How to Cancel Dish Network

 On the surface, canceling your Dish Network satellite TV service is easy — you call 888-283-2309 (in the U.S.) and tell them you want out. However, like practically every other company in the industry, Dish will go to great lengths to make sure you remain a customer. This means you might be able to get a better deal, but it also means you need to be ready for a hassle if you truly want to end your service. You can reduce this hassle, though, if you take some time to prepare before the call, remain assertive but composed during the call, and closely follow the instructions for returning your equipment.

Gearing Up before Making the Call

Figure out if you’re 100% sure you want to cancel.

Customer retention reps make their livings off of the uncertainty and waffling of callers. They are trained to hone in on any doubt you have about canceling your service, and use this as a hook to reel you back in. If you are absolutely sure you want to cancel your service, get into the right frame of mind by telling yourself “I’m going to cancel no matter what they say.”

  • If you think you want to cancel but aren’t entirely sure, that’s fine of course. In fact, you can use the threat of canceling to negotiate a better deal: just tell the rep something like “I’m going to have to cancel because my bill has gotten too high” and listen to what happens.

Grab your account information and a pen and paper.

Find a copy of your most recent bill or, even better, your original customer agreement. Take special note of your account number, service address, contact number, and service start date. Place the date and time of your call on the paper, and be ready to take notes during the conversation — starting with the names of each person you speak to.

Read the fine print if you’re trying to get out of an early termination fee.

ETFs are commonplace on the 2-year contracts sold by Dish Network and virtually all of their competitors. If you try to cancel before the end of your contract, expect to pay $20 per month remaining (for instance, $120 if you have six months left) plus various administrative fees.

  • You can theoretically get out of the fee by demonstrating a breach of contract on their part — for instance, if you’ve faced unreasonable outages or shoddy service — but the fine print of the contract you signed gives Dish Network nearly all the advantages. Read it closely and be persistent if you hope to get your fee eliminated or reduced.
  • If you’re approaching the end of your contract, it’s probably best to just bite the bullet and wait until it’s about to expire before canceling.

Prevailing Over the Customer Retention Team

Dial 888-283-2309 (USA) for Dish Network Customer Service.

Select English or Spanish language to continue. Follow the automated prompts to reach the correct department.

  • In theory, you can try to cancel your service by emailing Dish at But it’s safe to assume that you’ll have to do the dirty work of canceling over the phone.
  • If you want to temporarily suspend your service instead of canceling it altogether, call 888-876-7918.

Clearly and quickly state your desire to cancel.

Ask for and write down the name of the person who answers your call (and anyone who takes over the call later). Say something like “Hello, John. I would like to cancel my Dish Network service. Can you please help me complete the process?”

  • The customer retention agent will try to draw out additional information from you, looking for weak spots in your resolve that they can exploit. They’ll ask things like “Are you interested in getting more channels for less money?” and “What can I do to improve your Dish experience?”

Stick to your script until they relent.

No matter what they ask or say, and no matter which “supervisor” they put on the line, simply keep repeating things like “Thank you, but I’ve already made the decision to cancel my service. Please help me to do so” and “Thanks, but nothing will change my mind. Please complete my cancellation.”

  • Expect the agent to be persistent — they earn commissions for each cancellation they prevent — but don’t tolerate bullying or rude behavior. Remain calm, but demand to speak to a supervisor. Take names and keep details of your call experience.

Sealing Your Victory by Returning the Equipment

Confirm verbally that your equipment return box will be sent.

Before you hang up your successful cancellation call, clarify with the rep that Dish will send you an equipment recovery box within the next several days. You have 10 days from your date of cancellation to return any equipment they want back, so keep a close eye out for the recovery box (which looks like any typical cardboard box) in the mail.

  • If 5 or 6 days have passed and you haven’t gotten a return box yet, call customer service and make sure one will be coming soon. Refer to your notes from your cancellation call if necessary.

Box up your equipment carefully and send it back.

The return box has various compartments, packing materials and instructions, a prepaid return postage label, and a list of items that must be returned. It’s easiest to fit everything in the box if you follow the directions, but the important thing is to get everything in there in a way that keeps it all undamaged until it arrives back at Dish.

  • Attach the return label to the outside of the box and arrange for a pickup by the delivery service (e.g., UPS) listed on it.
  • Make sure the box is picked up within 10 days of your cancellation date, or Dish will tack penalty charges onto your account.

Examine your final account statement closely.

Make sure there are no surprise charges or penalties posted to your account. If you broke your contract early, check that the termination fee matches the stated amount from your call. Also, if you sent your equipment back on time and in good shape, make sure there are no late or damage fees added on.

  • If you have any questions or concerns, call Dish Network Customer Service again and calmly demand a satisfactory explanation. Utilize your notes from your previous call(s) as needed.


  • If you’re willing to pay to avoid the aggravation of calling to cancel your service, you can find companies online that will take care of the dirty work for you — such as

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