Ellen Reidda is not, and has never been, a Dish Network customer.
So the 79-year-old Highland Park resident was a bit startled when she checked her bank statement in May and discovered the satellite television provider had taken $151.29 from her account.
She immediately contacted her bank, Chase, and asked if they could figure out what was going on.
A Chase representative researched her account and found the May withdrawal wasn't Dish's first.
On Dec. 5, the company took $273.98 from Reidda's account, then $72.99 on Dec. 21.
There were similar Dish withdrawals in January, February, March and April, eight transactions in all, totaling $1,047.21.
Reidda was shocked.
"I have Comcast," she said. "I've always had Comcast. I don't know how (Dish) got into that account."
Chase put a stop to the Dish withdrawals and credited Reidda's account $412.96 for the money Dish took in March, April and May.
Reidda said a bank representative told her it could not refund the money taken before March and instructed her to contact Dish.
She called Dish, but could make no headway.
"Dish has repeatedly rebuffed my attempts to stop debit charges or help in refunding the already deducted money," she said. "Also, they now have my bank account number. Scary."
After several calls to Dish, Reidda thought she had the situation resolved, she said.
"But no. They said to call the police," she said. "They stalled and stalled and did nothing to resolve the problem."
In June, Reidda went back to a Chase branch in Highland Park and spoke to a vice president, who called Dish with her in his office. After a frustrating and fruitless conversation with Dish that lasted almost an hour, the Chase vice president sent Dish an email.
He wrote that Dish's customer service representative told him repeatedly she could not help and instructed him to contact the Federal Trade Commission.
When Dish didn't respond to either the bank employee's email or Reidda, she wrote a letter to What's Your Problem?
"I don't understand how they can just stonewall everybody," she said. "My bank has been very cooperative and they've been helping me but they can't get anything done with Dish."
She said she had no idea how Dish got access to her bank account. Although Chase refunded a portion of the money, Dish has done nothing about the remainder, $634.25, she said.
"It's very important to me," Reidda said. "I just don't know what to do. I feel so helpless."
The Problem Solver contacted Danielle Johnson, a spokeswoman for Dish Network.
Within hours, Reidda received a flurry of calls from Dish promising to help, she said.
"They were telling me that they had found the mistake, (but) they didn't go into detail about what that was," Reidda said. Dish did not return calls for comment.
On July 2, Reidda called Dish and was told the $634.25 refund had been processed and sent to her bank.
"I'm so relieved," she said. "I just don't know why it had to take so long and why it had to be so cumbersome."