Cable transition leaves customers in a lurch

Anvita Srivastava
Sunday, 10 February 2019

Nida Shaikh, a consumer from NIBM area, said, “We have filled the form long time back, but we are unable to watch the desired  channels even after subscribing to them. I have been complaining about it but to no avail.”

PUNE: The new rules by Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) are causing consumers several problems while filling the forms for the paid channels. Few others have complained that the process to fill these forms is very confusing and time consuming, while some more claimed that even after filling these forms, they are still not able to watch the desired channels.

Nida Shaikh, a consumer from NIBM area, said, “We have filled the form long time back, but we are unable to watch the desired  channels even after subscribing to them. I have been complaining about it but to no avail.”

Col JP Ganguly (Rtd) said, “We have filled the form 15 days back but currently we are receiving only Free To Air (FTA) channels. We have not received proper response from the operator.”

“The idea behind this rule is good but the execution is improper. If the implementation was systematic and enough time was given, it would have not been that chaotic,” he added.Khushboo Sharma said, “The packages are really confusing, as the channels are not segregated properly and we are facing lot of issues while selecting our favourite channels. I have filled up the form earlier, but I am still unable to access channels of my choice. I am planning to switch to some DTH as the prices are going to be same.” Manju Wadhwani said, “I have two connections and I have filled the form on January 31 but I am not receiving paid channels on my High Definition (HD) box. I have been complaining about it, but no one is responding.”

Speaking about the reason for this chaos, one Multiple System Operator (MSO) from the city said on condition of anonymity, “Local operators are ill-equipped, so they are facing issues in coping with this new transition.” Speaking on behalf of MSOs in the city, he shared “We are completely in the favour of this rule, as it  will bring a lot of transparency and is in the favour of consumers.”

He added that consumers delaying the decision to choose channels has led to this chaos. He shared, “We have been displaying the notice since December 25 when the rule came for first time. But the deadline got extended so the customers delayed filling the forms. Most of them filled the form on January 31t. Just imagine, we have two lakh customers and each customer chooses 100 different channels, and by giving 100 different commands for each customer, it is obvious that the server will crash.”

Baba Shaikh, Nextgen Digital TV, another MSO, said, “We have been prepared for this since last two years, although our system got slowed down on February 1, as we were doing the activation of 200 customers in one day. Each customer’s activation required at least five to seven minutes and due to this overload, the system got slow. Now, the situation is under control.”

THE TRAI POLICY
The new framework allows consumers to select and pay only for the channels they wish to view, and requires TV broadcasters to disclose the maximum retail price (MRP) of each channel and that of bouquets. 

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