Dish Network dishes up millions to settle complaints filed by 46 states

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Dish Network has reached an agreement with 46 states' attorneys general to pay nearly $6 million plus restitution to settle allegations of deceptive consumer marketing and a lack of disclosure about costs and service limitations.The states came after Dish after thousands of consumer complaints were lodged.

Consumers with complaints against Dish are eligible for restitution from the settlement if they have filed a complaint with their state's attorney general or Dish Network between Jan. 1, 2004 and July 9, 2009. Complaints eligible for compensation from the settlement will continue to be accepted through Dec. 14 as long as it involves problems that happened over the past two years.

Dish was the subject of more than 13,000 closed complaints over the past three years just to the Better Business Bureau (pending complaints are not disclosed). Despite the volume and nature of the complaints and a pending federal action over alleged telemarketing violations, the BBB rates Dish -- a dues-paying member of the business organization -- a "B."

UPDATE: Competitor DirecTV, which draws similar complaints from consumers, was assessed more than $2 million in penalties by the Federal Trade Commission earlier this year for alleged telemarketing violations. The BBB also rates DirecTV a "B," after amassing more than 30,000 complaints, explaining the company has been responsive to formal complaints.

Among the complaints filed with the state and the BBB regarding the Dish Network: Dish and its authorized retailers would offer big packages with discounts for a two-year commitment from consumers and then boost the price and/or reduce service. Consumers who then wanted to cancel their service were told they would face hundreds of dollars in cancellation penalties. Dish also was accused of drawing payment from customers' bank accounts and credit cards without proper warning or authorization and violating Do-Not-Call telemarketing laws. Also, customers complained they were not informed that their premium sports packages were subject to blackout and that they might not receive their local TV stations.

"DISH Network's misleading marketing beamed bad deals to thousands of consumers, causing financial hardships for those on limited incomes," Washington Attorney General Rob McKenna said "This agreement makes the picture much clearer as to what business practices are acceptable."

McKenna's office cited the example of a senior citizen who had to pay $100 in overdraft fees after Dish drained her bank account.

To settle the cases, Dish agreed to fully disclose the terms and conditions of its contracts with consumers in plain English. In resolving the complaints, Dish, which claims more than 13 million customers of its satellite TV service, admitted no wrongdoing.

"Customer satisfaction has always been a top priority for DISH Network, and we continuously implement new approaches to strengthen our customer relationships," Tom Cullen, executive vice president of DISH Network said in a statement.

The only states not party to the settlement are:California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio. Those states did not accept the terms of the settlement. A copy of the settlement can be found here.

For consumers who don't want to accept Dish's restitution offer can appeal to a third-party claims administrator at CEO@dishnetwork.com. Questions may also be sent to that address.
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angthom5

SORRY I MEANT ONLY ONE PERSON HELPED ME AND WHILE DISH NETWORK STEALING YOUR MONEY!!!!! SOME TIMES THESE WORD POP UP ON THEIR ON AGAIN SORRY.

Yesterday at 6:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
angthom5

DON'T GET DISH DON'T GET DISH THE ARE ALL IN ON THE SCARY SCAM EXCEPT ONE PERSON WHO HELPED ME OTHER THANK-YOU HER DISH WILL GO IN TO YOUR ACCOUNT WITHOUT YOUR PERMISSION PEOPLE PLEASE PLEASE READ YOUR CONTRACTS DISH WILL SWINDEL YOU OUT OF YOUR MONEY AND WHO EVER OWN DISH NETWORK SITTING BACK LIKE A KING WHITE HIS CUSTOMER SERVICE PEOPLE TALK TO YOU ANY KIND OF WAY THAT THEY WANT TO WHAT KIND OF PERSON WOULD LET THEIR EMPLOYEES TALK TO PEOPLE LIKE THAT I HAVE READ SO SO SO MANY COMPLAINTS THAT IT'S SICKEN AND SAD THAT A COMPANY AS BIG AS DISH WOULD LET ALL OF THESE COMPLAINTS ABOUT HIS STAFF JUST GO UNLACKING AND UNOTICED I KNOW MONEY IS THE ROOTS OF ALL EVIL BUT ON THAT DAY WHEN YOU HAVE TO STAND BEFORE "GOD" AND HE WILL JUDGE YOU ACCORDING TO ALL YOU HAVE DONT TO MAN AS FAR AS DISH NETWORK IS CONCERNED OH MY IT'S GOING TO BE WOOOO WOOOO UNTO YOU STEALING, LYING, THIS IS WHY HELL IS ENLARGEING HERSELF!!!!!!

Yesterday at 6:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
manolo

DISH NETWORK IS A RIP OFF. STAY AWAY FROM THIS SCAM. REALLY

October 29 2012 at 6:34 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
sarah.lestman

Dish network is the worst company-not just cable company-they're the worst all around company!! It's kind of like knowing someone who know's a little about cars. You figure you can save a little money using him instead of the "bigger guys," but, in the end you end up paying for it anyway.

DishNetwork lied to me & has cheated me! Do not get involved with these people!!

October 13 2012 at 9:07 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply