Sky Pacific Subscribers Must have Say

31/07/2016 14:54

The Consumer Council of Fiji is calling on Fiji Television Limited to reverse its decision to change its Sky Pacific channel line-up announced yesterday.

Since the announcement of the change in the channel line-up last night, many dismayed Sky Pacific subscribers have expressed grave concerns with the Council over what they describe as “an overnight monopolistic decision” of Fiji Television Limited to impose changes to the channels.

The Council is demanding answers from Fiji TVas to how its subscribers were consulted.

The Council has taken note of Fiji Television Limited chief executive, Tevita Gonelevu‟s explanation that the “decision was made following an extensive review process taking on board customer feedback” - But, we would like to know - how extensive was this review process and when was this consultation conducted?

We are interested to know the number of subscribers who had given their feedback against the total number of subscribers of the Sky Pacific Channel.Can Sky Pacific provide these feedbacks for transparency purposes? Do these feedbacks justify the rationale behind the channel line-up?

Did consumers really request for channels like Toonami, France 24(offered free of charge by FBC), Bio and History in place for Cartoon Network, Nat Geo Wild, and BBC? This is hard to believe particularly when consumers have been calling the Council and resorting to social media to vent their anger.

Amazingly, the Council was not consulted prior to this major change and yet Sky Pacific has the audacity to say that decision was made following an extensive review process taking on board customer feedback.

Consumers must get value for their money and giving them 24 channels in place of 16 does not mean they are adding value to the package – "more does not always mean merrier!" At least not in this case, where popular channels are being taken away to give 24 channels with the view that “for the same price consumers are getting more”.

For instance, one new channel, France 24 (an international news and current affairs television channel) which will be added on the Sky Pacific's channel line-up is shown free of charge on Fiji Broadcasting Corporation's TV channel at 1.30 pm from Monday to Friday. So how is this channel beneficial to the consumers who would be paying for it when it can be viewed freely on another television platform? Does giving more channels to the consumers mean that Sky Pacific can start charging for channels which the consumers can otherwise watch for free?

What will Sky Pacific do for those unsatisfied consumers who have been following programmes on these nine outgoing channels: Nat Geo Wild, BBC, Discovery Homes and Health, Star Plus, Star World, Fox Premium, Discovery, Cartoon Network and Fox Crime – these channels have a stronghold when it comes to entertainment, world news/current affairs and education.

Is this the reason why Sky Pacific reduced the subscription charges to lure more customers recently? It is apparent that Sky Pacific first reduced the subscription charges and then opted for channel line-up. This is nothing but mere marketing tactic that has been used by the monopoly

.Why replace Star Plus with two Zee channels? Where is the logic and how are you entertaining the subscribers by taking away their favourite programs watched on Star Plus?

Consumers deserve to be heard and the onus now lies on Fiji Television Limited to do the right thing if they truly believe that consumers are king!