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DISH Free upgrades - Worth it?


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25 replies to this topic

#1 of 26 OFFLINE   David_Jr

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Posted November 11 2003 - 01:43 PM

I have been a satisfied DISH customer for over six years now. Last week I heard a story on the news that my locals, Albany, NY, are now available on DISH network. So I called to see about getting them. I currently subscribe to "distant networks" east and west coast along with the superstation package. I called and asked if I could swap NY stations for the Albany stations. They told me I could, but I would need a new "Superdish". When I upgraded to Top 150 a couple years ago I had to upgrade to "dish 500" dish. Apparently this new superdish hits three satellite slots, and the Albany channels are on the third slot. They told me I could get the superdish with free installation as long as I agree to keep my programming on credit card autopay for 12 months. I already do that so I said yes. While I was on the phone, I asked about HI Def programming. The CSR told me that the HD programming would be avaailable on the third slot as well. I asked about getting CBS HD. He spouted the party line about having to be qualified to get it. He then told me that he had never seen anyone turned down for it that applied. Now I'm thinking about getting a HD set. So then he tells me I have to talk to someone else to finalize the transaction. The second person I talked to told me about all the restrictions, cancelation fees etc. I asked her if there were any deals available on hardware. She told me that I could get a free upgrade to a DVR 510, which is like a TIVO, if I agreed to keep my monthly bill on credit card autopay for two years. All I would have to do is return the receiver it is replacing. I said no problem. She asked if I was replacing my 4700, which is in my living room. I said no, my 2800, which is in my bedroom. It's basically a no frills model. She said ok. Then she starts reading the fine print and says, Oh by the way there is a $4.98 per month fee for the DVR features. I almost said no deal, but we have been having a lot of problems with the reliability of our JVC VCR lately so I was really looking forward to the DVR especially for free. But then it's not really free. Is this still a good deal?
Dave

#2 of 26 OFFLINE   PienSavaca

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Posted November 11 2003 - 03:00 PM

By switching to Albany locals, you will have to requalify.... this means the possible loss of your L.A. stations. Are Albany stations all that great? I'd rather stick with NYC stations, as they are O&O stations that put network programming first.

People in the DC area get turned down for CBS-HD due to the proximity to Baltimore's O&O station.

The Dish510 DVR records standard definition programming. For HD programming, you need a 6000U... another $500.
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#3 of 26 OFFLINE   David_Jr

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Posted November 12 2003 - 02:00 AM

The rep on the phone said that I would not lose the LA stations. He said that only the Albany stations would be added and the NY, NY stations dropped. He made it sound like I could keep the NY stations as well if I wanted to pay for it.
Dave

#4 of 26 OFFLINE   Dave Falasco

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Posted November 12 2003 - 02:35 AM

Quote:
The Dish510 DVR records standard definition programming. For HD programming, you need a 6000U... another $500.

Actually the Dish6000 doesn't record either SD or HD programming. It receives both, but there is no PVR built into it. For an HD PVR you are going to have to wait for the next model (921) which, last I heard, should be out by the end of the year.

[edited to correct model number]

#5 of 26 OFFLINE   Jeff Keene

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Posted November 12 2003 - 05:15 AM

I had the PVR 501 and the was no $5 / month charge. What are they charging for? The 501 had no "service", it was just a recorder. Have they added a "service"?

#6 of 26 OFFLINE   David_Jr

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Posted November 12 2003 - 01:31 PM

My understanding from a little research is that there were certain DVR models that there was no charge for, but for this one there is. Did you get the seven day program guide? I don't no for sure why they charge now. Unless it is to offset That is why I wonder if this is a good deal.
Dave

#7 of 26 OFFLINE   Robert_J

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Posted November 12 2003 - 11:57 PM

Quote:
For HD programming, you need a 6000U... another $500.
Dish is selling the discontinued model 6000 for $199 right now.

-Robert

#8 of 26 OFFLINE   Jay H

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Posted November 13 2003 - 12:06 AM

There is no surcharge for the 501/508/510/7xx models that I know of but any of the upcoming 9xx models that will record HD signals will have another upcharge that has been mentioned here in addition to the any other 'extra receiver' fee per month. I still have a PVR501 and have no plans on upgrading to HD anytime soon.

I don't even get the local channels because I am close enough to NYC to pick them up fine OTA, I do miss the ability to record them although the only shows I watch on regular TV is the Simpsons, Alias, and Survivor.

Jay
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#9 of 26 OFFLINE   Scott Greczkowski

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Posted November 15 2003 - 11:49 AM

I got my SuperDISH over a month ago. It's BIG see the photos of it at http://www.satellite...opic.php?t=2979
Scott
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#10 of 26 OFFLINE   David_Jr

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Posted January 11 2004 - 04:16 AM

Got major screwed by DISH!!!!Posted Image Posted Image Posted Image Got a call the night before it was supposed to be installed and they rescheduled me for the following week. I had already taken the day off from work, but I wanted that dish. They called me back the next day and told me that due to supply problems they had to reschedule me for January and I made an appontment for Jan 9 between 8 & 12. I took that day off from work as well. On the 9th around 11 AM I called DISH to see when they were coming. They put me on hold while they contacted the contractor and then told me that the contractor was running about an hour to hour & 1/2 late and would be at my house between 1 & 2. Told me the contractor was out of CT. Called back around 3PM. Again they contacted the contractor and told me he's running late and will be at my house by 5. Apologized that I wasn't called. They NEVER showed up and they never called!!Posted Image Posted Image The next morning I'm driving home from work and I see a DISH truck with CT plates so I follow him until he stops. I ask him where he is headed, he says NY state (we're on Mass Tpke at this point in rest area) I tell him my story about getting Superdish and he says contractor has blown me off. He asked me if I am new customer or upgrade. I say upgrade. He says DISH is contracting these out and contractors are blowing off upgrades in favor of new installs because there is more money in it for them!!Posted Image Posted Image I am furious!! He recommends I call DISH and insist on immediate install and they should send a DISH installer instead of a contractor. I have been with DISH for 6 yrs and never a problem until now. This beats all.
Dave

#11 of 26 OFFLINE   Ryan Wishton

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Posted January 11 2004 - 11:39 AM

Thats ridiculous... Dish Network should offer your some free service for all this hassel and the lost time from work...

#12 of 26 OFFLINE   Chris_Morris

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Posted January 11 2004 - 11:53 AM

Quote:
Got major screwed by DISH!!!!


I wouldn't say that. While you did get screwed, it was by a greedy installer, not Dish.

Dish should drop them from subcontracting.


Chris

#13 of 26 OFFLINE   Adrian D

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Posted January 12 2004 - 04:52 AM

I had serious problems with both Dish and their contractors.
That's why I no longer subscribe.
Good luck with your situation David.

#14 of 26 OFFLINE   Christopher Cheadle

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Posted January 12 2004 - 08:13 AM

I had a similar "problem" getting my SuperDish. I called on Dec. 4 immediately after seeing the press release that my locals were available. My Superdish install was scheduled for Dec. 13. Got a call at 6:00 PM on Dec. 12 from the installer stating that they were "out of stock" and the next available install was on Feb. 16. When I mentioned that a 2 month window was completely unacceptable, she then proceeded to me that I should complain to Dish. Long story short, Dish basically blew me off. This, combined with multiple problems in getting a properly functioning 508 (on my 4th one that still doesn't work properly) has seriously pushed me to think about switching to DirecTV.

It seems that many people in my area and in other areas needing the SD for locals are having the same issues.
Christopher Cheadle
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#15 of 26 OFFLINE   David_Jr

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Posted January 12 2004 - 09:18 AM

Thanks for the info Chris.
Dave

#16 of 26 OFFLINE   David_Jr

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Posted January 13 2004 - 04:38 AM

A 40 minute call to DISH today resulted in 1) being transferred to a supervisor, 2) sincere apology for what happened, 3) 2 free pay-per-views & 1 month free DVR service, 4) will activate my 510DVR, will schedule me for a new appointment in FebruaryPosted Image and 5) provided me with the telephone # & location of the local dispatch office for installations. He is supposed to call me back with a date for the install.
Dave

#17 of 26 OFFLINE   JohnGoggan

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Posted January 13 2004 - 06:09 AM

A few things...

1. Indeed -- many people are having this problem with the SuperDish installations. The problem is that they take longer per install -- so they can only do a few per day at best. Plus, a ton of people want them at once when locals go live in an area, making them backed up. I am also having to wait 2 months for mine (coming in February).

2. New subs get precedence -- mainly due to installers and the money issue as was mentioned above. It's a problem and I think we need to keep pushing Dish on this. New installs should not make more money for the installers -- or, if it must, then installers should be locked into a schedule regardless of if it is a new install or not.

3. The DVR501, 508, and 721 have been "grandfathered" into not having to pay the "Dish on Demand" monthly fee. All DVRs since then (starting with the 510 and including the new 921) have that monthly fee. The fee is waived if you subscribe to the Everything Pak.

4. The 510 has no new features over the 50x. They run the same firmware. It just has more space. So, you don't really get anything extra for your monthly fee -- just the space. It is meant to offset the deals on the unit, according to Dish.

5. Technically, signing up for your locals should NOT affect your distant status. They are not linked together at all as far as the law is concerned. However, you never know what a Dish CSR might do -- so, they might requalify you for distant networks when you sign up for your locals. If you are getting distants properly now (i.e. you are either in an area that can't get a local at Grade B level or you have a waiver), then you should still qualify. Again, the fact that your locals are available over Dish now is not a factor in your distant qualifications. It is just that signing up for locals might get your distants re-checked and, if you aren't supposed to qualify as it is now, you'd lose them. You can go put your address in at Dish's site and see what it says about distant network qualifications. If you qualify, you can certainly get your locals and distants over Dish.

6. To get CBS-HD over Dish, you either have to qualify for distant networks CBS (i.e. based on the same stuff as stated in #5 above) OR your local DMA's CBS has to be an "Owned and Operated by CBS" affiliate -- and you can't pick up any other local (non-O&O) CBS affiliate with an antenna.

7. To just watch HD over Dish, you'll need a model 6000 or 811 receiver. To watch and record HD over Dish, you'll need the new 921. Existing customers can currently get the 811 for $199 or $149, depending on your "exclusive customer" status.

Hope that helps some!

- John...
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#18 of 26 OFFLINE   David_Jr

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Posted January 13 2004 - 08:27 AM

John,
Thankyou for your insightful and very informative reply. regarding:

Quote:
Plus, a ton of people want them at once when locals go live in an area, making them backed up. I am also having to wait 2 months for mine (coming in February).


I explained to the CSR supervisor that I am aware that this is a great deal and that I am getting the equipment for free and the installation for free and there is probably a high demand, but I don't appreciate being lied to. I explained to him that it is one thing to call a customer and cancel an appointment and reschedule for a month or two due to supply problems and quite another for them to call me the night before my rescheduled appointment to remind me of it and then when I call twice on the day of to see where they are, both times I am told that they have contacted the contractor and he is running late but is still coming. I explained to the CSR manager that I have now taken two days off from work for this and next time will make three, at some point this is not going to be a great deal anymore. He agreed and that's when he offered the free stuff. Well actually he didn't offer, I proposed maybe some free stuff and he offered a month free DVR. I said how 'bout some pay per views. He said he couldn't do that. I said that I think I deserve it so he said he would. I don't think I was wrong to ask. He also said that they probably have overbooked the appointments which I think is a great understatement.

Also regarding:

Quote:
All DVRs since then (starting with the 510 and including the new 921) have that monthly fee.


Do you know if you pay the fee per dvr, or is it just a one fee per account type of thing? (Thinking about the 921 in the future.)
Dave

#19 of 26 OFFLINE   JohnGoggan

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Posted January 13 2004 - 08:43 AM

A lot of the problems with such delays and not getting told about changes is the fault of the contracted installer. I still blame Dish somewhat -- because they really don't do much to stop it from continuing to happen -- but it really is an installer issue/problem.

The told me right when I called that it would be two months -- which is too long -- but at least they told me the truth on that. We'll see if it actually happens on time in February. If not, I'll yell loudly at them again.

I had an 811 that I ordered last month -- the installers didn't show up on two different days -- causing lost work and such. After I complained enough, I too got some deals on things (a discount on another receiver that I wanted). So, I agree that making noise is a good way to get free stuff. I just wish it did more towards fixing the problem in the future (i.e. Dish chastising bad installers) -- but, at this point, that doesn't appear to happen. Posted Image

As for the DVR fee, I believe it is per account, not per receiver, but I am not positive on that.

- John...
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#20 of 26 OFFLINE   PeteyG

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Posted January 14 2004 - 07:31 AM

I have noticed the promotions that Dish has for new customers and I was intrigued. I have Comcast Digital w/HD and just got notice that they are going to start charging extra for the HD box and am now looking into satellite as I can't stand the picture on the standard channels that Comcast broadcasts. HD looks great, and some of the "digital" channels look good, but the basic stations are horrible.

Any news on when Dish is going to broadcast ABC & NBC HD? That is one major drawback from going with Dish right now.

I've looked into DirectTV - but you have to pay up front for the HD receiver, which I'd rather not do if I don't have to.

Pete
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