I think it was you friend's mistake of subscribing to DHP rather than opting for free dish. Currently you get 508(upgrade) only with DHP and with DHP you are leasing the equipment. I recently got my DISH using my friend's club dish certificate. Initially even I was not sure about how club dish worked. May be this would help others who are planning to use club dish. Forget about what it says in the letter. Basically it gives you $50 off of most of the current dish network promos/equipment. Currently you could use it for Free dish(up to 3 receivers)/Free dish with DVR/DHP/Free for all. All these offers give you free installation/dish and with club dish you get $50 back.
So does free really mean Digital Home Plan? My normal thought would be that free would mean free hardware(ownership) with the commitment to programming. While I understand that giving things away is not financially feasible, I thought this was a "special " offer/promo sent to good customers to get them to bring in more good customers.
I had a friend use a club dish card that I gave him and he was put on the DHP. He even paid something like $100 for a hardware upgrade to receive a 508. He's called and been told that he is leasing the hardware and is on the DHP. I feel like I've stabbed him in the back.
If free equals DHP then the club dish card is not something I'd be willing in the future to give anyone I consider my friend.