Office of the Attorney General
Attorney General Conway Announces Nearly $6 Million National Settlement With DISH Network

Press Release Date:  Thursday, July 16, 2009  
Contact Information:  Shelley Catharine Johnson
Deputy Communications Director
502-696-5659 (office)
 


Attorney General Jack Conway, along with attorneys general of 45 other states, today announced that DISH Network, L.L.C. will pay nearly $6 million to settle consumer protection allegations and will provide a claims process to offer restitution to eligible consumers.

The states alleged the satellite TV provider and its third-party retailers engaged in deceptive and unfair sales practices.  The company has denied any wrongdoing.  In addition to the $5.991 million paid to the participating states and the separate claims process for consumer complaints, DISH Network entered into an agreement that limits how it can market services in the future.  The agreement, known as an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance, has been tendered to the Franklin Circuit Court.

“I am pleased to announce the settlement today and to announce the possibility of consumer restitution for eligible consumers,” said General Conway. “My office is committed to protecting Kentucky consumers and ensuring that they are not misled by deceptive business practices.”  

The settlement resolves the states’ various allegations, including that DISH Network:

  • Refused to accept responsibility for the misconduct of its third-party retailers and installers.
  • Made or allowed telemarketing calls to consumers in violation of Do-Not-Call laws.
  • 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.
  • Charged customer credit cards and debited bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.

For its work on this investigation, Kentucky will receive $125,000.  The 46 states that participated in the investigation are 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.

CONSUMER REFUNDS:

Unresolved complaints sent to DISH Network or the Office of the Attorney General since January 1, 2004 are eligible for the restitution program.  If a consumer filed a complaint during this time period, DISH Network will notify consumers that they are eligible for the restitution program by mailing a claims notice to those consumers. 

Additionally, consumers can file a complaint with DISH Network or the attorney general’s office 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 2 years. 

Consumers who are not satisfied with the company’s offer of restitution may choose to file a claim to be decided by a third-party claims administrator.  Questions or complaints regarding the refund process can be addressed to:  DISH Network, L.L.C., Dispute Resolution Team, P.O. Box 9040, Littleton, CO 80120 or by e-mail at CEO@dishnetwork.com.

To file a consumer complaint with the Office of the Attorney General, visit www.ag.ky.gov or call the Consumer Protection Hotline at 888-432-9257.