Satellite

Satellite Complaints Add Up

8/09/2010 12:01 AM Eastern

Washington — The Better
Business Bureau handed
cable operators some publicrelations
ammunition last
week in their battle with satellite
competitors.

The bureau put a big spotlight
on consumer complaints about
satellite-TV service. “In the past
three years, more than 53,000
customers have complained
to the Better Business Bureau
about satellite TV providers,
with 39,000 of those complaints
filed against DirecTV and 13,000
filed against Dish Network,” the
BBB said in a release.

It advised consumers to read
their contracts closely before
signing up.

Given that DirecTV has 18
million subscribers and Dish
Network 14 million, that works
out to fewer than one complaint
per 1,000 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,”
a BBB spokesperson said in promoting
the stats.

The BBB said many of the
complaints were about early
termination fees (it 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.

DirecTV spokesman Robert
Mercer said cancellation fees
max out at $480 and are prorated,
not $600. Dish said, in part,
“we know there is always room
for improvement. Customers
are our No. 1 priority, and every
day we strive to make each
interaction with them a positive
experience.”

September