Satellite TV customer complaints keep mounting: BBB

Unhappy satellite TV subscribers -- most customers of DirecTV and Dish Network -- have been complaining by the thousands to the Better Business Bureau.

More than 53,000 satellite customers have complained to the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in the previous three years -- with 39,000 of those complaints filed against DirecTV and 13,000 against Dish Network.

DirecTV has more than 18 million customers, while Dish Network serves some 14 million. Neither company enjoys a stellar BBB rating. Dish Network earned a grade of C from the BBB, while DirecTV received an F. That failing grade means the bureau "strongly" questions "the company's reliability for reasons such as that they have failed to respond to complaints, their advertising is grossly misleading, they are not in compliance with the law's licensing or registration requirements, their complaints contain especially serious allegations, or the company's industry is known for its fraudulent business practices."

According to the BBB, many complaints against the companies stem from complex fees and and terms that are usually overlooked in the fine print of customer agreements. The bureau urges consumers to read those service terms carefully.