Dish Network Complaint - Disappointed Employee
NORTHEAST, USA -- I was recently hired at Dish Network. The pay is great, the co-workers are easy to get along with but the company does not stop changing operations. Everyone gets mixed up, the wrong things get put on vans, the wrong things get accounted for, etc. Obviously, I am not here to review working for the company. Overall they are solid and they are a Fortune 500 which means job stability likely is good. I am extremely happy at my job and do not have a problem with anyone I work with.
That aside, hopefully everyone understands I have no bias whatsoever. Before moving back to my hometown I had DirecTV. DirecTV had everything: great programming, affordable packages, reasonable rates for additional receivers and DVRs and AWESOME customer service. I was accidently charged an installation fee and immediately after checking my account I noticed this and called their customer service. They apologized profusely, extended my HBO/Shotime 3-month free trial by a month and gave me a free month of programming ON TOP OF deleting this bogus charge.
As a Dish Employee I receive a special discount for using the service. You're eligible after one month of your hire date. I received my certificate number to use when signing up. This special number identifies me as an employee and automatically (or should automatically) set my account up as an employee account. The guy on the phone informed me that my number didn't work so I double checked my e-mail. It was the exact number. He tried again only to have computer issues and transferred me to someone else, who transferred me back to the original representative Finally he said it went through and I was ready for my install. The phone call took 63 minutes and I would estimate roughly 45 minutes of that were spent on hold. Very annoying. Not only did I lose my morning appointment but I did not get other things done that I should have been able to get done.
That headache was over and two days later the installer came to my house. I was quoted 2-4 hours for install and he was done in 3, not bad I guess, for one television. DirecTV took less time on an older and bigger house to install a dish and receivers in three rooms.
Now for signal strength. Not even 24 hours of install my signal went out. Clear day, sunny, not too many clouds, no precipitation, nothing covering the dish or in the way and BAM, out goes the signal for a good two minutes. I let this slide. As I'm writing this review my signal has now been out for about an hour. Customer service has no idea why. Me neither. They inform me my receiver is raising no red flags and I am informing them that it's a clear night. This is frustrating. Thankfully, since I have a discount, I was able to keep my digital cable account for a larger variety of channels and just use Dish to save on premiums (HBO etc). In three years of subscribing to DirecTV I had only two problems. One I mentioned that was resolved quickly and another with an issue of a receiver not getting local channels. This was also promptly fixed and we were given their "everything" package for free for a month including all premium channels. Not once did their service cut out, NOT ONCE.
Next let's mention picture quality. I have an HDTV. I also still subscribe to my digital cable service. Both my satellite and digital cable receivers are hooked up with HDMI cables so there should be no picture difference. Switching from digital cable to Dish inputs on my TV I notice a huge difference in picture quality on my locals and channels such as ESPN, Discovery etc. Dish's picture is darker and definitely not as crisp. Also, on a lot of my local channels the Dish receiver boxes them in. In other words I get annoying black bars boxing in my picture. I am no advocate of digital cable but I definitely expected better quality out of Dish, after all they do advertise that.
Lastly, my biggest complaint, is their billing. Because the guy who set up my account obviously failed at setting it up for an employee my first and second months bill (due within a few weeks of ordering) is significantly more than what it should be. No discounts applied. I called customer service with my employee number and the certificate number (used to set up the account) and again I was on hold for about 20 minutes of the 30 minute call. Yes, very aggravating, especially when it eats away at your mobile phone minutes. The representative told me there was nothing he could do so I asked for his supervisor who also said there must be a mistake (yeah, no s**t). She informed me the only way I could fix the problem was to talk to my supervisor or my local HR representative and have them resolve the issue because I guess Dish doesn't pay their customer service department to resolve issues. This is becoming a hassle. I e-mailed my HR representative and still haven't received any reply. So now in a couple of weeks I am going to be responsible for paying a bill that is higher than it should be. Additionally, and a bit unrelated to what I was talking about, they call me with an 866 number 1-3 times a day usually around dinner time for a survey or with a representative to ask about how I like my service. Get the hint guys, if people are immediately hanging up, they don't want to deal with you. That is VERY annoying. Even though I receive a discount I'm strongly considering just having the service discontinued, paying whatever they want me to pay and have my equipment hauled off. It's not worth the headache.
To conclude: As I mentioned, I am happy at my particular office. No beef with anyone. But I am very, very, very annoyed that this is how their customer service offers absolutely little to no help for a fellow employee. It really makes me wonder how they treat regular customers who do not receive any sort of discount. All in all, I have to be completely honest as I am in every review I write. Compare the packages, compare the programming and do your research. From surfing around on this site and many others it's obvious that DirecTV has way more fans. I definitely would recommend DirecTV over any other provider and if satellite is your only option immediately rule out Dish Network. Another thing to take into consideration is, they're both going to be very competitive in pricing, they have to be. DTV might cost a little bit more but you get what you pay for with Dish. Also, in researching you'll realize DirecTV has more satellites in orbit than Dish Network so signal strength will be much, much more reliable.
I know I'm supposed to include my location, but since I'm an employee I do not want to give anything away that could potentially harm my job. Let's just say I reside in the Northeastern part of the US.