Sep 25, 2009

A little recognition and the Great Dish Disaster of 2009

First, apparently all a guy has to do to get a little feedback is simply complain that he is getting no feedback. Perhaps, in the quest for my completion of NaBloPoMo, I forgot the effort it actually takes to sit down, to not only post but, to comment as well. 

I am relieved to see my audience is still around. 

Second, the great Dish Network Disaster of 2009.  This is a little more of a meaty subject, and I might even be going on so long I will have to make breakfast mid-diatribe (todays word of the day, compliments of Yours Truely).

A while back my father switched from the old stand-by, (insert your local cable companies name here).  He chose to use Dish Network.  Its been a few years since he made this switch, and has been so happy with his service the only changes he has made over the last few years is to simply upgrade his equipment and spend more money on his service. 

To this I say, "Congratulations, Sir.  I am glad your experience has been a pleasant one." 

Now, I have a friend locally here in Humboldt (OK, I actually have "friends" [note the inclusion of the s], however this part of the story only includes one).  He is a subscriber to DirecTV.  Both my father and friend use an over-the-air antenna in order to acquire the local TV stations.

And both are able to use a DVR and schedule recordings at their leisure.  To them I say, "Congratulations to you gentlemen.  I envy your superior satellite service."

So with this in mind, we decided it was time to jump ship and make the switch from cable to satellite. 

This proved to be a complete disaster. 

First off, when I called to simply get a price quote, I ended up speaking with someone whose command of the English language was limited, to say the least.  To say that we didn't understand each other would be an understatement.  In end, she signed me up for a package I didn't want and scheduled me for an installation appointment I didn't even know I had, then hung up on me. 

The only reason I even know about this was because I called back to officially sign up after I consulted with Wife.  It was then I was told I was already signed up for an install appointment. 

So it begs the question, "Why are companies putting people who speak limited English in positions where they really need to have a fairly good command of the language here?" 

On a later phone call, I again experienced this type of interaction.  The guy I spoke to this time, said word for word, over and over again, "I'm sorry this is taking so long.  Please be patient as we work through this process."  I can only assume this is a tag line he was forced to memorize as part of his training as a phone sales person. 

Now, I don't want to seem biased, or discriminatory. In the end, its simply a exercise in patience when you have a lot of questions and the only thing the person on the other line says with any clarity is, "I'm sorry this is taking so long. Please be patient as we work through this process." 

So install day comes along. The guys who were there to install the system were decent enough.  But already I knew something was wrong.  The order wasn't as I wanted, but I made do, thinking it was something I could deal with later.  After all was said and done I sat down to peruse my new Dish Network channel selection.  Again, this was not as I had ordered (thanks allot person who doesn't speak a lot of English).  And after about 5 hours of trying to make it work like I was told it would, I called customer support. 

I got a person on the line whose first language was obviously English.  What did I learn from this person?  That the system isn't designed to work the way I was told it would.  They were unsure why I was told it would work the way I wanted it to, and apologized for the inconvenience.

An inconvenience?  Thats a fair understatement.  I just signed a two year contract with them and and they call their own peoples short-comings an inconvenience?  It should suffice to say I canceled my contract.  They at least had the decency to not charge me a penalty.  My only obligation is to mail everything back to them (at their own cost too).

So now we are back on cable.  For now.  Until then, I will begrudgingly pay them their extortionist's fee and submit to the fact they are holding my local channels hostage. 

But I will not relent.  I will find a way.  I already have a new plan, but that is a whole different story I will be saving for later.


  1. Sorry it went so wrong. Dad works magic with all the technology around here, it still amazes me.

  2. No saving for later! I want to know your new plan NOW! JM

  3. Interesting. I have always had great service over the phone and in person from DISH. I am sorry you had a bad experience.

  4. When we went HD, we switched from Dish to DirecTV, based on the cost factor. I'm stuck in a 2 year commitment that thankfully expires in January, because even though I love some aspects of DTV, I still miss Dish. In January, I will have no hesitations about calling Dish and seeing if they can give me a better deal than I'm getting now.


You went to all the trouble to get yourself here, you might as well say something about it.

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