02 November 2012

Dish Network is the devil

Yeah, the title of this post says it all. DISH Network is the devil (or, as Kathy Bates would say to Adam Sandler in The Waterboy, The Debil). Why are they the devil? Well, I'm glad you asked (and you know you did).

Last weekend my wife's debit card was compromised, so she had to get a new one issued from our bank. While she was waiting on her new card to arrive, she realized that we pay our DISH Network bill via auto-pay (we did this so we could get free HD service), and if she didn't call them to let them know that her card number changed we would have an issue with our payment not going through this month.

One would think that calling them ahead of time to let them know of this situation would be a good idea. One would be wrong to think this, because DISH Network doesn't work that way. They don't do things the common sense way. They have to make things as difficult as they can for their customers, because apparently they enjoy putting people through absolute hell just to get a simple task completed.

When my wife called customer service, she was told that in order to change the credit card on file she would have to pay the current charges on our account (our bill is automatically drafted out on the 18th of every month). When she asked why she would have to do something so foolish just to change information in our customer profile, she was told "that's just the way we do things". She asked to speak to a manager, and was transferred to someone who apparently was less qualified than the entry level phone operator she originally spoke to when she called.

The manager told her that if we wanted to change our credit card information on our account that we would have to pay the current balance. My wife told the manager that we weren't going to pay our full balance because it was foolish to pay it two weeks before it's due just to change the credit card number so future bills are actually paid (you would think they would want this to happen since you know - they wouldn't be able to collect their money otherwise).

My wife exchanged a few unpleasantries with the manager, who eventually told her that if we wanted to we could cancel our auto-pay option and re-enable it at a later date to avoid paying the balance to change our card number. The manager said that as long as we re-enabled the auto-pay option within 17 days we wouldn't be charged for the free HD that we have, and if we waited until the 18th (17 days from now) we could change the credit card number, pay the bill, and re-enable the auto-pay option for future billing cycles.

My wife asked the manager if we could just re-enable the auto-pay option tomorrow since it was within 17 days. The manager said no. My wife, perplexed, asked why this wasn't possible. The manager said that we would still have to pay the balance in full if we wanted to change the credit card number, but we could only do the disable auto-pay then re-enable it if we waited the 17 days and called back on the 18th to pay the bill and sign back up for auto-pay.

My wife and I were confused. We didn't understand why the manager told her that we could disable auto-pay, change the credit card number, and then re-enable auto-pay as long as we did it within 17 days, but then turned around and said we couldn't disable auto-pay today, change the card number, and then re-enable auto-pay tomorrow so the bill would be paid on the 18th.

When she pointed this out to the manger, she said "that's just the way we do things". My wife asked "So why did you just tell me two minutes ago that we could do that, and then tell me we couldn't do it?!" Apparently the manager said something that made my wife out to be a liar, because I heard her voice raise as she said "Well, you just told me that we could do that!"

After a few more minutes of back and forth with the manager, my wife agreed to disable the auto-pay feature and threatened them with cancelling our service if they screwed our account up and charged us for our HD programming after the manager told us they wouldn't, and she told the manager that we would call back on the 18th to re-enable the auto-pay feature and pay the balance on our account.

So basically, we wasted a half-hour of our day that we can never get back and got nothing out of it from DISH Network. Thanks, DISH!

Now, my question is this: Why in the hell is it necessary to go through all this rigamarole just to change the credit card number on our account? Is it really that hard to type in a new number in the credit card slot on our account? Do they treat all their customers this way, or are we the lucky ones?

As expected, we got an email from DISH Network about an hour later acknowledging that we disabled the auto-pay feature on our account, and...wait for it...if we didn't re-enable our autopay within 17 days we would be charged for any promotions that we received from signing up for auto-pay (i.e. - we would have to pay for our HD programming).

So, we wasted our time jumping through hoops on the phone with a customer service rep who told us that we wouldn't have to pay for our HD programming, and then received an email from DISH saying that if we didn't re-enable the auto-pay feature we would have to pay for our HD programming. Yeah, that makes perfect sense.

Needless to say, my wife isn't very happy about the way we were treated by DISH Network, and we've both decided that if they try to charge us for our HD programming from this month that we are simply going to take our business elsewhere because we feel that our continued loyalty for almost six years should be enough for them to treat us with a small modicum of respect, and if they can't do that then they don't deserve our money every month when there are other companies out there who will give us what we want (tv access) for comparable prices with much better customer service.

The moral of the story is this: if you're thinking about switching to satellite tv, don't switch to DISH Network because they're the devil, and the devil is bad.

At least that's what momma always says...

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