Sevierville couple gets bill for satellite TV service after canc

Sevierville couple gets bill for satellite TV service after canceling subscription

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"You can record stuff on the hopper and also watch TV on other stations. It never did work properly," customer Gene McBee said. "You can record stuff on the hopper and also watch TV on other stations. It never did work properly," customer Gene McBee said.
On the contract it says the length of commitment is 24 months. On the contract it says the length of commitment is 24 months.
"You do not realize you are signing a contract," said Joyce. "You do not realize you are signing a contract," said Joyce.

By DON DARE
6 On Your Side Consumer Investigator

SEVIERVILLE (WATE) - Across America today more than 34 million people subscribe to satellite TV service, according to an industry association.

While these numbers represent a continued growth, sometimes customers experience installation issues.

A Sevierville couple continued to receive their bill after cutting off their satellite service.

Since he had it installed, Gene McBee hasn't been happy with his satellite service.

He had signed up with Dish Network. He says from the beginning the system didn't work right.

"After days and days of calling, they finally sent another installer out here, they found out the first installer hooked some wires up wrong on the outside of the house," McBee said.

He says he also had trouble with the recording device.

"You can record stuff on the hopper and also watch TV on other stations. It never did work properly," he said.

So last fall, he took down the dish, disconnected the equipment and sent a certified letter telling Dish Network writing he was ending their service.

"We had it five months and it was a disaster every month," he said.

In November, the couple signed with a cable company for their TV service, but they continued getting bills from Dish Network.

Then, earlier this month, they got a call from the satellite company.

"They said we were in arrears of $1,280 for non payment," said Gene's wife, Joyce.

"Well I'm not going to pay it 'cause we don't owe that," Gene said.

6 On Your Side examined the couple's contract to determine if he was right.

But on the contract it says the length of commitment is 24 months.

"You do not realize you are signing a contract," said Joyce.

Joyce says she thought the papers presented by the technician only indicated that the installation had been set up. She said the installer did not go over the contract.

"We should have read it," she said.

Bill Schall, with the Council on Aging, says whenever you sign a commercial document like the McBees signed, examine it carefully.

"People may have an assumption as to what is on the paper, but if they sign it, they agree to what the terms are on the paper," Schall said. "Ask questions and make sure you thoroughly understand."

The final bill sent to the couple includes fees for unreturned equipment. The charges will be lowered once the equipment is returned.

Dish Network tells 6 On Your Side the company's 24-month agreement is explained during the customers initial sales call. Also, the information is available online and should be explained by the service installer.

Dish says the McBees will be charged a cancellation fee which is standard industry policy.


If you have a consumer issue, call the 6 On Your Side Hotline at 865-633-5974 or email ddare@wate.com.

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