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Attorney General Settles Claims Against Dish Network For $5.9 Million

CONTACT: Sarah London, Assistant Attorney General, (802) 828-1106

July 16, 2009 - Vermont, along with 45 states, has negotiated an agreement with DISH Network, L.L.C. to settle allegations that the satellite TV provider and its third-party retailers engaged in unfair and deceptive sales practices. Under the settlement filed today in the Washington Superior Court, Vermont will receive $125,000 of the states’ total $5.9 million payment.

The settlement also requires DISH Network to refund eligible consumers and change its business practices, including its handling of consumer complaints. The Vermont Attorney General’s Office has received more than 300 complaints against the company. “Consumers thought they were getting television and internet services and ended up getting a runaround,” said Attorney General William H. Sorrell. “Now some will get money back and we all should get better services.”

The settlement resolves the states’ allegations that DISH Network:

  • Refused to accept responsibility for 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 customer agreements, including the availability of rebates, credits, and free offers;
  • Did not disclose that purchased or leased equipment was used and/or refurbished; and
  • Charged customer credit cards and debited bank accounts without providing adequate notice or obtaining permission.

CONSUMER REFUNDS:

The company will offer refunds to eligible consumers who filed complaints with the Attorney General’s Office or with DISH Network between January 1, 2004, and July 9, 2009. In addition, consumers who file complaints with DISH Network, the Attorney General’s Office, or the Better Business Bureau within the next 150 days may be eligible if the complaint concerns conduct that occurred within the past 2 years. Consumers who are not satisfied with the company’s offer may file a claim to be decided by a neutral third-party claims administrator.

For information about filing for a refund, contact Vermont’s Consumer Assistance Program at: 802-656-3183 or consumercomplaint@atg.state.vt.us.

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