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CPC opens up fresh investigation against Multichoice

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CPC opens up fresh investigation against Multichoice

The Consumer Protection Council (CPC), which is tasked with protecting and promoting the interest of Nigerian consumers, has commenced yet another investigation against Multichoice Nigeria Limited, owners of DSTV and Gotv, according to documents obtained by TheScoop.

The investigation will look into the company’s possible violations of the rights of Nigerian consumers in the provision of direct satellite broadcast and exploitative pricing.

The complaints against Multichoice:

Some of the issues raised against MultiChoice Nigeria by consumers include: poor quality of service/signals, exorbitant charges, arbitrary increase in fees without justification, disconnection during valid subscription cycle, limited access to channels even after payments, and failure to activate subscription days or week after payment.

Others include exorbitant charges, failure to adopt the pay as you go package, non activation of free to air service on expiry of subscription and inability to access toll free customer lines.

According to the investigation notice signed by the Director General of the CPC, Babatunde Irukera, and issued to MultiChoice on the 9th of November 2017:

  • The CPC will determine if the company complied with its orders following a previous investigation in 2016 on possible violations of the rights of consumers. 
  • The council at various times interacted with MultiChoice to ensure full compliance with its order. 
  • Even though Multichoice responded on May 13, 2016, identifying steps taken to ensure compliance, the council says it has noted “a continuing and in fact increasing number of complaints and grievances regarding Multichoice services.”
  • In addition to complaints to the council, there is also an increasing number of expressed frustrations against the pay-media company on social media platforms, electronic and print media and  before the National Assembly. In some cases there have been breaches of law and order.”
  • A national assembly committee opened up its own investigation of the committee in July this year on excessive charges and failure to adopt “Pay As You Go” package option.

How investigation will work:

According to Irukera, the CPC will request and receive evidence both written and oral from people within the company and other interested outsiders. The Council may also visit Multichoice office locations where the violations took place, if necessary.

With the growing number of streaming options for consumers to access their favorite TV shows and the entrance of other players in this sector. Observers are watching to see how MultiChoice navigates this latest hurdle and continues its dominance in the industry. 

Some MultiChoice consumers who spoke to TheScoop expressed hope that the investigation could force Multichoice to offer more value to her consumers and address the issues that prompted CPC to investigate, especially since the current issues are the same for which the company was previously investigated. 

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