Buying Dish Network Equipment

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Buying new and used Dish Network satellite recievers on EBay, can provide you with an opportunity to save substantial amounts of money. But by the same token, the old adage of “Buyer Beware” still holds much merit.

When buying Dish Network receivers online, your best bet is to always buy new equipment versus previously used equipment. And there are a few fundamental reasons for this, which I will get into in detail.

One of the primary risks of buying used receivers online, is that you truly don’t know the history of that unit. First and foremost, is the unit in question “clean”? Also, was the unit abused or mishandled prior to you buying it from the seller?

You may ask, what do you mean by a “clean” unit? The answer is in relation to the previous account, and any amounts owed on that account. Each receiver has unique identifying numbers, much like you and I have social security numbers that identify us as unique individuals. And if the receiver in question belonged to an account, that has an outstanding balance, you will NOT be able to activate that unit. The only way possible would be to pay off the previous balance, even though it was not under  your name.

You may feel this is unfair, but you must understand the decision from the perspective of Dish Network. What is to say that someone who racks up a large bill with them, doesn’t just decide to pretend to sell the unit off? Then put the unit under a different persons name, while keeping it right where it was originally, and having it reactivated. The answer is, its unique identification codes.

Buying from a reputable dealer will help assure that this is not the case. Also there are some things you can do, as a consumer to prevent being deceived. First, obtain the smart card and serial numbers of the unit in question. The smart card number will start with S00, and the serial number will start with R00.

Then call up Dish Network directly at 1-800-333-3474. Their customer service reps can then look up the unit, and tell you if it is clean and can be put onto an account or not. If you get a hold of someone that is unsure as to what you are asking them to do for you, then ask to speak to someone in the ‘escalation team’. And premise your question to them.

As for abuse and misuse of a unit, there really is no way to truly know that aspect of the units history when it is used, and buying online. So again, buying from a reputable dealer is always a good thing to do.

When you get the unit, make sure to look it over before plugging it in. One of the worst things that can happen to electronics of this sort over time is a build up of dust inside its chassis.

By no means should you attempt to open up the chassis yourself, unless you are a certified and knowledgeable technician. Instead what you can do, is to pick up a can of ‘compressed air’ from a local retail store such as Radio Shack. It will have a thin nozzle that attaches to the spray tip, which will fit within the grooves in the chassis. Take that nozzle and stick it in the grooves, and blow out the dust from the components.

This will prolong the life of your unit, and you should do that at least once a year, on a regular basis. If you don’t, you risk a few things happening, all of which are not good for your electronics. First, a short could occur if enough ‘gunk’ gets built up in there. Second, the heat that the electronics generate are now all of a sudden insulated in, and will not dissipate. Which will dramatically reduce the life of the electronics.

Very rarely will these types of items be sold with any sort of warranty, or return policy. As too many variables are out of the control of the seller once they ship the units to you. What I would strongly suggest though, is that you add what is called the “DHPP” or, Dish Home Protection Plan to your account. The additional cost is something like $6.00 per month. But it is definitely worth it, and will save your bacon at some point.

I hope this guide has answered any questions and concerns you have about buying this type of equipment online. If you should have any further questions, feel free to email me directly at frankelder at
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