AN online petition calling for MultiChoice Zambia to revise its latest subscription fees is currently running and steadily gaining momentum.
The petition follows a recent announcement by MultiChoice Zambia that it would be increasing its subscription rates on April 15, 2015.
The petition was started specifically by an individual named Mercy Kalale as indicated on the website change.org, from where it can be accessed. So far over 1,000 Zambian DStv subscribers have signed the online petition form.
A brief statement on the change.org website reads:
“Over the years MultiChoice Zambia has been charging subscription based on the dollar rates. There is a need to standardise the rates and avoid passing on exchange losses to its customers. In 2014 premium bouquet rates went from K350 to K500, this caused a stir among DStv subscribers. The company needs to find a way to prepare their books of accounts in Kwacha and find ways to hedge against foreign exchange losses. There is a need for them to understand the unstable environment and deal with it in a proper manner.”
Additionally, a Facebook group called Zambians against High DStv Rates has since been formed and as of Sunday March 15, 2015, had attracted nearly 9,695 likes.
The group’s catch line reads: “DStv Zambia on the 15th of April is increasing subscription rates by an unbelievable margin. Stop blaming the dollar!”
The new fees for DStv Premium subscribers stand at K631 while DStv Compact plus subscribers will be expected to pay K413. Compact subscribers also will be paying K248 as of April 15.
Many Zambian DStv subscribers took to social media to register their displeasure at MultiChoice Zambia’s announcement regarding the new charges.
They claimed it was financial exploitation on the part of MultiChoice Zambia while others said the new charges amount to the entire salary of a security guard.
Motivational speaker Mubita Nawa lent his opinion online concerning the matter: “This DStv battle has left me in double minds. I respect MultiChoice Zambia very much. I must say their price increase of nearly 50 percent is unsustainable in Zambia. At the moment the economy in our nation is struggling across board. If everyone and if all businesses increased prices by between 40 and 50 percent, our people would die.”
Some individuals, however, were more sympathetic over the decision by MultiChoice Zambia to increase its monthly subscription charges, stating that as a private entity such a move should be made at its discretion.
In addition to the petition, there is also a proposed boycott for Zambian subscribers not to pay next month’s DStv subscription.
DStv is MultiChoice’s digital satellite TV service in Africa that was launched in 1995 and provides various bouquets offering general entertainment, movies, lifestyle and other consumer channels to subscribers.