Don't Waste Your Money: Contact satellite providers after storm damage

(Toledo News Now) - Many people wonder about the differences between cable television and satellite. Obviously, with one you need a dish, but there is a downside to one of these services.

Many people have switched from cable to Dish TV services because satellite TV tends to cost slightly less. Still, there are some downsides: You are no longer dealing with a local cable company and if there's a local issue or tragedy, you may not get the same service.

Jeff DeMoss had his life turned upside down March 2, when storm winds ripped apart the modular home he and his fiance had just moved into. About the only thing left was the post with their electric meter and satellite dish for Dish TV.

"We called to cancel our service, told them what happened.  Basically they said, 'No problem. It will be taken care of,'" said DeMoss.

The only problem was their rented Dish Network receiver was lost.

"We kept getting letters in the mail saying, 'You are going to have to return the receiver or we will have to charge you 300 bucks for it,'" recalled DeMoss.

DeMoss said he even asked an emergency management official to contact dish.

"A couple days later we had money taken out of our account," said DeMoss.

Dish Network gets a C+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, with 13,000 complaints the past three years. However, Dish's contract states leased equipment must be returned "undamaged and in working order," so legally the company did nothing wrong.

After contacting Dish, a spokeswoman from the media relations department promised to look into DeMoss's complaint immediately.

DeMoss is just hoping for a little understanding as he tries to rebuild.

"I understand that they want their property back, but I don't have it. I can only tell them so many times I don't have it," said DeMoss.

In the end, Dish Network apologized for the billing, saying it was not aware of the extent of the storm damage. It will also issue DeMoss and his fiance a full refund.

Bottom line: If you ever lose cable or satellite equipment to an act of nature, you need to escalate the complaint. That way you don't waste your money.

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