Dish Network Complaint - Dish Network's Repeated Failures To Fix My Service
MONROE, LOUISIANA -- I certainly realize there is already a long list of reviews dealing with failures in service by the cable and satellite TV companies. But I will add mine to this list because of the string of repeated failures by Dish Network and the verbal threat from a Dish Network service technician that has been apparently carried out.
I have been a Dish Network customer at my current residence for three years. I had this service installed when I moved into this house and chose Dish Network because it offered local channels (DirecTV does not in my area). I preferred satellite-delivered service over cable because the provider at that time - Time-Warner - was not offering a channel lineup that included the networks I enjoyed watching.
About three months ago, my reception on two of my four units began deteriorating to a point that they were nearly unwatchable. Each of these units were the No. 2 - i.e., the unit that operates off the two receiver in the house as installed by Dish Network. Additionally, I had come to notice the No. 2 units were becoming less responsive to remote control commands. After making sure all my connections on each unit were solid, I contacted Dish Network via their online customer service portal seeking help.
The customer service representative I conversed with was very helpful and walked me through a few steps before agreeing there was a problem at hand that would require a visit from a repair technician. The customer service representative noted that I was a Preferred Customer and that there would be no service charge for this visit. The customer service representative scheduled a visit for the next available time and completed the contact. Shortly thereafter, I received an e-mail confirming the scheduled repair technician appointment. At this point, I was satisfied with the level of service.
The appointment had been scheduled for a Friday between 12 and 5 p.m. I put in for a half-day of vacation at work. On the day of the appointment, I made sure to arrive home prior to 12 p.m. and stayed there for the entire range of time during which the appointment had been scheduled. I also refrained from using our home phone as that was the number on file with Dish Network. By 5:30 p.m., I'd received no phone calls from Dish Network and a repair technician had not arrived. At this point, I used the confirmation e-mail to reply to Dish Network and apprise them of the appointment no-show.
My five-year-old son had a baseball game that evening at 6:30 p.m., so when my wife came home from work we made ready to leave for the game. Literally as my wife tied the shoelaces on my son's cleats, the doorbell rang and I answered it to find the Dish Network repair technician. He told me he was there to fix my service and I replied that I was unable to let him in the house and we were about to leave for the evening. Although I was cordial in explaining this (and I can't emphasize enough that I did nothing to antagonize or inflame a situation), the repair technician became very brusque and pointed out that I had scheduled the appointment. I acknowledged that I had, but also pointed out that the appointment had been scheduled for that afternoon and it was now an hour past that time. He replied that I was lucky he got there when he did and that I should have known getting a repair technician out this time of year wouldn't be on time. I was a bit surprised at his response, but I insisted that we were unable to remain at home and that we would have to reschedule. As I closed the door, he shouted that I was making a mistake and that nobody would come to fix my TV for months if turned him away.
Even as my family and I pulled out of our drive and left a few minutes later, the repair technician sat in his van in front of our house. At least he was gone when we returned about three hours later.
The next day I again wrote to Dish Network. I was still very surprised at the reaction of their representative and told them about my experience. I received a reply apologizing for this, saying again that I was a Preferred Customer and offering to reschedule. I didn't want to burn any more vacation to wait on another no-show and the customer service representative cheerfully agreed, this time offering a weekend appointment that was a few weeks away. Although I would be out of town on a business trip, I made arrangements with my wife to be present on the scheduled day.
However, this also proved to be a no-show. At about the middle of the scheduled time period, my wife answered a call to our home phone from a Dish Network representative saying that repair calls had been overscheduled for the day and a technician would not be arriving. They said they would come the next day, a Monday. Fortunately, we had relatives visiting us and they volunteered to wait at the house to meet the repair technician. But then on that day, Dish Network called to say they would once again be unable to keep the appointment.
My wife called me to tell me about the call and I later contacted Dish Network via e-mail to inquire of another appointment. I received a reply saying it would be at least two weeks and would necessitate another weekday appointment. They also said that as a Preferred Customer, they appreciated my business. I replied saying waiting two weeks for a weekday appointment wouldn't do. I'd already waited several weeks, burned a half-day of vacation and still didn't have my service fixed. Dish Network did not return my communication.
When I returned from my business trip, I contacted Dish Network via their online portal. When a customer service representative joined me, I very clearly stated that Dish Network would have to meet two requests to keep my business: 1. An guaranteed appointment for a specific time, and 2. A $360 credit to my bill to be spread over the following 12 months. I sought the bill credit to compensate myself for the half-day of vacation that I'd already wasted and the likely next half-day I would have to use for the next appointment. The customer service representative acknowledged that I was a Preferred Customer and offered to schedule an appointment for me two weeks away between the hours of 8 a.m. and noon or noon to 5 p.m. I countered that this was not good enough, that I expected a specific time guaranteed and that it must be in the next few days. The customer service representative asked for a few minutes to work on this request and eventually came back to confirm an appointment for 8 a.m. the following day. I told him I was pleased with this and then said we needed to work out the bill credit. The customer service representative offered a $130 credit and I replied that this was not good enough. I told him the $360 (which was really just reducing my bill from $130 per month to $100) was not a negotiable point for me. He replied that he was authorized to only go as high as $130. I told him I understood that my request was higher than his authorization and said I would wait while he sought authorization elsewhere. He replied that he couldn't do that and I said that this was a deal breaker. When he further indicated he could not yield, I then said to cancel the appointment and my next communication would be to let them know when to discontinue my service. The customer service representative abruptly signed off.
By now, I'll bet you know exactly what happened the next morning. At 7:30 a.m., the phone rang just as I was leaving the house for work. It was a Dish Network representative saying the repair technician called in sick that day and wouldn't be coming. I chuckled and replied that this was agreeable since I was going to discontinue the service anyway. Then the person on the other end said something that really surprised me. "That's good because nobody is going to come fix your service anyway," she said. There it was - the make-good on the original threat from the repair technician. Dish Network was exacting its revenge upon me.
I hope this helps someone in the future as they try to deal with Dish Network. I tried to be very polite each step of the way because I realize the person you reach on the phone or through e-mail or an online portal really has no personal bearing on your own situation. But I wonder now if I'd been better off to have bullied or threatened. Was I simply cast off as a non-threat because I willingly suffered their shoddy treatment? After all, I was a Preferred Customer who had been regularly sending in those $130 checks for months and months.
So now I'm left to dealing with a company with an even worse reputation for customer service - Comcast. This is probably a never-ending cycle of irritation that I will have to put up with, but at least I won't be sending Dish Network any more checks.