Thursday, May 6, 2021

MultiChoice should tread carefully with its annual price increases

The pending annual increase announced by MultiChoice Botswana two weeks ago seems to have attracted quite a backlash towards the company even form seasoned loyalists. From the social media comments, it seems most DSTV or rather MultiChoice customers feel betrayed and exploited by this annual increase which has been on for the past several years now. At face value it was quite amusing to hear fellow countrymen, particularly low income earners literally petitioning a private company to reduce the prices of a luxury item. 

Yes, DStv is a luxury and our people have a choice to subscribe or not. And the price increases don’t need to make┬áexchange rate sense to customers, they just need to make profitability sense to owners of MultiChoice. But then again, perhaps MultiChoice as a company should pause for a moment and make a reflection on its
But like one of the commentators rightfully put it, perhaps these serial price hikes by MultiChoice reveal that the multinational company grave consequences of a pampered monopoly in Botswana, and perhaps even in other African countries. The silence of the Competition Authority on the matter makes the matter even more worrisome. The last time we check the Authority was to investigate the monopoly of MultiChoice but to date we are to get a word on where the investigations ended if they ever started.

What is evident though, atleast as a result of last week outcry, to most customers, MultiChoice’s annual increases seems to be harsh and sign of ‘carless’ attitudes them.

Like one of the viewers said on facebook, it is either MultiChoice love money so much more than their customer care or they have the worst marketing advisors. The general feeling and contention amongst DSTV customers, not just in Botswana but across the continent is that although the company hike their prices year in year out, it seems that their products and services are old same. The programming seems not to differ year in year out.

The one question that perhaps MultiChoice is better suited to answer it feels it deserve to increase its prices year in year out despite the continuos repeat of programs aired which the general agreement amongst its viewers is that it is not worth the increase at all.

At this juncture it is perhaps to remind the Competition Authority about the dislike that the citizenry have against the Monopoly of business DSTV enjoys and have been enjoying since forever.

The #Bottom-line though is that the planned April 1, 2015 increase in tariffs by MultiChoice Africa may not go down well with subscribers in our country if any talk on the social media is anything to with. Most customers signaled boycotting the company and its service should it continue implementing these annual increases. It is therefore upon MultiChoice to choose whether it goes ahead with annual increases without improving its contenting or atleast offer better programming which could be tallied to the money paid by customers. In the meantime the company should consider starting a massive marketing campaign to explain to its customers on what it means when it says the subscription price is necessitated by increase in satellite, channel and operational costs. In as far as the customers are concerned, they are being taken for a ride, and we believe so too.

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