Better Business Bureau Spotlights Satellite Service Complaints
Bureau deems satellite TV service "one of the most complained-about industries"
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 8/3/2010 5:39:11 PM
Given that DirecTV has 18 million subs and DISH 14 million, that works out to fewer than one complaint per thousand customers per year for DirecTV and one per 3,000 customers for DISH. But that still makes them "one of the most complained-about industries," said a BBB spokesperson in promoting the stats.
The BBB said many of the complaints were about early termination fees (BB said the complaints were about paying more than $600 to cancel), as well as service issues, upgrades that extended contract periods, and low-cost introductory offers that either didn't come through as advertised or morphed into regular prices higher than the cusomer was expecting.
DirecTV took issue with the stats and the characterization; DISH was looking at the bright side, competitively speaking, while acknowledging it had some work to do.
"That's wrong," said DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer about the $600-plus in cancellation fees. "[I]t's $480 maximum and that's prorated depending on when the customer cancels. Of the tens of thousands of transactions that our agents and installers handle each week, errors or miscommunications do occur from time to time, but we believe that in the overwhelming majority of these transactions, the proper disclosure process is scrupulously followed and each customer is fully informed of the terms and conditions of their agreement."
"While we are pleased that consumers are more satisfied with our service compared to the competition," DISH said in a statement, "we know there is always room for improvement. Customers are our number one priority, and every day we strive to make each interaction with them a positive experience. We appreciate the need to address customer concerns in an effective and timely manner and we will continue to work with the BBB to respond to and resolve these issues as quickly as possible."
I had DIRECTV for about 1 1/2 years before I took a job at DISH Network, and we are talking night and day as far as customer service goes. As a former customer service rep, it was drilled into our heads daily about the importance of helping the customer on every call. From my experience, and the last ACSI reports, DIRECT doesn't take the same approach.
Brendan O'Malley - 1/28/2011 3:26:48 PM EST
Customer satisfaction is one thing, complaints are another. Their satisfaction rating in resolving the complains might be good and all, but that does not stop the high number of complaints filed which means while they fix their mistakes, they are not putting into effect anything to stop those mistakes from repeating.
Just Anaylze Too - 8/6/2010 10:10:09 AM EDT
Interesting, especially in light of a survey I read within the last couple days that satellite companies have relatively high customer satisfaction rates. Both DirecTV and Dish have higher customer satisfaction rates than the top rated cable provider.
Just Analyze - 8/4/2010 5:20:52 PM EDT
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