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How long are we going to be slaves to DSTV – Etcetera


I have decided to lend my voice to the call for sanctions against Dstv in Nigeria, despite the fact that I have been cautioned by a couple of entertainers that speaking up against the almighty cable network may result in the banning of my works on its network.

Yes, it is true that challenging these multinationals in Nigeria attracts sanctions especially for entertainers, but I have decided to speak up because I am one of the millions of Nigerians affected by any increment in subscription charges. Moreover, what’s the point of having my works on a platform that my fans can’t afford?

Every entertainer who’s chickened out of this campaign for his/her selfish interest should know that the continuous indifference of Dstv to our plights over the years is a slap on the face of every Nigerian, inclusive of the entertainers themselves. These are the same entertainers that have complained of being shortchanged by Dstv for many years. Nigerian movie producers have complained of receiving peanuts for their works on the same network. Nawa ooo! Should anyone be afraid to express his/her dissatisfaction with a product he/she is paying for?

Let’s make Dstv understand that it is licensed to do business in Nigeria for none other reasons than providing value and the value it delivers has to justify the price charged. Otherwise, we will be persuaded to look for alternatives or invent our own like the Alaba boys are doing. No business can leave out customer value and satisfaction for ever, not even a beast like Dstv. Enough of its appalling pricing strategy. Heck, they have given us a truck load of reasons to boycott their services and it is incredibly ridiculous that NBC which is tasked with the responsibility of protecting our interest has chosen to stay mute even with all our complaints. This is one of many reasons why this country sucks.

Dstv reception is so damn terrible that spitting on the floor where its dish is pegged instantly scrambles the signals. The long rebooting process is another chapter in a voluminous book of frustrations. I wonder if the authorities of Nigerian Broadcasting Corporation are not experiencing this same horrendous customer service and monopolistic tactics that we have forever complained about.

Well, I won’t be surprised to hear that Dstv has special packages for NBC staff. Or how does one explain why its bad PR and continued price hikes haven’t crippled its business in Nigeria? Can Dstv subject South Africans to such substandard services?

It has a very unique and annoying way of practising price discrimination, by selling the same product at different prices to different groups of consumers. What’s most annoying is its refusal to communicate any valid reason for this exploitative act. This warrants for a total boycott of its services across the country. Now that it has seen that we have started complaining and threatening to boycott its services, it will quickly roll out a new promo and a small discount on a new package to keep us on board.

Nigerians should be smart this time around. We shouldn’t accept anything less than a revert to the old price. For Christ sake, must we consistently haggle Dstv to keep prices down or treat us equally with people in its homeland? Sad thing is that our efforts don’t necessarily ensure rates won’t continue to rise because the regulators who are supposed to keep it in check have been compromised.

With all the illegalities perpetuated by these multinationals, isn’t it a miracle that none has been sanctioned? I once asked a Chinese neighbour if he has a permit to drive in Nigeria and the goon waved a N50 note at me saying, ‘this is my driver’s licence.’ These foreign investors use paid lobbyists within our corrupt government to ward off sanctions. I am sure that with this ongoing campaign for Dstv’s sanction, some government officials would have received bogus cheques to turn a deaf ear to our cries.

I don’t even want to think of its endless promo offers and how it makes it extremely difficult for me to know what I am paying for and what services I am actually receiving. Not mentioning the complex pricing schemes that make it almost impossible for anyone to figure out how much any of the bundles it is offering actually costs, especially once the promo is over.

Dstv can’t tell us it doesn’t know that the absence of simple, transparent pricing reduces consumer confidence and increases distrust but it has deliberately chosen to capitalise on the monopoly status given to it by our corrupt government to deny us the benefits of simpler pricing, fewer plans, and greater transparency.

Maybe it is so big that its competitors will have to attack multiple markets to fully take it down but it should also know that if a company’s success routinely sacrifices the satisfaction of its customers, it inevitably becomes more difficult to sustain growth and generate revenue.

The question now is, when will NTA and other local stations make use of innovative methods and bypass their old ways of doing things so that if Dstv doesn’t attempt to change and provide efficient customer services, its future in Nigeria will no longer be as bright as it thinks.

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