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DIGITAL TV TALK: Why you may not be reconnected when your subscription is renewed

DIGITAL TV TALK: Why you may not be reconnected when your subscription is renewed
July 20
17:33 2015
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It must have happened a few times, perhaps so many times, leaving you frustrated and red-eyed with rage.

You are heading home, hoping to watch a star match or an episode of your favourite programme, with full assurance of an exciting time having renewed your pay-TV subscription.

You get home, switch on the television and you are confronted with a blank screen or an error message that bobs slowly. You wait for it to clear and get the signal. It does not. You sigh, in frustration, and begin to seethe at being cheated by your pay-TV provider after renewing your subscription.

Angrily, you draw your phone from your pocket like a gun from a holster, dial the customer care line, which is sometimes clogged by calls from people in your situation or those with other complaints.

Your frustration doubles. Resignedly, you sink into your seat. But this needs not be so. Reconnection difficulties after subscription renewal are caused by a few factors-all avoidable and easily remediable. The first is a non-active decoder. If a decoder is not active at the time subscription is renewed, following the expiry of the previous one, reconnection will not happen. The widely used technology in pay-TV operates by sending signal from the satellite to a ground station, a one-way communication or downlink (DL). The decoder does not send a feedback to the satellite. This way, the pay-TV provider does not know if or not you are receiving signals. When the decoder is inactive (switched off), the signal sent to it bounces back. If active, reconnection is immediate, except the decoder is faulty.

One way to avoid reconnection difficulty is to renew before an active subscription expires.

Another factor is the smartcard which, if faulty or inappropriately placed, will be unable to receive signals.
It is important to check and know what the problem is and of course, contact your provider for advice or solution.

An mail to the customer care email address, a post on the pay-TV provider’s Facebook page or Twitter handle will take care of this and almost every other reconnection issue. A much quicker resolution of reactivation issues provider via text messages to a short code of the pay-TV provider. DStv, for example, advertises the short code 30333 to which a subscriber should send a short message and get reconnected almost immediately. A DStv subscriber simply needs to type RA, leave a space and type the first ten digits of his smartcard number to have the account reactivated. After the message is sent, a subscriber will receive a confirmatory sms explaining that the reactivation is being processed. He/she only has to wait for a while, ensure the decoder is active and the channels would be unscrambled.

This requires a lot less effort and time than having to be on a long phone queue to reach customer care personnel.

A major factor, often ignored (not willfully), is when a subscriber has outstanding payments to make. For instance, if you have a dual-view, you are required to pay an additional amount for it. Paying less than that, however little, will make reconnection impossible. This is because your pay-TV provider’s system recognises you as a dual-view user. Should you have a need to revert to single view, you will be required to notify your provider, which will then do a reset on its system to make it recognise that you are back on single view and should pay subscription for such.

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