My Dish TV subscription expired, and I couldn’t recharge on time. As a result they deactivated my service. But to my surprise they also stopped all FTA channels. They have disabled my STB completely. On getting deep into the matter, I came to know that all service providers in India like Tata Sky etc. are doing the same. What the ****!!! So now we have to pay for viewing free channels too??
Moreover, on inquiring from Dish TV, I came to know that I must pay an additional "downgrade" charge if I want to subscribe to a lower value package than the one I currently have. That simply means every-time I don’t have enough money to pay for a high value pack and want a lower one, these people will squeeze my throat even more. And to my surprise there is no mention of this charge on their website or any service manual, and they have confirmed the same.
Here is an excerpt of my email correspondence with them:
This is not the information I was expecting as you have already told on phone the same thing.
Since I was not told about the downgrade charges at the time of purchasing dish tv, I had asked you for website link that has more information about downgrade charges, or the page number in the manual that accompanied the installation that contains the information.
Just as I told on the phone, I had NOT opted for any platinum package myself. You provided it yourself. I would have been happy with the silver package too. So why this charge??
Moreover I don’t see a reason to charge anything extra from the customer when he/she is downgrading. Do you have to do any extra work for downgrading, for which you are charging this amount?
Kindly send me the website link for downgrade information or the subscriber manual reference page, and reply to my other queries.
Thank you for writing to dishtv.
As per our records **** is deactive w.e.f. **** due to non payment of renewal amount as your VC renewal date got expired on ****.
We would like to inform you have not been charged any amount against downgradation as you were active under Platinum pack. Downgradation charges of Rs. 40/- are deducted form the subscriber account if he downgrade from higher pack to lower pack. The information regarding downgradation policy has not yet been updated on our website, we have forwarded this issue to the respective department.
Incase of any concerns please write to us or call us, we would be glad to be of assistance.
We value your association and assure you of our commitment to serve you with a smile.
And since this is happening all in open, I would assume our government is hand in gloves with these scoundrels. They have cleverly degraded the services and number of channels of DD Direct Plus (the government DTH Service), that no one buys their service, so that these people can flourish.
My Simple Solution to This
I had a simple solution for this.
Went to the nearest electronics store and got the cheapest DD Direct Plus STB they had. I didn’t need anything else, since everything from the existing setup works. So total cost incurred was lesser than a month’s Dish TV subscription. I’m happy that I can at-least watch all FTA channels now for free. I’ll keep this box handy when I’m trapped in a similar situation in the future, even if I subscribe back to them now.
I’m not sure if this would work with other DTH services. But since it is working with this one, I would assume it works for others too. If anyone using any other service finds this post useful, please reply with your comments.
Update (March 06, 2010):
Altered a few words, to avoid search engines’ profanity filters. 😉