Dish Network rant

Off my usual topics. I’ve got a bit of a rant today. I’m unhappy. Specifically, I’m unhappy with the company that supplies my satellite TV signal.

For several years, we used Direct TV. Good company, no problems, but the rates kept going up. My wife and I are retired and on Social Security now. We are very limited on funds, so we tried to modify our contract to make it a little cheaper, but it was still too much.

In an attempt to save a little money, we changed to Dish Network. Before entering into a contract, we carefully verified that we would be getting all the channels we really wanted. Our biggest concerns were the availably of our local channels (for local news) and the Fox Sports Midwest Channel, the channel that allowed us to watch the MIZZOU football games. We were not worried about TV reception, because the Dish Network ads tout their customers’ satisfaction rating.

We got the channels we wanted, so we made the switch. They sent a very nice man out to install and set up the system. It worked great—while he was here.

Let the buyer beware. First, there were disruptions in the picture. The program would either hang on a video frame while the audio would continue, or the video would change into a mishmash of colorful, dancing squares. These usually only lasted a few seconds, but it was, to say the least, distracting.

Then we began getting error messages. There would be “Signal lost,” which would be understandable in a rainstorm, but they happened when the sky was clear. “Outside your viewing area,” would appear while we were watching a local St. Louis news program. “You’re receiver chip does not allow you to view this channel,” would show up while we were watching our favorite programs, programs we watch every day or every week.

There is a simple fix to get the program back after an error message. All that is needed is to open the front of the receiver, push the reset button and hold it down for about ten seconds. Then the system turns off and restarts. When it restarts, it has to update its files/reception. This takes about five minutes—usually during the exciting conclusion of the show we were so deeply into. This goes past a distraction; it is an aggravation, especially when it can happen once in a week or twice in ten minutes. It probably averaged once about every two or three days.

We put up with this because we were saving a few bucks; however, right after the start of the MAZZOU football season, they took off the Fox Sports Midwest Channel . . . a contract problem between Dish Network and the sports channel. We called, but they could not tell us when, or if, a contract would be signed.

That was enough for us. We paid for something specific, after a discussion with one of their representatives and before signing a contract, and we wanted what we paid for. That is when we were informed that the contract we signed said, “Programming might change without notice.” Let the buyer beware. We could get out of our contract by sampling paying them $325. Such a deal, to get rid of lousy reception and poor service. To let them know our overall displeasure, we told them about our reception problems. They said they could send a man out to troubleshoot the system they installed, and it would only cost $90.

Did you ever hear the saying, “Don’t throw good money after bad?” We called Direct TV and are checking to see if we can get in on their five-months-free deal. That would offset some of the $325 it will cost to break our Dish Network contract.

In my entire life, I have never ragged on a product, or dished on a dish, but my advice to anyone looking for satellite TV, avoid Dish Network.

End of rant. Thank you. I feel better.

Published in: on October 7, 2010 at 6:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

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