Recently, the Better Business Bureau issued warnings against DirecTV and Dish Network for their questionable business practices.  In the past three years, the two companies have received more than 53,000 complaints, stemming mainly from their contract policies.  That’s more than all of cable companies combined.  DirecTV also received an “F” rating in customer service from the Bureau.

The warning urges customers who are considering either service to look very carefully at the fine print before making the switch to dish.  While the warning is about these two companies, it is important to take heed of any fine print in contracts that you sign.

What some might not realize is that fine print often contains some of the most important parts of a contract including long-term pricing, additional charges and termination fees.  Making sure that you understand what’s included in fine print can save you a lot of time and money later.

It’s not just the fine print in paper contracts that you need to look out for.  “Terms and conditions” are ubiquitous online and many users have become used to accepting terms without reading what can amount to pages and pages of fine print.  However, accepting terms and conditions online can be just as binding.  Especially when dealing with a company that you aren’t familiar with; read all terms and conditions before continuing!

Fine print can include a lot of costly stipulations that you may not have agreed to if they were more directly stated.  For example, Dish Network and DirecTV’s fine print include promotional offers that automatically add channels to your line-up when the special pricing expires, charges for repairs of defective dishes, and DirecTV even has a charge if you want to decrease your package level.

Companies don’t always make reading the fine print easy.  According to a lawsuit by the Washington State Attorney General, DirecTV uses a 5.5 point font size in their contracts.  That means your contract looks something like this:

If you can’t read the fine print, ask for a bigger copy.  Remember they want your business.  If a company isn’t willing to print out a larger copy of their contract, is it really a company that you want to be doing business with?

Great Plains Communications is committed to a level of customer service that satellite (and many other companies) will never achieve.  We’ve made a commitment to have local technicians in our towns and enough customer care reps that you almost never have to wait.  Here at Great Plains Communications we follow the cable industry norm of not demanding hard-to-read contracts.  If the industry ever changes, we can assure you that no matter what, Great Plains Communications will never stop treating our customers with respect, honesty and great customer service.

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