Pass the Dish

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Dropped DishTV this week, and went back to cable. I'll definitely miss being able to get Chicago TV stations from Dish (The Chicago feed had all of the Packers games, unlike Cox, which always has the Cowboys), but Cox offers more HD channels, and with any luck, my theater won't suffer from a ground-loop hum (like it did with Dish).

But the primary reason I got rid of Dish was due to customer service. Dish used to have excellent service - top notch. Whenever I'd call with a question or a problem, someone would answer promptly, and would solve my problem within minutes. They were intelligent, they listened to your question, and if necessary, they'd deviate from their "script" if they knew what the problem/solution was.

Now, however, all of their support is routed through (drumroll) India.

I've had an annoying hum/buzz in my home theater ever since I added HD service from Dish. And I called Dish 4-5 times to ask them to send someone over to fix the hum. The hum started immediately after they installed a new Dish component. It wasn't there until they came out and "fixed" my system. But, no matter how hard I tried to explain that to Sanjay and Rahib and Akhmed -- I'm sorry -- I meant to say, "Dave," "Eric," and "Greg" (actual names from Dish support guys in India) they wouldn't deviate from their script, and I was able to understand, at best, 8-10 words from them over 20 minutes. They wanted me to check my surround sound settings, and I did, but it never fixed the problem - I swore to them that the problem was related to the recent installation work. But they never, ever, deviated from their script... "Sir, please check your surround setting for stereo." Ugh...

When I called to cancel, my conversation went like this:

Dish India (in heavy Indian accent, with an echo, a delay, and lots of mumbling): "How can I help you?"

Me: "I want to cancel my Dish subscription."

DI: "Ok, why do you want to cancel?"

Me: "Because your customer service is horrible. It's gone completely downhill. I can't stand it. Cancel me."

DI: "Ok, let me tell you about cable versus Dish."

Me: "No, don't. Just cancel me. Now. Cancel me, please."

DI: "Ok, cable prices have risen over the past 5 years at a rate of nearly 20%. Dish has not raised its rates in the past 3 years despite our-"

Me: "Cancel me. I don't want to hear this. Cancel me. Now. Please. Cancel me."

DI: "Sir, let me explain. Cable prices have risen over the past 5 years at a rate of nearly 20%. Dish has not raised its-"

Me: "Stop reading your script, and cancel me. Now."

DI: "Ok, listen to what I am saying. Cable prices have risen over the past 5 years at a rate of nearly-"

Me: "STOP. Cancel my service. I don't care about the rates. Cable could cost me $1000 a month and I'd pay it because I wouldn't have to call guys like you. Cancel me. Get someone on the line who can cancel my service now."

DI: "Ok, but I must tell you that cable prices have risen over the past 5-"

Me: "Great. I heard you the first 500 times. But I'm telling you, I can't understand a word you're saying. The line has a horrible delay and an echo, and I can't understand your Indian accent. Get me to someone in America now, who can cancel me. CANCEL ME!"

DI: "So you wish to cancel?"


DI: "One second while I get someone who can cancel your service. May I help you with anything else?"

So finally, I got "Christopher" at Dish, who seemed like a really nice guy, and he was in the USA. I told him that I hated the Indian support and I couldn't take it any more. I loved the Dish product, but their service was awful. I explained the ground-loop hum, and he offered to send someone out the next day to check it out. I told him it was, "too little, too late." I'd tried 4-5 times prior, and the Indian guys wouldn't budge from their script, nor would they schedule an installer to come out and troubleshoot my hum problem. One of the Indian guys even told me that Dish didn't send out technicians after the installation.

At that point, he offered me service for 50% of what I was currently paying. I got mad, because he just told me I was overpaying for my service by 100%. I told him, "no thanks - just cancel me so I don't ever have to deal with those Indian guys ever again."

He said that he'd heard a lot of complaints from people about the outsourced phone support. I told him their service used to be incredible - the best I ever experienced - but now it was painful and useless. He basically agreed, but couldn't really say so because I'm sure his call was being monitored or recorded. He did say, "I feel your pain, sir."

So, I got the service cancelled. I then called Cox and spoke to a great guy who was in Fayetteville. He cut me a deal on the new service because I was coming over from Dish. He offered to have the service installed the next day, and told me how to get my receivers and how to activate them once I picked them up from the local office.

Man, what an improvement. I used to loathe the cable company, but at least their service is local, and their people are helpful and knowledgable.

Price difference? I'll pay about $5 more per month than I did with Dish, but I also get more HD channels, I have 3 HD receivers and 2 DVRs (vs. 1 with Dish). So, it's a good deal. And, I don't have to deal with "Eric," "Dave," and "Greg" from India... :-)

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