Dish’s billing system is broken and I can’t fix it

Dish deducted $94 from William Leeper’s account without crediting him. Now it’s turned off his subscription TV service for non-payment. What gives?

Question: I’ve been having a billing problem with Dish Network for the last three months. Dish deducted $94 from my bank account in June but it never posted to my Dish account.

I called back in mid-July when I saw my unpaid bill and asked the company’s payment research department to investigate. But by the end of July, the money still wasn’t in my account, and my account was closed because of non-payment.

At the end of August, I called the Dish executive resolutions department, and was told to send my bank statement in showing the payment. I did, but I received no response.

A month later, I called Dish again and was told the documents hadn’t been received. A Dish representative told me they needed a copy of the canceled check. I don’t have one, since they converted it to an electronic payment.

I was once again promised a call back by the end of the day, but have heard nothing. I want the $94 credited, and my service restored. Can you help? — William Leeper, Waldron, Ark.

Answer: Dish should have tracked down your payment quickly, without any prompting from you – or me. You should have been able to send evidence of the money transfer, which you did, for a fast resolution.

Dish’s billing process is so automated that I’m willing to bet that everything from the time your initial payment was made, and lost, to when I got involved was automated.

And here’s the problem with automation: Sometimes it’s too arbitrary. Didn’t pay your last bill? Their system will just shut you down, even if the problem is on their side. It matters not.

Ironically, you know a thing or two about resolving a consumer complaint, because you’ve worked as a volunteer advocate for this site. So you went through the process of emailing the Dish executives, and it still didn’t work. Your $94 remained missing in action and your Dish account stayed shut off.

This is an extraordinary case. I have to believe that Dish would respond to an email from a customer with documentation of its own billing error. But then again, maybe I live in a fantasy world in which subscription-TV companies actually deliver great customer service.

Of course, you could have made all this go away by paying the bill a second time and asking your bank to investigate the missing transfer. It could have followed up and possibly credited your bank account, although the process is a little different than for credit card disputes.

I don’t think any of that should have been necessary. The Dish billing system broke down somewhere along the way, and the company needs to fix it. I contacted Dish on your behalf and it promptly credited you for your missing $94.

Are Dish's billing systems too automated?

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Christopher Elliott

Christopher Elliott is an author, journalist and consumer advocate. You can read more about him on his personal website or contact him at Got a question or comment? You can post it on the new forum.

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  • ChBot

    As of now, i’m the only no in the vote, so i’ll explain my reasoning : I believe the billing system needs to be automated in order for it to be efficient and as much error-free as possible. But it seems here that the “complaint resolution” system is truly inefficient. Does it has to do with the billing system ? Probably not, hence the vote !

  • rn74

    I think if Dish, or any TV service did that to me I’d let them turn it off. Contract is cancelled, the error is theirs, and I can sit back and watch my Roku. With Netflix or Amazon, $8 a month is a lot less. No commercials too.

  • Raven_Altosk

    The only thing Dish is good for is my yearly threat. When AT&T wants to jack up my rates, I call their cancellation department and say, “Well, I’ll just go to Dish for six or so months and then return to you since you don’t value your existing customers, just supposed “new” ones.”

    Gets my rate dropped every time.

  • EdB

    Sounds like the OP is letting Dish automatically withdraw their monthly payments. On my account, I had to set that up to get the discounts. However, I don’t trust these auto payments because of things like this. Even if setup for auto payment, you can pay before the due date and not have them dip into your bank account. Then if a problem like this arises, you have the credit card record of payment and the dispute method available.

  • Jim Zakany

    I agree. It’s not the billing system, it’s the inability for their employees to resolve problems.

  • MarkKelling

    His statement was: “they needed a copy of the canceled check. I don’t have one, since they converted it to an electronic payment.” Many businesses take your check you write to them and convert it to an ACH electronic payment and then destroy the check (all the info anyone needs to do this is already on the check). It is not an auto debit payment. This costs the business a lot less than sending the physical check through as well as costing less than sending a check image through, which is another recent technology banks are starting to use, and gets the funds credited a couple days faster.

    I trust the auto payment process a lot more than sending a physical check to the company. If there is any paper involved in the process, there is always a chance of human error. The clerk opening the envelopes and processing your check could type in the account number wrong. The stack of bills and checks could get shuffled accidentally and your check gets placed with someone else’s bill and they get an extra credit. And so on. While I prefer to be the one initializing the electronic payment, especially those that vary in amount from month to month, I have bills set up both ways and so far in nearly 20 years none have ever mis-posted. Not such a great record with mailed in payment and checks posting.

  • MarkKelling

    I agree. Automation of the billing system is a good thing. Eliminating as much human hands-on processing as possible means overall fewer errors in posting items. Where Dish is failing is in having the people knowledgeable about resolving billing issues like this. I also feel their account closure time frame is way too short, unless the OP made no more payments after this one went missing.

  • William_Leeper

    Let me explain the account closure. I disputed this in writing when I realized the mistake. And promptly refused to pay it a second time. While they were “investigating” the payment was provisionally credited. Once they determined the payment wasn’t made it came back a month later, and therefore the $94 was beyond the 55 days that Dish cuts off service for. It was a matter of the payment posting and then being reversed off the account.

    Hope that clears it up.

  • Justin


    5 Months of chasing the goose, and all the “Thanks” given is a return of the Op’s $94 dollars? Really Chris?

    Call me entitled, but there comes and point in time when EXTRA compensation is necessary. How much time did the OP spend collecting documentation, sending documentation, speaking on the phone, and emailing executives? We’re probably talking HOURS UPON HOURS.

    Worst of all, his service was WRONGFULLY terminated. So Chris, you DROPPED the ball here.
    The OP deserved far more and Dish got off lightly.

    P.S. I never use automated billing. I want to know what’s being billed, why, and how much. Auto payment complicates resolution. Contesting a bill is easier BEFORE money exchanges hands rather than after it’s gone!!!!!

  • $16635417

    Yep. Not automated enough (or properly) if the payment is taken out of the bank account but not applied to the Dish account.

  • $16635417

    I tried this with Comcast several times with no luck, they called my bluff. Even when AT&T offered a great deal, I called Comcast before committing to AT&T. They again didn’t budge.

    When I finally pulled the trigger to cancel after switching to AT&T, I was offered the world to stay…but still not better than the deal from AT&T.


    I agree with those saying NO. The problem occurred when a human did not correct an error made somewhere along the way. Even automated systems are subject to human errors if updates are not done at schedule times or done in an incorrect manner. My spouse, an IT director at a major company, says that many automation errors are caused by human error somewhere along the line. An error occurred and we do not know why. But the error was compounded by the unwillingness of Dish customer service to take care of the problem in a timely and appropriate manner. Makes it human error in my opinion.

  • omgstfualready

    It’s quite likely the banks error, not DISH. Though I don’t condone DISH for effectively shrugging its shoulders, the bank quite likely messed up the ACH transfer and DISH never did get the money that the customer would think they did per the bank records. Going to the bank seems like extra work on the customer’s part but it isn’t considering there are three parties in this, not just the customer and DISH. Plus NACHA rules that govern banks are very strict and work in favor of the bank customer and it would have given a credit back immediately while the research was being done by the bank, which requires a resolution within a prescribed number of days.

  • Joe Farrell

    The first mistake is allowing any company or person anywhere access to your bank account. People are just too ignorant to see that as a problem I guess. Its the same reason you should NEVER use a debit card or even possess one. If your debit card is stolen and used as a credit card . . . who money gets taken first? Yep – yours.

    I don’t have a problem authorizing a credit card to be used for auto-pay since I can always close the card number and have them send me another and specify that no auto-charge rollovers are allowed – then, if something like this happens . .. who money gets taken first? The Bank’s. They’ll get their money back – you on the other hand have to be treated like a criminal first if your bank account is hacked. . . ..

    Hell – I won’t even write checks to sketchy places and people because once they have your check, they can loot you by processing an ACH.

    Moral of the Story: NEVER use a debit card for any purpose, never give anyone direct access to your checking account. No exceptions.

  • MarkKelling

    I agree with you 100% on the debit cards — they are evil bad. Whoever thought they were a good idea (some fee crazed banker somewhere probably) should be dropped in the middle of the ocean.

    Not so much on the auto payments. After all, if you give someone a check they have everything they need anyway to drain your account if they are so disposed, so this is not so different. I only have two bills that are auto debit. The rest I do through ACH are ones where I have to initiate the payment, the merchant is not authorized to do so.

    I just use credit cards every where possible (and pay them all off every month to avoid interest charges). As you stated, then it’s the Bank’s money that gets taken, not yours, when something goes wrong. Banks also seem a lot more interested in helping resolve credit card disputes than debit cards. :-)

  • Nigel Appleby

    I have never had a problem with a debit card, but I have had disputed charges on credit cards, most resolved easily but a couple took some effort to resolve. Perhaps debit cards are more secure in Canada than the US. I also some regular payments charged to my credit cards with absolutely no problem. So we can agree to disagree on this one.

  • bodega3

    Having dealt with Dish Network’s billing department, which their representatives are off shore (or at least were when I use to speak with them), I fully understand the mess this company has made for the OP. After 3 years of having the same issue when our yearly bill arrived, as we paid one year in advance, we canceled our service.

  • Fishplate

    Step 1: Contact the bank to see where the money went.
    Step 2: If warranted, file charges of Theft by Taking. That ought to get their attention.

  • bodega3

    I have to say that your post is exactly what is wrong with things today. You wanted extra compensation on your flight and you think the OP deserves more? Errors occur. Did someone die? I don’t understand the mindset of expecting to be overcompensated for a minor inconvenience.

  • Raven_Altosk

    “I need to set an appointment to get your crap out of my house so I can go to a competitor who values my business” works wonders.

  • jherrmannmt

    The human error Dish made was contracting for off-shore customer service. The executive who signed off on that should be downgraded to secretarial assistant. I don’t believe in firing people, just shuffling them into jobs they can handle.

  • William_Leeper

    In fact this was not an automate payment, it was a mailed paper check that dish converted to ACH (probably through an automated system). I can’t stand auto recurring payments.

  • S363

    I never allow auto payments from my checking account, due to exactly this potential situation. Auto credit card payments, yes, all the time. (And it goes without saying that one should pay the card off every month). I’m a bit surprised that Chris doesn’t stress this more.

  • William_Leeper

    Went through my bank. That’s how I got the statement showing the payment to Dish. It even showed the check number.

    As for number 2, it wouldn’t have been worth my hassle, it was less than $100, and Arkansas is notorious for awarding damages, then declining to award fees and costs, and for some reason it is perfectly legal here.

  • William_Leeper

    I agree it would have been nice; however, they corrected the error. With the exception of it still costing me an extra $50 reconnect fee for the service to be restored. But they applied that to my next months bill, so I still came out even.

  • travelgal2011

    While I hate this age of people expecting over compensation for small errors, I tend to agree here. If this was just a case of the error with the payment not getting posted, and that error was corrected on the first – or even second call, or even after the OP providing the documentation, then I would say extra was not warranted. But he had to basically jump thru hoops, was ignored by the exectutives, and then when Dish finally admits their mistake and corrects it, he has to pay a reconnect fee of $50? (I understand that the fee was credited back off the next bill, but still he had to pay it up front to get his wrongfully terminated service restored – which I feel is unacceptable.)
    I would think in a case like this, Dish would admit their errors and would WANT to show their apologies and demonstrate that they value his business by doing something extra – something like an additional credit of $25 or $50, a free month of service, heck – even something as small as a free Pay-per-view movie. Something…

  • MarkKelling


  • travelgal2011

    Let me clarify – I don’t agree that Chris ‘dropped the ball’ – just that Dish should have done more. Chris did what he was asked to do – help get the attention of the right people to get this billing error resolved. DISH should have stepped up to the plate without being asked.

  • MarkKelling

    I know that millions of people use debit cards daily with no issues. I personally have never had an issue with a debit card either. But since I only use it to get cash out of cash machines at the banks that issued the cards to me, there is minimal chance of issues happening. It is just that when something does go wrong, there are more safeguards built into credit cards so the negative impact to your bank account is less.

  • emanon256

    Comcast used to respond to me, but they stopped. The last time I called to reduce my rate, the retention agent said that my record shows a history of me calling and saying I will cancel, and they will no longer reduce my rate. I thought it was a bluff, so I told her to cancel my service and she did. I finally added back the economy package which has about 30 channels, and I have been fine with it.

  • jm71

    I’ve used automatic “pull” payments from my checking account for 20+ years, and *never* had an issue like this. The nice thing about it is that the money being taken is evidence that the company received it (or should be, see below).

    On the other hand, I had a “push” bill-pay failure, where the service took the money from my account, but the check was never sent…for my rent. Luckily the landlord was understanding (since I was never late otherwise) and even later credited the late fee after the bank sent a letter explaining it was their error (I didn’t expect the landlord to do that, as it wasn’t their problem, but it was nice).

    This isn’t really any different than a check being cashed but not posted — better, in fact, since nobody can claim the mail was intercepted etc. If this ever happened to me, I would pursue it as a theft/fraud, including filing a police report — copying both the bank and Dish. That would hopefully persuade the bank to reverse the ACH transaction, or Dish to find where it went and credit properly.

  • jm71

    William, I’m confused — was this a “pull” auto-payment, where Dish initiates the transaction using your account/routing number, or a “push” bill-pay system, where your bank (or a third party service) withdraws the money from your account then sends either a paper or electronic check to Dish?

    Edit: Never mind, I see a later reply that it was a paper check you mailed yourself (that Dish then processed via ACH)

  • jm71

    Agree; I also have used auto-withdrawal for 20+ years. You’re not giving the company any more information than they get on a paper check, it eliminates mail theft/loss issues and third party processes — either the company pulled the money or they didn’t.

  • Justin


    So your time isn’t precious and jumping through hoops is a nonissue? We’re not talking a five minute phone call, where Dish or X company immediately rectifies the problem and apologizes.

    The OP contacted customer support, provided proof, emailed executives, had the service disconnected, got hit with a 50 dollar reconnect fee, and waited months for a solution. Absolutely unacceptable by any standard.

    Rest assured, if you make a mistake, companies aren’t running to help. Bill arrives late in the mail? Too bad – Late Fees.

    Miss a Month – Disconnected

    Customer service is a two way street. Businesses these days have no qualms taking money. Somewhere along the line the “service” part went by the wayside.

  • Justin

    I’m glad there was a “happy ending” William, but Dish couldn’t have made a resolution any more difficult.

    If any lesson has been learned, I repeat NEVER used automated withdraw. Remember, disputing a bill before money changes hands is always easier than trying to get a refund. Once X company has your cash, you’ve lost half the fight.

  • Justin

    Problem #1 -4 = What responsible adult pays through Automated Withdraw?

    Have people today lost their minds? Come on, I know the process “might be convenient”, but you have to be a FOOL to hand over money without first reviewing the statement.

    Remember, contesting a mistake is FAR EASIER before money changes hands rather than AFTER a bill is paid.

    Not specific to the OP. However, a “Fool and their Money are Soon Parted”. Applies to the generation today that can’t even balance a checkbook and manage their own finances.

  • bodega3

    I am not against doing something for someone for their time and hassle, but to expect it, is what many think is their right.

  • jim6555

    This is not exactly an automation problem, It has to do with how the system was designed. The programmers should have put in an option that would allow a human to put a temporary credit on an account while a problem is being investigated. It’s the reverse of what a credit card company can do if charges appear on a bill that the customer says are not legitimate.

    A few months ago,someone was using a phony American Express card with my number on it. All of the disputed purchases were made on the same day at several stores in a mall that’s about ten miles from my home. When I called American Express about the situation, they immediately removed the disputed transactions from my account. The rep explained that if the investigation determined that I was responsible for the charges, they would be put back on the account. If Dish Network allowed their reps to credit an account for a missing payment pending an investigation, their customer would be happier and I wouldn’t be posting this comment.

  • Justin

    You’re an easy pleaser. No compensation is ever necessary to rectify a wrong? I’ll take one of you and clone the rest.

    I don’t presume to know your profession. From some threads, it sounds as if you’re a travel agent, and in other threads possibly law. I’m unsure precisely.

    Let’s take a nondescript example of business. A client comes in, asks for work to be done, and you complete the task. The client decides the work wasn’t really what he or she wanted after all.

    Apparently, you are an exceptionally generous person. I’m to believe you tell the client, “No Worries about the change”, the X hours of redoing the work are Pro Bono. My time is worth nothing? – Fat Chance.

    Moral of the story. Mistakes happen, but mistakes do come at a cost when correction becomes more than a minor or moderate inconvenience.

  • bodega3

    I have sold travel for decades and we also own another family business. If a person isn’t happy with our work, you bet we work to make it right. We do no advertising as a few happy customers have given us more referrals that we can take. But try and take advantage of us and you’ll be gone as a client.
    I am not an easy pleaser, I have high expectations of everyone, plus myself. I am someone who doesn’t expect something extra and believe you should be the same way. But I get that you are in the majority and you see it all over these days, but especially on this site with Chris.
    Mistakes are made. How the mistakes are dealt with and the severity of the error should determine any additional compensation, not anyone’s expectations.

  • Justin


    Read my example again please. Client is happy with the work, but changes mind on the end product , and wants a different result.

    I’ve got a bridge for sale if I’m to believe your time, employee time, and subsequent staff comes without a price. No one works free.

    We all realize mistakes happen, but mistakes aren’t without consequence. Unless the client is an exceptional customer, fat chance a whole new product is given without cost.

    Cue “How the mistakes are dealt with and the severity of the error should determine any additional compensation, not anyone’s expectations.”


    If a few hours are required hammering out a few glitches in an overall solid product, no need to send the customer a bill. A good company eats the cost.

    If the ENTIRE product needs redone, because of customer incompetence, compensation is necessary (I.E billing).

    Dish Screwed up: Activate scenario #2

  • Alan Gore

    I would want to be compensated for the hours I had to spend fighting their bonehead billing system. Dish Network is not an airline, so it doesn’t have that special set of rights to tie you up for complaining and whistle for their goons to throw you out of the airport. They made a major screwup in falsely accusing the OP of being a deadbeat, and they need to pay in a manner that will dissuade them from doing this again.

  • jpp42

    If you read above, this credit is eactly what happened. The problem was that after Dish’s flawed “investigation” they decided the payment was never made, and removed the credit. Because the process took so long the account was now overdue long enough to result in a suspension.

  • jm71

    1) The OP didn’t pay through automated withdrawal; he sent a check, which the company cashed but didn’t post.

    2) You don’t give any information for automatic withdrawals that you don’t when you send the above check (in this case, Dish processed the check electronically, same as the way they do auto withdrawals. You can’t prevent that).

    3) I’m responsible, an adult, and have done automatic withdrawals for 20+ years, never ever had an issue. I still get a statement 15-20 days before the automatic payment is done, and review it at my leisure if I want to — but I don’t have to remember to do anything to make the payment. If the electric company sent me a bill for $100,000 (never has) I would call them, then call the bank to deny the payment when it came in, just as I can stop payment on a check.

  • jpp42

    The reason Chris didn’t stress this is because it wasn’t what happened! This wasn’t an auto payment, it was a payment by check, which was converted to an ACH by Dish Network (a process that is increasingly common to reduce errors from manual check processing).

  • jpp42

    Reading comphension is lacking. It wasn’t an auto-payment at all. Re-read.

  • jpp42

    I think auto-payment is perfect for subscription services like TV/Internet etc because it is the same amount monthly/quarterly/etc. Then you can budget for it, get a feel for when the payment is processed each month, etc. Although this case seems like an extaordinary situation, I would have not hestitated to use auto payments if I had Dish service. (Though I recognize this is not the OP’s situation as it was a check.)

  • Justin

    Dish deducted $94 from my bank account in June but it never posted to my Dish account

    A Dish representative told me they needed a copy of the canceled check. I don’t have one, since they converted it to an electronic payment.

    If the payment was a check why wouldn’t the OP have a copy in his ledger? – Reading comprehension is fine.

  • Justin

    1) Read Reply to jpp42

    2) It’s not the information given (shakes head). The problem stems from the fact you are TRUSTING companies to withdraw the proper amount.

    A check for $90.00 is non negotiable. An automatic withdraw doesn’t have a set limit. Say the company takes too much. Guess who’s left fighting for a refund?

    3) See #2. Mistakes happen. Billing discrepancies happen. By having the bill in hand, reviewing charges, I’m given the opportunity to dispute charges. I then cut a check or manually pay for the specified amount.
    I don’t need to worry about the company taking too much through electronic withdraw.

  • bodega3

    Errors are different than a change of mind. I was address the minor error that got fixed. Never expect compensation for a minor issue and you will be happier when you get one.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Perhaps I’m just being dense. But the subsequent payments should have kept your account at most 30 days late.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I don’t use autopay if I can help it. I’ve cancelled services and the autopay continues. Many companies are set up where your bank can initiate an electronic transfer. You get instant credit with the merchant, no human hands touch the transaction, and i’ts infinitely easier to track and cancel if need be.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I can’t speak to the moral or ethical issue, but legally, no further compensation is owed beyond the $94 returned and arguably about $4 in interest. The OP’s time in “collecting documentation, sending documentation, speaking on the phone, and emailing executives” is neither reimbursable nor compensable from a legal standpoint.

    What can happen is that the business might make a gesture of good will and give the OP something as an apology, but the OP isn’t entitled to anything further, at least not legally.

    The only way for Chris to “force” additional concessions for the OP would be to use (or misuse) his sites to shame the company, something that Chris eschews.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    There’s no legal remedy to effect that.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    While I agree with the not using an automated service( for other reasons), that’s irrelevant to the OP’s situation. Even had he walked into the office and dropped a check into the drop box, it still could have been credited to the wrong account.

    Edited. It was a paper check so the automated service isn’t even part of the story.

  • Carver Clark Farrow


  • Carver Clark Farrow

    I don’t think this was bank error. I think Dish didn’t credit it property. The resolution was purely with DIsh, so I’m inclined to think it was there error.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Comcast’s billing department is terrible as well. I had a billing dispute. Proved to them that I had paid my bill, and they were still giving me grief.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Theft would be very difficult in a case like this.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Actually, none of what you said is accurate. In order

    1) It was a paper check which turned into an electronic check. jpp42 is correct.. See the OPs statemnt

    In fact this was not an automate payment, it was a mailed paper check
    that dish converted to ACH (probably through an automated system). I
    can’t stand auto recurring payments.

    2) Companies often turn paper checks into electronic checks. If anything goes wrong in the process, the electronic check can be processed for a different amount, (happened to me once). Accordingly, that $90 paper check can turn into a $900 electronic check or a $9.00 electronic check

    Plus, last summer, I regularly had an automatic paper check sent to a savings account. Somehow, that automatic paper check got misdirected (twice) and ended up in a credit union in North Carolina, a credit union completely unknown to me.

    3) If it’s a set fee, then the likelihood of needing to dispute a charge is remote. For example, I have Netflix. Its been a constant 7.99 for years and they don’t send bills.

    By contrast, my cell phone is done via bill pay because that is variable and I want to make sure that they charges are mine. Verizon sends an electronic bill to my bank, which I can review, and I authorize the payment

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    When a check is converted to an electronic payment, the physical check is not returned to the account holder, they way a paper check is when cancelled.

    When my current bank converts a paper check to an electronic check, they actually generate an image which can be downloaded. The bank at my previous firm provided a summary, but no image to download.

  • EdB

    You call that a minor error? A minor error would have been if the transaction didn’t post and he made one call and it was fixed. They made him jump through hoops and didn’t fix it until Chris got involved. To me, that makes this much more than a minor error.

  • Justin

    Hi Carver,

    I realize there’s no legal precedent to “good customer service”. Giving back what was taken is the company’s only legal obligation.

    However, if I were the OP, I would have lobbied off a letter to the State Attorney General, too. While a negligible amount, Dish did “defraud” the OP until Chris stepped in to help. Money was taken, without a service provided.

    The Attorney General can force companies to fix noncompliance issues, which helps prevent future consumer problems.

    All and all, I am amazed Dish had the gall to charge a $50 dollar reconnection fee after the hassle. Sure, he was credited back, but really?

    I would have left Dish and gone elsewhere. No company or service is worth this level of headache.

  • Justin

    True. I’ve had payments credited to wrong accounts before.

    Then again, customer service is a downward spiral today. More and more offshoring, less and less “Service”.

    Funny enough, I had a major issue with my credit card that offshores. I wrote a scathing complaint that resolving a simple issue took far longer than necessary due to language barriers.

    Corporate called and told me next time ask for an American Support Center. So I guess at some companies, the option exists.

  • Justin

    Minor? Wow, your tolerance level for “Incompetence” has one heck of a highthreshold. 6 Months to resolve is quick and easy?

    The op made multiple phone calls to customer service, emails to executives, contacting Chris, etc before seeing a resolution.

  • EdB

    Maybe the OP can clear up the part about the reconnection fee because it is a bit confusing. Was it charged after Chris got it resolved or before? It doesn’t make any sense to charge a reconnection fee when the problem was finally identified as Dish’s and the server should not have been disconnected to begin with. I could see charging it before the resolution and then using it as a credit, but not after the problem was solved..

  • Justin

    A bit of apples to oranges. Even with set fees, automated payments aren’t advisable. People often forget they’re paying a service long after the usefulness has dwindled.

    I, for one, believe in checking itemized statements and manually cutting a payment (check or credit card). At least, I’m given control to dispute charges before money exchanges hands. Plus, I am given the opportunity to assess need on a continuous basis.

    Now onto #1. Are you stating the bank issues a monthly paper check for the OP to pay X bills? If so, the above applies. I’ll never pay without first checking what’s being charged.

  • Justin

    Is your bank stuck in the Draconian Era?

    I have banked at multiple institutions and never once encountered an instance where a downloadable image was unavailable.

    Doesn’t federal law now require banks to keep copies of all transactions due to the Patriot Act, homeland security, and money laundering?

    I find it hard to believe a bank can’t recover a copy of X transaction. I’d bet corporate offices have a downloadable copy on hand.

  • Justin

    From the OP (William).

    I agree it would have been nice; however, they corrected the error. With the exception of it still costing me an extra $50 reconnect fee for the service to be restored. But they applied that to my next months bill, so I still came out even.

    Sounds after the fact?

  • omgstfualready

    Likely, but since you don’t know who is really at fault until the research is done going to the bank ensures NACHA rules are applied right away and the resolution is swift. Changing the autopay into an ACH is more manual at smaller banks and is open for error, but the dispute ensures the credit is given asap which is what you want anyway – who cares who is at fault as long as it gets resolved timely.

  • EdB

    Yes, it does sound after the fact. But like I said, it doesn’t make sense if it has been resolved and was Dish’s error to start with. That is why I asked for the OP to clarify. So as not to assume it really was.

    I know if it was me in that situation and a business wanted me to prepay on the account because of their error, that is basically what Dish had the OP do if it was after the fact, I would have told them to take a hike and moved my business elsewhere.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    We’re talking about two different things. My comment was only directed to who I believed was at fault. How I would proceed if it were me is a different question altogether. And yes, its critically important who is at fault.

    If you file the dispute with the bank and DISH did in fact get the money, the bank will remove any provisional credit and you are back at square one, i.e. double paying or DISHless, depending on whether you used the provisional credit, if any, to pay DISH.

    Further, to restore his service the OP had to pay $50. Even, if it was Bank error, they’re not responsible to pay the $50. If however, DISH is responsible, then it would be responsible for crediting back any associated fees and removing any derogatory entries.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Like I said. “former firm”, years ago. No idea what they do now.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    People often forget they’re paying a service long after the usefulness has dwindled

    As long as you are using a service you have to pay for it.

    If I understand correctly, your issue isn’t really whether the service debits your account or your bank automatically initiates payments, but control over when and how the bill is paid. So, if a service allows you to control payments, i.e. go to a website and manually enter the amount to be paid, but no recurring payments, would you be more comfortable with that?

    It’s a valid point, but that deals more with your own level of risk tolerance (which everyone has) rather than the specific autopay technology used. Personally, I don’t want to deal with that sort of thing. Netflix can take its 7.99 each month. The likelihood of error is remote enough, and since they don’t send bills, there’s nothing tor review.

    Re: #1, I’m not sure I understand and I apologize if I am not answering your question. The OP stated that he cut a check, much like you do, and mailed it to DISH. DISH converted it to an electronic check which is where the problem begin. I don’t understand the part about the bank mailing a check to the OP.

  • Justin

    “The bank at my previous firm provided a summary, but no image to download”

    Thanks for the correction on “years ago”. Makes all the difference as the context lacked, Carver.

  • Justin

    + 1 Million.
    Exactly what I’ve argued all along. People forget about auto payments, money withdraws after service becomes irrelevant, or incorrect amount is taken out.
    Cons outweigh the Pros.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    So, as a point, DISH’s action is not fraud in the least. Truly. not even a close call. It’s a simple breach of contract, i.e. failure to perform. I as a licensed member of the bar would be prohibited from sending such a letter.

  • Justin

    If I understand correctly, your issue isn’t really whether the service debits your account or your bank automatically initiates payments, but control over when and how the bill is paid…..

    Precisely. Risk control. Too many people utilize autopay and forget where there money goes. So when a service outlives its usefulness, instead of cancelling, charges continue. The customer doesn’t even realize they’re still paying since the amount is debited automatically.

    I might be the one confused. When you’re saying electronic payment, the OP wrote a physical check and the amount was drafted from the account? If so, then I stand corrected.

    I read the post as the OP did electronic transfer through his checking account without mailing in a paper check.

  • Justin

    Might I ask how nonperformance isn’t fraud?

    Scenario 1: Roofer comes to your house, takes money, and doesn’t do the work. – Clearly not a nonperformance issue, correct?

    Scenario 2: Dish takes money, cancels service, claims money wasn’t received. OP has proof of payment.

    How is taking money from a person under the pretense of providing a service, and knowingly not performing, anything but fraud?

    Is the letter of law defined by intention? Dish didn’t mean to cause harm and the roofer knew his actions were malicious?

  • omgstfualready

    The resolution of what happens comes very quickly so when the bank knows it did send the money now the people that are working at this at DISH is nowhere near the people we are stuck dealing with; they will resolve it and there will be no long term drawn out process. It’s fairly easy when you work through the bank.

  • bodega3

    The ultimate with Dish was went they gave us some credit for their error in billing, then sent us another bill months later for a late payment on that credited amount. Talking to them just raised our blood pressure and it felt good to fire them.

  • bodega3

    Yes, it was a minor error. Did anyone die? Sorry, but mistakes happen, and while they can be frustrating to deal with, something under $100 isn’t major in my book.

  • bodega3

    Yes, minor. A pain to deal with, yes, but nothing earthshaking here. Not like someone who had to sit by an unhappy child on a plane :-)

  • bodega3

    Yes, I would have kicked Dish to the curb with that fee, too!
    Hum, negligible amount. That should get a few upset :-)

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    That’s easy.

    Fraud, like all other torts and crimes, has elements which must be met in order to be legitimate. Fraud is highly disfavored because of the ability to turn a simple contract dispute into a “Federal” case.

    But specifically, fraud requires a present and specific intent to lie. The elements of fraud, 1)a representation, 2)the representation is false, 3) the maker knew it was false at the time it was made, 4)damages to the aggrieved party.

    Consider. You take out a credit card, use it, lose your job and don’t pay. That’s not fraud. You didn’t perform your side of the bargain, you got goods and services which you didn’t pay for. But its not fraud by any legal definition

    Contrast:you take out a credit card, run it up knowing that you intend to file bankruptcy in 1 week. That’s fraud, because at the time you took at the credit card, (or alternatively when you make the purchases), you knew you had no intention of paying for them. The credit card company still loses the same money, but its a radically different legal scenario. In the first you get bad credit, in the second, you go to jail.

    In the instant case, elements 1-3 are not met so DISH did not commit fraud any more than in my unemployment hypothetical.

    Does that help?

    Incidentally, most non-attorney are in error about fraud more than any other common legal tort.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Depends on why the roofer didn’t perform. Did he fall down the next day and break his arm, or was he planning on going to Vegas and never return?
    Its all about intent.

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Not necessarily.

    My ordeal with my bank took 2 months to fix. I had the same problem with AT&T. I fixed it in an hour.

  • EdB

    All errors are minor unless someone dies? You have a strange definition for minor/major errors.

  • Justin

    So pretty much fraud boils down to “law of intent”.

    If malicious intent existed (roofer never intended to do the work and run with the cash), we have fraud and criminal activity.

    If the roofer falls off the roof, breaks his arm and is unable to perform, we now have a civil case (including the roofer probably suing you, too).

  • Carver Clark Farrow

    Close enough for a discussion board.