After having bailed from our local cable company, we opted to choose Dish Network because in the Spring of 2011 they indicated that they were in negotiations with Fox Sports West to offer coverage of San Diego Padres Baseball. In addition their package plans seemed reasonably priced when compared to their competitors in this market, Direct TV and AT&T. There was also an option to use a separate Internet Service Provider to effectively separate our home Internet service from TV and DVR programming. However, Dish Network, like other satellite providers requires an Internet connection for a variety of online services that they offer.
Dish Network installation was painless and efficient. The installer attached the satellite receiver to our house and ran all required cables to the rooms inside where we wanted service. Their equipment performed flawlessly and all aspects of the service – except the promised sports programming – were as advertised. In addition, all pricing and payment transactions were clear and easy to execute.
As the Major League Baseball season approached in March 2012, we made a couple of phone inquiries to customer service regarding the availability of San Diego Padres Baseball and the channel where it could be found. We were told that Fox Sports West had raised their rates to the provider, Dish, and that Dish refused to agree on a new contract. Understand, the San Diego Baseball Television market had been monopolized by two providers, Cox and Time Warner Cable for more than 10 years. Prior to 2012 there were no satellite providers or other sources for San Diego Padres baseball. In addition there was no direct communication between Dish Network and San Diego customers regarding the situation. Getting information was like pulling teeth.
After hours of conversations with customer service personnel at Dish at a variety of levels, we finally cancelled the service including a potential penalty of $250 for early termination. Obviously Dish Network didn’t understand the value and impact of local sports programming to their customers, especially those in a market like San Diego where there is tremendous growth potential due to the prior baseball sports broadcast monopoly.
On to more horror stories in the next episode . . .