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Subject: Any Dish Network customers? rss

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Mystery McMysteryface
United States
Florida
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We are considering their latest "offer" in order to be able to see the FIFA World Cup in June of this year. I was wondering, however, how much the extra fees and taxes come to. Since it's been almost 4 years since I've seen a Satellite bill, I don't have any around to look at. However, I remember that they charge a bunch of little fees that end up adding a significant amount of money to your "special offer" rate.

I was wondering if any of you have Dish Network and if you could tell me how much the extra fees are and what they are for?

It would be appreciated!!!!
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Jim Patterson
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Iowa City
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This is the general approach I recommend with teaser rates and special offers in general:

Ask what the normal, "non-special" monthly rate is.
Ask how much the fees and taxes themselves are.
Ask what the special and "non-special" monthly total is, inclusive of taxes and fees.
Ask how long the offer is for, whether they can remind you of when it's about to expire (usually not), and what the cancellation fee is, if any.

My specific recollection of DISH is that they were very methodical about explaining all of the fees, to the point of being annoying. Most of the time, though, companies have to be asked before they will provide this sort of information and are just as happy if you don't think much about it. My two-at-a-time Netflix sub is almost $20 owing to the special "Blu-ray fee" ($3) that I didn't know about till later; it wouldn't have stopped me, but it took a little of the luster out of the whole thing.

I also doubt DISH is any more larcenous than DirecTV or (shudder) cable in the fee department. DISH, in fact, had better overall pricing than DirecTV, its larger and more successful counterpart, and were more willing to negotiate on price (no doubt a consequence of the fact that they're losing the competition with DirecTV and other sources of video). I strongly recommend the "eager husband, reluctant wife" approach (or some suitable variant) with DISH. In this scenario, husband calls up wanting x, y, and z. DISH prices it out; husband agrees. Wife calls back, irate, a bit later, says "Oh, hell no" and gets, say, a free year of HD. Worked for us--well, until the trees blocked the signal and we had to discontinue the service, but that's another story.
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Stephen Harkleroad
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Butler, PA
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I've nary had a problem with Dish Network, and am a bit of a promoter. They ain't perfect, but I find them to be better than DirectTV and any Cable. However, I'm certainly aware that things like this are quite regional--Dish Network in California is going to be different than Dish Network in Massachusetts.

The pricing is about right, and I've never had any fees I wasn't expecting. About the only thing is that once you have the service for a while, a lot of the fees can add up. For example, my parents have had their Dish Network for almost ten years. Back then, they didn't have local channels, multiple receiver, DVRs, etc, so every time they add such a feature they add a fee (by choice, of course. You can decline any of them). Which makes sense, since their overall package is still lower because they are grandfathered in. At some point, though it's cheaper to just redo the entire thing, but it's very messy to verify that they aren't losing anything.

The pricing for the packages does increase from year to year, though, again, you'll find that pretty much anywhere. (They used to give you a free rental to compensate, but I'm not sure if they still do that.)

I don't like Dish Network's equivalent of the "On Demand" feature. DirectTV's rocks, and DN basically doesn't exist. And it's satellite, so your expectations should be set--heavy rains may cause it to blur out (I see this maybe--maybe--twice a year, so I consider this a non-factor), and environmental changes may change your signal. And this is location-specific--I've had people get it and never have a problem, and others have all kinds of problems because of a solitary tree owned by a neighbor. It's the nature of the beast, alas.


All in all, though, their pricing has been competitive, their service has been well above par, and they seem to go over and above when it comes to things like fees. I can't say they're perfect, but I have no problems recommending it.
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