It’s Thursday evening and Sophie is sitting down in front of the TV with a bowl full of pasta and a glass of wine, getting ready to watch her favorite AMC drama. There’s only one problem: she no longer gets AMC. If you were a Dish Network customer in the summer of 2012, this could have been you. Even today, Dish customers find themselves agonizing over dropped channels as the company clumsily slogs its way through contract negotiations.

The Problem with Dish

There’s a reason Bloomberg dubbed Dish Network the “meanest company in America.” Its reputation has long been characterized by unforgiving bureaucracy and a general lack of scruples. Dish has frequently come under fire for mistreating employees, largely by cutting corners wherever humanly (or inhumanly) possible. However, their attitudes about business affect customers as well.

Over the years, they have had dozens of contract disputes with major networks, including AMC, Fox News, CBS, and ESPN. Many of these rocky negotiations have resulted in cancellations, leaving customers without the stations they were promised when they first signed on with Dish. Somehow, other cable and satellite services don’t seem to be having quite as much trouble, suggesting that something unique in the way Dish chooses to do business is at fault.

Given that the problem seems systemic, it’s unlikely to change. Now you, the customer, are left wondering what you can do to end all of the disruption in your television service.

Cancelling Dish Network

True, Dish isn't the only television service provider with issues, but nonetheless, it may be time to move on. Luckily, cancelling dish network is not that complicated. Doing it without the obligatory headache is a little trickier.

All you need to do is call customer support and tell them that you want to cancel Dish Network. They will try to convince you to stay and offer pretty new packages to do it, but they’ll eventually give in. When they do, they’ll tell you to mail back your Dish equipment and they’ll inform you of the cancellation fee. Do you feel that growing pressure behind your eyes? That’s a migraine.

The Infamous Early Termination Fees

Dish Network lures customers into long-term contracts by promising them tantalizingly low starting rates, emphasis on the word “starting.” Those rates will eventually rise and that’s when they start turning a profit. That’s why they are so intense about holding customers to cancellation fees no matter what.

Even events that you would think would constitute an honest need to cancel Dish Network will result in fees. Moving to a location that doesn’t support Dish? Just signed up with Dish and neither you nor they can get the service to work? Signed up with Dish because of their offerings and now they no longer offer your favorite stations? Doesn’t matter.

Dish will charge you up to $20 a month for every month left in your contract (at a maximum of $480). What’s more, if you look closely at that long-term contract you so brazenly signed, you’ll see that you are out of luck. They can and will hold you to the fee.

What You Can Do

If you’re determined not to pay, you could try taking Dish to small claims court, especially if they can’t produce a copy of the contract with your signature on it, but that’s unlikely to work out. Besides, you might end up paying more in legal fees than the termination fee you’re trying so hard to avoid.

Right about now you’re probably wishing you could get Dish Network customer support on the phone long enough to give them a piece of your mind. Stop right there. Know that you’re probably beat. However, if you’re cancelling Dish Network and you calmly and politely explain your situation, you just might get a customer service representative willing to cut you some slack. They won’t be able to waive the fee entirely, but they might be able to take the edge off. If you're willing to make that call, we have a few tips and tricks that can help you boost your savings. If you aren't willing to make the call to cancel Dish Network yourself, we have a team of professional bill negotiators waiting to take on that duty for you. Let us help you lower your bill and put more money in your pocket each month, without the headache.