Dish Network Complaint - Inexcusably bad employee training
5701 S. SANTA FE DR., LITTLETON, COLORADO -- We have been Dish customers for more than 5 years. We wanted to upgrade to HD programming using their "free HD for life" offer. On September 3, 2010, I called to ask to take advantage of their offer. I was told by D- #AHZ that it could be done without incurring any additional costs above the current one. I discussed it with my husband, who wanted the HD more than I, and we made the choice to go ahead. I spoke with L- #UVO, who could not arrange for the upgrade because, she said, there was an "error" on the account. She said she was going to connect me with her supervisor, A-, but disconnected me instead (disconnect #1).
I called back and spoke with B- #U3Z, and he informed me that the error seemed to have been removed from the account, and that he could set me up if I agreed to a 24-month commitment and autopay. I agreed, since we had already been their customer for five years, and I gave him the credit card number for the autopay. He said we were all set. I reiterated that we had two receivers and would need to replace them, and that we wanted HD on our sets.
We received an email confirmation of order, and it was only for 1 receiver. I called and spoke with M- #FO8, and he said it had been corrected. Another email arrived, and it was still for one receiver. I called and spoke with T- #V14. She said it would all be OK, despite the emails. The installation was set for September 4.
The tech showed up late for the appointment, and his work order stated one receiver, but he did have a second one on the truck, so he proceeded with what turned into a five and a half hour installation. He was good, and he stuck with it until all the TVs (2 per receiver) were bringing in a picture. It was not an HD picture, but we didn't figure that out until after he left. He also forgot to take the old dish with him. He had worked so hard that we tipped him for his work. Nothing that happened before or after the installation was his fault.
So - now it was after midnight, and technically September 5 - we called and spoke with M- #QUN. He disconnected us (disconnect #2). We called back and spoke with D- #68S. D- was the seventh person we had spoken with and the first one who told us that installing the equipment does not result in getting the programming; you have to register for that online. He tried to walk me through the online registration process, but it didn't work because the check I had sent them on September 1 for monthly service had not yet cleared the bank.
So we waited. On September 8 I called the billing department and spoke with C- #VCH. He informed me that it took Dish 7-10 days to post a check.
We continued to wait. On September 10, the check cleared our bank. I went online and registered for HD. Two sets out of three that were HD compatible got an HD signal; the third did not. I called and got nobody, just disconnected by the automated receptionist (disconnect #3). I called back and tried to get to tech support, but only got a busy signal after all the automated reception rigamarole. I called again and spoke with R- #2TO. She tried to put me on hold and disconnected me (disconnect #4).
I called again and got through to K- #4MJ, who listened to the problem and said he needed to speak with his supervisor, put me on hold, and disconnected me (disconnect #5).
I called back and spoke with B- #1MR. He told me - at long last - that the dual HD receivers only put out one HD signal; the other is analog. That third set will never get an HD signal. I asked why no one had told me that from the outset, because we could have gotten two single receivers and have the setup we wanted.
I asked if we could get it now. K- tried, but said the computer wouldn't do it for him or for his supervisor, so he connected me with S- #K80 in the laughingly named Customer Loyalty Department. She told me I was free to purchase another receiver. Or I could wait 12 months and then they could swap out the setup that no one ever told me wouldn't work for what we wanted for the setup that would work instead.
In an economy like this one, when people are trying so hard to find jobs, the sort of incompetence I repeatedly encountered from customer service reps at Dish Network leads me to believe that the systematic neglect or abuse of customers has to be a corporate policy, descending from the highest level of the company. Not telling the customer that what they expect to receive (after all, the statement "This receiver will connect to two sets" does imply that the same quality of signal will be received by both sets) may escape one customer service person, but how does it possibly escape a multitude of them? It has to be either appallingly bad training or a deliberate policy of keeping the customer ignorant in an effort to turn him or her into an ongoing source of additional, unexpected, income just to sell them what they thought they would get in the first place.