How to understand your bill from DISH Network

If DISH Network is hiding fees in your bill, but they aren’t taking your complaint seriously, there are still legal options you can pursue.

If the amount you are seeing on your DISH Network bill doesn’t seem quite right, maybe it’s because you don’t understand what you are being billed for. There are lots of things that show up on your bill after you have agreed to a service, things that were not advertised in any promotional deal. For that reason, it’s important that you review your monthly bills on a regular basis and that you understand what it is you’re being charged for so that you can call attention to things when they are wrong. We explain how to understand your bill from DISH Network.

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Step-by-step guide to understanding your bill

How to view your DISH Network bill

You can view your Dish Network bill at any time using the MyDISH App for Android or iPhone. Just sign in with the same username and password that you use on the regular website. Similarly you can go online to mydish.com and visit the My Bill & Payments section. If you have the Hopper or Wally receiver, you can find your bill in the My Account option in the Main Menu. 

DISH Network will send you an e-mail every month based on the email address that is listed under your profile and you can sign up for electronic bills under the My Preferences section if you want to stop paper bills all together. You can also get text messages every month to alert you when your bill is ready if you text “JOIN” to 34741. Alternatively you can text BALANCE to 34741 to check your current balance whenever. 

Breakdown of your bill from DISH Network

When you get your bill it might start with the monthly television charge based on the package you have, any additional receivers or DVR service, or HD service and then give you a subtotal.

Below that is the add-ons section where add-ons are listed like HBO, dish movie packages, or protection plan.

After that subtitle you will find a list of one-time charges which can include things like one time movie rentals.

These all represent items that are fees originating from Dish Network but beyond this you might find taxes and similar fees which are government fees.

Monthly television

The monthly television fee refers to the quoted price you received for your service bundle. Dish Network does all of their pricing based around the minimum bundle which is usually advertised around $50 per month plus taxes. Anything beyond that with additional channels will incur an additional fee. When you signed up you should have seen an advertisement or promotional information that told you which extra channels were included in your service package and what extra fees, things like free HD for life or movie channels, or sports channels. This is the price that you expect to pay for all of the services and knowing what channels are included will help you regulate your bill and make sure you aren’t being charged twice for certain features or channels.

If you use satellite service you need some kind of receiver. The primary receiver you get from Dish Network is free but if you add any additional receivers they will be listed on your bill. They do charge separately for the hopper DVR service and if you have this you will see that up here at the next line item.

You might receive HD free for life depending on the package you choose and this will be listed as a line item on your bill zeroing out but according to the dish website, HD service is free for every cable package so this is one of the many examples where Dish Network will put the line item in your monthly bill to know the charge will be zero, so that you feel like you are saving money even in situations where you aren’t.

Add-ons

The add-on section comes next. This is the section where you might see additional premium channels like HBO. You might also see the movie channels for a movie channel bundle based on your subscription package. You can opt to pay for the additional protection plan which is basically insurance on the equipment you rent. If you sign up for a two-year contract you will receive six months of this protection plan for free but then your bill will suddenly increase once that six months expires.

One-time charges

Then there are the one-time charges and these can include one-time charges for video rentals, negotiated discounts, installation fees, repair fees, refunds, or other one-time credit to your account.

Taxes

The final section on the bill will include the taxes. There are potentially dozens of taxes you might pay ranging from local taxes, state taxes, all the way up to federal taxes which vary based on your municipality and your county, as well as your state. Dish Network clumps together all of the different taxes they have to pay and simply places them on your bill at the line item of state and local tax without any further explanation. 

This can be confusing given the fact that taxes differ based on where you live and many of these taxes can increase at any time without warning. However, DISH Network has a list of the many taxes you might be paying for on your bill. This can include:

  • Video excise tax (in certain states)
  • Satellite sales tax (in certain states)
  • State surcharges
  • Video gross receipts tax (in certain states) 
  • Service provider tax (in certain states)
  • Video service provider tax (in certain states)
  • Gross earnings tax reimbursement (in certain states)
  • PR receiver property tax (in certain states)
  • Federal Regulatory Fees

Can I refute some of these fees?

Technically you can try and refute some of the charges or fees with Dish Network. You should receive notification from Dish Network if certain fees like taxes or service fees are going to increase so, if you did not receive that notification, you might be able to reach out to customer service and try to refute the fees or any other excessive charges.

Are there other hidden fees I'm being charged for that I'm not aware of?

Beyond these things you need to be aware of the fact that Dish Network like many other telecom companies might have extra charges or hidden fees based on where you live. These can include local taxes or fees that DISH Network has to pay to local governments or state governments which they then place on your shoulders.

It can also include cancellation fees, fees for changing your programming or services, and other one off fees.

What can I do if I was incorrectly charged a fee?

If you were incorrectly charged a fee the first step is to try and fix it with DISH Network customer service. But if they haven’t been able to help you, you have two remaining legal:

  1. The first is to go to small claims court. With this option you need to make sure that your case qualifies for small claims courts as there are maximum monetary amounts that you can ask for in damages and that varies by state. In some cases your situation simply might not apply and in any case it will take a long time to get a resolution.
  2. The second is a more flexible and faster option. You can use consumer arbitration. With consumer arbitration you have more flexibility, can usually get a faster resolution, and what’s more, we can help. 

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