Couple feuds with Dish over Sharks games

September 7, 2011 8:03:50 PM PDT
The San Jose Sharks open their preseason in just two weeks, but it's what happened last season that had an Aptos couple going into overtime with their satellite provider.

Robin Wood and her husband Robert Kabanek have been facing off with Dish Network since late November. When they got nowhere, they decided to call 7 On Your Side.

Wood has been a Sharks fan since the beginning. Wood remembers the excitement of the Sharks making their first playoff appearance in 1994, and she has two hockey sticks and a hat signed by various Sharks players.

Among her most-cherished Sharks autographs: Those of defenseman Jayson More, right wing Jeff Odgers, left wing Ray Whitney and right wing Pat Falloon.

With as big a fan as Wood is, you can imagine her disappointment last season when she turned on her new satellite service and the Sharks weren't there.

"First we were very frustrated with the new remote," Wood said. "We thought we just didn't know how to use it and didn't know what channel it was on."

Wood and her husband had signed up for Dish Network satellite service the day before, and they say they made it clear to Dish they wanted to have the Sharks.

"Before we switched over, I think we called three times to run through the channel line-up to make sure we had certain channels," Wood said. "The top priority was having Sharks games."

Her husband remembers calling Dish to ask what happened.

"They think we're crazy," Kabanek said. "They think we have the service, and I think they honestly thought we had the service. We went through the service (and) didn't have it."

Turns out, Comcast SportsNet had gotten into a contract dispute with Dish Network the day before. The Sharks games would not be carried by Dish until the dispute was resolved -- and the carriage argument lasted more than two months.

But the couple didn't wait and immediately dropped Dish Network. They were charged a $400 cancellation fee.

"We thought, we deserved the refund simply because we were real clear in the beginning that this was one of the things that was important to us," Kabanek said.

Dish declined to wave the cancellation fee. The couple then contested their credit card charge with American Express, and the credit card company ruled in Dish's favor.

"I just thought, there was no way to get the money back," Wood said. "We were frustrated, and a friend suggested to me that I try 7 On Your Side."

So she did. ABC7 called Dish and it told us that "after careful inspection of the unique circumstances involving her account," Dish Network agreed to issue Wood and Kabanek a credit for the early termination fee.

"I just was amazed that we were able to get our $400 back," Wood said.


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