Last week a fake letter circulated on social media purporting to be from Multichoice South Africa which raised questions among subscribers. Today, Multichoice has sent us a list of questions and answers that provide DStv subscribers with information about what’s really going on. Here it is:
Concerns about DStv subscribers in Zimbabwe with South African-registered accounts (SRAs) have been raised in the media since 15 March 2019. Skynet trading as MultiChoice Zimbabwe wishes to clarify all issues pertaining to this matter as outlined below:
Did MultiChoice South Africa issue a letter to Third Party Installers in Zimbabwe that new technology was launched to shut down decoders operating outside South Africa?
MCZ: It has come to our attention that a hoax letter has surfaced in Zimbabwe alleging that MultiChoice South Africa has notified third-party installers of a geolocation system being used to shut down illegal viewing. We wish to inform all our stakeholders that this is letter was not issued by MultiChoice.
Are you aware of a fraudulent scheme whereby DStv subscribers in Zimbabwe with South African-registered Accounts (SRAs) were paying half-price to watch any DStv package made possible through the exploitation of the subscription management system in South Africa?
MCZ: MultiChoice’s internal risk and fraud teams constantly monitor our subscriber base movements for any irregularities to limit abuse from fraudsters. When such instances occur, remedial action is swiftly taken.
What is Multichoice doing to combat illegal DStv operations in Zimbabwe?
MCZ: MultiChoice takes piracy of our products and services seriously in order to protect our valued DStv customers, our business, the entertainment industry and society at large.
Illegal agents carry no guarantee of service quality and there is no means of enforcing adherence to DStv standards.
As such, MultiChoice is undertaking a programme to combat illegal DStv operations by carrying out visits to unregistered operators claiming to be DStv agents in Zimbabwe.
These visits to bogus operators result from visible offers made by these operators to give Zimbabweans South African DStv accounts, which makes their actions illegal and could result in criminal actions against both the service providers and their customers.
Through this crackdown, we hope to eliminate bogus operators, who are putting customers at risk of poor quality service and also exposing them to possible prosecution for infringement of international copyright laws.
Customers are advised to verify the legal status of service providers prior to commissioning their service. A registered selection of authorised MultiChoice Accredited Installers and service agents entitled to undertake support activities is available from MultiChoice Zimbabwe.
Why should DStv customers subscribe to the service in their country of residence?
MCZ: In terms of international copyright laws, MultiChoice South Africa can only provide its services to people resident in South Africa due to channels being authorised for reception in South Africa only.
All operators providing DStv connections and support services in Zimbabwe are bound the law to ensure that DStv services in Zimbabwe are those that are legitimately provided for this country, and they may not connect Zimbabweans to DStv services in South Africa.
Subscribing in other countries ultimately does not support the local businesses, which creates local employment and tax, and encourages local industry growth.
Why should customers use accredited DStv installers?
MCZ: A total of 24 agents and 75 accredited MultiChoice installers are professionally trained by MultiChoice technicians to ensure every installation in Zimbabwe meets the company’s exacting standards. MultiChoice also has a system in place whereby every installation is logged, allowing technicians to quickly and easily check on the signal strength and quality of all new installations.
MultiChoice further empowers its installers by educating them on issues beyond just the technicalities of installations. Installers are now being equipped with enhanced knowledge around new products, like Box Office and DStv Now, as well as new technology, like the latest PVRs.
Can DStv customers pay for their Zimbabwean DStv accounts in South Africa?
MCZ: Yes – friends and family of Zimbabweans who live in South Africa can make their DStv account payments on their behalf in South Africa at all Shoprite/Checkers or Pick n Pay supermarkets nationwide and Kazang POS machines.
The person making the payment should request a Pay@ bill payment and add 11687 in front of the 10-digit smartcard number of the DStv account registered in Zimbabwe. Individuals making payment should also have details of the correct DStv package they are paying for. Terms and conditions apply. For more information, please visit the DStv Facebook page. www.facebook.com/DStvZimbabwe