How one “disappointed” Dish customer fixed his own problem (and you can, too)

I’ve always said the best cases are the ones where consumers fix their problem themselves, and that’s especially true for Jeff Smith.

He was “angry and disappointed” after Dish sent him an unexpected $95 bill for a routine installation — one that he’d been led to believe would not cost anything extra.

Elliott Advocacy is underwritten by Arch RoamRight. Arch RoamRight is one of the fastest growing, most-highly rated travel insurance companies in the United States. Travel advisors love working with us, and travelers feel protected with our trip cancellation and travel medical insurance coverage. We also make it easy to file a claim online with our fast, paperless claims website. Learn more about RoamRight travel insurance.

Smith turned to the resources we offer on this site to fix the problem. And he pulled it off. It’s a powerful reminder that for most of the problems we publish, there’s a DIY fix.

So what, exactly, happened to Smith — and how did he resolve it? Glad you asked.

This summer, he bought four new TVs to replace the old analog sets in his home. All of them were hooked up to Dish.

“I called Dish to ask if the new television sets would work with our Dish equipment and was told that the equipment would be upgraded and an appointment was made,” he recalls.

The new TVs arrived and he tried hooking them up to the old equipment.

“It seemed to work very well with the existing boxes but we assumed that the picture would be even better with upgraded boxes,” he says.

A few days later, a Dish technician arrived and installed the new boxes without incident.

Then things started to go wrong. The “mute” button on a remote control didn’t work. Emails didn’t arrive on time. And then he received a $95 bill for a “tech visit.”

“No mention was made of a tech visit charge,” he says, adding that he was now an “angry and disappointed Dish subscriber.”

Smith took matters into his own hands. He consulted our Dish executive contacts page. He sent a brief, polite email to the executives we list.

“The tech visit charge of $95 was removed,” he says. “Although you didn’t advocate on my behalf in this case, your information helped and I thought you’d like to hear of a successful outcome.”

A case like this underscores the importance of actionable information and self-advocacy. Smith could have sent his complaint directly to us, but taking this up the chain with Dish was not only faster, but it showed the rest of us that it can be done.

Should Smith have paid a $95 installation fee? That’s debatable. Some of you reading this will find fine print on the Dish site that notifies customers of this fee. You’ll say Smith should have known. That’s fine. We keep a few “rules-are-rules” readers around here for balance.

On the other hand, some of you will agree with Smith that Dish should have told him about it up front (no fine-print warnings) and it did the right thing by waiving the charge.

Either way, it’s another great score for the DIY advocates out there. Way to go!

Should Dish have refunded Smith's $95?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

9 thoughts on “How one “disappointed” Dish customer fixed his own problem (and you can, too)

  1. Glad he was able to advocate for himself by using Chris’ Dish Executive Contacts Page and as a result, the $95 technician charge was removed.
    However, what about the mute button on his remote and the emails that were not arriving on time? Did Dish resolve those issues for him at no charge?

  2. I am generally a rules person. But any time a consumer can make headway with a TV subscription service and have a fee refunded, I’m all for it. They’re all evil, really really evil.

    1. To avoid their type of evil just cancel and get an antenna. There is plenty of good HD digital content over the air these days . . . plus streaming of Netflix and/or Amazon for around $10 each a month.

      We’ve saved over $3,000 since canceling.

      Goodbye evil!

      1. We did that for a while actually. Didn’t have cable for a few years. When we were both laid off back when everyone was laid off, we cut out cable. And realized we didn’t need it, so didn’t sign back up even when we both were working for a while again.

        Then, when I moved to Atlanta, I can’t get any over the air stations, mostly because the landscape here makes it difficult. And no PBS means I had to get cable. There are a few decent programs on tv, and I have 1 I won’t admit watching! I only have 1 box downstairs. The bedrooms don’t have cable, just streaming and DVD players. I really make an effort not to let my kids zone on tv. The only time it really isn’t just background noise is for a half hour before bed. We call it quiet time, and we lay down after we read. I do admit I sometimes let them watch a show when I’m cooking, because having giant knives and things boiling is difficult because my daughter will stack anything to climb anywhere. I literally can’t turn my head if she’s in the kitchen.

        1. Sadly I live in an area too rural to get over the air stations. I have been getting by with internet and netflix. But the local cable company makes a basic package for about 30$ per month that just has what over the air stations I would get if I didn’t live in the sticks. I admit I am considering it.

  3. Of course, another take away mentioned tangentially was that the older Dish equipment was just fine with newer TV’s. Similar to antenna companies selling ‘digital antennas’ when the TV switchover happened a few years ago, they’re selling ‘refrigerators to eskimos’ – worthless, nonexistent upgrades.

  4. Im usually a rules are rules kind of guy, but if he called Dish, they should have informed him, plain and simple. Rules are rules apply when there is disclosure, there seems to be no or unclear disclosure. Good on Dish for doing the right thing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

%d bloggers like this: