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My horrible Dish Network experience

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Old 03-17-2007, 09:20 PM   #1  
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Default My horrible Dish Network experience

Of course, like any other company, I'm sure there are lots of people out there who had a great experience with Dish. Personally, my experience was terrible. I thought I'd share, to get opinions, and to give my two cents to anyone else who is thinking about getting Dish. My post is rather long, but I think it's worth hearing someone's full experience for people who are considering signing up.


Part One: The Signup

I originally decided to go with Dish over DirecTV because of Dish's larger HD lineup. I purchased a nice Samsung LN-S4095D 1080p LCD about a month ago, and was eager to see as much HD on it as possible. I was a little put off by Dish's higher price, but decided it was worth it.

So when I signed up, I tried to negotiate with them just a little bit. I was putting a pretty big investment in, and all I wanted was for them to waive the $50 activation fee without forcing me to sign a contract. The person on the phone was a real jerk about it. (I mean, if you don't want to negotiate, that's fine. But don't be a dick!) So I told him I would weigh my options, and get back to them. At this point, I was less than impressed, and had decided I was more likely to go with DirecTV. My parents have had DirecTV for about 15 years, and have never had a single problem.

Well, about 20 minutes after I got off the phone with the jerk from Dish, my phone rang. It was a "supervisor" from Dish's sign-up department. He said he saw that I started to go through the sign-up process, then changed my mind. He wanted to know if there was anything he could do to get me to sign up. So I explained the situation. He actually was a bigger jerk about it than the first guy! He explained in a very snotty voice about how they need to make money, and blah blah blah. So I told him that I was going to call DirecTV, and to have a nice night. At that point, he finally agreed to waive the sign-up fee. So I figured I didn't have much to lose with no sign-up fee and no commitment, so I signed up. America's top 250 package with HD, and a ViP 211 receiver.


Part Two: The Install

The day before they were coming to install the equipment, I realized that I didn't know whether they provided an HDMI cable or not. So I called Dish again, and asked them. The person I talked to said that they provdied a component cable, but not an HDMI. I decided that was acceptable, even though I would eventually buy an HDMI cable myself.

They installed my equipment on Thursday. The installer seemed like a nice enough guy, and did a good job with the dish and cabling. But when he hooked up the receiver, he did it with crappy RCA cables. I told him that I was told I would get component cables. He said that they never give anything but RCA cables. So someone in this situation was lying. But he told me it was ok, because the RCA cables would give me an HD signal anyway. ( ) I basically told him he was wrong, but he did the whole, "Whatever, I'm a tech guy and you're just a stupid customer," thing. So I just decided it wasn't worth the argument, and that I would go buy an HDMI cable after he left. The point is that I never got a chance to see a good quality signal before he left.

Part Three: Picture Quality

So I got my HDMI cable, and spent a few days watching TV. The HD channels look great. Not as good as OTA channels, of course, but pretty nice. However, the SD channels look like total garbage! The colors are washed out, the picture is all blotchy, and there is more motion blur than anyone could possibly stand. Now, I know SD signals don't always look great on a HD set, but I previously had SD cable, and it looked amazing. So this was obviously a problem with the Dish hardware.

I did some research, and from what I've read, it sounds like some of the Dish receivers do a god-awful job of upscaling SD signals. Previously, my cable was in SD, and my TV was doing the upscaling. Since I have a pretty nice TV, the SD looked nice. So don't try to tell me that the problem is with my TV, because I've seen SD signals look stunning on this very screen.

I called Dish to see if they had any suggestions for me. They completely blew off all of my questions, and said they would just send a tech to take a look. I figured if they wanted to put in that expense, it was fine with me.

Part Four: The Tech Guy

Tonight, out of the blue, I got a call from the tech who was supposed to come tomorrow. It happened to be the same guy who had done my installation. He called me on my cell phone at 9pm while I was at a restaurant. He wanted to discuss my problem, to see if he really needed to come to my house. I asked if he could just call me back tomorrow morning, as I was at dinner at the moment. He said he was really busy in the morning (like I'm not busy now?) and that ...sigh... he would just come to my house, and that ...sigh... if it turned out to be nothing, it wasn't ...sigh... that big of a deal. I said, fine, let's talk, but make it quick. I stepped out of the room so I could talk to him.

The conversation went for about 10 minutes, but it can be summed up in one sentence. Tech: "I don't want to have to drive all the way back to your house, and there's nothing I'm going to be able to do about your problem anyway, and that basically your choices are to either live with it or cancel your service."

At this point, I was rather stunned. This was the fourth Dish representative I had dealt with who was very rude. This is not the way to treat a brand-new customer! So at this point, I had had enough. I figure I'm not hooked with a commitment period, so I will just give it a few weeks, maybe a couple of months, and see how things go. Maybe I can handle the lower quality signal. Or maybe they'll push a software update for this receiver. Who knows?

So I ask the tech what I need to do to cancel the service call (because I honestly don't want this guy working on my stuff anymore, since he's proven himself to be less than knowledgeable, and rude as well). He said, "No, don't do anything. If you cancel the call, I won't get paid for it. We'll just pretend that I came to your house, so I can get paid. It can be our little way of 'sticking it' to Dish."

If you aren't at least a little bit shocked, please go back and read that paragraph again. This sort of crap is one of the reasons why your satellite bill is so high.

That was the last straw for me. I've had it. This company has spent a full week pissing me off, and I'm done. So I decide to cancel my service.

Part Five: The Cancellation

I called Dish Network again. After bouncing around voice prompt hell for a while, I just pick a random option, since cancellation isn't one of the options they give. That operator transferred me to the correct department. Unbelievably, the cancellation was the only part of my whole experience that went well:

Me: "I'd like to cancel my service."
Op: "I'm sorry to hear that, may I ask why?"
Me: brief version of the story
Op: expresses shock at the tech guy story, offers 3 free months
Me: "No thanks, I'd just like to cancel, please."
Op: "No problem. I understand. I see you're not on a contract, so this shouldn't be a problem. And since you've had our service for less than a week, you shouldn't get billed at all. If you do receive a bill, here is my operator ID. Call back, and we'll make sure you don't get charged anything. You'll also receive a box with prepaid postage to send back the receiver, remote, and LNBs from the dish. Is there anything else I can do for you today?"
Me, in amazement: "Yeah, you can find a way to make all the other people and departments in your company as polite and helpful as you!"

(To Dan, operator ID U1L at Dish - you're awesome.)

Conclusion

You can take from my story what you will. Honestly, in the end, I didn't lose anything but time and a little sanity, so it's probably just not a big deal.

And there are lots of different ways this whole thing could have gone if I had stuck with it. Maybe the poor SD picture quality could've been fixed. Maybe it's just something I will have to deal with no matter what provider I choose. But the experience as a whole was more than enough to make me happy I decided to cancel.

I'm sure some of you have had Dish for years, and have been extremely happy. I could've been one of those people, too. Hey, Dish Network, I could've paid you $80 per month for years to come! But I had nothing but problems, and no one in your organization was willing to help me out. (Until I was ready to cancel!)

Yes, I realize my experience with Dish was limited, being only about a week and a half from start to finish. But I feel that if a company is willing to treat a brand-new customer this poorly, I would be frightened to see how they treat someone who's already tied to them.

"Hello, DirecTV? I'm interested in signing up for your service..."

Thanks for listening, everyone.
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Old 03-18-2007, 06:58 AM   #2  
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We look forward to your summary of the Direct TV experience.
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Old 03-18-2007, 07:56 AM   #3  
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Dish is happy you cancelled because you are what is known as a "high maintenance customer". You think everybody is being rude to you and being a "Dick" and a "Jerk". when in fact you are a Dick and a Jerk.

You got a deal that nobody else gets(waive $50 acctivation fee, no commitment). Everybody knows you don't get an HDMI cable or components and with the exception of the installer not knowing that RCA can't do HD he installed you correctly. He did not want to come back because there is nothing he can do about poor SD on an HD television.

Then you get to cancell for free. Sounds to me like you did all right!
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Old 03-18-2007, 08:27 AM   #4  
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Quote:
Dish is happy you cancelled because you are what is known as a "high maintenance customer". You think everybody is being rude to you and being a "Dick" and a "Jerk". when in fact you are a Dick and a Jerk.
WOW I'll be you have a lot of friends!!!!!!!!!!!

To the original poster........Sounds like you had some bad service......Let us know how your Direct TV experience goes?? And good luck....
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Old 03-18-2007, 09:22 AM   #5  
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ModemGhost ,
You soulda done more research!!
You would have got your dang "want it for free" $50 activation fee back as credit on your first bill.

CRS or Tech did make a mistake by saying you would get a cable.
They used to supply components, but not any more.
Buy a printer, buy a cable.
Buy an HDTV, buy a cable.

I See alot of crappy SD on HDTVs
I've got a Sony, my SD looks great.

fred
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:30 AM   #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wal-dog
Dish is happy you cancelled because you are what is known as a "high maintenance customer". You think everybody is being rude to you and being a "Dick" and a "Jerk". when in fact you are a Dick and a Jerk.
I doubt very much that E* is glad he cancelled. It's the installer who's the jerk and now he WON"T GET PAID for the install
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:28 PM   #7  
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Hey, everyone. Thanks for the responses. I knew ahead of time that I would get some people who would support me, and some who wouldn't. It doesn't bother me, we all have our own opinions. But I would like to respond to a couple of things.

First, I will be more than happy to report back to you about my DirecTV experience. Like I said in my OP, my parents have had DirecTV pretty much since it's existed, and they've had no problems in 15 years. So I'm feeling confident. I will miss having some of the additional HD channels. (DirecTV doesn't have HGTV or Food Network in HD, and those are two channels I watch fairly often.) But I will live.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wal-dog
Dish is happy you cancelled because you are what is known as a "high maintenance customer". You think everybody is being rude to you and being a "Dick" and a "Jerk". when in fact you are a Dick and a Jerk.
Wal-Dog, if Dish is happy to see me go, then the feeling is mutual. Honestly, where are you getting enough info to assume that the poor customer service experience was completely my fault? I've been nothing but polite to everyone at Dish, and in this entire post. What ever happened to being polite to the customer, even if they are "high maintenance"? Am I supposed to just waddle along being led by the nose wherever any company wants to lead me? I don't think so. I was polite and respectful to all of Dish's representatives, and did not receive the same treatment in return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wal-dog
You got a deal that nobody else gets (waive $50 acctivation fee, no commitment). Everybody knows you don't get an HDMI cable or components and with the exception of the installer not knowing that RCA can't do HD he installed you correctly. He did not want to come back because there is nothing he can do about poor SD on an HD television. Then you get to cancel for free. Sounds to me like you did all right!
That great deal that "nobody else gets"? It's called "haggling". Most companies are willing to haggle with customers, especially in a highly competitive industry like this one. I didn't hold a gun to anyone's head to get the no commitment/no fee deal. In fact, Dish called me back and offered the deal. If they were not willing to haggle with me, that is fine. They can have any policy they want about this sort of thing. Just like I am free to take my business to any company I want. If you've never gotten someone to lower the price on anything, just because the sticker has a certain number on it, I feel for you. You must be a car salesman's dream come true!

Also, everybody does not know you don't get cables with your receiver. Including the people at Dish Network's 800 number, apparently! I understand that it's unusual to get cables with your purchases these days. And that's fine with me, really, as long as it's made clear ahead of time so I can have the appropriate cables on hand myself once the equipment shows up. You and fred are both acting like I am being an idiot for expecting to get a cable, when I was specifically told I would get one.. I don't understand how any logical person could look at this situation and find me at fault. Sorry. (On a side-note, my parents just upgraded their DirecTV service from SD to HD, and DirecTV gave them an HDMI cable.)

Finally, I agree with you that the tech could not have done anything about the poor SD quality. If you read my OP, you will understand that I tried talking to the Dish rep about the problem, but she insisted on sending a tech. This is why I agreed with the tech that he didn't need to come to my house. But for him to not show up, and still try to get paid reflects badly on him and the company he represents.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredinva
ModemGhost ,
You soulda done more research!!
You would have got your dang "want it for free" $50 activation fee back as credit on your first bill.

CRS or Tech did make a mistake by saying you would get a cable.
They used to supply components, but not any more.
Buy a printer, buy a cable.
Buy an HDTV, buy a cable.

I See alot of crappy SD on HDTVs
I've got a Sony, my SD looks great.
Hi Fred. You should have read my OP more carefully before responding. I did a TON of research before contacting Dish. The $50 activation is charged to you no matter what. Then, if you agree to an 18 month commitment, they will credit your first bill with $50. I finally haggled them down to waiving the $50 and not forcing a commitment on me. (Thank god!)

As far as the cable issue, please see what I wrote to wal-dog above.

Finally, I'm glad SD looks great on your Sony. Like I said in my OP, SD looks great on my Samsung, too, as long as it isn't coming from a Dish receiver.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ArtWIS
It's the installer who's the jerk and now he WON"T GET PAID for the install
Honestly, this is the one thing I feel just a little bad about. The installer did do a decent job installing the equipment, so I do feel a little bad that he won't get paid for that work. However, his little, "Let's stick it to Dish by charging them for a service call that never occurred," comment makes me feel better, since I can only assume he tries to squeeze as much money out of Dish as he can at every opportunity.

Last edited by ModemGhost; 03-18-2007 at 01:31 PM..
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Old 03-18-2007, 01:55 PM   #8  
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Interesting Update: I just got a voicemail on my cell phone from the installer/tech who wanted to "stick it to Dish". His message said that his boss wanted me to call and cancel the service call after all, so their company wouldn't get in any trouble from Dish. He said to call Dish, and tell them that, "Everything is fine after all, and that I don't need a tech." Jesus. Even if I hadn't canceled, everything still would not be fine.

Apparently he never got the news that he was instrumental in getting me to drop Dish altogether. Man, I hope Dish fires these guys. Unbelievable.
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:32 PM   #9  
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Sorry about your bad experience, the only advice I could offer that would have improved things would be to go with a local retailer and not order through Dish directly. I have had ZERO problems and went local based on the advice from this forum.
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Old 03-18-2007, 02:38 PM   #10  
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I know you're talking about satellite, and I use cable....but as far as the cable bit goes, when I had cablevision, they supplied the component cable for the HD box. I just switched to FIOS and they supplied an HDMI cable.
I'm glad you were able to get cancelled without a hassle. And you're right, there's nothing wrong with haggling. If they can do it and get your business...fine. If they can't, well then it's your call.
And there is nothing "high maintenance" about you.
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Old 03-18-2007, 10:32 PM   #11  
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Hi ModemGhost,
I'm a Dish Network dealer for 8 years and I don't install any customer without a contract unless he/she buy the equipment. I offer the customer like you to show the HD system at customer home so he can compare the pic quality with his tv at NO COST.
All my customers that has HD system from me will get FREE HDMI or component cables but has to sign the contract.
Also, I give all of the them 18 months of free in-house service with phone line connected to the receiver.

Good luck, Jose.
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Old 03-19-2007, 06:53 AM   #12  
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Sorry 'bout your experience.

"Finally, I'm glad SD looks great on your Sony. Like I said in my OP, SD looks great on my Samsung, too, as long as it isn't coming from a Dish receiver."

You'll certainly enjoy Direct SD then, and good luck if you get thier HD-DVR!!! I'm sure you'll get it all for FREE from Direct.
And don't worry about the couple HD channels you won't have.
Direct will add 100 or so soon, LOL

fred
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Old 03-19-2007, 08:36 AM   #13  
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Default SD Quality

My SD quality with Dish is WAY better than it was with Charter Cable. I have the 622 DVR hooked to a 50" Pioneer plasma through HDMI.

With Charter, many of the SD channels are still in analogue and were unwatchable. The digital SD's varied wildly in quality, with many having washed out colors. The SD channels from Dish are all at the higher end of the spectrum I got with Charter.

I wonder if the SD picture quality with HDMI varies by receiver. I also wonder if hooking your TV up via RCA as well as HDMI would be the best of both worlds. Just switch to the other input on the TV when watching SD content.
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:22 AM   #14  
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I got to be honest here. It sounds like you are pretty difficult to deal with. If you think the standard def is bad on dishnet wait till you go to directv. I'm a technician for a cable company and have a lot experience with samsung tv's and standard def, and there just awful. I actually bought a samsung and returned it for a sony. Now I'm completely satisfied with the sony. As far as saving 50.00. Sounds like your a penny pincher. All compressed standard def will look less than impressive. But The samsung seems to take it to the next level.

Just my thoughts.

Paul
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Old 03-19-2007, 09:32 AM   #15  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by plabute
I'm a technician for a cable company and have a lot experience with samsung tv's and standard def, and there just awful.

Paul

I'm happy with my Samsung SD (Cablevision, not Dish).

I can't relate to your Dish story, but I had a cablevision tech do the same thing to me when I had a problem with my DVR box. He called me up to troubleshoot over the phone. Same situation where I didn't think there was anything a tech could do....shows that were scheduled to record weren't recording. It all works now.
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