 receiver box of the past. I know, just shipped 2 Vips back, one per box for a total of $30.
 

lparsons21

SatelliteGuys Master
Lifetime Supporter
Jul 17, 2009
9,627
7,636
Herrin, IL 62948
As to the OP, I'm sorry you're in such a pickle financially. I know how that feels because I've been there myself.

But honestly from reading your postings here, I am astounded that you would even have considered Dish or anyone else for that matter, until you are in a bit better financial condition.
 

HanoverPretzel

Thread Starter
SatelliteGuys Pro
Oct 6, 2006
573
0
As to the OP, I'm sorry you're in such a pickle financially. I know how that feels because I've been there myself.

But honestly from reading your postings here, I am astounded that you would even have considered Dish or anyone else for that matter, until you are in a bit better financial condition.

If it was a temporary situation, I'd just do without. Unfortunately, it's a permanent one due to some health issues and other things. So, it becomes a matter of like "Do I want to never watch my favorite sports teams for the rest of my life?" and so on and so forth. As a result, I try to really squeeze myself financially to have some of the very small luxuries and stuff. Gotta do something to make life worth living enough not to want to take a nose dive off of a cliff, ya know? That's probably a little over dramatic, but the basic gist is just that when you have really long-term issues, you've got to consider paying for things you'd readily just do without if you thought there were better times ahead because a temporarily sacrifice is often something one can just suck up, but a permanent one is another ball of wax.

Still, I actually did take some time between cable and dish where I had no television or Internet for several weeks to see if I could manage alright. I found I really couldn't. It's not that television and Internet are the be all and end all by any means -- it's just when you're stuck in an apartment staring at your dog and/or the wall all the time and can't afford too many luxuries and don't have a wife and kids or anything like that to take your mind off things, that sort of escapism becomes very important, well beyond what it would be to a normal person, just to try to keep your spirits up a little and take your mind off things. I read a lot of books and spend a lot of time listening to music, too. Much more than I did or would in better times.
 

Scherrman

SatelliteGuys Master
Supporting Founder
Mar 14, 2008
15,553
9,926
Eastern Iowa
If you are very low income you should maybe just switch to antenna OTA programming. I understand some of your gripes but most of them could have been avoided before you signed up with Dish. Switching may solve your problems at first but you may run into some of the same crap. Just make sure you do your homework before you sign up for anything.
 

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