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What You Need To Know About Being A New Dish Network Subscriber

Updated on December 24, 2012

After being a loyal DirecTv customer for over 11 years, I was tremendously hesitant to research other satellite networks. I knew cable was not an option because we were receiving cable bills at our address shortly after buying our place, and we felt that subscribing to cable was going to open a can of worms with its billing department. So, it was tremendously sad to face a month of subpar satellite programming due to the conflict between Viacom and DirecTv and then discovering a $2 sports fee tacked onto our bill without any explanation, and we never watch sports. However, the transition to Dish Network was a rocky one, and I am hoping that this hub will be enlightening for those who consider switching over to the Dish Network.

1. The Bottomline On Costs

Do not be fooled by Dish's Hopper Technology because if you have more than one television set, it will cost you more than you can imagine. Even though the concept is great that you can watch the same set of taped programs from every set of television in your home, Dish Network charges a monthly $4 for every connector DVR ("Digital Video Recorder") called Joey and a monthly $4 for the original Hopper in addition to a DVR hookup charge of $6 per month. However, Dish Network claims that you can receive up to 4 Hopper and Joeys for free, but we quickly discovered that we were not willing to spend $18 per month in hookup charges for three television set and opted for the basic DVR service connecting to two television sets for $6 per month.

Further, the normal processing includes an immediate credit check. Even though the customer representative/sales person kept saying that you will receive free installation, the truth is that the installation costs $50. To obtain this $50 fee, the installer told us that we would receive "an immediate $15 refund." That's really sneaky because it took some navigating at the online billing area to obtain that refund, and it was truly not certain that I followed the right procedure to reduce the installation fee to $50.

2. Only 60 Day Guarantee On Workmanship

We were tremendously surprised that within 4 months, we had three technicians at our home. After four months, our connection suddenly stopped working. We spent half an hour on the phone only to discover that calling a technician to our home would cost $99. The customer representative said that the cables are not guaranteed to work because anything can break. So, if your cables malfunction on the 61st day, then you are out of luck for the cost of the technician's visit. In order to guarantee workmanship beyond 60 days, then you have to pay an additional $6 to insure your DVR and other functionality. I have never heard of such poor service. Not only was installation not free but service is not guaranteed beyond 60 days. This seems very odd because I had thought that renting the DVR box would ensure that it would include an insurance on the service. Fortunately, the customer representative discovered that nobody advised us about the optional insurance on the DVR and thus she was able to offer us a free technician's visit. Incidentally, when the third technician came out, he informed us that the first technician was not thorough and was also sloppy. He had cable lying on the ground when he could have tacked them onto the foundational beams. The cable connections were also not tightened. I would have been furious if I had to pay the $99 to correct the first technician's sloppy installation that cost me $50.

3. Wifi Download Is Inferior

I can see why both DirecTv and Dish Networks offer 3 months worth of free premium channel, and the Dish Network also offers Blockbuster Home (a company that is now part of Dish Network). It takes a long time to figure out where channels are as well as how the box and remote control setup works. During the three months, I could not even download a single movie from Blockbuster Home. Only when our receiver failed to work on the fourth month and the technician came to inspect our system did we find out that wireless download is incompatible with Dish's "On Demand." Someone should have told us that it was just too slow. Had someone told us downloading any programming will not work unless it is hardwired, we would have gladly taken the extra effort to do it. So, we did not benefit from the Blockbuster Home download at all during the three month promotional period and this was unfortunate.

Even after being hardwired, we discovered that the regular channels were not in the "on demand" system, and that we will still have to find a connector between our computer to the analog television set to watch series program from the major networks. We have recently acquired an HD projector TV, and we shall see if there is anyway to obtain those major network program series such as Suburgatory, Once, and NCIC.


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    • Oscortega profile image


      5 years ago from California

      Merry Christmas to you too and your family.

    • formosangirl profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago from Los Angeles

      Thanks, Oscortega, for your comment. Unfortunately, it is so ingrained, and I switched to subscribe to French television. Merry Christmas!

    • Oscortega profile image


      5 years ago from California

      This is just one reason why I don't pay for or even watch TV.


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