DO NOT BUY THE DTVPAL! DISH NETWORK IS A RIPOFF! THEIR WARRANTY SERVICE DOES
NOT EXIST! This company is dishonest and does not support their product.
Their alleged warranty isn't worth the paper it's printed on.
After waiting months for the DTVpal, having one order canceled because of
unavailability and the price increase, I finally got two just days before
my coupons expired. I immediately installed one on our bedroom TV. In less
than two weeks, it had failed. When turned on, it would download schedule
for a minute, give me about a minute of TV viewing, then the picture would
lock up. It would stay this way for a while, then eventually "reboot", power
off, back on, and repeat the process over and over.
Aside from all the firmware bugs that have been reported on this unit, my
unit is broken. A dozen emails, chats, and phone calls with Dish over the
past TWO MONTHS, and they can't even figure out how to replace a failed box
under their warranty. I have been lied to repeatedly by their "Executive
Resolution Team". It seems their entire operation is set up to require an
account number to do anything, which DTVpal users don't have.
I did confirm that there is no way to field upgrade the firmware on these
boxes to fix all of the firmware bugs that they went ahead and shipped with
this product that shouldn't be out of beta test at this point. So firmware
upgraded will require replacing the entire unit at customer expense.
As to my problem, I emailed Echostar support on 8/8, and they kept insisting
that they couldn't help me without an account number. WTF? The whole idea of
these boxes is that I don't have to pay the monthly fees for service and
On 8/12 I found their tech support "chat" and spent 45 minutes online with
"Alvaro", who confirmed that my box was broken, and that they would replace
it. He took my name, address, and phone number, and said I'd get a
confirmation call in 3 days that a replacement had been shipped.
On 8/20 I called their 888-667-0633 customer "support" number from the
instruction book. They transferred me a couple times to a different number,
and I again explained the problem, and they again realized the box was
defective, but again, without an account number, they don't have a clue how
to replace the thing. They were supposed to figure it out and get back to
me, but never did.
On 9/4 I again called dish, and after getting nowhere for a while, managed
to get transferred to the ERT ("Executive Resolution Team"). Isaac Ferman
seemed helpful, but rather ignorant. He told me the unit would not work
unless activated, and that he had to set up an account for me before it would
work. He couldn't explain why it had worked for about a week when I first
got it without an account, or why my other unit worked without an account,
but set up an account for me, which of course did nothing.
He took all of my information, and promised I'd have a replacement shipped
immediately, and that it would be in my hands a week later on 9/11.
On 9/16 I still had nothing, and called again, and asked for the ERT. The
first person hung up on me. I called again, and this time got to Paul.
Paul's phone number is 915-298-5525 x85525. Isaac was unavailable, and Paul
promised that he or Isaac would get back to me immediately. Never happened.
On 9/19 I called again, and again asked for the ERT. This time I got to
Gary, who told me that my replacement has been on "hold" since 9/8. It took
him a while to find out why, but he finally found that they were waiting for
me to return my broken unit. Well, they had NEVER asked me to ship it back,
or given me an address to send it.
Gary gave me an address to return the box to, which I did on that same day.
The USPS tracking number indicates it was delivered on 9/22. Here is the
tracking data from USPS.COM:
Bullet Delivered, September 22, 2008, 11:57 am, SUWANEE, GA 30024
Bullet Arrival at Unit, September 22, 2008, 8:03 am, SUWANEE, GA 30024
Bullet Processed, September 21, 2008, 2:13 pm, ATLANTA, GA 30320
Bullet Processed, September 19, 2008, 9:16 pm, CHICAGO, IL 60701
Bullet Acceptance, September 19, 2008, 3:07 pm, DUNDEE, IL 60118
I'm missing the date of my next call (about a week later), but I next talked
with Cathy Welling in the ERT (720-514-7865) to find the status of my
replacement. Se never called back.
On 10/3 I again called the ERT and talked with Hugo. He promised to get me a
tracking number by the end of the day, but failed to do so.
On 10/6 I called once again and got to Sarah Brown in the ERT
(720-514-8555). She too was unable to give me a tracking number to verify
that my unit had been shipped.
I next spoke to the ERT "supervisor" Chrissy at 956-364-7738. She has
promised to call me back by the morning of 10/7 and either provide me with a
tracking number for my replacement box, or to issue me a check for $70 to
reimburse me for the cost of the box.
Why do I not believe her?
I am fully aware that dish's marketing strategy behind this box is to get it
in the hands of those who don't subscribe to any TV service, have them "wow"
at digital TV, want more, and become dish subscribers. Based on the customer
"service" I've had over the past two months, I can promise them that I will
NEVER be a paying subscriber to their "service", and will tell as many of my
friends as I can how lousy their customer support is so they too can avoid
this nightmare that I've dealt with the past two months.
Since I bought this with coupons that expired about the same time the
product arrived at my door, can any one tell me how to get my money back,
either from dish or the vendor, INCLUDING the value of the coupons, so I can
buy something else?
Even if I do get a refund from dish, there's no other box on the market that
will preserve any ability to be able to program your VCR or DVR after next
year's transition, so we're all screwed.