November 15th, 2002

Angry Brain

Dirty Dish

One of the reasons I started a blog is that I realized that I wanted a soap box. I wanted a place where I could stand up in public and say what's on my mind, things that I think other people might be interested in knowing. And I wanted a place where, if I wanted to say something bad about a company that I had dealings with, I could say it where it might be heard by others. By doing this, I hope that maybe my slight little voice of customer dissatisfaction might be able to be heard by others who might consider doing business with a company, and that I might be able to dissuade the reader from patronizing the company. (Die, evil company, die!)

This entry is all about my trying to dissuade people from using Dish Network. Please at least do me the favor of reading to the end. I'll try to keep it brief, and you might at least get a few chuckles at my pain.

A little history: I was subscribed to Dish Network for a whopping two and one-half days. I canceled the account on October 12, because I found out that their equipment would not work with my existing TiVo system. When I canceled, they said I didn't owe them anything, and that would be that.

Life is rarely that simple.

Yesterday I noticed a bill from Dish Network. I thought it rather odd, since I canceled my account with them. So, I called them up to inquire. Their (rather nice) automated system reported that my last payment of $7.14 had been received November 2, and that my next payment would be due December 2. This rather perplexed me, since I canceled my account on October 12. Talking to a real person, they confirmed that my account had been closed on Oct. 12, and that my credit card had been charged on Nov. 2. The conversation we had went as follows:

Me: Hi, can you tell me why my credit card was charged over two weeks after my account was closed?
Rep: Yes, it was.
Me: Yes, could you please reverse that charge, and tell me why I was billed, and make it not happen again?
Rep: I have a note here that says you don't owe anything.
Me: I understand that. Can you tell me why I was billed, and why your automated system says that my next bill is due on December 2, and can you please make it stop billing me?
Rep: Don't worry about it, I have a note that says you don't owe anything.
Me: Yes, but your automated system says that I do, and it charged my credit card after my account was closed. Please make it stop doing this.
Rep: Ignore it. I have a note here that says you don't owe anything.
Me: Yes, that's because your system automatically charged my credit card. Can you tell me why it's doing this, and please make it stop?

You get the idea. Lather, rinse, repeat.

I'm still really curious as to why the system decided to charge me $7.14, since my monthly service fee was supposed to be about $40. But considering how far I was getting on the other, more important points, I decided that it wasn't worth the aggravation to resolve my random curiosity.

I'm just dying to see what happens on December 2. And I need to call them back yet again, to get a $50 charge reversed that they said they would reverse back in October.

So, the moral of the story: Unless you like getting stuck in a bizarre form of billing hell, avoid Dish Network. Color me one very unhappy ex-customer.

At least this gives me a new career direction in life. I am now going to become an Evil Mastermind, and take over the world so that I might bring about the messy downfall of Dish Networks, and AT&T (since this is all ultimately AT&T's fault for disconnecting my cable and then taking two weeks to figure out where they screwed up and fix it.) Step one in the plan for world domination: Acquire a fluffy white Persian cat. (After all, what is an Evil Mastermind if she has no cat to pet evilly while gloating over her plans for world domination?) Step two: Acquire a duck. (Just trust me on this one.)
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