Dishman, IVR’s and Dropping the Ball

I received a lengthy comment from Lisa C. and decided to share it as an entire post.  There are so many things to be addressed in this from a Customer Service standpoint.  We’ll try and tackle them this week.


Many thanks Lisa, for this terrifically amusing (although not to you at the time) and fascinating article. To our readers, enjoy!


Thanks for reading,






DISH Network is the worst, hands down, when it comes to automated phone service. I’ve gone through the phone system instruction seven times in the last two months in an attempt to resolve my technical problem. This annoying automated male voice (Who shall be known henceforth as DishMan) asks me, after pressing the correct number for technical support, to “check the batteries on your remote.” I do so, because I don’t want to appear scatterbrained (God forbid) in the opinion of Dish Man. Batteries good.  DishMan begins each sentence or question with a perky ‘Okay…’ or ‘Let’s see…’ in an apparent attempt to ingratiate me. I did a reboot. I reset the remote. I went through this each of the seven times I’ve called. I even had a new receiver sent to replace what I assumed was a broken receiver. Not the problem.  I hang up on DishMan as he is launching into a detailed version of which page my manual covers my problem.  (Did my new friend DishMan underestimate my ability to read the manual before calling?  I am a female, ya know.)

For my most recent foray into the beloved world of customer service, the human person (for whom I waited an astounding 46 minutes) told me I must go through the steps by phone before a technician is sent, or pay the price out-of-pocket for the call, which is $29.95 per hour, including drive time. I refused to go through the steps yet again. I asked to have a technician sent and reminded them of my warranty. I overheard this actual human person, Tiffany, speaking to another actual human person about her love life in explicit detail. I was almost so bored with the aforementioned 46 minutes of mind-numbing phone hell to actually care about her love life. She returns to the line to tell me that I will have to speak to a supervisor. This sounds like a fantabulous idea to me. Then, dead line. Ooops, we were cut off. Damn, I won’t find out how her love life turned out.


I call back.  This time, after chatting with automated Dish Man, a conversation sprinkled with my, “Sure thing, &%#$@!” to his cheerful requests, I get a human in 22 minutes. I note that this is less than half of my original wait. I count my blessings. I tell this new human, who has just completed a weeklong community course in English as a Second Language, that for two months I’ve been experiencing the same problem, and I need help. I want a human to come to my home. I want that human to be marginally more versed in satellite repair than myself, if that isn’t too much to ask.  I remind her that I’m still under warranty and throw in that DishMan has called me a valued customer at least twenty times. She is unimpressed, but schedules the human technician after two jaunts of “Um, hold on a minute…I need to… um…like…just hold on, okay?” She schedules the service call. I rejoice in that fact that although I’ve used foul language with automated DishMan, I’ve kept my actual conversations with the humans quite professional; cordial even. “Thanks for your help, honey-dumplin, I’ll be home on Thursday awaiting my technician!” (No, I didn’t SAY ‘honey-dumplin,’ I only thought it.)

I’m supposed to have a technician here between 8 am and noon today. I mean “was supposed to have…” I called in at 12:30pm to the automated system only to be told by DishMan, “Okay, I see that you have a service call scheduled for (second automated voice; this time female) Thursday, March 15th, 8 am to 12 pm. (now back to male voice) Please continue to wait for the allotted time.” Then I’m rerouted to the main menu. Okay, I think, perhaps they meant Eastern Time. Cool. I think I’m being quite reasonable, considering that I’m a bit limited to television programming because I live in a remotely rural area. I am also not afforded the luxury of finding and killing DishMan with my bare hands, but I digress. It is now 2:40 p.m. I’ve called back, spoken to a human (31 minutes this time) and, while I didn’t use an epithet, I did become belligerent. They tell me the technician is “en route.”


I place yet another call to DISH and get a human in 18 minutes this time. I’m beginning to think that 18 minutes on hold is acceptable. It is not. However, this human tells me that the technician could not reach me by phone so my work order was cancelled. I inform him that I made the original appointment with both my cell and home numbers. He proceeds to recite my home number AND cell number to me and actually says, “We didn’t have the right number on file. It must have been a typo.”


ME: You just recited both of my numbers correctly.

DISH REP: Um, well, Ma’am, they must have the wrong number.

ME: Okay, so “they” have both my numbers wrong. Do you have the address?


–DISH REP recites my correct address.—


ME: That’s the address. It is correct, as are both my numbers. So, why didn’t the technician come to the correct address?”

DISH REP: I don’t know, Ma’am, I guess the technician was unable to find you.

ME: And apparently unable to read both of the phone numbers off the work order, as well.

DISH REP: I already told you that both of your numbers were wrong in our system.

ME: “But you just recited them to me from your end. Correctly. Without my help.”

I actually hear his eyes rolling. HEAR them.

DISH REP: So, um…do you want to cancel your work order for today, then?


No, I want to banish all idiotic phone reps to a deserted island and make them listen to the country music tune “Elvira” until their ears bleed. –Giddy up a oom papa oom papa mow mow.–


ME: I thought the work order was already cancelled.

DISH REP:  Well, I see your notes and it appears you are about ready to just cancel the work order.

ME: Does it mention in your notes that I’ve been trying to resolve this problem for two months? Send the technician tonight, which is in accordance with your claim of 24-hour service. I’ll wait.


He finally gets both of my numbers, again, and tells me that a technician is en route, again. Ten minutes later, I did get a call from the actual technician, who obviously went to the same ESL class as the aforementioned phone rep, except this guy took the mini-course. He asked for directions, said he was twenty minutes from my home, and was on his way. THAT was an hour ago.




The technician just left. Yes, he spoke broken English, but he was nice. God bless him. He didn’t have a clue about automated phone hell, but someone from the company must have let him know I was on the warpath. He seemed pretty nervous. Turns out that a wire was chewed through on the outside of our house. Squirrel probably. I actually suggested this in one of my many phone calls. I got either silence or condescension. Surely there are decent folks that work for DISH Network.


All is working now, and I feel better for venting. I get the whole, “Why the hell don’t you just change providers?” but, I say you gotta make it right by persevering.


Lisa C


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s