It is clear to everybody of cognitive age that Nigeria is going through a storm economically. Inflation hit 11.4% in February and growth has fallen to 2.1%. At the start of the year, financial pundits projected that businesses will need to brace up and devise means of hedging the inevitability of a weaker naira in 2016. As at the time of writing this article, the naira has continued its unprecedented free fall in value against the US Dollar, trading at N352 to USD1 on the parallel market but remains pegged at N197 to the dollar by the Central Bank of Nigeria. Still, President Buhari has remained adamant in his resolve not to devalue the naira but instead will make dollars only available for certain trades considered critical to the economy.
The situation in the country has led to an unprecedented hardship on the average Nigerian, who has had to ditch certain ‘luxuries’. So, when MultiChoice announced that it would not be increasing subscription fees on its DStv bouquets this April, many heaved a sigh of relief. That would be one less cost to worry about in light of the present economic strain. However, some wondered why MultiChoice would make such a decision knowing full well that most of the company’s costs are incurred in dollars and high inflation rates have put enormous financial pressure over the past months.
According to the statement issued, the company is quick to admit that it has been a tough year for them but has magnanimously decided to absorb some of the pain and not impose a price increase this year. It cited its subscribers as the reason for its decision and as such is committed to bringing them the best possible content at the most affordable price.
Managing Director, MultiChoice Nigeria, Mr. John Ugbe, said: “We are extremely pleased to announce that there will be no price increase on DStv subscriptions this April on any of the bouquets. Barring any further external economic shocks, we do not anticipate a price increase in 2016.”
This declaration comes on the heels of its announcement in February on the scaling down of top football leagues – the Barclays Premier League (EPL) and La Liga – to their mid-range bouquet, Compact, at no extra cost! Not only that, they also made a big price slash on its Zapper and Explora decoders.
At the time, many wondered if this decision was as a result of the Senate and CPC’s move to investigate MultiChoice’s operations. but Ugbe explained that it was a major business decision that had gone through months of careful planning and implemented in other regions without any pressure from regulators in those markets. “These have been tough economic times for everyone, we realised that our subscribers could use some good news”, Ugbe stated.
Over the years, MultiChoice has touted itself as a customer-focused company with its products and services designed with the subscriber in mind. Looking back at a number of initiatives rolled out by the company, one can invariably see an underlying thread of customer focus and service. An example of such ways is the self service options. In its over twenty years of operations in Nigeria, MultiChoice, has improved payment options, introducing self-service account management platforms such as mobile and online payments, bringing ease of mind and convenience to its subscribers.
Also, the company recently announced that it is embarking on technological and operational upgrades which include a revamped billing system, software enhancement to improve decoder and better case escalations.
Summing it up, Ugbe said: “MultiChoice is hinged on three important factors; one of the being people, that is our subscribers, the other two are our content and technology. We believe that all three factors must interact seamlessly to provide the world class service that we stand for as a business”.