Many DStv subscribers are set to lose access to the Mzansi Magic and kykNET channels with MultiChoice that in turn will lose DStv customers altogether after the pay-TV operator told subscribers that it will shut down its two DStv Select packages at the end of the month.
DStv Select subscribers who have had access to kykNET for instance, are suddenly facing an almost 100% increase in what they will have to pay if they want to continue watching it, with many shocked customers saying they can't afford it and are done with DStv.
MultiChoice is eliminating its two legacy packages - DStv Select 1 that contains Mzansi Magic as a TV channel as part of its collection of channels, as well as DStv Select 2 that contains kykNET as a part of its collection of channels.
MultiChoice is putting DStv Select customers before the choice of either cancelling their DStv subscription, switching to the DStv Family package which doesn't contain these channels, or to suddenly pay a lot more for access to the channels they used to get.
DStv Select 1 subscribers who are paying R265 will now have to pay R399 per month for DStv Compact to get Mzansi Magic.
DStv Select 2 customers will suddenly have to fork out R519 per month - a sudden once-off increase of around 96% - which many existing DStv customers say that they simply can't afford.
DStv Select subscribers have complained that they don't know what's going on, can't understand why MultiChoice is taking their package away, and are accusing MultiChoice of not having communicated with them properly.
They are saying that they are being forced to now drop DStv as loyal customers because they can't afford the massive subscription fee jump just to continue to watch the channels and shows that they used to get.
MultiChoice stopped offering the DStv Select packages in April 2013 which it started as an offering in conjunction with Vodacom. At the time MultiChoice promised existing DStv Select subscribers that they can remain on DStv Select for as long as they keep paying for it.
Over the past 5 years MultiChoice took several channels away from DStv Select and didn't replace channels that it terminated with new ones like it does on other its other bouquets. It also didn't add any new channels.
Yet DStv Select subscribers kept holding on to their DStv Select subscriptions and for good reason - the Mzansi Magic and kykNET channels.
When MultiChoice terminated its legacy M-Net analogue package, MultiChoice moved those loyal subscribers to a like-for-like DStv service that still included M-Net without making them pay more but the same isn't happening for DStv Select subscribers.
MultiChoice told DStv subscribers that they will be moved to DStv Family at R265 per month from 29 October 2019. DStv Select subscribers have the option to contact the pay-TV operator and cancel their service altogether or upgrade to a much more expensive package.
"Your favourite channels are however still available on our various other packages,” MultiChoice is telling DStv Select subscribers.
"This is so painful. I have supported DStv and kykNET for many years as a loyal subscriber but I can't suddenly pay double," said a distraught DStv Select subscriber from Port Elizabeth. "What about my Binnelanders? Or Boer Soek 'n Vrou? I'm sad. You know what, if this is how DStv is treating loyal customers they can now take it and shove it if my money isn't enough."
MultiChoice was asked in a media enquiry why it is taking kykNET and Mzansi Magic away from customers who have had access to it, how many DStv Select customers MultiChoice has and what same alternative is available for them. MultiChoice was also asked about customers saying that they have not been told or informed about the change and how MultiChoice informed them.
MultiChoice said that "DStv is continuously reviewing its content line-up, packaging structure and pricing to ensure that customers have access to the best fresh content at great value. As a result we will be discontinuing some packages and redirecting customers to the main packages where the same programmes and channels can be found."
"Select 1 and Select 2 packages will not be available as of 29 October 2019."
"Customers can still watch their much-loved programmes and channels on our other packages. Customers will be migrated to DStv Family which has 25 more channels than the current package. If they would like to move to any other package, they are welcome to contact us before the package end date."
MultiChoice added that "It’s important to note that no DStv Select customer is being forced into any particular direction or package".
"From a practicality point of view, if they take no action, DStv Select customers are being migrated to the DStv Family package, which has no negative financial impact on them, but offers an increased number of channels compared to what they previously had."
"They also have the option, just like any other customer, of signing up for any other DStv package that suits their viewing needs and affordability."
MultiChoice said that "Any changes to a customer’s offering are always communicated directly via their chosen method of communication. As a business we endeavour to update their contact details whenever we interact with them and it is important that they share any changes with us, to ensure we can reach them when required".
"Having discontinued the DStv Select packages some 6 years ago, it does not make commercial sense to continue investing in these packages with newer, more costly content, into packages whose audience numbers are very small."
"It is also unfair to the majority of customers who pay full price to get great value content which comes at a huge investment, whilst others potentially received a discounted price indefinitely."