DENVER — The Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced today a $2 million settlement agreement with DISH Network L.L.C., a wholly owned subsidiary of DISH Network Corporation (NASDAQ: DISH), regarding the companies’ sales practices. The Attorney General began investigating DISH’s sales practices in 2011, after a DISH price increase triggered numerous consumer complaints. Per terms of the settlement, DISH will now revise its sales disclosures nationwide to more accurately reflect that the company reserves the right to raise prices at any time.
“Customers were upset to see their price raised after DISH sales agents pledged contract rates were ‘locked in,’ ‘frozen,’ or ‘guaranteed’ and in some cases that prices would never change,” said Attorney General John Suthers.
A review of DISH’s oral sales scripts for this time period showed that the company had discontinued its practice of disclosing that the “price is subject to change” during sales calls. Despite sales representations that the rates for consumers’ programming package were locked in for two years, DISH increased its prices during the second year by an average of $5. In response to the Attorney General’s investigation, DISH has agreed to pay $2 million of which $1 million will go to Colorado’s general fund and the remaining $1 million to the Colorado Attorney General’s Office custodial fund to be used for continued consumer protection efforts including future prosecutions of deceptive sales practices.
Attorneys with the Consumer Protection Section of the Attorney General’s Office filed the settlement in Denver District Court today along with a civil Complaint alleging that DISH’s sales practices violated the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. Consumers should visit StopFraudColorado for more information.
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