MultiChoice: Why we cannot obey court ruling on subscription rates

TechCentral
Pay TV operator, MultiChoice Nigeria, has described the court ruling restraining it from implementing its new subscription rates as an affront to free market economy.
In the company’s position was made known in a statement released on Saturday, MultiChoice said it received, on Thursday, an interim court order dated 20 August from the Federal High Court regarding the price adjustment that it implemented on 1 August 2018.
“We believe that the order is an affront to the free market economy and we have now filed a Notice of Appeal and an application for stay of execution, pending the hearing of the Appeal.
“The CPC has been accordingly served with the requisite processes.
“In light of the application for a stay of execution, the status quo therefore prevails,” the statement said.
The Pay TV Company said it will always operate within the ambit of the law and will cooperate with the authorities to ensure the best outcome for its customers, as it remains committed to providing the best quality of entertainment and premium content at the best possible prices.
MultiChoice had early last month raised the subscription rate for the various bouquets on its pay television platform, the DStv.
With the increase, the Premium package was jacked up from N14,700 to N15,800, Compact Plus from N9,900 to N10,650, Compact from N6,300 to N6,800.
Also, the Family package went from N3,800 to N4,000, and Access from N1,900 to N2,000.
The increases took effect from Aug 1, 2018.
Eyes Of Lagos gathered that, However, on Monday, Justice Nnamdi Dimgba granted an injunction restraining the company from implementing the new rates.
The court also restrained Multi Choice from any conduct capable of interfering with the regulatory process of the Consumer Protection Council (CPC).
The restraining order was issued in respect of Suit No FHC/ABJ/CS/894/18 brought before the court by the CPC following public outcry.
But the pay television service provider has continued to implement its new bouquet rates despite the court order restraining the action.
In reaction, the Director-General of CPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera in a statement on Friday unveiled a special channel for receiving complaints for customers who could not renew their subscriptions at old prices.
“The Council is setting up a special channel for receiving complaints for this purpose.
“This is in view of the continuing and increasing complaints that consumers are unsuccessful in renewing subscription in compliance with the order of the court, even after service of the order upon Multichoice.
“As such, any consumer who has, or is experiencing this challenge should please send an email to multichoicecompliance@cpc.gov.ng, stating relevant information.
“The information should include smart card number, name, telephone number, date and time of failed attempt to pay, supporting same with relevant evidence such as a screenshot or document (where necessary),” Irukera said.

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