Monday, December 11, 2023


Customer satisfaction: The DStv case study

July 07
10:20 2015

By Folarin Okanrinde

Quality or quantity? These two choices are confront us at every point.

As consumers, we are daily bombarded with  options. And from these, we are invited to choose. One option offers undeniable quality, the other less so. For some, quantity is what is desired. For others, quality is it. Cheap, we have found out on more than a few occasions, can be expensive. It is expensive when it delivers measly value, as quantity often does.

When considering lifestyle choices, such as what type of car to drive, where to live, what sort of clothes to wear, “quality” is what is on the minds of most consumers. Cost becomes secondary because we understand that for us to get more, we need to pay more.

It is for this reason that I have continued to wonder why the debate about the upward review of DStv subscription continues.


Without a doubt, we all want prices to remain the same, if possible, eternally. But in a high-cost economy as we have in Nigeria, where production costs are prohibitive-whatever the industry- it is nigh on impossible to keep costs the same without compromising quality.

This leads to a question: What quality does DStv really bring to the table?

As the foremost  pay-TV company, MultiChoice Africa touts itself as the leading provider of video entertainment across several digital devices. It currently has two products, DStv and GOtv. The company has over the years provided a wide range of content and made significant investments in technology that has kept Nigerians connected to the rest of the world.


Examples of MultiChoice’s technology upgrade include constant DStv product developments such as the launch of the PVR and more recently, the Explora decoder, DStv Catch Up and BoxOffice services as well as High Definition channels, which have taken subscribers’ viewing pleasure a notch higher.

GOtv, on the other, hand runs on the most advanced DVB-T2 network in Africa, offering higher efficiency and an upgrade of the outdated T1 technology which was used by first movers in the digital migration process.

Away from technology, DStv has maintained its leadership in providing quality entertainment that the whole family can enjoy. These days, most households are spoilt for choice with the variety of channels available to watch per bouquet. It is also interesting to note that each of the bouquet is designed with the subscriber in mind, providing flexibility in price without compromising quality or variety.

For instance, the DStv Compact is targeted at the young, upwardly mobile subscriber who enjoys a keeping up with the latest in sports, drama, series, music and movies and cannot necessarily afford premium. The DStv Family, as the name implies, has a channel suitable for every member of the family.  MultiChoice offers a variety of bouquet options on its DStv service.


Still on entertainment. We cannot talk about DStv and not mention Africa Magic, one of the flagship content of MultiChoice. With its pay-off “Made by Africans by Africans”, the channel has continued to provide veritable platform for Africans to tell their own stories their way. It has since seen a diversification into other ethnic channels: AfricaMagic Yoruba, AfricaMagic Hausa and the most recent being AfricaMagic Igbo. It also has given birth to unarguably one of Africa’s biggest awards created to recognize and celebrate African film and TV talent, the Africa Magic Viewers’ Choice Awards (AMVCA). We can also not  forget the AfricaMagic Original Films production, started in 2013, which is giving a new crop of Nollywood movie stars a wider appeal and recognition.


Nigerians found a new love with drama from Spanish/Portuguese origins when MultiChoice launched Telemundo, a 24-hour telenovela channel on its platforms in 2013. Then in February this year, homes were lit up with the introduction of Zee World, a Bollywood channel. This, without a doubt,  shows the company’s commitment to the provision of well rounded entertainment from different continents.

This brings me to the vexatious issue of programme repeats. With the array of channels and programmes, people often wonder why “DStv keeps repeating programmes”.  I also wondered myself. But through a little fact finding, I got to realise that channel providers worldwide repeat movies and programmes to allow viewers to plan viewing time at their convenience. The acquisition of programme and movie rights is based on a model whereby programmes and movies are purchased for a certain number of screenings. This allows for the movies or programmes to be shown at different time slots to allow viewers a choice of when they would like to access the programming. Repeats in the case of a multi-channel environment allow subscribers not to miss out in instances where two or three interesting programmes are running at the same time.


Away from content scheduling and technology, let us examine its other operations such as customer service. How will MultiChoice be rated in the area of customer service? Some subscribers say their queries are not quickly addressed. Some are at a loss to how programmed error messages appear on their screens and when they call to complain, they do not get an immediate reprieve. Personally, I believe the issue of poor customer service sticks out as a sore thumb in most, if not all, Nigerian businesses. It will be good to point out here that one unsavory customer service experience in three cases does not make an organisation altogether bad. Organisations, of course, should strive to ensure that their customers have the best quality of service at every point in time.



However, I do believe that MultiChoice has not done badly in reaching out to its subscribers. An example will be when it announced its decoder swap in September 2014. The campaign basically called on subscribers to exchange their legacy non-secure decoders for secure ones at no cost. The campaign was heavy on publicity, with both targeted and generic communications. Those customers who were going to be directly affected were notified with phone calls, SMS blasts and forced messages on their screens while other communication was across several media channels such as radio, print and online. So it will be rather unfair for one after all this much publicity say that the company did not notify them about the swap. This is one out of many instances that MultiChoice reached out to its subscribers on changes or policies  to be effected.

In all, I do believe that MultiChoice has had its fair share of problems as it is normal with every business either local or international. But what we cannot take away from the company is its commitment to continually provide Nigerians with innovative and unique products, which ensure that they get a better deal, improved choice, as well as better controls and customer support. For over twenty years, we have been entertained, educated and informed. We have also seen a boost in our local content due to their investments. This is what we should base our judgments on.


Okanrinde, a lawyer, lives in Abuja


Views expressed by contributors are strictly personal and not of TheCable.

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  1. chuks
    chuks July 11, 01:13

    who is talking about their customer service here, what we are saying is the price hike

    Reply to this comment
  2. Emma
    Emma July 13, 10:02

    Dstv has also done excellently well in blocking God away from the Yoruba and Hausa channels! Meanwhile it does not block “devil” out. That is an achievement.
    We need to watch out for this digital anti Christ.

    Reply to this comment

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