Kathleen G. Kane - Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General - Protecting Pennsylvanians

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July 17, 2009

Attorney General Corbett announces $6 million consumer protection settlement with DISH Network

DISH-Network-250x275HARRISBURG - Attorney General Tom Corbett today announced that Pennsylvania, working together with 45 other states, has reached a nearly $6 million consumer protection settlement with Colorado-based DISH Network

The agreement resolves a series of allegations involving Dish Network, including:

  • Not fully informing consumers about the terms and conditions of their contracts or "free" offers.
  • Failing to disclose that some equipment was used or refurbished.
  • Advertising prices without adequately disclosing the applicability of rebates.
  • Misrepresentations by third-party retailers, who were promoting and selling DISH Network services.
  • Violations of state and federal "Do Not Call" laws.

"It is important for consumers to have complete and accurate information when they are shopping for services, including satellite TV, so they understand exactly what they are getting for their money," Corbett said.  "This agreement helps resolve hundreds of complaints here in Pennsylvania and improves the way these services are advertised and promoted in the future."

Corbett said the agreement requires DISH Network to pay restitution or other appropriate relief to all consumers who have valid complaints. The settlement covers unresolved complaints that have already been filed with the Attorney General's Office, dating back to January 2004, along with any new complaints filed during the next 150 days.

Pennsylvania residents can call the Attorney General's Consumer Protection hotline at 1-800-441-2555, or file an online consumer complaint.

Corbett said the settlement also requires DISH Network to fully comply with the Consumer Protection Law in the way they advertise rebates, "free" offers and other promotions, in order to prevent any consumer confusion.  Additionally, the company is required to clearly disclose all terms and conditions in their contracts, must require all third-party retailers to comply with the terms of the settlement and must obey all state and federal "Do Not Call" laws.

Under the terms of the agreement, DISH Network will pay $5,991,000 to settle consumer protection allegations with Attorneys General in 46 states, including Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, and Wyoming.

The Assurance of Voluntary Compliance was filed in Commonwealth Court by Senior Deputy Attorney General Thomas Blessington of the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection.

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