You know that good deal you get when you want to move your satellite television system? “Just pack the box and go,” the advertisement says.
Turns out, that’s sort of how it has to work.
That’s what I learned when I did some research into a question posed by Vicki Eden, who emailed, “What are people supposed to do with their old satellite dishes? When you change companies, the old dish is not removed, so some people end up with three or four unused dishes on their roof. I wonder why the companies don’t take them back and re-use them. If we’re supposed to recycle them ourselves, how are the elderly supposed to get up there to remove them?”
It is up to the property owner to remove the dish, if he or she wants it gone.
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I sought answers from DirecTV and DISH, the most popular television satellite companies out there. I got similar responses from both.
“In a nutshell, when our satellite dish is installed on a property, it’s considered a permanent fixture of that property,” DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said in an email. “Since it’s ‘permanent,’ it becomes the property owner’s responsibility to have the dish removed.”
Said Courtney Culpepper, of DISH corporate communications: “The dish, or antenna, is the property of the customer, or former customer.”
Mercer pointed out that if someone moves into a home with a satellite receiver from a former resident on it, the new occupant can just plug in his or her box and use the service right away. That’s assuming, of course, both people use the same system.
For those who would like to have a satellite dish removed, both company representatives said they recommend owners get in touch with a professional to handle it.
I did some searching for dish removal and found one San Diego-based company that does it, starting at $99. I tried to find out whether that company operates in this area, but was unsuccessful. Culpepper said DISH will handle the job for the price of a service call. Those can vary, she said.
DISH customers can call 800-333-3474 for a price quote.