It's all a matter of perspective.

Friday, August 06, 2004

-----Original Message-----
From: Nathaniel Greer
Sent: Fri 8/6/2004 11:46 PM
Subject: Disgruntled Customer - Unauthorized Charge and Overdraft Fees

Dear Sirs,

I apologize for the lengthiness of this letter. My thoroughness speaks to my honesty and authority.

This past Spring I ordered Dish Network service in two rooms of my house. I signed up online and was charged a one-time payment of $49.95. I paid this fee with my Visa Check Card and the amount was dully debited from my checking account. About a month later a gentleman from Today’s Satellite in Little Rock, Arkansas, came out and installed our Dish Network system. My Dish Network account number is (x).

The system worked pretty well for about two weeks and then stopped working. First we could only get about half of our channels, then we could only get the locals, next it stopped working in one room, finally it stopped picking up any channels at all and we called in a trouble ticket. Again, someone from Today’s Satellite (different person than the installer) came out to work the ticket. This technician determined that I did not have line of sight and uninstalled my system. He took all of the equipment with him that day: Dish, LBM, Receiver, and Remote Controls.

Around a week later I took a call from Today’s Satellite in which a store manager asked if he could conference me in with Dish Network so that we could verify that my equipment was uninstalled. This would allow him, he informed me, to get paid for the uninstallation and would keep me from getting charged for unreturned equipment. I spoke with the Dish Network operator and the store manager, verified my information, waited on hold for a while and went about my business.

A week or so later I received an empty box in the mail from Dish Network with a note requesting I return my receiver and remotes. I immediately called Dish Network and told them I had no equipment. The call center agent assured me that I could throw away the box and not worry about it. Furthermore, he informed me that there was a positive balance on my account of nineteen dollars and some change. He said that he would mail me a check for that amount. Around one week later I received the check and cashed it.

On July 16, there was an unapproved charge from Dish Network on my Visa Check Card for $380.34. I first noticed the charge on July 19. I called the Dish Network toll free number to inform them of the mistake. I was told that the charges were for unreturned equipment. I explained that I did not have any equipment, and then I was assured that the money would be returned to my bank account immediately. Before I hung up the phone the Agent told me that I should see the money in my account immediately if my bank offers “real time updates” (they do not). Shortly after I got off of the phone, my wife, who was quite pregnant, went into labor. We spent the next few days in the hospital and Dish Network was the furthest thing from my mind.

Back at home on June 22nd I checked my account and notice that I had not been refunded the money. Now the lack of funds had caused a number of checks to bounce. I called Dish Network and was transferred to Paul Bowen in the Executive Office. He told me that he would transfer the $380.34 to my account immediately. Mr. Bowen also tried to give me the nineteen dollars that was in my account. He seemed very surprised when I said that I had already received that check. He further told me to fax him a copy of my bank statement, (which I did first thing the next morning) and he would make sure that I was reimbursed for the overdraft fees that were plainly Dish Network’s fault.

On July 27th I left a voice mail for Mr. Bowen because I had not yet received the $380.34. I did receive that money on July 28th. On August 2nd I left two more messages on Mr. Bowen’s voice mail inquiring about the overdraft fees. Mr. Bowen has yet to call me back.

The afternoon of August 4th, I called back and asked for someone in the Executive Office. After fifteen minutes I was transferred to a Chris Patricca. He informed me that he found my bank statement fax in Paul Bowen’s box, and would pass this information along. He promised me I would get a response in 24-48 hours. It is now Friday night, August 6, 2004, approximately 54 hours since I spoke with him. I have had no response.

Dear Sirs, your company stole the equivalent of one week’s pay from me, brought me financial ruin, and then ignored me. At this point I have creditors calling me and I still have late bills (with late fees) that I have no money to pay. I have been gracious, patient, and polite each of the times I have had to call and deal with your company’s mistakes. My patience has worn thin. I am not trying to pull any sort of scam; I just want you to make this right.

I have attached a .pdf of a report I pulled from my bank account. It shows the charges against my account from the period in question. You can plainly see that the overdraft charges total $261. Furthermore you can see that the total of checks I wrote during that time never equal the total of $380.34, therefore I would have never been overdrawn if not for your unauthorized charge.

Please make this situation right as soon as possible. It is the ethical, righteous, and proper thing to do.

Thank you for your time,

Nathaniel W. Greer