By: Lloyd M’bwana
MultiChoice Malawi hiking of GOtv subscription fees and removing channels without providing reasons have not gone well to its customers describing the practice as unethical and taking clientele for granted which must not be condoned.
The company hiked the subscription fees for GOtv channels from MK3, 400 to MK3, 800 and MK4, 700 to MK5, 200 for GOtv value and GOtv Plus bouquets respectively effective November 8, 2015 due to depreciation of the Malawi Kwacha to major foreign currencies.
Apart from that the digital television provider continues removing channels on its bouquets without giving reasons to subscribers recently being One Gospel, Black Belt, and Channel O. Although with such drastic changes, in some areas, customers continue receiving poor signals especially local television channels which the company embodied them into its system.
For the past three days after the company announced fees hike and channels removal, customers took their anger into social media, The Maravi Post Official Facebook account calling the firm to revise its customer’s policy in suiting their demands.
Some customers wondered as to why the company could hike the subscription fees the time country was going through economic challenges describing the move as insensitive and also lack of customer care on part of channels removal.
“It is poor etiquette, unethical and taking their clientele for granted to remove channels without explanation! We can understand the increase owing to the depreciation of our currency”, bashes Eisenhower Mkaka.
Menard Bvumbwe said, “They just wanted to boost their customer base. Now that it is well with them, they can do whatever they want to the customers. Unfortunate! I am sure more channels will disappear”
“What will happen when kwacha appreciates? Not what I am guessing”, Miyanda Mphambu asks.
James K White said, “Some Community Members Of Area 24,23 & 22 In Lilongwe Went To MultiChoice To Ask For Monthly Charges & Disappearing Of Some Channels, official says: their signals were not meant for poor people that’s when I switched to Zuku TV”.
But, Rodney Kulada defended the hike, “If the kwacha is depreciating GO TV has no choice but to raise charges. Even Zuku or Starsat are just waiting for their time”.
“The problem isn’t MultiChoice but Malawians they expect Kapito and others to speak for them yet they have a role to play. AMalawi kugona. It’s time customers stand and speak up otherwise this will continue”, appeals George Mkandawire.
However, upon hiking the subscription fees Chimwemwe Nyirenda, MultiChoice Malawi’s Sale and Marketing Manager defended the increase saying was necessitated by increase in operating costs for broadcasting which uses a lot of electrical energy.
“The loss of value of the Malawi Kwacha against the US$ which affects license fees and the purchase cost of programming. We know that the hiking will have an impact to our customers. This is the reasons consideration was made before coming up with the subscription price change”, assures Nyirenda.
On decision to remove channels or add, Nyirenda defended the move saying it aimed at giving customer’s balanced variety of programming and that company reserves the right to do so when assessing the performance and viability of channels platform.
While on intermittent of signals, he bashed on customers for not always understanding the technical of installing the antenna correctly which leads to poor reception saying the company was investing a lot in training GOtv Mmisilli people whom will going to assist customers with technical difficulties.
MultiChoice Malawi launched GOtv in January 18, 2013 to lower income families by providing them with great entertainment through 29 international and local television channels ranging from news, sports, documentaries, music, religion, movies to drama among others.
GOtv is the African first pay television operating using the next generation of Digital Video Broadcast standard (DVB) in some selected countries including Malawi, Zambia, Uganda, Nigeria and Kenya.