Monday, January 24, 2011

DISH TV and the Ambiguous Sentence

Dish image from Wikipedia
The waiver of an unexpected service charge of $95, one I was not told would be made to repair DISH networks own equipment, was today denied because the language in the email to me saying it would be made is ambiguous.

Is it? As ol' folks once opined, It depends on whose ox is being gored. I read it in my favor. DISH reads it to suggest future charges will be waived upon purchase of the service fee. I read it that the service charge was to be back-dated to the month in question as part of the agreement to waive. DISH doesn't.

It's no matter, except perhaps to my credit rating, for another month has come and gone, and I have paid the $89.99 for service and deducted the $95 service charge. The service call was made in September, and each month thereafter I have contacted DISH either by email or by telephone. As a change of pace, I contacted them today by the "Chat" feature on the DISH website, which is where the very nice young lady told me the language from the original email was ambiguous.

We then had an interesting and entirely polite exchange regarding whether it should be me, the loyal customer, or DISH, the giant faceless corporation promising the "best customer service in the industry," who should benefit from the perceived ambiguity.

She said she did not have authority to waive a charge of that amount and suggested I call and speak to a supervisor.

Apparently DISH supervisors are not skilled keyboard operators and are thus not allowed to "chat" with customers.

The $95 fee has become a game, at least for me. It has reached the point for DISH that I am receiving automated telephone calls reminding me to pay my bill. The calls are generic. There is apparently no way to confront a customer who pays $89.99 for service but deletes the $95 for a technician driving to a customer's dwelling and re-orienting the satellite dish in the proper direction because it had been installed improperly.

Our contract is up November 6, 2011. I doubt I'll pay the advance termination fee, which means I will be forced -- with no sense of ambiguity at all -- to delete $95 from my bill for the next seven or eight or nine months.

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