Dish Network to settle complaints

Consumers who filed complaints about Dish Network may be eligible to receive restitution under a $5.9 million settlement of consumer-protection allegations by attorneys general in 46 states, including Kansas.

The settlement was announced Thursday 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 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.

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 its customer agreements.

Other complaints included that Dish Network failed to disclose that purchased or leased equipment was previously used or refurbished; referred to competitors' price offers when the goods or services being compared were different; and charged customers' credit cards and debited bank accounts without providing adequate notice and obtaining appropriate authorization.

Unresolved consumer complaints sent to Dish Network or a state attorney general after Jan. 1, 2004, are eligible for the restitution program.

Dish Network will notify consumers who are eligible.

Consumers also can file a complaint with Dish Network, their state attorney general, state consumer office, or with the Better Business Bureau by Dec. 14 to be considered for the restitution program, as long as the complaint is about activity within the past two 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 LLC, Dispute Resolution Team, P.O. Box 9040, Littleton, CO 80120 or by e-mail at CEO@dishnetwork.com.