Dish, 46 states settle deceptive practices charges

Fri, 07/17/2009 - 8:55am
Deborah Yao, AP Business Writer

(AP) – Dish Network is paying nearly $6 million to settle charges that it improperly marketed, promoted and sold its products and services.

The satellite TV provider isn't admitting any wrongdoing in settling with attorneys generals in 46 states, including Vermont.

But Dish Network Corp. said Thursday it agreed to pay restitution to affected customers. It also agreed to make fuller disclosures in advertising and written contracts of all terms of service, fees and other information.

"Customer satisfaction has always been a top priority for Dish Network, and we continuously implement new approaches to strengthen our customer relationships," said Tom Cullen, executive vice president of Dish Network. "We are pleased to work with the state attorneys general in a cooperative manner to enhance our products and services."

State officials say Dish failed to disclose all of the terms of service to customers, including rebates, credits and free offers. The states say that when retailers that resold Dish services and installers misled customers, Dish refused to take responsibility.

The four U.S. states not involved in the settlements are California, Illinois, North Carolina and Ohio.

In March, the second-largest satellite TV provider was sued by the federal government for alleged violations of the national Do Not Call Registry. The Federal Trade Commission accused Dish of making thousands of phone calls to people on the Do Not Call list. The FTC said Dish was the biggest violator to date, based on the number of complaints to the agency.

– CED’s Traci Patterson contributed to this report

More Broadband Direct 07/17/09:
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•  Cisco announces 1% layoff
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