• Report:  #87828

Complaint Review: EchoStar - DishNetwork - Littleton Colorado

Reported By:
- Grand Rapids, Michigan,

EchoStar - DishNetwork
4701 S. Santa Fe Drive Littleton, 80120 Colorado, U.S.A.
Tell us has your experience with this business or person been good? What's this?
I'm filing this RipOffReport against DishNetwork/EchoStar simply as a Buyer Beware to anyone contemplating purchasing their services. Upon attempting to resolve my issues one final time (I've had 4 correspondences) I've finally given up.

I've pasted my email correspondence with DishNetwork customer "support" below. In summary, Dish has poor blackout control (they are THE ONLY provider that blacks out ESPN in my area - 150 miles from the home stadium of the teams in question - Comcast, DirecTV, and Charter all deliver what Dish cannot), their High Definition equipment is INCREDIBLY SUB PAR, and their customer support is able to deliver nothing more than canned "cookie cutter" responses to customer concerns.

Each time I've called or exchanged emails with "support", the only answers I have received are standard responses to the blackout issue (and never anything close to a resolution) and every other issue has remained unanswered. The last and final time that I called, the "support" personel was unable to address my hardware issues and dropped my call while supposedly attempting to transfer me to someone whe was going to "diagnose my hardware."

The evidence of the canned email response can be seen in that there are two "Sincerely, " lines at the end of the one response that was sent.

I've now set up an appointment for Comcast to install cable, and they are going to deduct $25 from my bill for the first 16 months for switching, which will make paying the $240 charge to get out of my Dish contract worth every last penny.

Never have I been more displeased with a television service provider, and never did I expect to be pleased with Comcast. The person who helped me with Comcast was able to answer every last question I asked, no matter how technical or local area specific. She also stated that there are many Dish customers in my area calling with the same issue regarding blackouts, which conveys to me that Dish is completely unwilling to address the fact that their product is inferior.

My email correspondence (which has now been unanswered for 2 1/2 days) is pasted below:


As this reply did not even come close to answering the

issues that I presented, I wanted to give Echostar one more

chance to address my concerns.

To summarize the issues at hand (as you obviously did not

read the entire message as is evident by your first


-Tech support seems to have nothing more than canned

responses to customer issues.

-Local channel support is extremely inferior to your

competitors - two local channels in my area are not


-My 811 receiver will not display a picture when turned on if it was on an off-air local digital station when turned off.

-My 811 receiver NEVER contains guide data when it is first turned on.

-My 811 receiver NEVER successfully completes the guide

data download.

-My 811 receiver NEVER displays more than 1 hour of guide data (it does download some guide data after being left on w/ no channel changes for about 5-10 minutes.)

-My 811 receiver frequently runs through the "Acquiring

Satellite Signal" process - 2-3 times per week.

-My 811 receiver does not remember which subchannel of

off-air digitals it was last tuned to. When returning to the off-air channel, it defaults to the highest subchannel.

-My 811 receiver does not display guide data for off-air

locals while your competitors do.

As far as your first incomplete response is concerned, I

live over 150 miles from the Detroit Red Wings home


----Original Message Follows----

From: Tech

To: "'########@hotmail.com'"

Subject: RE: Technical Support, 616#######

Date: Tue, 13 Apr 2004 07:13:35 -0600

-----Original Message-----

From: ########@hotmail.com

Sent: Monday, April 12, 2004 6:42 PM

To: Tech

Subject: Technical Support, 616#######

Dear Mr. ######,

Thank you for your email correspondence. While your

frustrations with blackout restrictions are certainly

understood, we urge you to understand that DISH Network

does not determine these stipulations. Blackouts are based

on the following conditions:

1. Non-sellout events

* If a game is not a sellout, the area surrounding

the stadium (approximately 35-75 mile radius) is likely to be blacked out for that event. Example: ESPN Sunday Night Football broadcast from Phoenix, AZ.

* If the game is not a sellout, 72 hours prior to

the opening kickoff, the game will be blacked out within

approximately 35 miles of Sun Devil Stadium.

2. National vs. Local Broadcast Rights

* A programmer may have the National Broadcast Rights for an event, while another programmer may have the Local Broadcast Rights.

* The National Broadcast of the event will be blacked out in an area to protect the Local Broadcaster's Rights.

* Example: Denver Nuggets vs. Detroit Pistons NBA


* The game is carried nationally but also picked up by a local station in Denver and Detroit.

* Thus, the game on ESPN is blacked out with an

approximate radius of 35 miles of Pepsi Center and the

Palace at Auburn Hills.

* The game is still viewable on the respective local channels in Denver and Detroit.

* If you are a DISH Network subscriber outside of

these blacked-out areas, you are able to view this game on ESPN.

3. Restrictions on Regional Sports Networks

* The broadcast of pro games and some college games is restricted to a local area, popularly referred to as the Team's Home Territory.

* Viewers outside this territory are required to be blacked out.

* Texas for example, Regional Sports Network.

* While the state of Texas is covered by a Regional Sports Network, different zip codes in Texas receive different sports coverage.

* Some ZIP codes will receive the San Antonio Spurs, some will receive the Houston Rockets and some will receive both.

* If you subscribe to a Regional Sports Network and you do not live within their Professional Sports

Broadcasting Home Territory, you will not see their

professional games.

I hope this helps to explain the blackout restrictions that you have experienced. Please accept our apologies for the inconvenience and confusion caused by this issue.

As a current customer, you may always use our website to

view your current or previous billing statements, add

services, or make payments to your account. Please use

the link https://customersupport.dishnetwork.com/customerca

twork.com/customercare/UserManagement/login.jsp> to visit

our Online Customer Support Center.

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

www.dishnetwork.com or reply to this email.



Tom H.

Technical Support

Dish Network

********** Original Message **********

Full Name: Jeff ######

Account Number: ####-

Question: I am a new DishNetwork customer and I'm writing to let you know how displeased I am with your equipment and service. First, my experience from yesterday - I wanted to watch the Detroit Red Wings game and attempted to tune to ESPNHD. Much to my surprise, the game was blacked out. I checked all of the local channels in the guide and did not see the game listed. Upon calling technical support, I was given a cookie cutter answer that "Dish Network does not control whether a game is blacked out in your area." The

fact that it was blacked out was not addressed and I was

left with no resolution to the issue. I was unable to

watch the game, and found out today that the game was

carried on a local channel that Dish neglects to carry -

WXSP. After checking with your competitors, Dish Network comes in a DISTANT second to DirecTV as they carry TWO more local stations than does Dish - WXSP as well as WZPX.

Instead of these two (which I would watch frequently) Dish carries WTLJ - a religious station that I have NEVER had any interest in. This disappointment just compounds my displeasure with your equipment. My 811 receiver is HORRIBLE. For example - today I turned on the receiver, which had been left on a local off-air digital channel. The receiver would not tune to the station and simply displayed a message that the satellite signal had been lost. Upon changing channels down and back up it tuned to the station. I then attempted to view the guide. The receiver had no guide data downloaded and so it began to download. The receiver has a habit of downloading to 90% completion, pausing, exiting the guide and returning to

full screen viewing. Upon reentering the guide, the

process repeats itself. If the receiver is left alone for around 5 minutes, a fraction of the guide will become available (never more than one hour worth of guide data). 15 minutes into viewing I attempted to change the channel. I then had to wait for another 5 minutes with no picture asthe receiver went through the process of "Acquiring Satellite Signal" where it works from 0 to 5. Finally, I was able to watch TV somewhat stably, although I am still unable to view guide data more than 1 hour into the future.

Other general functionality that is displeasing about the 811 is that it never remembers which subchannel of the off-air channels you were viewing if you want to return to the last channel viewed - it simply dumps you to the highest numbered subchannel. Another annoyance is that the receiver is not smart enough to place guide data onto the local off-air digital channels - DirecTV's RCA receiver does this. All in all, I CAN'T WAIT until my 1 year contract is up so that I can switch to a more reliable, more functional system with another provider.


Grand Rapids, Michigan

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1 Updates & Rebuttals


I understand your frustration, but I can see many flaws

#2UPDATE Employee

Tue, May 04, 2004

To the author of this report.I understand your frustration, but I can see many flaws in your report. I have worked with Echostar for a long time on such projects and escalations, pirating, customer service, technical,elite cancelation specialist, billing, ppvs, etc..I have a good amount of expertise in the company. Echostar has a speed dial tpye phone so it would be impossible to hang up on you. The explaination of black outs was honest and satisfactory. Your problem wasn't solved for obvious reasons. It could not be solved for reasons explained.If you had tried to call back for technical assistance your problem would have been solved(most likely over the phone). I have received a great amount of compliments by almost all clients and I have been greatly recognized within the company for it as well. I work with clients and help them no matter what the cost to myself and the company.The clients that do not appreciate my customer service and go to other providers for non-digital and/or less long term benefical services and products are usually the ones that do not get their way.Your e-mail to the comany and your report was extremely negative and not the best way to attempt cooperative and helpful assistance.Never the less, the representative that returned your e-mail did everything they could to help you understand.I believe that for the most part you did a good job of making an uncomfortable(yet fixible solution) untorerable for yourself and I do not write this as an employee of Echostar, but with the knowledge and experience to know that you put more effort into your report than fixing your situation.I am sorry that Echostar lost you though.

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