(Phoenix, Ariz. – June 16, 2009) Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that DISH Network, L.L.C. will pay $5,991,000 to settle consumer protection allegations with attorneys general in 46 states. The states alleged the satellite TV provider and its third-party retailers engaged in deceptive and unfair sales practices. The company denied any wrongdoing.
In addition to the $5.9 million, DISH Network agreed to pay restitution to consumers and to enter into an agreement that limits how it can market services in the future.
Attorney General Goddard said, “I am pleased to announce the settlement today and to announce the possibility of consumer restitution for eligible consumers.”
The settlement resolves the states’ allegations, including that DISH network:
- Refused to accept responsibility for the misconduct of its third-party retailers and installers;
- Made telemarketing calls to consumers in violation of do-not-call rules;
- Failed to disclose all terms and conditions of their customer agreements, including the availability of rebates, credits and free offers;
- Did not disclose that purchased or leased equipment was previously used and/or refurbished;
- Made reference to competitors’ price offers when the goods or services being compared were materially different; and
- Charged customer credit cards and debited bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.
Unresolved complaints sent to DISH Network or the Arizona Attorney General’s Office since January 1, 2004 are eligible for the restitution program. DISH Network will notify eligible consumers by sending a claims notice to those consumers. Additionally, consumers can file a complaint with Dish Network, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office or with the Better Business Bureau by December 14, 2009 to be considered for the restitution program as long as the complaint is about activity that took place within the last two years. Consumers who are not satisfied with the company’s offer of restitution may choose to file a claim to be decided by third-party claims administrator. Questions or complaints regarding the refund process can be addressed to: DISH Network, LLC., Dispute Resolution Team, P.O. Box 9040, Littleton, CO 80120 or by email at CEO@dishnetwork.com.
Tennessee led the multi-state investigation along with Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Washington. Arizona, along with the following states participated in the settlement: Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
Assistant Attorney General Rebecca Salisbury handled this case. Copies of the settlement are available on the Attorney General’s Web site, www.azag.gov.
If you believe you have been a victim of fraud, please contact the Attorney General’s Office in Phoenix at 602.542.5763, in Tucson at 520.628.6504 or outside the Phoenix and Tucson metro areas at 1.800.352.8431. To file a complaint in person, the Attorney General’s Office has satellite offices throughout Arizona with volunteers available to help. Locations and hours are posted on the Attorney General’s Web site. An online complaint form is also posted on the Attorney General’s Web site.
For more information, please contact Anne Hilby at 602.542.8019.