This news will definitely excite millions of subscribers of the popular pay television in Nigeria, DSTV, as the company has agreed to obey a recent order by the Consumer Protection Council, CPC, to compensate its subscribers and provide toll-free lines to them.
The compensation, according to the CPC, was said to be effected within 90 days.
It would be recalled that the CPC, in a statement issued by its Deputy Director of Public Relations, Abiodun Obimuyiwa, in Abuja, said after a thorough investigation into complaints by consumers, it was discovered that the DSTV allegedly violated rights of consumers.
Obimuyiwa stated that the CPC had ordered MultiChoice Nigeria, the parent body of DSTV, to suspend its service when consumers were away; release free-to-air channels even when subscription had expired and compensate consumers for lost viewing time.
CPC in the statement also directed the company to ensure a reasonable equitable spread of popular sports channels, among others and stressed that DSTV shall for 18 months from the date of the orders, subject its processes to the Council’s inspection to ensure compliance with the directives contained in the orders.
Also in the statement, the company was ordered to install a billing system that would ensure that billing starts with the provision of service. CPC said it observed that company’s billing system was not in the best interest of consumers.
The Council told DSTV to within 180 days adopt a technology that supports suspension of service when subscribers are unable to enjoy their service on account of being away for a limited period of time.
It explained that such request for suspension of service could be done between seven to 14 days and not more than twice in a year with a 72-hour notice to MultiChoice.
But in a statement by MultiChoice Nigeria, MD of the company, John Ugbe, noted that it would continue to engage with the CPC to resolve the matter in the best interests its subscribers.
“The business and management value the input it has received from the CPC in order to improve the DStv customer experience. We would especially like to thank the DG and the CPC investigating team for the professional manner in which they conducted the investigation and for their willingness and availability to meet with us to engage on the issues,” Ugbe said.
“We wish to assure subscribers of our commitment to continue to co-operate fully with the CPC on the Order of Council, and will endeavor by all means to meet the order and deadlines, where possible,” he added.
Ugbe explained that “unlike free-to-air operators, pay television businesses are dependent on subscriptions.”
He said, “If we lose subscribers, it negatively impacts our revenue and ultimately the sustainability of our business. It is therefore in our best interest to ensure that customer complaints are attended to and all efforts made to resolve queries in the interests of the subscriber.