Dish Network - Dish online is a huge disappointment
Sling-Enabled DVR and Dish Online - Complaint
BOULDER CREEK, CALIFORNIA -- I recently reported a broken DVR. Dish recommended replacing it with a unit that is "Sling Enabled," allowing me to watch DVR recordings from my computer (through my home LAN). I agreed, but told them that I was worried about the early termination clause, in case I was disappointed; to which they effectively said "oh, well."
The installer was very careful and diligent with the new unit, making sure it worked properly. However, some hours of downloading and configuring were needed before I could try watching from my computer. He left long before that. When the appropriate time had elapsed, I tried dish online, and saw to my delight a clean (if less well designed than one on the DVR) TV guide. I chose an episode at random and clicked on the Record Me button. Nothing happened. I used their chat help and they said that "the feature had been broken for four days now. Sorry about the inconvenience".
I figured I would wait a few days and try again. Meantime, I tried using a different browser, with mild improvements, but no real success. It took several days before the feature was fixed. No news on their website about any of this. I could now control my DVR from my computer, well enough to record, browse and delete airings of all kinds. Watching them, however, was not so enthralling. One browser crashed two seconds into a playback. I did manage to watch an entire hour of one show, on the other browser, but skipping past the commercials (one of the best features of DVR's, IMHO) was a nightmarish ping-pong along the playback timeline, with each click an added delay while the browser did it's thing with the dish online server. Not fun.
A few days later, I logged in to discover that the recordings and timers had disappeared. Chat told me to try X and disconnected. I tried X. No joy. Another chat session, try Y. Please, I asked, allow me to talk to a supervisor. … Long wait … Sorry, all are currently talking to customers. I called their 800 number. More suggestions, no joy. They offered $10 bill reduction for each of the next three months and another apology.
To summarize, I received a competent installation of a device whose operation is sadly underpar, while technical help is not knowledgeable enough to guide me all the way to satisfaction. Seems like they ought to not charge me anything until the problems are resolved, or waive the early termination fee and let me go elsewhere.