Is this a customary practice of dtvpal.com? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 28 Old 07-10-2009, 11:38 AM - Thread Starter
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After reading reviews from this forum about which CECB is the best, since there is no Zenith dtt901 available either online or offline, I've decided to buy for my mom, a dtvpal plus from dtvpal.com. The order calculator came out all right $29.98 ($59.99 + Shipping charge = $69.98 minus $40 coupon) so I went ahead with the order. 3 days later when I checked my CC activities, I found out they have charged me a full $69.98 instead. Making a call to Dish network and talked to a CSR, he told me that DN credits my account, a one time customer account, with $40. When asked why there is a discrepancy between order invoice shown $29.98 and final charged to my CC $69.98, the poor CSR has no idea. He also has no idea how I can get my credit $40 back, except saying that they will probably mail me a check, when he isn't sure. I wrote an email to DN a few business days ago and still have not received any response.

Since I have checked there is no bad reputation with dtvpal.com before I ordered the converter, I just wonder am I the only one having this problem or DN just has a new creative gimmick to keep the cash on hand, until being refunded by the government. Regardless, this is a very illegal practice and bad for business reputation.

PS: And the converter box works just fine as described by many in this forums. For now.
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post #2 of 28 Old 07-10-2009, 01:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogExtra View Post

After reading reviews from this forum about which CECB is the best, since there is no Zenith dtt901 available either online or offline, I've decided to buy for my mom, a dtvpal plus from dtvpal.com . . .

Since I have checked there is no bad reputation with dtvpal.com before I ordered the converter, I just wonder am I the only one having this problem or DN just has a new creative gimmick to keep the cash on hand, until being refunded by the government. Regardless, this is a very illegal practice and bad for business reputation.

Dish Network's busness practices/reputation? LOL!

In this CECB forum there are hundreds, if not thousands of Dish Network horror stories going back more than a year.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #3 of 28 Old 07-14-2009, 10:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Update: I still have not received any response from Dish Networks on my overcharge. I don't think they can't concoct any reasonable response at all. So I am dispute the charge with my CC.
Another thought: They have to be very desperate with cash and/or lousy earning report.
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post #4 of 28 Old 07-15-2009, 04:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogExtra View Post

Update: I still have not received any response from Dish Networks on my overcharge. I don't think they can't concoct any reasonable response at all. So I am dispute the charge with my CC.
Another thought: They have to be very desperate with cash and/or lousy earning report.

That is why many of us purchased it at Kmart or Sears. No shipping charge and Coupon discounted right away.

If I were you. I would call my credit card company and dispute $40 of the total charge. Explain to them Dish's mistake and lack of a prompt fix. I bet you when the CC company contacts Dish it will be fixed. The $40 dispute will give you the $40 back right away. No waiting. This is dishes problem. Let them take responsibility
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post #5 of 28 Old 07-15-2009, 04:48 PM
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You don't say anything about having entered the coupon number, presumably you had an unused government CECB coupon, and entered the number and expiration date during the order process? I say unused, because at least one person here had problems and later realized they used the wrong card, the one that had already been spent.

Have you gone to the NTIA site to see if the coupon shows as having been used? It may help to know whether it's a problem with the coupon not registering, or that the coupon was accepted but the discount was not applied.

There were a handful of people here who had this problem during the first week of the dtvpal.com orders, their coupons were accepted, but they got charged the full price. I have not heard about this being a problem since then. I am pretty sure Dish credited the credit card, it was not done by checks in the mail, I sure wouldn't accept that as a solution, especially not when they use fudge words like 'probably.'
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post #6 of 28 Old 07-15-2009, 10:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

You don't say anything about having entered the coupon number, presumably you had an unused government CECB coupon, and entered the number and expiration date during the order process? I say unused, because at least one person here had problems and later realized they used the wrong card, the one that had already been spent.

Have you gone to the NTIA site to see if the coupon shows as having been used? It may help to know whether it's a problem with the coupon not registering, or that the coupon was accepted but the discount was not applied.

There were a handful of people here who had this problem during the first week of the dtvpal.com orders, their coupons were accepted, but they got charged the full price. I have not heard about this being a problem since then. I am pretty sure Dish credited the credit card, it was not done by checks in the mail, I sure wouldn't accept that as a solution, especially not when they use fudge words like 'probably.'

Kmart works better and no shipping charges
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post #7 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 06:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

Kmart works better and no shipping charges



But if the coupon has already been used at Dish...
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post #8 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 09:23 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

You don't say anything about having entered the coupon number, presumably you had an unused government CECB coupon, and entered the number and expiration date during the order process? I say unused, because at least one person here had problems and later realized they used the wrong card, the one that had already been spent.

Have you gone to the NTIA site to see if the coupon shows as having been used? It may help to know whether it's a problem with the coupon not registering, or that the coupon was accepted but the discount was not applied.

There were a handful of people here who had this problem during the first week of the dtvpal.com orders, their coupons were accepted, but they got charged the full price. I have not heard about this being a problem since then. I am pretty sure Dish credited the credit card, it was not done by checks in the mail, I sure wouldn't accept that as a solution, especially not when they use fudge words like 'probably.'

This is a coupon just issued within the last couple weeks on June 26. My mother has not applied for coupons until we applied in her behalf. Since I have studied and have made decision what converter to buy, when the coupon arrived, we ordered the converter. There is a zero chance the coupon has been used. We also had one free, unused coupon (until yesterday - bought a CM-7000 from Frys - No shipping charge and no sleazy withholding but the text caption is darn small that an old woman has to use her magnifier glass to read it on the TV.)

I'm sure DN has some excuses as always but just for others' entertainment

1) The coupon number is checked before the check out. The process is automated on line. I've tried my used coupon on dtvpal.com and it rejected right away. The price shown would be full. (I prepare my case thoroughly with my CC)
2) The invoice is shown $29.68

Of course, DN would issue a credit because it will be legal disaster if they don't. I'm not concern about that but this is a principle issue. If I have known they do that I would not buy it from them. So is the purpose of this post to forewarn other about dtvpal.com's practice.

It's a sleazy tactic to keep the extra cash on hand without telling the consumers and they will dispense the cash when required by law. See my CC correspondent below.
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post #9 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 09:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Date: 07-16-2009 09:44:50
From: Credit Card Support
Subject: Dispute
Message:
Dear XXX:

We are writing in response to your most recent inquiry
regarding your account listed below:

Account Number: xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xx80


While we are eager to assist our cardholders with any
inquiries that may arise when using their credit cards,
there are sometimes limitations that prevent our
assistance.

We have contacted the merchant on your behalf on July 16,
2009 at 1-800-333-3474 and spoke with June. The merchant
indicated that you would receive a $40.00 rebate check in
the mail for this transaction. Per the merchant, the
rebate check has been processed and you should receive
within 30 days.

Under the current circumstances, we simply do not have the
rights to force the merchant to refund your money. We
must allow the merchant to issue you the rebate check
according to their policy. Should you not receive the
rebate check in a timely manner contact the merchant
directly at 1-800-333-3474.

The disputed amount will appear on your next billing
statement and be included in the balance on that
statement. Please follow the instructions for payment on
your statement.

We are sorry that we are unable to assist you with this
matter.

If you have additional questions, please contact us
through e-mail or call us at the toll-free number noted on
the back of your card. For faster service, please sign in
to your account to send us a secured e-mail. We will be
happy to assist you. For your convenience, we are
available 24 hours a day to serve your credit needs.

Sincerely,

YYY
Email Customer Service Representative

--------------------------------------------------------

Why would I have to go through this hassle from calling DN and wait, and wait... to talk to a CSR about the discrepancy, sending email to billing asking for an explanation and a promise to issue a credit to my CC? I gave DN plenty of chances to correct itself but in the end, I have to take the issue to my CC. The issue will remain unsolved until I receive my "rebate" check.

To conclude, this is a detail post about my dtvpal order and DN practice for those still wants to have more challenges in life by dealing with DN. Maybe you got luckier, maybe you are as lucky as I am or maybe you are worse.
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post #10 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 11:04 AM
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Sorry this happened to you!!! That is not the resolution I would have expected (or demanded). I think you should report Dish to the NTIA. The NTIA has cancelled CECB distribution of other companies for a lot less.
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post #11 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 12:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

Sorry this happened to you!!! That is not the resolution I would have expected (or demanded). I think you should report Dish to the NTIA. The NTIA has cancelled CECB distribution of other companies for a lot less.

Thanks for mentioning to report to NTIA. I was about to let it passed. Now DN can blame you for all the trouble they're going to get.
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post #12 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 02:07 PM
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Dish took your coupon, told you it was one price, and then charged both you and the government for that extra $40. They ought to get in trouble, this is not a mail in rebate program from the customer's standpoint, and the program was designed that way, so you don't have the up front out of pocket expense.
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post #13 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 02:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

Dish took your coupon, told you it was one price, and then charged both you and the government for that extra $40. They ought to get in trouble, this is not a mail in rebate program from the customer's standpoint, and the program was designed that way, so you don't have the up front out of pocket expense.

Oh Oh! You're right, that they have charged both me & the government each $40. On the NTIA website, FAQ indicates that coupon redemption from government is expected no more than 5 business days and directly deposit to the retailer account of choice. And that's just ONE me. I will indicate that in detail in my letter to the NTIA.
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post #14 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 04:50 PM
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First,
go back to the website and see if you can still review your order.
Many online merchants keep those pages accessible for a bit.

If you can pull up that $29.98 balance due transaction,
PRINT IT !
It indicates intension to apply the coupon to the transaction.

Second,
send a copy of that balance due page
(Indication of intent to apply the CECB $40 coupon),
that DN reply email you posted above,
and the printed page from the NTIA site indicating the coupon has been used.
They will need at least those three to confirm a transaction impropriety.

Third,
prey they don't send you a $40 voucher ONLY good for more DN product!
LOL...Wont that suck...
If they meant to reimburse you, they would have just enacted a "remit" to your CC.

They have not only no right to charge you one unit of $40,
then collect $40 from the NTIA/CECB government program too.

But they certainly have no right ACRUE INTEREST on YOUR money meanwhile!

Make that "Mistake" on a 1000 transactions,
and you have a sizable interest return on it.

Just my $0.02's worth...

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not along his long axis,
but head over heel
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post #15 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 10:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

But if the coupon has already been used at Dish...

Then it is a CC fight with DIsh. Send Charlie our love.
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post #16 of 28 Old 07-16-2009, 10:58 PM
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What CC was used? Name of card? Amex? Visa? Discover?

Handled poorly. This is not a Dish policy but a mistake. I would not pay the CC and talk to a manger at CC company telling them you will cancle their CC if they do not support you
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post #17 of 28 Old 07-17-2009, 09:06 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

What CC was used? Name of card? Amex? Visa? Discover?

Handled poorly. This is not a Dish policy but a mistake. I would not pay the CC and talk to a manger at CC company telling them you will cancle their CC if they do not support you

This is Chase Visa CC.
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post #18 of 28 Old 07-17-2009, 10:00 AM
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I suspect the CC company misunderstood the situation. They think it's acceptable to do nothing because Dish gave them the impression that you were contesting a Dish rebate program. With company rebate programs, it is common practice to mail a rebate check, and 30 days is fast by rebate standards.

But this is not a Dish program, and as the NTIA has made perfectly clear, it is not a rebate. The discount occurs at the time of sale. Dish must operate under the government's rules, and they are not free to treat this like a rebate.
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post #19 of 28 Old 07-17-2009, 11:48 AM
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I'm borrowing this post from the DVD Recorder Forum to illustrate the term "Caveat Emptor."

Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

People also tend not to heed advice in the first place: in thread after thread, from the day it was first sold, the Sony RDR-VX55 has been repeatedly ripped to shreds as a completely useless machine that locks out recording if it so much as smells a false copy inhibit signal from three states away. It is the single most complained-about, most-sensitive machine out there, all anyone has to do is google the model number to see this. Yet, people continue to buy the Sony in droves and then come here to ask how they can solve its "won't record this n that" problem. So the cycle repeats. Maybe if we warn against this rotten Sony and suggest alternatives enough times, it will finally sink in and we'll save more people from getting stuck with it.

And my response:

There are two problems here that apply to potential purchasers and a variety of products.

First, a potential purchaser does not research a product before purchase. Buyers see a Sony or a Panasonic EZ series combo recorder at their store. Then they recall that Sony and Panasonic have always been good brands. They rely on the good will these brands have established with their earlier products. They purchase a Sony or a Panasonic EZ series combo recorder only to find that these products are problematic at best and a nightmare at the worst.

Second, a potential purchaser does research a product before purchase but dismisses others' advice as anecdotal, i.e., that's only one person's opinion. It doesn't matter that many other owners/users have provided the same advice. The potential purchaser reasons "my experience will be different." You betcha!

An additional comment:

This applies to a company and its business practices as much as the product itself.

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

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post #20 of 28 Old 07-17-2009, 05:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lexus2108 View Post

Kmart works better and no shipping charges

And Dish Network will charge you sales tax on the full amount even if your state only permits tax on the amount over $40.
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post #21 of 28 Old 07-17-2009, 07:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DigaDo View Post

I'm borrowing this post from the DVD Recorder Forum to illustrate the term "Caveat Emptor."



And my response:

There are two problems here that apply to potential purchasers and a variety of products.

First, a potential purchaser does not research a product before purchase. Buyers see a Sony or a Panasonic EZ series combo recorder at their store. Then they recall that Sony and Panasonic have always been good brands. They rely on the good will these brands have established with their earlier products. They purchase a Sony or a Panasonic EZ series combo recorder only to find that these products are problematic at best and a nightmare at the worst.

Second, a potential purchaser does research a product before purchase but dismisses others' advice as anecdotal, i.e., that's only one person's opinion. It doesn't matter that many other owners/users have provided the same advice. The potential purchaser reasons "my experience will be different." You betcha!

An additional comment:

This applies to a company and its business practices as much as the product itself.

I failed to understand your implication on your post above and how it is related to this thread. If you have any beef with DN, make another post and/or take it to them.

As far as I know

1) DTVPal Plus is a fine product. My experience is limited but I rate it's better than CM-7000. But that's just my opinion and I have both of them.

2) If you search horror stories on DTV, DN, cable companies, ATT, Verizon, Intel, Microsoft, IBM, Apples, Linksys, Netgear and the likes, you literally could find hundred of posts. Do you still buy products, services from them? Or because you have not personally encounter one bad experience yet so your experience would be different? They are name brand too, aren't they?

Mind you, the ratio of those hundred horror posts relative to millions of their customers is infinitesimal (not really but I tease your understanding in mathematics ). The logic is very simple. If the majority of their customers are not happy with them, THEY ARE DEAD. But they have holes in their business just as others, and some holes are more publicly than others. Most customers are very aware of that and most important, how he evaluates his comfort level while dealing with such company. If the comfort level is low, particularly if the person is not well verse in analytical and logical thinking, it's very easy to paint a broad brush. I'm sure you will find a lot of broad brushes everywhere.

Back to my experience. As far as I know, there is no similar public post detailed the experience as I have at DTVpal.com. I'm sure I'm not the only customer they have and I don't make the mistake to think that I'm smarter than all of their customers. If I know such practice in advance, I would go to solidsignal.com to buy the DTVPal Plus. And I think solidsignal.com also has some fair shares of complains too.

My intention of this post is to detail of dtvpal.com and DN's trick. The purpose is to inform so people can make an informed decision about buying a converter with a government coupon at dtvpal.com. It's as detail as possible and it's not going further than that. If I need a social study of why people buy things or the psychological make-up of consumers, I rather go some place else. It's pretty weird when DN, DTV, cable companies and the like have millions and millions of customers, some of those hate (name your company here) thought they are smarter than all of the customers.
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post #22 of 28 Old 07-18-2009, 08:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MadDogExtra View Post

I failed to understand your implication on your post above . . .

DTVPal Plus is a fine product. My experience is limited but I rate it's better than . . .

Mind you, the ratio of those hundred horror posts relative to millions of their customers is infinitesimal . . . The logic is very simple. If the majority of their customers are not happy with them, THEY ARE DEAD. But they have holes in their business just as others, and some holes are more publicly than others. Most customers are very aware of that and most important, how he evaluates his comfort level while dealing with such company. If the comfort level is low, particularly if the person is not well verse in analytical and logical thinking, it's very easy to paint a broad brush. I'm sure you will find a lot of broad brushes everywhere.

Back to my experience. As far as I know, there is no similar public post detailed the experience as I have at DTVpal.com. I'm sure I'm not the only customer they have and I don't make the mistake to think that I'm smarter than all of their customers. If I know such practice in advance, I would go to solidsignal.com to buy the DTVPal Plus . . .

My intention of this post is to detail of dtvpal.com and DN's trick. The purpose is to inform so people can make an informed decision about buying a converter with a government coupon at dtvpal.com.

Thousands of posts detailing others' experience with Dish Network and the DTV PAL may be found in this thread:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1001979

The first 1,800 (or so) posts are largely prospective as these products had not yet made their way into the marketplace.

Back in those days I was interested in purchasing one or another incarnation of the DTV PAL. Several of my earlier posts demonstrate that interest.

Then with post #1,809 (6/27/08) purchasers started to take delivery of these products. As the horror stories started to surface I continued to read owner/user comments concerning these products and Dish Network's indifferent product support and questionable business practices. It became clear (to me) that this company and their products are best to avoid.

Subsequently I purchased ten Zenith and Zinwell CECBs on behalf of my immediate and extended family. I've also set up CECBs for those in my church.

Since post #1809 there have been more than 4,600 posts added to the linked thread; many where owner/users tell horror stories concerning Dish Network and the DTV PAL.

Your story is one of many. It should be helpful for others.

If one must have a DTV PAL it's best to purchase it at KMart. In recent months our local KMarts have very quickly been selling out their shipments of Zenith CECBs while the DTV PALs sit on KMart shelves collecting dust.

Notice the relevance of my signature block:

"A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME WILL SMELL AS SWEET. BUT IT DOES NOT FOLLOW THAT WHATEVER WE CHOOSE TO CALL A ROSE WILL POSSESS THE ROSE'S FRAGRANCE."

--Benjamin Breckinridge Warfield (1917)
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post #23 of 28 Old 07-21-2009, 12:45 PM - Thread Starter
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Update for those interested:

I've called DN today and talked to a CSR about my fictitious account with DN. She acknowledged that I have $40 credit in my account and asked if I want to have it refunded. The point is if I don't call DN today, that money will sit in there until I call and ask for refund. So the check by DN to me as indicated by June of DN to my CC rep is also a fictitious promise.

NTIA Consumer Support person has contacted me and asked for support documents. I will send to NTIA the invoice, my CC email, the point I've listed above. DN has pushed its luck too far. The issue can be resolved nicely way before it is escalated to this level.
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post #24 of 28 Old 07-21-2009, 01:13 PM
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I am glad the NTIA was responsive. When you are dealing with a bully, it pays to have a bigger one on your side.
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post #25 of 28 Old 07-21-2009, 02:07 PM
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post #26 of 28 Old 07-21-2009, 03:02 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

http://www.ct.gov/ag/cwp/view.asp?A=3673&Q=443450.

Time to start collect few thousands more complain till 2015. And DN is start stashing $ away for 2015 settlement.
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post #27 of 28 Old 07-21-2009, 11:36 PM
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As long as they don't raise my subscription rate.

(Well, they undoubtedly will 2 or 3 dollars in February, like they do every year now, but at least no more than that I hope.)
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post #28 of 28 Old 07-27-2009, 03:59 AM
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I wish I had found this thread earlier.

I just purchased the DTVPal+ online last week and used the Gov't coupon as well. Like the original poster, I used a Credit Card and the final amount due was ~$29.

Did the OP get everything resolved with the amount billed/refund? How long did it take to get the unit delivered? I'm hoping at least that worked out OK.
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