Voice search on Dish no longer works w/o Google Assistant

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Verified Member
Dec 26, 2014
San Francisco
I am disabled. I got dish because of two features that dish advertises in all their ads - the Hopper and voice search remote. Imagine our surprise, when we turned on our TVs and discovered that our voice remote is no longer working unless we had a Google assistant. We were not informed of this. All press releases about this indicated that it would be available and it would be an option. Nowhere did it say the voice search remote will no longer work if you don’t have a Google assistant. Did they send us a letter? Did they send us an email? No. We turned on our TVs and found out the reason we got the freaking service no longer works. It is fine to offer this as an option. It is fine to offer a new remote that has a Google assistant button for those people who want it. For the disabled who really needed this, this was a really awful thing to do. This is not what I signed up for this is not what I’m paying over $100 a month for. And it’s going to cost me money to drop and switch. This was not my agreement. I switched to get a hopper, a voice search remote, and a specific channel lineup. They have change the terms and never told us until we turned on our televisions. This was wrong.
I absolutely agree with you about the ridiculous requirement that Google knows everything about us. But they do, and if I want something that requires Google, I go without. It is what it is and it's up to the customer to figure out how to get what you want on your terms. I got my first smart phone several years ago and had a ball setting everything up so I could diddle with the phone and do all kinds of cool things. Then one day, Google showed me a list of all the hotel and air reservations I was holding. All of those reservations were made directly with the hotels and airlines ... Google had no involvement whatsoever. That was the end of any apps on my new phone. I refuse to play that game of "what does it matter". If people are so ignorant that they don't care if Google has access to all their information, that's their problem. I have no interest in signing on to this foolishness. If I want information from the internet, I use my laptop. Not as convenient, but at least Google doesn't post a list of all kinds of personal information. It will all implode one of these days and people will be wandering around wondering what happened.
Jan 11, 2019
According to the FCC, there are 3 legit claims here - discrimination against those with disabilities, privacy issue and change in terms of service. I have filed with them and my Attorney General.
I doubt there's a law that says dish or any satellite tv has to give people access to voice activation for watching tv. I guess I'm just curious why not just dump the voice activation and use a remote?

Neil Maley

Staff Member
Dec 27, 2014
New York
According to the FCC, there are 3 legit claims here - discrimination against those with disabilities, privacy issue and change in terms of service. I have filed with them and my Attorney General.
Let us know the outcome of your filings. Once you do that, we have no more recommendations we can offer but the outcome might help others who have the same problems that come here.
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Aug 17, 2019
Google Assistant does not work correctly on DISH. If we search for shows that are on DISH, it says it can't find them on DISH and it shows us YouTube. DISH has really screwed themselves this time. If they don't fix this quickly...I'm gone!
Aug 17, 2019
I agree with gilmer Dish royally made a big mistake with this NO CHOICE Google Voice. The first program I spoke into the remote which was Spin the Wheel returned "You should love everyone and be sure to tell them" where in God's name did it get that from. So I tried speaking a few more program names and all I got was "cannot find that, having technical difficulties try again later"
Dish you have destroyed Voice, first by installing Google Voice without asking if we wanted it (we don't) and then by not allowing a choice to go back to Voice if we needed to, which we most certainly do.
Did you ever hear the old saying "if it's not broken don't fix it". I can tell from this needless disaster you haven't. What a mistake!
Aug 21, 2019
Classicrun is 100% right. Dish breached the contract. They said they would give us voice remote. There was no mention of it being conditional on us giving up our privacy to Google.

Let me ask those that have no problem with this whether they would be okay with Dish saying, “I know we said we’d give you VR but now you have to pay $100 more every month to use it.”

If you think $100 is a lot of money, what do you think your privacy is worth?

I know we give up our privacy in a hundred different ways, but we had an agreement with Dish - a contract - that VR was part of the package. Now Dish is charging us, not dollars, but our own personal privacy. This is a change in the contract without agreement from both parties.

And for those who see VR as just a convenience, there are people who rely on it because maybe they have poor vision and can’t read the letters/numbers easily, maybe they have problems with their hands and typing in long show names is difficult. These folks made a deal with Dish which would help them with these issues and Dish yanked it out from underneath them and is now dangling it in their face saying that you only get it back if you give us/Google all the information about what you watch. That is beyond UNETHICAL!

More power to ya, Classicrun! You’re not the only one pissed about this.
Feb 24, 2018
You are mixing up terms.

All that free means here is that the product lacks a price in currency. Privacy, regardless of its personal value to you, is not a currency.

Just because a product is free (again, lacks a price in currency), this does not means that it cannot have other requirements to access it.
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Dwayne Coward

Staff Member
Apr 13, 2016
St. Louis
Unfortunately, all we can do is provide you the company contacts to contact the company. If you feel they are violating the contract or law in any way, then we recommend consulting with an attorney who can advise you on your legal options.
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