5 On Your Side

5 On Your Side helps woman ditch satellite dish

Posted March 22, 2011 5:56 p.m. EDT
Updated March 22, 2011 6:35 p.m. EDT

— Satellite dishes decorate roof tops everywhere. But many people don't like them, and don't want them on their roofs, especially if they don't subscribe to satellite TV service.

That's the case for Joanne Panek-Dubrock. The Raleigh homeowner pointed to the top of her three-story townhouse and said, "way up there on the top of my roof is a dish." The satellite dish is for Direct TV service.

"They did not ask me to put it up there," she added.

Joanne noticed the dish for the first time during a recent windy night.

"I heard like a vibration," she said. "I thought my roof was coming apart. The next morning I came down. I saw that thing there."

She bought the townhouse new two years ago, and has never had satellite service. So she checked with her neighbor who confirmed that he signed up with Direct TV about a year ago, but has since dropped the service. He said he didn't know his dish was installed on her roof.

"I'm upset," Joanne said.

That's because while she doesn't like how the dish looks, her bigger concern is whether the installation holes damaged her roof.

"Like I said, it was rattling. Rattling is motion," she said.

So Joanne called Direct TV to tell them that they put the dish on the wrong roof, and that she'd simply like it removed. But it wasn't that simple.

"I got absolutely nowhere with them. I spoke with two people. They had scripts. The bottom line was their policy was they don't remove the dish if your service stops and that it was my responsibility to look in the yellow pages to find a company that will remove it," she said.

Joanne couldn't believe what she was hearing.

"I'm not going to pay for it to get removed because I didn't put it up there," she said.

When 5 On Your Side called Direct TV, spokeswoman Vanessa Dunham told us satellite dishes are typically left in place even after service is stopped, so that the next person has the "convenience of activating" their service.

Dunham added, "The company is researching" why the dish was installed on Joanne's roof in the first place.

She agreed that Direct TV should have taken care of this from the beginning.

"The situation was outside the norm and Direct TV needed to make it right," said Dunham.

Better yet, Dunham almost immediately arranged for a crew to remove the dish from Joanne's roof Tuesday. The workers did leave the dish mount on the roof though, because they say it is sealed and taking it off might cause a leak.

Joanne said she's OK with that.

"The teardown now, they're doing it in a careful manner. I'm happy. I'm happy," she said.