As part of efforts at assuaging aggrieved consumers of Digital Satellite Television (DSTV), the Consumer Protection Council (CPC) has advised Multichoice Nigeria Limited, the owners of the cable television to introduce pay-as-you-go subscription for its subscribers.
CPC, at a recent meeting with top managers of DSTV, said the time was ripe for the introduction of the pay-as-you-go subscription in the interest of millions of subscribers of the satellite television.
The agency sought to know the reason why this form of subscription could not be introduced in Nigeria as it has been done in other climes for the economic well-being of consumers.
According to the Council, the pay-as-you-go subscription would allow consumers get value for their money, give them an option of choice as well as enable them control their consumption.
Besides the suggested introduction of the pay-as-you-go subscription, the Council also canvassed for some form of compensation to subscribers for loss of transmission signals, usually experienced by them during adverse weather conditions, particularly rainy season, known as “rain fade”.
Other issues discussed at the meeting included proper and adequate supervision of DSTV dealers and agents and seeming delay in resolution of consumer complaints by the company.
Responding, the delegation from Multichoice Nigeria Limited disclosed that the firm did not have the platforms to implement pay-as-you-go system of payment but promised to look into it.
The delegation explained further that Multichoice is an access-to-content selling company and could not determine what it could purchase or sell to the smallest unit which would allow a pay-as-you-go payment system to function.
On the issue of compensation for down-times for signals, Multichoice explained that loss of signals during the rainy period is a natural occurrence, which could hardly be curtailed, promising, however, to look into the Council’s position that some form of compensation should be given to subscribers for this occurrence pending the development of a new technology that may solve the problem.
The company pointed out that it has always been committed to speedy resolution of consumer complaints, stating that there may, however, be slight delay in resolution if the problems were technical in nature.
While giving Multichoice the opportunity to further deliberate on the issues discussed at its management level, the Council was insistent that the Nigerian consumers must be given choices and options available in other countries and mandated the company to look into the above issues with despatch.