Dish Network: The Meanest Employer In America?

dish network meanest employer, CEO Charles W. Ergen

It isn't clear why Dish Network Corp. wants to spend $2.4 billion to gobble up Clearwire Corp. and its desirable chunk of high-speed wireless network capacity. But Clearwire employees have ample reason to hope the deal won't go through, seeing as there's no shortage of Dish employees who find the Colorado-based satellite-TV provider, "impossible to work for."

That's the assessment of one supposed former technical representative, who posted the comment on four days ago. It mirrors hundreds of other, similar reviews. The critique also notes that Dish "is constantly hiring due to their draconian policies and heavy-handedness."

Such expressions of frustration, all posted on, led the 24/7 Wall St. website to name Dish the worst employer of 2012.

Of the 531 comments recently posted on the employer-review website about Dish, more than 400 former or current employees describe themselves as either "dissatisfied" or "very dissatisfied" with the company.

The company's tightfisted workplace policies include such things as long work hours, a lack of paid holidays and a requirement that employees check-in using their fingerprints rather than electronic badges, the technology on which many employers today rely, according to Bloomberg.

As Bloomberg's report notes:

"Badges used to be the preferred method of entry into the building. But a few years ago, after noticing that some employees were taking advantage of the system by having others badge-in for them, then-CEO Charles W. Ergen (shown above) upgraded to fingerprint scanners. If a worker is late, an email is immediately sent to human resources, which then sends another to that person's boss, and sometimes directly to Ergen."

More: The 11 Worst Companies To Work For In America

It's just such policies in addition to an overburdening air of intimidation that led Bloomberg to label Dish the "Meanest Company in America."

Bloomberg says that one employee who sought counsel from a manager was simply told to quit. "You're part of a poisonous environment. ... go find a job where you can use your talents for good rather than evil," he reportedly said.

Much of the blame for the toxic work environment has been laid at the feet of Ergen, 59, who helped found the company 17 years ago and remains its chairman. Though he turned over the reins of day-to-day management to Joseph Clayton in 2011, Ergen is still a looming presence and is Dish's largest shareholder, holding more than half of all of its shares.

Bloomberg estimates Ergen's wealth at more than $11 billion, making him among the world's richest people. His total compensation from Dish last year was $958,441.

Former Dish President John Reardon described Ergen's management style as uncompromising, Bloomberg quotes another former president, Michael Neuman, as saying. Ergen "pound[ed] people into submission," said Neuman, who was most irked by Ergen's habit of making decisions unilaterally.

The endemic morale problem doesn't appear to have hurt the company's stock performance, as BusinessInsider notes. Dish has been successful, even as other pay TV operators struggle, and has beaten analysts' earnings estimates in five of the past eight quarters.

That's likely cold comfort for the Glassdoor reviewer who wrote that Dish simply doesn't care about its employees, adding, "Upper management just cares about the numbers."

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If there's a company out there that should be boycotted right now, it's these jerks, especially after they fought tooth and nail, in court, to uphold their firing of a quadriplegic for OFF DUTY, prescribed medical marijuana use in a state where marijuana is legal. That's as low as low can get, but our personal experiences with Dish Network were just as slimy. My daughter was really upset with these scum bags when she realized she had been flat-out lied to when she ordered service. She tried to cancel immediately once she realized she'd been scammed, but was told she would be charged $400 to disconnect, even though they clearly misrepresented their service on the phone. It was hardball all the way when we called - "well, we have a valid contract so there's nothing we can do." Never mind they got it through lying to us. But there's more. I was overcharged by this company for at least three months (charged for a service that had been disconnected) before I looked carefully at my bill and found the error. While they admitted the mistake, they refused to remove the charge or refund my money. Even in the greedy, predatory telecomm industry led by anti-consumer behemoths like Comcast, these guys are the lowest of the low. I have at least the satisfaction of having steered a number of people away from these creeps, but corporate slimeballs like this couldn't care less about their customers, just their bottom line, and when you can get by with lying to prospective customers and then basically extorting them, your bottom line will do as well as any successful corporate thieves could hope for.

April 25 2013 at 11:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Travis Price

My experience was pretty simple:

I was in training as a Remote Quality Assurance Specialist (approximately 3.5 hours from my house). My Grandmother was on her deathbed about 11 hours away and I was suddenly given a call that I need to go back to my home town. I had told all the supervisors in advance that this may happen.

I told them I had to go and they handed me the keys to a company vehicle. I tried to hand them back and said it would be better off if they left the truck there. My supervisors boss asked me how was I going to get home. It clicked wrong in my head and I thought he meant to my grandmother. I got in the truck and drove 11 hours overnight. About two hours before I made it to my destination, it clicked that they meant back to my home in the state I lived in. I called the Manager on the spot and told them what was up, freaking out. I could have not told them anything, honestly and they would have never found out.

I was told to bring the truck back immediately or I would be arrested. I drove 11 hours back and dropped off the truck, then drove 11 hours back to my Grandmother, who had passed during the trip. They had me pay like 600 dollars for the hotel and training I was doing, but did repay me with a full check instead of a couple of days. Ultimately, it really sucked and it was partially my fault and partially theirs..

It just sucked that I got fired for being honest with them.

March 31 2013 at 5:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

not only a bad employer but a horrible company to be a customer of in my opinion.

January 10 2013 at 11:31 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

I will never have them into my home again, I had 2 accounts with them home and travel trailer, because I had to not use my trail trailer for 2 months they would not put it on vacation ( not charge me for the 2 months and then resume the contract length) direct tv dosn do that

January 10 2013 at 11:12 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

I have never been an employee of DISH, however, I was a customer in 2004 and they illegally withdrew over $900.00 from my bank account causing great distress and refusing to put it back until I had an attorney call them. I did not owe them any money so they charged me for the equipment that was waiting for them to have picked up and they made no effort to do so. I was 72 years old at the time and they informed me that I was behaving like a child. They had wiped out all of my retirement money. At that time, I read every word of their contract only to discover they had used service names of reputable companies that were in no way connected to them and their service was only endorsed by DISH. ALL I CAN SAY IS 'CUSTOMER BEWARE'. H. A.

January 10 2013 at 11:07 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to hopehand9's comment

DISH did the same to me and held it for weeks. I will never ever consider them again. I was 73 years old at the time and the money they took was all I had, and I fault the bank as well. A very BAD company with poor customer relations. I now have an outside antanna and it works well for my needs, and there is no monthly bill that goes up every month.

January 14 2013 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dawn Giles

DISH should re-name themselves PITS. I don't know where they come up with their creative math when they advertise but somebody took WAY too much prescription medicine before they reviewed the poll results. Who says there's no place for LSD in the business world?

January 10 2013 at 10:59 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

sniff,sniff, working long hours..... Quit and start your own business.

January 10 2013 at 10:58 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

Dish also has a poor customer service rating from Consumer Reports.... the company may be doing allright now.... but just think what could happen if some policies and procedures were chaged! Bet we won't see Mr. Ergen on "Undercover Boss" anytime soon....

January 10 2013 at 10:24 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

i switched to u verse and have never had a problem.
crossing fingers lol

January 10 2013 at 10:17 AM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply

Why make all employees suffer for a few idiots. A simple understanding that if you "swipe" someone else's badge to record their presence then you and they get to be looking for a new job on the grounds of fraud and possible theft. It might make it a problem for them for future job applications when asked why did you leave your prior job
When doing background for a potential employee, I usually asked a simple question with a one word answer... Would you re-hire this former employee?

January 10 2013 at 10:16 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply

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