FREMONT, Calif. (KGO) --A satellite TV company billed a Bay Area woman $500 for two extra receivers she didn't buy. She never ordered them and yet company records seem to prove she did. We discovered it wasn't the company's fault or the consumer's.
Fremont resident Bharati Sodha loves her Dish TV.
"The girls get attracted to the boys who have a little bit heavy voice," Sodha said.
She can watch shows from her native India, as well as her favorite game shows. She's enjoyed Dish for 11 years with no problems until last May.
"The timer was not working as California time," Sodha said.
The timer was three hours off and a technician couldn't fix it. So, he gave her a new receiver and took the old one back. That's when she got the surprise on her bill.
"I said why are you charging me this much. They said, 'you got two receivers. They were delivered to you,"' Sodha said.
Dish suddenly billed her $500 for two new receivers. The company said they were installed at her house and now she now had three in all.
"I said no I only got one receiver," Sodha said.
She kept telling Dish that the technician replaced her receiver and did not give her two extra ones. Why would she need them anyway?
Dish emailed back saying she should return those two receivers or pay for them.
"And I said, 'I don't have it. If I don't have it how can I return it to you?"' Sodha said.
Dish said her case would be sent to collections unless she paid up. Her frustration grew. How could she prove something was not at her house?
"I was so upset I couldn't sleep. It was affecting my health. You get up at night you are so alone so who do you talk to and then at that time I thought of Michael Finney and I sent him an email?" Sodha said.
We called Dish Network. The company looked into her case and found out, she had been a victim of fraud. Someone had obtained her information and billed her for two receivers.
"Somebody had my account number, had all my information and that person used it," Sodha said.
Apparently someone posing as Sodha contacted Dish and ordered the receivers. Dish Network would tell 7 On Your Side exactly how the con artist worked, but said the bill for two receivers was the work of a third-party fraud.
Dish canceled that $500 bill and the company gave Sodha a credit of $25 per month for a whole year. Sodha is just happy she has her Dish receiver and back watching her favorite shows.
"Thanks to channel 7 On Your Side that it was resolved within a day and thank you very much!" Sodha said.
Dish Network told 7 On Your Side there have been con artists posing as agents for Dish and other paid TV providers. Dish says it will never ask customers for personal information over the phone. If you get a call from someone claiming to be from Dish or any company, don't give out your information. Instead, hang up and look up the company's phone number and call them back.