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Q: What can I do re: this discrimination incident?
A Dish Network technician came out to my house Monday, to try and resolve a recurring issue we have been having with a piece of Dish equipment.. He did not introduce himself, nor give me his name or ID #. Upon entering the home, he already acted like he had an attitude and did not want to be here. After he had been here an hour *with a terrible attitude), without having resolved anything (and being completely rude), I asked him to give me my ticket and leave and that I would ask for a different technician to come out and check the problem. He stopped at my door and looked at me and said, "Are you really that mad because your TV isn't working???" Seriously??? Of course I am. I am paying for a service that isn't working properly!!! He went out to his van, and I walked outside and stood on the side of my house, so that I could hear him talking on the phone. He obviously didn't know that I was standing there, as I heard him plainly say these words to whomever he was speaking with, "I don't know. It's two lesbians, and I think they don't even want me in their house because they're mad that they can't find a man." Of course, at this point, I was completely irate, and I used a lot of profanity when I told him to get out of my driveway NOW. I told him to shut his door and get his van out of my driveway. During this whole time, both of my kids (girl and boy, ages 16 and 14 respectively). My spouse was also here. So not only did I experience this rude, crude, completely prejudice behavior...and complete discrimination, my family experienced it too. My daughter even heard his phone conversation from her bedroom on that side of the house. Not only has the service and customer service been horrible, my family and I have now been completely discriminated against...and I am not going to stand for this. I contacted Dish after he left and got transferred three times. Finally after telling what happened (for the third or fourth time), I got Michael from the Damage Department. Michael stated that he filed a report on the tech, and offered me one month of free service. ONE MONTH OF FREE SERVICE?!??! REALLY?!??! FOR ALL THE ISSUES I HAVE HAD...AND MOST OF ALL FOR THE COMPLETE DISCRIMINATION AND DISRESPECT MY FAMILY AND I RECEIVED TODAY...1 MONTH OF FREE SERVICE!! I told Michael to go ahead and apply the one month of free service, but that I wanted a call back from someone about this immediately. He stated that someone would contact me within 3-5 business days. I have been discriminated against...my family has had to experience this behavior, my service is still not working properly...and they offered me one month of free service. I am truly appalled and hurt by this incident. This man didn't want to be here from the time he got here...and now I know why. He didn't like the fact that my family and I live an alternative lifestyle...one that he obviously didn't agree with, based on the derogatory comments he made while sitting in my driveway. I have never been discriminated by any company or any individual in customer service, etc. in my life...until today. This company provides service to many people...many of whom are LGBT people. This cannot continue and I want to know what can about this. As of yesterday, the one month of free service has not yet even been applied. I emailed their legal counsel (as that who Dish has decided that I must deal with now), and no response has been received from him. They are expecting me to sweep this under the rug and just continue to pay for their service...and i have no intentions of doing so. What rights do I have???
A: Response from Joyce Kauffman
I am very sorry that I did not see this question sooner and it sounds as though it was a horrible experience. I do not know whether it has been resolved, but I would urge you to contact your attorney general's office and/or the office of consumer protection in your state. You can file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau. If your state has a Commission Against Discrimination, you could also contact them. This is not my area of expertise but contact your local bar association for a referral to an attorney who specializes in discrimination.
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Cliff Greenberg, Esq, has devoted his entire legal career to helping children and families. After graduating from the George Washington University School of Law, he joined the Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Division in Manhattan as a Law Guardian, where he worked tirelessly to ensure that the city's foster children were protected and placed in loving, permanent homes.
Joyce Kauffman is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law and was admitted to the Massachusetts Bar in December 1992. She has a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley College (now Lesley University) and a Bachelor's degree in Child Development from the University of Massachusetts/Amherst. Attorney Kauffman is also a trained Mediator and Collaborative Lawyer; the focus of her legal practice, based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, is LGBT family law and traditional family law.
At International Fertility Law Group (IFLG), Richard B. Vaughn provides legal services nationwide to clients from all over the world hoping to build their families through assisted reproduction as well. Among many other volunteer activities, Rich Chairs the A.R.T. Committee of the ABA Family Law Section. Rich has also served on the National Board of the American Fertility Association (now Path 2 Parenthood).