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Dish Network customers may be eligible for restitution payments

WICHITA— Consumers who filed complaints about DISH Network may be eligible to receive restitution from the company, which has agreed to a $5.9 million settlement of consumer-protection allegations made against it by attorneys general in 46 states, including Kansas.

The settlement was announced today by Kansas Attorney General Steve Six.

States alleged the satellite TV provider and its third-party retailers engaged in deceptive and unfair sales practices. The company denied any wrongdoing.

In addition to the $5.9 million, DISH Network agreed to pay restitution to consumers and to enter into an agreement that limits how it can market services in the future.

Allegations included 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, and failed to disclose all terms and conditions of their customer agreements.

Other complaints included that DISH Network failed to 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 bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.

Unresolved consumer complaints sent to Dish Network or their State Attorney General since Jan. 1, 2004 are eligible for the restitution program.

Dish Network will notify consumers that they are eligible for the restitution program by sending them a claims notice.

Consumers also can file a complaint with Dish Network, their state Attorney General, state consumer office, or with the Better Business Bureau by December 14, 2009 to be considered for the restitution program as long as the complaint is about activity that took place within the past 2 years.

Consumers who are not satisfied with the company's restitution offer 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.

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