Why DISH Is Doing So Poorly (Rant Inside)

vegassatellite

vegassatellite

Thread Starter
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Pub Member / Supporter
Nov 5, 2007
3,319
174
Phoenix, AZ
I just moved in to a new home from an apartment with No Line Of Sight. I have a 722 purchased that I wanted to activate with no Social Security Number given. That was unacceptable to them. I was disconnected twice while trying to have my call escalated to ERT. So I fired off an email to the CEO email address. I explained that I'm aware that their current subscriber acquisition costs are around $600 for equipment and installation but that since I had done all that myself, they wouldn't be laden with that expense. Also, since I wanted Everything Pak with HD, I would be spending up in the $100 month range (roommate is actually paying for it all, I don't watch that much TV). Basically, I should be a dream customer from a financial perspective. I also reminded them that I have DTV and Cable as an option at my home. So I waited for a response to my email.

Well, a response came via a phone call. She told me that I could go without a social security number but that I would have to pay $200 upfront. I asked if this was an advance payment on programming or some sort of deposit. She told me it was a non-refundable fee. I lost it at that point. Why should I pay $200 when they have no risk involved? I'm willing to pay in advance for programming and I understand that is how they do it anyway. I told her I wasn't interested and ended the call right there with no chance for a counter-offer. This is a darn good reason why DISH is taking a beating in the financial press. A customer with a higher than average ARPU who has taken care of nearly all acquisition costs comes their way and they turn them away over a nine digit number that really only belongs for government purposes anyways.

So, I guess I'll probably be calling DirecTV in the next few days. An online comparison has them coming in $30/month cheaper than cable's similar package and with much more HD. Of course, DTV has SpikeHD, which is probably the only channel that would convince me to buy an HD set.
 
navychop

navychop

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I came to this thread expecting to disagree and refute the post.

I support Dish, but I can't say as how I can see the logic in this policy.

Of course, SS #s are thrown around a lot these days, so I personally don't see it as a problem, but I understand. I'm surprised they get away with it, frankly.
 
J

Jason Kragt

SatelliteGuys Family
Dec 8, 2004
61
0
Chalk it up to Dish's inflexible policies and procedures.

As much as I also dislike giving out my social security number, it would make sense if either 1) the receiver was leased or 2) programming was not paid in advance. I recall having to give my social security number to my electric, gas and telephone companies. They do in effect give me credit since the bills are for service already delivered, so I didn't protest. However, since 1) it sounds like your receiver is owned and 2) you pay for programming before you receive it (with the exception of pay-per-view), I'm at a loss for a legitimate need for them to have your number. Their risk is contained and the upside (Everything Pak month after month) is enormous. I would take that bet any day!
 
B

barnie

SatelliteGuys Family
Jan 28, 2006
43
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Dish's way or no way

I feel for you brother.
I had the account suspended (on hold) while we took a long vacation this summer.
By the time we came back, dish has annouced the HD packages.
When I called them to restart service, I requested the HD only package, they said no way, I called a few more times and they are still no for an answer. I don't see a technical reason why I can't, I have all mpeg4 receivers.
So I decided to stay on hold, until as close to February 09 as possible, the date they said I could switch.
In the meantime, I tried the Comcast bells and whistle programming for a 6 month
low price $29.99 offer. I like it.
In the meantime, DTV today annouced local HD in my DMA.
Well I'm dropping Dish (as much as I hate to) and I'm calling DTV at the end of the 6 month cable trial.
Dish's loss, I have been a good paying customer since Dish went into service
 
M

M Sparks

SatelliteGuys Pro
Sep 15, 2005
1,946
1
I came to this thread expecting to disagree and refute the post.

I support Dish, but I can't say as how I can see the logic in this policy.

Agreed. Who doesn't want customers? They're idiots.

Of course, SS #s are thrown around a lot these days, so I personally don't see it as a problem, but I understand. I'm surprised they get away with it, frankly.

I don't really care much about my SS#...there's so many other ways to get ripped off. But things are starting to change to tighten that up. In Arizona,we used to have SS#s on our drivers licenses. Then, they made it optional. Now, they actually won't let you- they issue you another number, which I can never remember.
 
allargon

allargon

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 2, 2007
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Austin, TX
I hear you. I almost had a friend out of the reach of TWC's evilness. He put a freeze on his credit reports as he didn't want any surprises when he planned to do some condo hunting later. Dish wouldn't sign him up as they couldn't run his credit. He was P.O.'d. (His score was in the upper 700's.)

Thems the breaks.
 
O

okiekevn

SatelliteGuys Pro
Aug 12, 2007
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0
tulsa, ok
i know my local cable company made me give them my social when i signed up for broadband internet and i even supplied my own cable modem. directv will probably want a social too. perhaps you should look into dish now prepaid services. maybe that wont require one. i dont know for sure though.
 
webbydude

webbydude

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Feb 6, 2005
5,339
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Akron, Ohio, United States
i know my local cable company made me give them my social when i signed up for broadband internet and i even supplied my own cable modem. directv will probably want a social too. perhaps you should look into dish now prepaid services. maybe that wont require one. i dont know for sure though.

Now you see, isn't that essentially what Vegas did by purchasing his own 722? Seems like Dish just doesn't have the ability to interpret "purchased 722". Instead, they appear to be stuck on "purchased 301 or 3900"
 
tomcrown1

tomcrown1

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Mar 20, 2008
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16
San Francisco
Strange my card states that it is not legal to use SS# as a form of Id--Can one sue Dish over this???
 
navychop

navychop

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You can sue anyone over anything. I know someone who sued over $7.50, and won, even though they owed the other party much, much more.

The question is, can you win? And come out financially ahead? And can this be construed as "ID" - ?

Why bother over such piddling stuff?
 
JeremyL

JeremyL

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Jun 1, 2006
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3
Chatham, IL
Strange my card states that it is not legal to use SS# as a form of Id--Can one sue Dish over this???

See, that's the thing - our social security numbers were never intended to be used for anything more than collecting and paying social security. Over the years they've been used for more and more things - chiefly, our credit-worthiness. No one ever spoke up because it just didn't seem like that big of a deal. Now, it's used for everything from signing up for TV service to determining how much you pay for insurance.
 
Visitor

Visitor

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Jun 28, 2006
190
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The Big Apple
My impression is that they are not using your SS# as ID, but as a way to track you if you don't pay your bill - or at least to ruin your credit report. Don't a lot of these things check credit now before providing services?

Seems like most monthly utility-type bills ask for SS# now. I really thought that that was a way to report on your credit to the credit bureaus. I've see phone companies and cell phone companies write negative stuff on people's credit reports.

It is nuts though. We're told to keep that as private as possible, but every other merchant you deal with is requesting it nowadays.
 
apollog

apollog

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Dec 22, 2007
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So Cal. H.D.
Most likely, Directv will want a SSN #, if no success there, try pre-paid satellite services. Dish Network has it, I don't know about Directv. Good Luck
 
BrianB

BrianB

SatelliteGuys Guru
Jan 3, 2004
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They aren't using SS# for identity.. in fact, it's removed from their system after the credit check (at least that's what I have been told). It's solely to check your credit since they are "loaning" you the money for the upfront costs of getting you set up.

Even cell phone companies have the same policy. I don't know why the $200 no-refundable though. It seems to me a deposit would be acceptable.
 
Last edited:
morbid_fun

morbid_fun

Member
Sep 26, 2007
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0
I just moved in to a new home from an apartment with No Line Of Sight. I have a 722 purchased that I wanted to activate with no Social Security Number given. That was unacceptable to them. I was disconnected twice while trying to have my call escalated to ERT. So I fired off an email to the CEO email address. I explained that I'm aware that their current subscriber acquisition costs are around $600 for equipment and installation but that since I had done all that myself, they wouldn't be laden with that expense. Also, since I wanted Everything Pak with HD, I would be spending up in the $100 month range (roommate is actually paying for it all, I don't watch that much TV). Basically, I should be a dream customer from a financial perspective. I also reminded them that I have DTV and Cable as an option at my home. So I waited for a response to my email.

Well, a response came via a phone call. She told me that I could go without a social security number but that I would have to pay $200 upfront. I asked if this was an advance payment on programming or some sort of deposit. She told me it was a non-refundable fee. I lost it at that point. Why should I pay $200 when they have no risk involved? I'm willing to pay in advance for programming and I understand that is how they do it anyway. I told her I wasn't interested and ended the call right there with no chance for a counter-offer. This is a darn good reason why DISH is taking a beating in the financial press. A customer with a higher than average ARPU who has taken care of nearly all acquisition costs comes their way and they turn them away over a nine digit number that really only belongs for government purposes anyways.

So, I guess I'll probably be calling DirecTV in the next few days. An online comparison has them coming in $30/month cheaper than cable's similar package and with much more HD. Of course, DTV has SpikeHD, which is probably the only channel that would convince me to buy an HD set.


DirecTV also requires the SS# upfront to verify credit. If no SS# is provided, they charge a $200 fee for standard receivers, or a $300 fee for advanced receivers, to sign up. They do give a $5 credit each month until the fee is paid back, but you have to never be late in your payments for that credit to go all the way.
Is unfortunate, but I can only see the practice of requiring SS#'s going away with some sort of state or federal intervention, or a mass uprising by the citizens.
 
rcdallas

rcdallas

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jun 3, 2006
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I guess they consider it a risk providing you with programming on your already setup owned system.

I would think it should apply as a deposit not a non-refundable fee... could also be that they rarely get someone in your situation, don't know what to do.
 

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