BBB issues warning about satellite television providers - WBTV 3 News, Weather, Sports, and Traffic for Charlotte, NC

BBB issues warning about satellite television providers

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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The Better Business Bureau is issuing a warning about DirectTV and Dish Network.

It's a case of buyer beware.

The BBB says in the past three years, it has received more than 50,000 complaints against the two companies.

Fort Mill resident Craig McMahon says he can understand why. He was watching cable TV one day, when he saw an ad for Dish Network.

"The commercials were advertising considerably cheaper for the same channels. So when I called, I asked if I was going to get the same exact channels, and they said yes," he says.

Same shows...cheaper price...he was sold. But it didn't take him long to discover he wasn't happy.

"When they hooked it up, I didn't have that," McMahon says. When he called to complain, "they were not very apologetic."

So, he wanted out. He says DISH told him to mail all the equipment back or face a $900 fine. But, here's the kicker.

"They wanted us to go on top of our roof to get the dish off the roof," McMahon says. "We told them absolutely not."

The Better Business Bureau's Tom Bartholomy isn't surprised. "That's the theme," he says. "Even with 50,000 some complaints against the major satellite providers, the major theme is - what's promised up front and what's actually delivered don't always match up."

So, the BBB is urging you to get promotions in writing, to read contracts carefully, and to check your bill closely every month.

"With that many complaints in that short of time," Bartholomy says, "all about the same type of issue, there's a problem with the way it's being sold."

We contacted both Dish and DirecTV. We have not yet gotten a response from Dish, but DirecTV issued the following statement:

"The overwhelming majority of our more than 18.6 million customers are happy with our service. But, as with any other company that deals with such a large number of customers, we don't always get it right every time.  Providing excellent customer service is something we have always prided ourselves on so we are working to fix these issues so that we can regain the higher rating we've had in the past."

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