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Dish Network Might Face Record Fines For Breaking Federal Laws

Only a few months ago, I wrote a piece on the outrageous telemarketing abuses by Dish Network. I got a number of sympathetic comments by other injured consumers who strongly agreed with my attack on Dish Network's aggressive telemarketing practices. Now Dish Network, perhaps the most notorious abuser of federal "do not call" telemarketing laws in American history, is being sued by the federal government for failure to settle with the government for their excessive and abusive harassment of citizens registered on the federal "do not call" registry. DishNetwork_2008special.gif

In defense of itself, Dish Network issued a patently false statement claiming to "be in compliance" with the federal "do not call laws. However consumer phone records clearly prove that either Dish Network or it's authorized dealers made literally hundreds of robocalls to many consumers home phone numbers, sometimes more than once a day. And that these robocalls often were made to numbers on the "do not call" registry, or to consumers who made repeated requests for Dish Network to stop their harassing telemarketing calls. Currently more than 167 million phone numbers are on the federal "do not call" registry.

Dish Network appears ready to fight the government in court. However phone evidence proves that this company clearly abused consumers who wanted to left alone with aggressive telemarketing practices. When consumers requested to not be called by this company, authorized telemarketing agents would often just rudely hang up on the consumer, and the hundreds more telemarketing calls would only continue. It was not uncommon for some consumers to receive 300-500 telemarketing calls a year from Dish Network or it's authorized dealers.

In my own case, Dish Network made my own life a living Hell, by forcing me to run to the phone so many times when I was caring for two sick elderly parents, who both later died, and I had to answer so many of their abusive telemarketing calls when I was making funeral arrangements and for months afterwards while I was involved in the complex probate proceedings. Dish Network caused me substantial loss of time and aggravation. And every request I made of the company to stop calling my number was ignored until I made another request in writing to the company where I informed them that I would bill them for economic damages and charge them $35 per phone call for each 100 unwanted phone calls I received from them if they won't stop. Only this finally deterred the company from making hundreds of robocalls to my phone number.

Because the telemarketing abuses by Dish Network have been so serious, likely the Federal Trade Commission will seek fines way in excess of the record $5.3 million in fines that DirecTV paid for telemarketing abuses that were not nearly as bad as Dish Network's rampant consumer abuses by any means. But so far, the threat of paying a $16,000 fine for each violation of the federal "do not call" laws failed to deter Dish Network, which is apparently stubbornly preparing itself for a major court fight to defend it's abusive campaign of telephone harassment of consumers who have no interest in becoming Dish Network customers whatsoever.

Lawyers for Dish Network may attempt to claim that federal "do not call" laws are unconstitutional constraints on free speech or some other nonsense defense ploys. However, the excessive harassing nature of so many hundreds of unwanted calls to consumers should pretty well damn any defense moves by Dish Network. Dish Network is highly likely to be facing the worst consumer protection case loss in court ever. And they do indeed deserve to lose their case. Under President Obama's FTC one of the worst corporate abusers of consumer rights is finally facing justice.


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Comments (5)

Having the experience of installing both Dish and DirectTV satellite systems. I have to say that Dish is a better product.

The receiver with a built in duel tuners so you only have to pay for one subscription and run two TVs off of it is a great idea.

Now if only they would work on their marketing.

Lee Ward:

I've had Dish HD for almost a year, and for $45 a month I've got a nice two-tuner receiver with a nice PVR, and perfect service for the last year.

And I haven't received any telemarketing calls from Dish, but if they are involved in this they should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

First, people need to make sure they have registered their phone with the national do-not-call registry Link to the registry.

Second, if they receive a call they should make note of the caller ID (if available) and note the information needed to file a complaint with the FCC -- FCC online do-not-call complaint form online here.

Paul Hooson:

Lee and Dave, I tend to view Dish Network as having good equipment as well. But it's that awful telemarketing abuses of theirs that makes me want to pull my hair.

Thanks for posting that online "do not call" complaint form, Lee. That's a great link for anyone to use that doesn't have time to answer 20 or more telemarketing calls a day.

Dave:

For Dish Network to claim that the "do not call registry" violates the first amendment is ludicrous! Yes, under the first amendment you have the right to free speech; but nowhere in the first amendment does it guarantee a right to be heard, or the right to make unwanted sales pitches to those who wish to be left alone. I am fortunate in that I have not as yet been subjected to Dish Networks tomfoolery; I just wish I could say the same about AT&T. How do you get the PHONE COMPANY to stop calling you?

Mary:

I have been receiving robo-calls from Dish Network every 30 min, every day - even AFTER I closed the account with them, and AFTER I called them 8 times within 48 hrs to have my phone number removed from their database.

They said that my number was given to their "sales partner" - whose name they never disclosed or their phone number. Thay had NO AUTHORIZATION from me to share my personal information with any third party, nor did they ask me for my consent.

I was repeatedly assured that my number has been removed from their sales partner's list, and yet I keep receiving robo-calls over and over again.

I'm seriously displeased with their conduct, and I'm considering joining other consumers in a joint lawsuit against Dish Network for violating my rights as a consumer and my privacy.


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Publisher: Kevin Aylward

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

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