Tuesday, March 17, 2009

DISH Network: REALLY Desperate to Retain Customers...

Well, my mom is moving to our town to be near us, her son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren. My mom and I spent part of the morning turning off/canceling services. There was no problem when we told them my dad had died and my mom was leaving. When we got to DISH Network, we got a bit of a surprise. We got them on the phone and told them we needed to cancel the service. The only name on the account is my father's and the only phone number on the account is an already disconnected number, one that was canceled back in November 2008 when my father made the mistake of buying the Magic Jack (never EVER buy that stupid thing - it is TERRIBLE!!!). Oh, and of course, both times I spoke to them, we all know damn well I did NOT speak to someone in the US...

Here's about how conversation #1 went:

Me: Hi. I'm calling to cancel my father's account. He passed away and my mom is moving out of state. She's here on the line with me. There is no forwarding address. Please come and pick up the equipment.

DISH: Is your mom the Executor of the estate?

Mom: Yes.

DISH: We need the paperwork stating this in order for us to cancel the account.

Me: She doesn't have the paperwork available and she has no access to a fax machine. Please just cancel the account.

DISH: We can't do that, sir.

Me: Let's try this again. My mom is leaving the house this Friday. There is no forwarding address. Are you willing to just leave the equipment and keep the service running?

DISH: Yes. We cannot cancel the account without the paperwork.

Me: Ok. I guess you'll just keep billing an empty house. Have a good day!

Intermission

Having told my wife about this conversation, she insisted I try again in order to avoid any possible future problems. She suggested I mention my father had passed away and we'd like to give them their equipment back and how did they want to handle it? So, I called again...

Conversation #2:

DISH: How can I help you.

Me: Hi. My father passed away and we'd like to return the equipment. My mom will be moving out of the house this Friday. When would you like to come pick up the equipment?

DISH: Well, we'd need to see a death certificate.

Me: I'm real sorry, but I don't have it and my mom does not have access to a fax.

DISH: Can you mail it?

Me: No. You don't need my dad's death certificate and we're not mailing it. Please come pick up the equipment.

DISH: Well, we can't do that, sir.

Me: Let me speak to a manager, please.

Manager: Hello. I've been briefed and we simply can't cancel the account without the death certificate.

Me: Listen. The account is under my deceased father's name. No one else's. The number you have is already disconnected. I'm just trying to do the right thing here and make sure you guys aren't out your very expensive equipment.

Manager: I'm sorry, but we must follow the security guidelines.

Me: Ok, let's try this again. My mom's leaving the house Friday and is never going back. The equipment is there now. It will be inaccessible as of Friday. Will you pick up the equipment as of Friday? Yes or no.

Manager: Well, sir, we simply can't cancel the account, blah blah blah blah blah.

Me: My question requires a yes or no answer. Will you come by Friday? Yes or no.

Manager: No, sir.

Me: Ok. No problem. I just wanted on record we DID try to return your equipment and you refused to take it. Just out of curiosity, what happens now? Will you simply keep the service going indefinitely? To whom will you be sending the bill? Will it eventually go to collections? From whom will you collect?

Manager: Well, we'd collect from your fath--

Me: Uh huh. But he's not alive any longer. So, then what?

Manager: Well it would eventually just get written off.

Me: So, you'd rather it went through all that, cost you guys for time and labor, rather than just cancel now?

Manager: Well, sir, we just can't cancel the account.

Me: Well, then, I guess we have nothing more to discuss. I'M not liable for the account. My MOM'S not liable for the account, so good luck with that and have a great day!

Manager: Thank you, sir. You have a nice day too.

Hang up.

Seriously? Are they THAT desperate to retain customers? Is it a thing about having customers on the books, or something? In any case, my mom's not leaving a forwarding address and isn't on the account anyway. So much for that!

And that's what you get when you outsource. People who simply aren't even allowed to think outside the box and who cost businesses more money.

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