Someone Explain This To Me….

Can someone explain to me why Dish Network does all sorts of charity work for Hurricane Katrina victims in New Orleans and yet treats their loyal customers so poorly? I mean they’ll basically just give you free stuff if your house gets blown away by a tropical storm, but if you’ve been a good loyal customer for almost ten years they’ll screw you over at every opportunity.

This is unfortunate since they spend an enormous amount of money telling everyone how great they are, but are unwilling to provide something to their current customers at a discount or at no charge, that they give new ones for free. Talk about great customer service.

Now I can understand some of the gadgets not being available to current customers, but what about standard stuff like receivers and dishes? Why charge out the nose for a newer, more functional receiver that will make the most of the service your customer already pays for? A service I might add the old receiver wasn’t even designed for nor can it use all the features of said service?

What brings this up you might ask?

It’s a funny story really. My parents got Dish Network when we moved up to Fritch, TX because Cox at the time did not provide service to rural customers. We got a big package and swiftly set it up, enjoying our new satellite TV. This was in 1997.

We moved back to Amarillo, taking our stuff with us. After a few months my parents decided they wanted a receiver in their room. So they called Dish Network and they sent a guy out to set us up with their Dish 500 service. Made them sign a two year contract and soon they were enjoying the service in their room. That was in 2000.

During the setup process he informed us that the receiver we had was vastly outdated, and updated the software as best he could. He told us we should really call them and get them to send us a newer one for the living room. Wonderful.

So now in 2006, they start seeing ads for a free DVR to new customers. They decide to call Dish about getting a new receiver. They are informed they will have to pay several hundred dollars for a new receiver. This is after nine years of being a faithful customer, honoring the contract and only missing one or two payments. Which they caught up within a day or two.

They are now stuck with an ancient receiver that barely works. Dish refuses to upgrade them. It will cost over three hundred dollars they say. Three hundred dollars for something everyone else gets for nothing. Not one penny! They refuse to give in.

Not only that, but apparently these ‘no upgrade rules’ aren’t even Dish Networks! They’re AT&T’s. But wait! When you call AT&T they say Dish Network made the rules. If you cancel your account for six months, then they might upgrade your receiver.

To make matters even funnier other satellite companies ‘don’t provide service’ in Amarillo. How the heck does that work? Does the satellite skip over Amarillo somehow? Can you not line your dish up with it, even though people in Oklahoma City can? What’s the deal?

On top of that, the slightest thing will make their service cut out. Clouds, the wind blowing very hard (which is like 200 days out of the year), and apparently the alignment of the planets. Solar flares oddly don’t affect it.

Some non-competition agreement I’m told is the problem. That’s great, Dish Network has a MONOPOLY here and they happily screw over loyal customers and say there isn’t a thing we can do about it.  My parents aren’t the only ones with this problem.

They’re extremely dissatisfied with how they’re being treated, and unless they want to go with the much more expensive cable company (which does in fact upgrade your equipment free if they change something), or go without for half a year they are pretty well stuck with Dish’s pitiful customer service.