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Attorney General Mills Announces $5.9 Million Settlement with DISH Network
July 16, 2009
July 16, 2009
Contact: Kate Simmons Phone: (207) 626-8577
Attorney General Janet T. Mills Announces $5.9 Million Settlement with DISH Network Satellite Company Stacked Up Complaints About Sales Practices
AUGUSTA- Attorney General Janet T. Mills announced that DISH Network, L.L.C. will pay $5,991,000 to settle consumer protection allegations with attorneys general in 46 states. 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, but has agreed to settle the complaints for a sizable amount of money and to change the way it does business.
In addition to the $5.9 million settlement, DISH Network agreed to pay restitution to consumers and to enter into an agreement that limits how it can market services in the future. Maine will receive $20,000 of the settlement to dedicate to consumer protection work.
Attorney General Mills said, “Companies who treat consumers unfairly will be investigated and strongly encouraged to improve their business practices. With this settlement, consumers who received insufficient services or were overcharged by DISH Network, L.L.C will have the opportunity to be reimbursed for their losses.”
The settlement resolves the states’ allegations that DISH Network:
•Refused to accept responsibility for the 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 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; and
•Charged customer credit cards and debited their bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.
Tennessee led the multistate investigation along with Maryland, Missouri, Pennsylvania, and Washington. The following states participated in the settlement: 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.
Unresolved complaints that were sent to DISH Network or the Maine Attorney General since January 1, 2004 are eligible for the restitution program. DISH Network will send a claims notice to those consumers who are eligible for the restitution program. Additionally, Maine consumers can file a complaint no later than December 15, 2009 with the Attorney General’s Office at: Attorney General's Consumer Information and Mediation Service, 6 State House Station, Augusta, Maine, 04333.
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.