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Dish Network: What Has Happened to Customer Service?

Dish Network is one of two leading satellite television companies in northern Indiana, and other than local cable TV, Dish Network and DirecTV are the only two options. Dish Network was the first satellite television company I subscribed to almost a decade ago, and after subscribing to cable TV, and DirecTV, I’ve decided I’m ready to go back to cable when I move out of the area. I am very displeased with the level of customer service provided by Dish Network, and no amount of calling, writing, and complaining has prompted anyone to help with my problem.

Bill Pay

Beware of paying your Dish Network bill online using an electronic check. After paying by debit card the prior month and finding out I was charged an extra dollar, I decided to avoid the extra fee charged by Dish Network and pay by check online. Although I pay almost all of my bills online, I should have mailed the bill and avoided paying online altogether. I entered the requested information from the bottom of my check, and I double-checked the figures before I hit send. I knew if I made one mistake the payment would not be received, and I was extremely careful.

Seven days after submitting my payment I received notification from Dish Network that my checking account was invalid, and I was asked to call Dish Network as soon as possible. I did just that, and I was connected to a man with a very thick accent that I could barely understand. I asked for the erroneous numbers I supposedly submitted, and he was unable to tell me because of security reasons. If the numbers led to an invalid account, why couldn’t I have those numbers? How am I supposed to know if I truly made a mistake if Dish Network can’t provide me with the numbers I submitted?

Although the bill was now $7.00 higher than it had been because of this alleged error, I wanted to pay it. I was informed by Steve that I could no longer pay by check because of the prior electronic check I submitted. He said I would have to pay by Western Union or at Radio Shack. He rattled off a number of other options, but I quit listening after hearing him mention Western Union. This was ridiculous, especially since I couldn’t be told where I went wrong, and I had no intentions of following his instructions.

What has happened to customer service? Is Dish Network outsourcing now? Each time I have called Dish Network for anything, I’ve been connected to someone with an American sounding name who clearly sounds foreign. I have nothing at all against people from other countries, but when I want customer service I want to speak to someone I can fully understand. If I have trouble understanding someone, I have to wonder if they can completely understand me. When the last individual I spoke to said his name was Steve, I was tempted to say, no you’re not! I’d like to speak to someone I can understand.

Email Correspondence

Email Correspondence

The following is a copy of my recent email correspondence with Dish Network customer service, and it clearly shows that customer service is lacking. Either the person didn’t read my question carefully, or they didn’t understand what I was asking. In a nutshell, I was presented with the same excuse about not being able provide that information because of security reasons, even though I didn’t request the information, and I was given a huge list of payment options. All I wanted was to find out who could give me that information.

From: K. Ray

Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 5:26 AM

To: FeedBack

Subject: Re: DISH Network Payment Confirmation

My check payment wasn’t accepted for whatever reason. The account is good, and I was VERY careful when I entered the requested numbers from the bottom of my check. When I called to inquire as to why the payment wasn’t accepted I was told they couldn’t tell me what information I entered because it is secure. It seems to me that’s the only way to confirm that I made a mistake. I don’t think I made a mistake, but I am being penalized with a late fee, not to mention the fact that they will no longer take my checks. I want to know who I need to talk to that has the information I entered that ultimately caused my check to be denied. I deserve to know the numbers I entered before I am charged a late fee and punished for my supposed error. If the numbers are bad anyway, I don’t understand why I can’t know what they are.

If I find out I made a mistake I will apologize, but if I am not allowed to know what mistake I made, or if I find out I didn’t make a mistake, and it is not rectified, I will cancel with Dish Network. I am moving in July, and I originally planned to have it hooked up at my new home. As it stands, I would rather pay the cancellation fee and switch to cable. In addition, I will be sure to tell everyone I know about my experience. I am a writer with Ezine, and I plan on writing about my experience in the very near future.

K. Ray

The Response I Received

The Response I Received

Dear K. Ray,

Thank you for your email. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and confusion caused by this issue, we can’t provide the checking numbers entered via email for security purposes.

DISH Network makes paying your bill easy and convenient by providing many different options. Our current payment options are as follows:


Western Union Quick Collect Payments:

You can use the following link to locate Western Union payment center locations near you.

Simply complete the BLUE Quick Collect Form using the following information:

* Your 16 digit DISH Network account number: (see your billing statement)

* Pay To: DISH Network

* CODE City: DISHNetwork (one word)

* CODE State: Colorado

If service is interrupted, it will be restored within 4 hours. The payment will post to your account within 2 business days. This option costs $12.95, charged by Western Union.

Money Gram Express Payment: Please use Receive Code – 1899 and your DISH Network account number on the BLUE Express Payment form.

If services are interrupted, they will be restored within 2-4 hours. The payment will post to your account within 2 business days. This option costs $6.95, charged by Money Gram Express.

DISH Network Dollar Payments: You can use the following link to locate a convenient location to make DISH Network Dollar Payments. You will need to provide your 16 digit DISH Network account number in order for the payment to be processed. There is a $1.00 convenience fee for this service. If services are interrupted they will be restored within 2 business days. The payment will post your account the same business day we receive it.

Pre Cash: Obtain a payment card at a participating Radio Shack location then call our automated phone system to “link” your PreCash card with your DISH Network account.

How to –

* Call the automated phone system at 800-333-DISH

* Enter the 16-digit PreCash Payment Card number

* Enter your 16-digit DISH Network account number

* Confirm your DISH Network account number

If you cannot “link” your card through the automated phone system, a Customer Service representative will assist you.

American Cash Express (ACE) Payments:

How it works –

*$4.00 Processing Fee

* There are no forms to complete. Customers must call 800-991-9164 for the nearest location.

Payment will post within 2-4 hours; services will be restored if interrupted.

We value our customers and attempt to accommodate their every need. Your business is greatly appreciated and we thank you for allowing us to be of assistance to you. If you have any further questions or concerns, please refer to or reply to this email. Or call our Customer Service Center at 1-800-333-3474.



DISH Network eCare

My Dilemma

I still have not worked out this problem, and after I move in about six weeks, I’m planning on paying the penalty for dumping Dish Network early, and I’m signing up for local cable TV. Although I’m happy with the programming Dish Network provides, Dish Network is clearly not the company it used to be. They have not understood my questions, and they have not helped me in any way. Customer service seems to be based in another country, and I’m tired of trying to get through to these people. If customer service isn’t based in another country, I find it odd that everyone answering phones in customer service has a thick accent that is often difficult to understand. I don’t feel Dish Network can provide the level of customer service I need right now, or in the future, and I will never sign up for service or recommend them again.