Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tales from the Lost Months: Dishin' It Up 2.0 (Another Cautionary Tale) Part I

Before I start this, let me just note a few things: As of this writing, Australia is under water, Egypt is boiling over with protest, the nation of Malawi is considering outlawing farts, and famine, death, pestilence and war are ravaging the earth. A lot of shitty things are happening to a lot of people, much of it undeserved, and my paltry, first-world-white-guy problems amount to a tiny fraction of less than nothing in the big scary grand scheme of things. Yet, even in the face of all of the above, I’m still going to adjust my sac and complain about them anyway, cause they pissed me off at the time.

You’re welcome to read on, but please do so knowing that I am fully aware of what a colossal asshat I feel like for whining.

As some of you may know from my previous blog, my experience with satellite television services has been spotty over the past few years. See, we’ve been living in the boonies of a state known for its boonies for 8 or 9 years now. We have relied on Dish Network for our TV service for most of that and continue to be very pleased with them. Granted, we had some issues with satellite service in general, a few years ago, when the gub’mint’ told Dish Network they could no longer hand out access to network satellite feeds like they were cookies at a blood drive, we wound up losing almost all of our network TV access, save for Fox. We even briefly switched to Direct TV (MISTAAAAAAKE!!), who swore they’d be able to get us our networks back, then turned out to be a bunch of damned ass-sucking liars who we had to do mighty battle with for nearly an hour until they finally relented and gave us our money back without any early-disconnect fees. Win one for us and for Dish Network, who welcomed us back like the prodigal son. In short, were very happy being back with Dish Network. We love their DVR (rated one of the best on the market) and find the lack of actual local or distant network channels a small price to pay for the 250 other channels they offer, most of which we don’t watch either, but it’s nice that they’re there.

(So any of you Dish Network internet PR lurkers out there, who may have stumbled on this page after a morning of Googling your employer and are even now about to write me to ask if there's anything you can do, just know that I'm on your side, I'm not calling you out for anything and--SPOILERS--the situation was fully resolved and turns out good for Dish Network as a company in the end. Now, the installation subcontractors and the international call centers you guys tend to employ will be given no quarter from me here, so you might want to pass that much along to your bosses. Oh, and for any DirecTV lurkers reading, your lying company of filthy damned liars still sucks copious amounts of ass. In fact, I hear it's co-starring as the back-5th in Human Centipede 2. You may feel free to pass that along.)

A couple years back, we moved from the home in which the aforementioned adventures occurred to a new one a few counties away and took our Dish Network service with us. Since then, we’ve largely continued our nearly networkless existence without complaint. Sure, we had to watch LOST on ABC’s website and chose to wait for DVD sets of shows like The Office, Pushing Daisies, Scrubs and Community, but this too was not so bad. We still had the Simpsons and new episodes of Family Guy on Fox, so what did we care? Then, a few months back, our Fox disappeared. This too was not Dish Network's fault, as we were getting our distant network Fox service through All American Direct. I went through the usual waiver requests with them, to the tune of $10, but heard nothing and saw no channels return. Our networks, it seemed, were gone for good.

Shortly before Thanksgiving this year, the wife decided we needed a new TV. Our 27 inch JVC tube TV had served us well for most of our marriage, but the 15 plus people who were coming over to our house for Turkey Day were bringing at least 30 pairs of eyes with them and we didn’t want to cause them undue strain. We’ve been threatening to upgrade to an HDTV for a while, but saw no huge reason to rush into it. (Our only real regret for this came when Discovery would re-run Planet Earth--which is a-FRICKIN'-mazing in HD.) Given the go-ahead to proceed with TV purchase, I did my research and scouted one out at Sears.

Now, the story of how it is I finally came to be in possession of this quality television a full week and a half after I had been told it would be ready for me to pick up could be a tale all on its own. However, since it ended with me finally receiving it a day before guests began arriving, I’ll forgo telling it, cause I got no real beef with Sears.

Once in possession of this new 46” LCD wonder, I called Dish Network to see if they could hook me up with HD service before T-Day. Sears told me I could get free HD for life with them, which sounded nice. My expectation was still pretty low on getting it in time for Thanskgiving, cause it usually takes at least a couple of days to send someone out and I was sure I wasn’t the only one trying to sneak in new service before a holiday. However, Dish said that not only could they send someone out to install the HD receiver and dish the following day, but they’d throw in local network channels in HD as well, and indeed waive the usual $10 per month HD fee, giving me HD channels for life. Awesome!

PERSPECTIVE BREAK: current Egyptian riot death toll stands at 125.


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