Governor's Office of Consumer Affairs announces $5.9 million settlement with DISH Network
Atlanta, GA – DISH Network, L.L.C. will pay $5,991,000 in response to alleged violations of consumer protection laws identified by the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs and attorneys general in 45 other states. The states alleged the satellite TV provider and its third-party retailers engaged in deceptive and unfair sales practices. The company denied any wrongdoing.
In addition to the $5.9 million, DISH Network agreed to pay restitution to consumers and to enter into an agreement that limits how it can market services in the future.
Joe Doyle, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs, said, “I am pleased to announce the settlement today and to announce the possibility of consumer restitution for eligible consumers.”
The settlement resolves the states’ allegations that DISH Network:
- Refused to accept responsibility for the misconduct of its third-party retailers and installers;
- Made telemarketing calls to consumers in violation of do-not-call rules;
- Failed to disclose all terms and conditions of their customer agreements, including the availability of rebates, credits and free offers;
- Did not disclose that purchased or leased equipment was previously used and/or refurbished;
- Made reference to competitors’ price offers when the goods or services being compared were materially different; and
- Charged customer credit cards and debited bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.
The company will offer some form of restitution to eligible Georgia consumers who filed written complaints with DISH Network or the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs between January 1, 2004, and July 16, 2009.
Consumers who didn’t file complaints may also be eligible for restitution if they believe they were misled by DISH Network within the past two years (July 16, 2007 to July 16, 2009). They should file a complaint with DISH Network, the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs or with the Better Business Bureau by December 13, 2009 to be considered. It should be noted that filing a written complaint directly with DISH Network may speed up the refund process. DISH Network will provide the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs with a report of all such complaints received.
Consumers who do not wish to accept the restitution may file a claim with a third-party administrator. DISH Network will notify eligible consumers of their options to do so and provide instructions. Questions or complaints regarding the refund process can be addressed to: DISH Network, L.L.C., Dispute Resolution Team, P.O. Box 9040, Littleton, CO 80120 or by e-mail at CEO@dishnetwork.com.
Georgia consumers who have additional questions about the settlement may call the Governor’s Office of Consumer Affairs at 404-651-8600 or 800-869-1123.