These guys not only mailed me their junk postcard at home (ignoring my vigorously expressed wish to not get junk mail, including listing our house and each adult in it on the Direct Marketing Associations "Do Not Mail" directory, and adamantly refusing to purchase anything from a junk mail solicitation).
They also had the gall to send me this incredibly deceptive "offer," with its gigantic FREE and the picture of the adorable puppy -- and an entire paragraph of mice type so small that I simply cannot read it; I'm not saying it's hard for me to read, I'm saying that despite my transition bifocals, there is no way I can physically resolve print that small, glasses or not.
By scanning the postcard and then blowing up the scanned image 300%, I was able to make out the following:
- There is a $17.50/mo early cancel penalty (meaning you are screwed if you lose your job or your apartment and have to move before you've paid for 24 months. If you only use it one month, you could have to pay $402.5 in cancel penalties);
- PLUS there's a one-time $99 setup fee -- that one is guaranteed to be "no-how, no way" for a refund, come hell or high water;
- Oh, and did you see the $10/mo in hidden -- well, ok, disclosed in 4-pt type -- equipment rental fees? So every price shown is BS by at least $10/month.
- Don't forget that the mice type also says that there are taxes and fees added --- Not that they could bother to tell you what they are before you sign up. After all, they only use huge computers to track the residents and consumer behavior of each and every person in some 100 million households in America in incredible detail; they couldn't possibly be expected to manage up to FOUR (gasp!) numbers on top of all that data. (Four? Yup -- the taxes and fees from (1) federal government; (1) one state government; and, at most, (1) county and (1) city government. Why, their little computer circuits would fry just thinking about being expected to manage all that complexity and having to tell consumers what the bill would be before they're on the hook for the early cancel fee!
- Best of all, the mice type also says "Prices subject to change." What the hell does that mean?? If they double the price and you decide you have to cancel, are you still on the hook for the $17.50/mo? Probably -- because they told you, right there in 4 point microscopic type!
"We don't respect you. The only thing we care about you is how much money we can make off you.
Moreover, we think our service is so overpriced that we'd never sell any unless we use BS teaser rates and microscopic disclosures to screw you out of your hard-earned money. We'll hide some pretty important details in tiny mice type, and then play hardball when you have to cancel early because you can't afford the service after we've finished jacking up the fees and you see the government fees and taxes added on for the first time . . . with your first bill.
And since we don't respect you, or our offerings, or ourselves, we'll ignore all that and just put cute puppies and the word FREE in big, bold letters everywhere, and rake in the cash from people who are way too trusting of people like us."
As a consumer, you should print that red text and keep it next to your mailbox or the chair you use when reading your mail. Every time you get a postcard or letter that looks like Dish's flyer here, remind yourself of what that kind of advertising is really saying.