Subscribers to the DSTv Mobile services in Nigeria are facing hard times as they grapple with scrambled services and lost subscription fees.
The subscribers say they started noticing problems with DSTv mobile service in the second week of January this year after subscription fees were deducted by MTN with a promise to offer TV services on mobile devices.
They say each time they try to connect, they receive error messages saying “Server not responding” or “Server connection failed,” after various fees had been deducted from their accounts.
Austyn Arimoro, a subscriber, said he had so lost N800 in subscription fees with any commensurate service.
“Three days after the first deduction, I subscribed again and the same thing repeated itself,” Mr. Arimoro said.
Another subscriber, Ikechukwu Iyke, lost N800 too, in five days. “It is painful,” he said.
After trading blames with its local mobile carrier, MTN, and coming under a barrage of complaints from its subscribers, DSTv Mobile first acknowledged the glitch which was also reported in Kenya, February 2 – explaining that “Our technicians are working on the issue…”
Six days later, service was restored to most subscribers but the company made no remarks about the fees collected for services that were not rendered.
“The DStv Mobile network is now back in action; you can now subscribe to great DStv content and continue to enjoy TV on the go,” the South African satellite TV company said on its Facebook fan-page.
Subscribers confirm the TV services have been restored but subscription fees lost while the network glitch lasted are yet to be refunded.
“It is now working,” Mr. Iyke confirmed.
Subscription plans are still due to continue as if the interruption had not occurred, many subscribers say.
“I have been notified that my subscription is due to expire on Friday but it only started working on Wednesday,” Titi Usman said. She had also lost her earlier week’s subscription.
“I cannot pay N800 for just two days service,” she said.
On its Facebook fan-page, DSTv Mobile only apologised for the scrambled services without making concrete reference to lost subscription fees.
“We apologise for the inconvenience caused and we will be in touch with all affected subscribers,” it said.
Mr. Arimoro, who has been using the Nokia 5330 DSTv Mobile series since he bought it off the 2010 FIFA World Cup promo, say the late January glitch isn’t the company’s first. But each time, customers walked away without compensation.
Maiyo Simapungula, DSTv Mobile’s public relation and communication manager did not respond to Premium Times’ queries about his company’s plans to compensate embittered subscribers.
A message sent to his official email address was unanswered.