Which Satellite TV Company Reviews Can I Trust?
As a prospective satellite TV consumer you’ve likely read several satellite TV company reviews that compare DIRECTV® to DISH Network®. However, the problem with reading many of the DIRECTV service reviews and DISH Network service reviews out there is that many online satellite TV company reviews are biased. You see, both companies hire affiliates to help them advertise online, and many of these affiliates can be less than honest when they compare DIRECTV to DISH Network.
One reason such satellite TV company reviews can be misleading is that they are basically the equivalent of the satellite TV providers’ reviews of their competitors; DIRECTV service reviews of DISH Network can be as disparaging as DISH Network service reviews of DIRECTV can be.
DIRECTV service reviews vs. DISH Network service reviews
Meanwhile, many affiliates that compare DIRECTV to DISH Network can also use tactics to “game Google” by repeating key phrases like “compare DIRECTV” in their articles to trick search engines to into ranking their articles higher in search results for these terms. As a result, Internet users assume that the first DIRECTV service reviews and DISH Network service reviews to appear in a search engine’s results must be the most pertinent to their queries, which may not necessarily be the case.
Here at InternetLion.com, though, we won’t deny using SEO, or “Search Engine Optimization,” to increase our articles’ visibility. Nor will we leave our affiliation with DISH Network undisclosed. We are, in fact, DISH Network affiliates, and we behave much like the others, except for one difference: We boast a dedicated editorial team of trained journalists, and knowing the facts about the satellite TV industry, we aren’t afraid to expose them to the world.
The reason for this is that our parent company will only advertise for companies with superior products. We do, then, have complete faith in DISH Network, having vetted the company before ever having advertised for it. As a result, we are completely comfortable republishing the opinions of third-party, unbiased consumer watchdogs and reviewers. In fact, we’re so comfortable doings so, we’re going to reprint as many as possible below.
ConsumerReports.org: Satellite TV Company Reviews
As a not-for-profit consumer watchdog, the ratings the Consumers Union awards companies in its publications, Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org, are relatively reliable. This isn’t to say the folks here at InternetLion.com always like what they have to say exactly. But, by the same token, we don’t necessarily dislike it either.
You see, in 2011 Consumer Reports’ readers gave DIRECTV an overall score of 74 and gave DISH Network an overall score of 71. And yet, this difference in scores is insignificant when you consider that the same readers scored Cox Cable, SuddenLink, Insight, Cablevision, Time Warner, RCN, Comcast, Charter Cable and Mediacom all far lower on the list. In fact, DIRECTV and DISH Network are about on par in this ranking, with CR readers only rating DIRECTV higher in channel selection and sound. And, then, they only ranked DIRECTV one notch higher in these categories.
What’s more, as our other articles have shown, DIRECTV is highly deceptive in its advertising when it comes to channel selection, and sound quality can be highly subjective since both companies receivers offer Dolby® Digital surround sound compatibility. Likely as not, then, Consumer Reports readers could have simply drank DIRECTV’s Kool-Aid this time around and let the cute giraffe commercial sway their judgments.
JDPower.com: Satellite TV Company Reviews
J.D. Power and Associates and its Internet arm, JDPower.com, may be slightly less reliable than Consumer Reports and ConsumerReports.org due to their being privately owned. Perhaps, of course, this wouldn’t matter much, but compounding the reasons to view JDPower.com ratings with a healthy amount of skepticism is that it is a subsidiary of McGraw-Hill publishing, which as we’ve noted in a previous article, is a corporate member of certain organizations, such as the Council on Foreign Relations, alongside DIRECTV sister company News Corp.
But, to be fair, J.D. Power and Associates does have a reputation for being a reliable source of consumer information among most people. So, while we here at InternetLion.com are cautioning our readers to take information published on JDPower.com with a grain of salt, some of the website’s ranking information is informative enough to warrant our mentioning it.
That said, then, probably the most interesting of JDPower.com’s consumer ratings for TV service providers is that DIRECTV service reviews and DISH Network service reviews are about on par in all four U.S. regions. DISH Network consistently ranks one star below DIRECTV in several categories across all four regions. But, at the same time, the fact that both DIRECTV and DISH Network are national TV service providers is also revealing.
You see, in the field of Offerings and Promotions, for instance, DIRECTV is dead-even with DISH Network in the East, but leads it in the South, West and North-Central regions. Considering that both DIRECTV and DISH Network deals are the same in New York as they are in California it’s hard to imagine that DIRECTV’s slightly higher ranking has to do with anything more than consumer perception. Otherwise, consumers in all four regions would have rated the two companies the same across the board.
And yet, the important thing to take away from the ratings at JDPower.com is that both DIRECTV service reviews and DISH Network service reviews rate about the same in all the categories and that similar rating is always above three stars. In fact, there isn’t a single category in which JDPower.com’s respondents in at least one region didn’t rate DISH Network and DIRECTV as being exactly equal.
Better Business Bureau: Satellite TV Company Reviews
The most noticeably disparaging third-party critique of a satellite TV provider comes from the Better Business Bureaus of America, which gave DIRECTV an “F.” The reason for this all-time-low grade is that consumers have filed some 39,000 complaints against DIRECTV with the BBB. And the reasons for these complaints, according to BBB, have to do with early termination fees, billing and service issues.
In contrast, DISH Network enjoys a grade of “C+” from the BBB, and this slightly above-average grade is highly respectable, considering DISH Network is a national company. To put this in perspective, General Electric, which has existed nearly a century longer than both DIRECTV and DISH Network, only has a grade of “B+” with the BBB folks. So the fact that DISH Network is only three grades down from GE with the BBB after only three decades in existence is amazing. The fact that DIRECTV is seven grades down from DISH Network, meanwhile, is miserable.
CNet and PC Magazine Awards: Satellite TV Providers Reviews
CNet and PC Magazine awards are given to devices that the publications’ editors deem to be of exceptionally high quality. And, believe it or not, DISH Network receivers have received awards from both CNet and PC Magazine three years running. In 2008 DISH Network’s Duo™ DVR ViP™ 722k received CNet’s Editors’ Choice award. And in 2009 DISH Network’s ViP 922 SlingLoaded™* DVR received CNet’s Best of CNet award.
Additionally, the ViP 922 also received PC Magazine’s Editors’ Choice award, marking DISH Network out as a provider of superior DVRs and receivers. DIRECTV, meanwhile, has won no such awards for its devices, indicating at the very least that the folks at both PC Magazine and CNet found its offerings nothing to write home about.
A Final Word on Third-Party Satellite TV Providers Reviews
On top of the facts that consumers themselves rate DIRECTV and DISH Network about the same according to both Consumer Reports and J.D. Power and Associates, the “F” the BBB awarded DIRECTV and the fact that it has yet to win as many awards for its devices as DISH Network make for a lesser showing on DIRECTV’s part.
So what’s the moral of this whole story? Well, simply put, when considering satellite TV company reviews, if three out of five independent reviewers like DISH Network considerably more than DIRECTV and two of five like DIRECTV only the slightest bit more than DISH Network, you can probably conclude that DISH Network is the better choice out of the two companies. Click here to learn more about switching to DISH Network today.
* Copyright © 2010 Sling Media, Inc. Sling is a registered trademark of Sling Media, Inc. No additional monthly charges required; customers must upgrade to the ViP® 922 SlingLoaded™ DVR or purchase the Sling® Adapter.
Disclaimer: Please note that this article was written when the satellite TV provider DISH was branded as DISH Network. As of 2/1/2012 DISH Network has changed their branding name to DISH. Article post date: 05/13/2011.