Dish Network Informative - So Far, So Good
I switched to Dish network last summer and so far, so good. The reason I switch was due to wanting to be able to record shows. I was with DirecTV, had been since they came out in the early 90s. No big complaints with them, Just that I had older equipment ( I bought in a kit at Sears), some of their first receivers, and they wouldn't let me upgrade to the receivers I wanted. I didn't like the fact that I had been a loyal customer for all those years and that they treated new sign ups better than someone that had been with them for over 15 years.
This is nothing new, Dish does it, Cell companies do it, all companies do it. I don't like it, it's just the way it is.
Now, the tricky part. Everyone has seen the commercials, seen fliers in local papers, seen internet ads, etc... For dish Network.
You have to read those carefully, they are not all the same. some charge you with installation, some only offer certain types of equipment. Packaging prices can also vary. I Called dish directly, spoke with them about what I had found, what I wanted, and what my options were. I told them what TVs I had, what phone lines I had, everything. I also had them email everything before signing up. That way I had hard copy of what they were offering over the phone.
In the end, I was able to get a four room setup with no installation fee and whatever special they were running on packages at the time (say 6 months of Silver and locals for X amount). I was able to upgrade the box they were offering (100 hours of standard record time) to a HD unit with 350 hours of standard record time for nothing. I was also able to shave off money by running phone lines to both boxes before they installed.
So basically, I got everything I wanted, plus more, for less than what I had been paying for DirecTV. The six month low price is now up and I'm paying regular sub price but still, for what I've got, four rooms with ability to record, is better than two rooms with no record ability, even though it does cost more now.
Now a few things to make sure of. They will double bill you the first month, some people do not expect that. so say you think you are getting charged $34, it could be more like $70 or $80, depending on your setup, taxes, extra receiver charges, locals, phone line hooked up, etc...
Ask them what your bill will be BEFORE you agree to install. get it in writing! I set my installation date 45 days out so I made sure I had time to cancel. When you set up an installation date, they will give you a reference number yo can call to change the date or to cancel. also, call from a different number and ask the same questions, see what they say. Test them.
Installation was very easy, very professional. They set everything up, made sure it worked, ask me if everything was ok, went over everything with me before I signed the contract.
The only problems I've had so far is their signal doesn't appear as strong or focused as DirecTV, so I get more blackouts or down time compared to DirecTV.
also, the first bill was incorrect, they charged me for not having a phone line hooked up even thought I did and it did function. after speaking with them on the phone, it was corrected. You can view and pay your bill online before it is due so this was helpful, no surprises in the mail.
Another thing, the box I have is a 722K. It's a HD unit but I do not have a HD TV. I wanted this box because of it's recording amount (350 hours standard) and in the future for when I do decide to get a HDTV.
The box is flaky, not all the bugs are worked out. I've had to call several times and they simply tell me to push the reset button. The fact that it even has a reset button tells me that it was sent out the door before it was finalized. I've quit calling them about it because nothing can be done about the bugs, that's code issue and they try and correct those problems with firmware releases. So maybe over time those problems will go away.
I'm totally satisfied with what I have, and every time I've had to call I've spoken to someone very helpful and that I can understand. No accent. Not being prejudice, but it does help to understand the person you are speaking with when trying to resolve an issue, especially if you are frustrated when you call.
I approached this carefully and made sure I understood everything before I agreed to anything. When you call, they will be pushy to get you to sign up, but you don't have to. get the facts in writing or it means nothing. common sense. anything negative is nothing special to Dish, it's the same with all companies, regardless of what you buy. When my contract is up, I may call DireTV back and see what they have to offer. I made sure I could come back as a new customer so I should be entitled to whatever specials they are running. It never hurts to look around.
One more thing. save the boxes the equipment comes in. Put them up in a safe place. The installer told me this, when and if I have to return any equipment, they need to go back in the original boxes or I get charged.
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