DISH reaches settlement over allegedly deceptive surcharges

By Bryan Cohen | Apr 17, 2014

SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) - Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced an agreement on Tuesday with DISH Network to resolve allegations it made consumers pay deceptive surcharges.

Ferguson alleged DISH started charging its Washington state consumers an unlawful monthly line-item surcharge in May 2012 and collected more than $2 million in surcharges. DISH allegedly charged hundreds of thousands of Washington consumers an illegal $1 per month charge for up to eight months.

The item appeared as a "WA State Surcharge" or "WA Surcharge" and only stopped after Ferguson's office began an inquiry into the charge.

"DISH's actions cost hard-working Washingtonians millions of dollars, one buck at a time," Ferguson said. "The attorney general's office will prosecute any company that tries to make a buck through deceptive billing."

Under the terms of an agreement, DISH will refund approximately $2 million to consumers in Washington state, provide additional benefits to consumers worth up to $3 million and pay Ferguson's office $569,500 for fees and costs.

DISH will contact all eligible consumers via mail or email. Residential subscribers who paid the surcharge who are still DISH customers will get to choose either a $10 credit, two free pay-per-view movies or two months of free access to Epix movie channel, if they are not already Epix subscribers.

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