MultiChoice switches off DStv from Byo dealers

11 Mar, 2015 - 00:03 0 Views

The Chronicle

Bongani Ndlovu Showbiz Correspondent
HUNDREDS of people in Bulawayo were yesterday left stranded after MultiChoice Zimbabwe ordered dealers who are facilitating payment of Digital Satellite Television (DStv) subscriptions in South Africa so that their local clients can watch SABC and eTv channels, to stop their illegal practice.

Zimbabwean subscribers with running DStv South Africa bouquets were switched off and advised to visit local MultiChoice offices to get registered.

After the black out of SABC channels on free to air decoders that left millions of Zimbabweans stranded in 2012, some dealerships started offering to pay DStv subscriptions in South Africa which include SABC1, 2, 3, and eTv.

Elizabeth Dziva, MultiChoice Zimbabwe publicity and public relations manager, said they had realised that there were a lot of DStv accounts that were outside the country.

“MultiChoice Africa is obliged to ensure the correct and legal distribution of channels. To comply, an audit has been done on our accounts, and subscribers with accounts outside of the designated territory they’re registered for need to be corrected,” she said.

Dziva said as a result, the affected subscribers were advised to visit their local MultiChoice offices to ensure they are activated with Zimbabwean accounts.

The Chronicle visited several dealerships dotted around Bulawayo and saw scores of people queueing and demanding an explanation as to what was going on.

A notice that was put up in one of the dealerships stated they were not allowed by law to facilitate payment for the South African bouquet of DStv to Zimbabweans.

One disgruntled subscriber who declined to be named said he woke up yesterday morning without any reception on his decoder.

He said he went to the dealers where he was told their names were leaked to MultiChoice Zimbabwe Bulawayo offices by a rival from another dealership.

“After realising that I was cut off I went to see the people who I deal with. When we got there seeking an explanation, they said one of their laptops that contained the list of names of people paying for the DStv South Africa bouquet was stolen. The information included our names, decoder and smart card numbers and that information was then given to MultiChoice Bulawayo, who in turn got us switched off”, said the subscriber.

Dealers who were asked about the development said they were told of the looming cut off last week.

“We knew that the cut off was coming and when people started trickling in and asking what was going on after being cut off, we told them to go to MultiChoice Bulawayo to get registered. As for those who want to be refunded they can come forward,” said one dealer who also declined to be named. When people were asked why they preferred DStv South Africa to the local one, they said the SABC factor was crucial.

“I’m paying in South Africa on purpose because I want to watch Muvhango, Generations, Isidingo, Khumbul’ ekhaya and Scandal.

“I got so used to these programmes before we were cut off. After we found out that we can watch them on DStv through these dealers we jumped at the opportunity,” said Margret Ncube of Magwegwe North.

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