Letter: Beware of scam
My parents recently received a call from, according to the caller I.D., Dish Network, their television provider. The individual on the end of the line informed my mother that since Dish’s satellite was being realigned my parents would need to “upgrade” their receiver. For this to happen my mother would need to pay a $150 fee and give her credit card number.
When she refused to give out her credit card information the man told her that her TV would be turned off in five minutes. Surprise! Within minutes they no longer had TV reception. Thus, my mother called the Dish Network customer service, and after a 30-minute phone call they once again had their TV reception. But it didn’t end there.
The following day, my parents’ telephone didn’t work. Using my phone, my mother was able to get a hold of customer service for CenturyLink, and their response was “you will need to contact Dish Network” as the two services are “bundled.” My mother once again called Dish. What followed was a three-hour ordeal in which my mother explained what had occurred to a minimum of five different people as she was constantly transferred to different departments.
She was told that she was being charged a $500 fee for canceling her service prior to the contract end date even though she herself had never canceled it and she had already explained this umpteen times. Finally, Dish said that they would credit the $500 fee but she would need to call CenturyLink to get her phone back in service.
The funny part (not really) was that when she called CenturyLink again they informed her that they wouldn’t reconnect her phone until she had paid the amount due for Dish — which included the $500 disconnection fee. In the end, thanks to CenturyLink’s lack of service, my parents were without a phone for 11 days. Fascinating how someone can disconnect the phone service in a flash but to have it reconnected takes over a week.
As for Dish Network’s response, it was deplorable. When told that the caller I.D. came up “Dish Network,” their customer service responded that “any caller I.D. system can be hacked.”
I believe that more than just that was hacked — how else was someone able to attempt to extort money from Dish customers and then actually disconnect their service? Upon looking up Dish Network scams on the internet they are quite prevalent, yet Dish Network treats their customers, who are extorted, like criminals themselves.
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