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A New Government Crackdown On Dish Network Satellite TV Needed

As the February date for all Americans to switch over to some sort of digital-friendly television signal provider system draws near, the satellite TV provider, Dish Network, which has had problems with government regulators before and paid millions in fines in Wisconsin for their conduct, is once again operating in the worst possible anti-consumer mode.

Dish Network is using telephone telemarketing software that masks their call numbers and in some cases uses the consumers own telephone number and identity to call their home phone number with recorded telemarketing calls, often more than one time per day. It is simply outrageous for any telemarketer to use automated dialing software that hijacks the identity of the victim like this, and this comes very close to wire or telecommunications fraud.

Also, Dish Network has apparently trained their customer service representatives to hang up and ignore any consumer who complains to them by asking to be put on "do not call" list. By law in some states such as Oregon, telemarketers have to honor your request to be placed on "do not call" lists. It is pretty unfair to elderly, handicapped and some other persons with disability or illness to be forced to repeatedly run to answer the phone just so that some sleazy satellite company can try to make a sale for a service not wanted by that consumer.

By some state laws such as in Oregon, telemarketers are supposed to allow consumers some option to be put on a "do not call" list by any telemarketer that they are not interested in calling them. But Dish Network routinely breaks state laws in Oregon and is some other states by not allowing consumers that option. The fact of the matter is that many consumers of other cable TV or satellite providers are perfectly happy with their existing service and have no desire to switch services to Dish Network and do not want to be bothered each and every day, sometimes more than once per day, by repeated Dish Network automated telemarketing calls.

And consumers of Dish Network are also having a few issues with this satellite TV provider based on complaints posted on Internet sites dealing with consumer issues. One complaint was about repeated non-installation of the hardware after a number of attempts by a consumer. Other complaints deal with service problems once the the hardware has been installed.

Dish Network has also been accused of overcharging consumers in some parts of the U.S. for HD services because of the position of the satellites they use. And organizations within the Gay community have been angry at Dish Network for not carrying some Gay-programming satellite channels such as the Logo Channel and Here!, both of which are carried by DirecTV.

Major cable Tv providers such as Comcast do not use telemarketing harassment of consumers like Dish Network does. And customers of Comcast as well as rival satellite TV provider, DirecTV appear to largely satisfied by these services, although the non-digital basic cable TV service of Comcast does suffer from quality problems, especially during bad weather of some basic network channels, but in most cases a switch to their digital services solves this weather related quality problem.

But Dish Network operates in a manner outside of basic decency and against consumers wishes by their abuse of telemarketing principles and state regulations on the use of such repeated phone calls to consumers who are not interested in their calls or products. Since Dish Network refuses to address consumer complaint's to stop the harassing phone calls, then government needs to act and put the brakes on Dish Network's sleazy telemarketing practices.


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Comments (9)

Laura:

This is exactly what happened to me today. I got a recorded message from Dish Network. I pressed "1" to speak to a customer service representative and when I was connected I told him I was on the Do Not Call list. He immediately hung up on me. (By the way, the rep had a West Indies accent. Do you think it's an "off-shore" call center?) When I tried to determine what number they had called from, my caller I.D. showed my own telephone number.

Hello Laura, I certainly hope that Dish Network hasn't targeted your phone number for their endlessly harassing telemarketing calls. They often call my home more than once a day. I'm doing everything in my power to inform the public about this and I intend to use the Oregon Attorney General's Office as well contact with Federal authorities to crack down hard on this sleazy satellite promotion company that willfully breaks state and federal laws with regards to the "do not call" listings.

It is completely outrageous, as well as illegal, when a telemarketer reapeatedly calls your home for something you have no interest in ever purchasing, and you politely ask them to stop their calls, but Dish Network trains their telephone operators to simply hang up or in some cases treat people rudely. Dish Network doesn't give the telephone harassment victims of their ruthless telemarketing any real option to stop the calls, which is completely illegal.

I'm doing everything that I can to put a stop to this. I'm very tired of having to answer hundreds of calls from Dish Network over the last few months, and their operators refuse to honor the "do not call" rules like more ethical firms that sometimes use telemarketing such as credit card companies who are part of an established bank, etc.

Dish Network is simply a very bad company. What can I say.

Cathy H.:

The same thing happened to me yesterday (7/29/08). I received a recorded call @ 6:30am from Dish Network, and the phone number on my caller ID showed that the call was coming from my own Oregon telephone number. I pushed button #1 so I could speak with a Rep, and when I questioned why they were calling me @ 6:30am, she hung up on me. I then called Dish customer service and spoke to some man who also had an Indies accent, and asked why I was receiving calls from them and why so early? He said I had been a customer at one time (7 years ago), and they were calling to see if I wanted their services again. I asked him to remove my name from any list they have. He said he removed me, apologized, but could not answer why they called at the crack of dawn, or why my phone number showed up on my caller ID when they were calling me. I have been on the DNC list for several years, and keep checking periodically to make sure I still am. This does not seem ethical to me.

D:

I have been getting very similar calls to this every day here in NY from Dish Network. The only difference is a number actually shows up on the caller id....616-980-2583 if this helps. I have been getting the pre recorded message from Dish Network. You can then choose to hit the option to be removed. Well that doesn't work at all. So then I started hitting option 1 to speak to someone. You asked them nicely to be removed over and over again and the calls still continue. Today I asked I asked to speak to a manager and then said suuuuree exactly like that and then hung up on me. Something needs to be done about them. The calls continue and continue EVERY day.

D:

They hang up in the middle of asking them to stop calling.

Roger Little:

I have the same thing going on. They call endlessly. I am in Virginia- will calls to the State Attorney General help at all? How does this outfit stay in existence! I have started to call and harrass them back. I am sick of it.

Thank you for sharing your experiences with Dish Network everyone here. You might try some of the following:

I wrote their main offices today and notified them that I immediately want their harassing phone calls to stop since my phone line is a court approved estate one that the Circuit Court of Multnomah County has approved for my use for estate business only and they are infringing on a court order and may be found liable of serious violations if they do not immediately stop their telemarketing calls use of this phone number.

I notified them that any further violations might be dealt with by my lawyers who are handling this estate with the Circuit Court and that I may intend to also press for fines from the Oregon Attorney General's Office and FCC for gross violation's of Oregon's "do not call" list laws which will allow for fines of $5000 to $50,000 for repeated violations. I also informed them that I may seek service fees of $35.00 per phone call for the last 100 phone calls that I had to answer after I was rudely hung up on by their operators when I requested that this court approved phone number be left alone by them.

I also requested that their legal department contact me.

This may not work for everyone here since not everyone has a phone line that is under the jurisdiction of a court approval order like mine is, but anything that you can think of that will cost this company money if they do not stop their harassing calls that falls short of federal extortion laws is worth a try. I'm willing to bet that anything that might cost this company a substantial sum of money might be enough to get them to leave you alone. I don't think that this company enjoys losing money on lawyers, fines, or other legal items.

I'll update everyone in the future if this worked for me and what the response of this company's lawyers were to this new angle by me to cut off their endless telemarketing calls.

I'll probably have a new post on new ways to hang up on this company soon as well. Dish Network is one of the nation's worst telemarketing violators and I constantly think about new angles to put the screws to them and make them stop their abuses of my phone line.

Ayesha:

I am glad to see that we are not the only victim of this vicious circle of calls started by Dish Network. It has become a nightmare for us now. Their customer rep have been calling us for over two years now. We have told them politely and nicely that we do not require their service. Now it has come to a point that their reps call us persistently at least ten times a day and this last time he has even left a message on my answering machine. He is in fact threatening me, when i told him i will take a legal action against this. Their rep said you do whatever you want to do then we will take care of you. After that he left the message on my phone saying i still don't see any law enforcing agency in our office, so we will keep calling you. I am in New Jersey. I am in touch with the Dish Network head office and supposedly someone there is trying to help this stop. But i don't know if they will stop or not. What can we do to make them answerable for infringing people's privacy like this and abusing us for not wanting their service. Moreover, the rep calling my phone is an indian, with an indian accent and he said his name is Karan.

D:

I have to say after I finally asked to speak to a manager after then many calls, they actually stopped calling. Even though, they just hung up right after.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

Editors: Lee Ward, Larkin, Paul S Hooson, and Steve Crickmore

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