DISH Network salesman duped me: Help me, WalletPop
Q.I was completely duped by InfinityDish, an authorized DISH Network sales dealer in my area. The salesman was polite and I decided on the "Top 120" package for $49.93 per month with free HBO & Showtime for three months...normally $24 for the package. After hearing a detailed recording, I realized there were no premium sports channels. When he came back on the line I requested the premium sports channel package. We specifically talked about the Lakers (80% of their televised games are on Fox Sports West) and the Pac 10 (specifically UCLA). We probably talked for more than 5 minutes about how we watch sports more then regular TV. He had to have known that Fox had pulled their regional sports coverage five days earlier. I would NOT have subscribed to DISH Network. I was also promised a $25 gift card but have yet to receive it. DISH customer service was very nice and seemed knowledgeable, but they refused to allow a cancellation one day after installation. Now all Fox channels, even local, may be pulled. What is my recourse?
-- Christine Ralston
A. Luckily, DISH and FOX Networks reached an agreement last week, so your channels should be back up and running. However, the issue here runs a little bit deeper than that – you should have been told that those Fox-owned channels weren't currently being offered by DISH, says Francie Bauer, a spokesperson for the company.
"We reviewed the call and the retailer's agent who talked with the customer did, in fact, neglect to bring it to Ms. Ralston's attention. When talking to the retailer, we discovered that the agent was a new employee and was unaware of the situation with Fox. He has now been brought up to speed and understands our disclosure rules, which state that customers must be informed about channels that are unavailable when they inquire about them."
Because of this mistake, Francie says that DISH is going to allow you to cancel your service, should you decide to go that route – even now that the Fox channels have been restored. If you decide to do that, you should contact customer service. They'll waive the cancellation fee, of course, but also credit back any applicable activation fees.
Finally, about that gift card – DISH says that by the time they reached out to you about that, you'd already received it. Let us know if that's not the case.
Consumer Ally problem solver Jean Chatzky is the "Today Show" financial adviser, a longtime financial journalist and best-selling author.