DStv subscriber sues for R302k

2013-05-28 11:02
Thinus Ferreira
Abuja – A DStv subscriber in Nigeria is suing the satellite pay-TV operator MultiChoice for R302 000 (N5 000 000) and demanding an apology after his service was disconnected - even though his account wasn't in arrears.

In a case before the high court in Abuja, DStv subscriber Chuks Udo-Kalu is suing DStv over alleged breach of contract, claiming he was disconnected although his subscription to the pay-TV giant was fully paid up. He submitted payment receipts and his DStv decoder smartcard as evidence.

Udo-Kalu now demands an apology from MultiChoice, as well as exemplary damages.

MultiChoice lawyer fails to appear

"My subscription was still running for more than a month in advance and they disrupted my services. I went in person several times to their offices, they did not do anything about it," he told The Daily Trust.

Udo-Kalu says he wants the high court to declare MultiChoice in breach of contract, to pay over R302 000 in damages, to reconnect him, and to apologise.

"What they posted on my screen was that my account has been suspended. To my mind it's like your banker refusing to pay you when you know you have money in your account."

"I asked my lawyers to write, they wrote, they replied promising to fix it and they did not, so I came to court."

So far MultiChoice Nigeria has not filed any documents and MultiChoice's lawyer also failed to show up on 23 May in court despite agreeing on the court date.

Judge Yusuf Halilu has now postponed the case to 11 June.

Channel 24 asked MultiChoice Africa to comment on the case but by the end of business on Monday there was no response.

* Channel24 and Multichoice are part of Naspers.


  • Adri Mbali Noble - 2013-05-28 11:16

    Typical Multichoice, don't owe up to the responsibility. #mxm

      Gift Mogiftana - 2013-05-28 15:36

      I also think of pursuing my own lawsuit..I can pay DSTV when its raining but I can't watch it when it's raining, money over here people..money over here!!

      Eduard Facquiline Gous - 2013-05-28 15:51

      And I thought DSTV is expensive in my country!!! What are you charging the people in Nigeria!!! ;)

      Mattewis Kat - 2013-05-29 08:03

      You're paying to finance lawsuits in Africa, because there's definitely not enough entertainment in DSTV to justify R700p/m! If I'm not mistaken there's another lawsuit going on in Kenia too, between MC & their opposition (the guys who have now bought into TopTV).

      Mlungisi Botha - 2013-05-29 08:11

      I smell a big fat Nigerian rat here - or is it just my nose? The request is simple enough - please reconnect my service as I'm paid up to date and here's the proof - and no one does anything. The guy treks back and forth to DSTV and even gets his lawyers to act but nothing happens. When the matter goes to court, guess what - the DSTV lawyer doesn't turn up as agreed. That's a lot of bother that - proof enough that the company deserves to be punished and punished big time. If the lawyer doesn't turn up the next time the judge will find for the complainant - 5 million Nigerian bucks and that's a big load of cash! That night there will be a big party...and guess who will be on the guest list? If you and your mates wanted to make big bucks off a big company - there's the blue print for you.

      Mlungisi Botha - 2013-05-29 11:03

      @ Luzuko Mtoyi: What are moaning about bro? Moaning about SAns moaning! I agree and we don't realize that it's no use moaning coz no one's listening anyway!

      OhbiZz Chabata - 2013-05-29 11:20

      Well the problem will be for Mr. Naija man to prove damages valued at R300K which resulted from having a blank tv screen. All multichoice will have to say is, well we run a very big business across the whole of Africa. We as a result sometimes get glitches in our system. We will credit the number of days you lost out back into your account. We have no problem with you ending your contract with us. Nonetheless we apologise to you. CASE CLOSED!!! BTW what on earth are exemplary damages?

      Klippies Coke - 2013-05-29 11:23

      Good idea! I think I will sue them for over promising and under delivering consistently.

      Mlungisi Botha - 2013-05-29 15:09

      @ Chabata: The purpose of a court when it comes to damages is not only to protect aggrieved consumers but to award damages at such a level that; the company concerned feels the pinch to the extent that they will not dare suffer another consumer the same inconvenience; so that other consumers who suffer the same inconvenience will use it as an example to seek redress to such shoddy treatment; but probably the biggest reason for calling these damages exemplary is making an example of the company so that other companies either doing the same of thinking of doing the same will realize what they're in for. In my school days you'd get a whacking more serious than what you did wrong because the teacher wanted to send an exemplary message to others who might have toyed with the idea of doing the same. I'm no lawyer but I think that's pointing you in the right direction. On the other stuff, of course multi-choice will come up with such an excuse. All companies will say that in their defence. Its like Macdonald's saying the same thing in explaining why you found a dead cockroach in your big mac - "we run a big company all over Africa and we have a few glitches here and there, sorry ol' chap have a big mac and coke on us" - pat on the back and end of story? No no no Chabata it doesn't or maybe shouldn't work like that. The poor man suffered anguish, time wasting, rejection, lack of service etc by a big company which has the resources to provide a better service than they are giving.

  • JakeMuso - 2013-05-28 11:20

    Okay...what damage did they do to you by switching off your DSTV to the value of R302 000? Tell me now! Ridiculous-much!

      mluleki.simelane - 2013-05-28 11:51

      Breach of contract, they were paid for services that they failed to provide, it's up to multichoice to prove that the amount he is claiming is rediculous

      mluleki.simelane - 2013-05-28 11:54

      This will teach multichoice a lesson, even though I think this will be settled out of court for much less money

      Chantelle Bezuidenhout - 2013-05-28 12:27

      If I was him, I would claim more as how many other instances are there that the public is not aware of. Pay up Multichoice, it won't hurt you, will it. You have already lost face with the customers !!!

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-28 12:38

      if u dont have knowledge of things keep mum. to get that case in court is money. the 'distraction' itself can change one's life. please leave it the well endowed legally

      Fezile Ntontela - 2013-05-28 12:48

      well said Marima

      James Looch - 2013-05-28 15:25

      Punitive damages! I hope he gets it and the court declares it a precedent so all multinationals and other big business get the message.

      Tawanda BlessedSaint Mubaiwa - 2013-05-28 16:18

      "Damage" is very subjective as long as he will be able to prove it. What if he can prove that by them cutting his tv viewership they stopped him from making R300k add to that the legal fees for all his lawyers, etc...it really is up to him.

      Denis Gomo - 2013-05-29 08:06

      @Fezile...where's the Marima comment that you are applauding? Or did someone from Multichoice click "Report Comment" and had it deleted because he did not like it?

      Mlungisi Botha - 2013-05-29 08:14

      @JakeMuso and others: Don't follow the story, follow the money - you'll get the answer to all your questions. Read my theory!

  • Eduard Facquiline Gous - 2013-05-28 11:40

    And I thought DSTV is expensive in my country!!! What are you charging the people in Nigeria!!! ;)

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-28 12:38

      how much is it in Nigeria?

  • Sharon Scott - 2013-05-28 12:08

    We should all sue them for the endless, rubbish repeats we have to endure

      Jacqui Daane Van Rensburg - 2013-05-28 15:46

      Sharon Scott. They should also give us a refund for every time it rains and there is no picture. Strange thing that overseas no matter how bad the weather the television always worked.

      Johan Jacobs - 2013-05-28 21:49

      That is all that kept DSTV alive......endless repeats.....repeats.....repeats.....repeats.....repeats.....repeats.....repeats.....repeats.....agh!!!!

      Baas John - 2013-05-29 07:23

      You are correct Jacqui... DSTV has been in business for how many years now?? And still problems when it rains...or even when it just look like it might rain! Oh, and another thing... as far as I know TCM is the channel for classic movies, but lately I see most movie channels show only old movies... and all that for R645... is it worth it??? but then again, do I REALLY want to sit with SABC??

      Brendan Wepener - 2013-05-29 07:39

      Have you forgotten how to read a book or maybe even go for walks. If you watching TV so much that you complaining about repeats I'm sorry to say but that's a sad life you living.

      Louis Dawid Kriel - 2013-05-29 11:42

      Baas John thats the problem, the alternative. I must say I have never paid so much to watch endless repeats and ads ads ads. I keep it for the rugby, the F1 GP and the tennis. All this we had many years ago for free on SABC.

      Stack Jones - 2013-05-29 21:34

      Must say I might be the only saffa happy with my DSTV, and no I don't work for them. The reason for the disturbance during rain is the satellite and most overseas TV is cable TV not satellite. just saying ;0)

      Jaco Wium - 2013-05-30 01:34

      Thank you, Stack Jones, for the informed voice of reason here. People complaining about the signal disappearing when it rains, probably don't know why that happens...and that has absolutely nothing to do with DSTV at all. Rain causes disturbance in ANY satellite communications. Then it would be useful too for people to grasp the differences between satellite TV, and cable TV.

  • Chantelle Bezuidenhout - 2013-05-28 12:16

    It about time that companies such as Multichoice pay their dews, well done someone outside SA have the balls to take them on. If this was USA then the amount claimed could have been bigger. I selute you with hounor to do this. This should be a lesson to companies to provide a service and not just COLLECT !!!!

      Mello Maase - 2013-05-28 12:32

      i salute

  • alta.steyn.3 - 2013-05-28 13:16

    Does this mean we can sue for all the repeats as well? ;-)

  • Ernest Dicker - 2013-05-28 13:23

    The Nigerians will do anything for a quick buck. How on earth came he come up with such an amount for being switched off for a few days...the bloody decoder is not a life support system! Greedy swine!

      Joe Johnson - 2013-05-29 00:16

      your hatred for Nigerians brought out the monster in you..you should bury your head in shame just like DSTV failing to provide paid services

  • Jenifer Johnstone - 2013-05-28 13:27

    i disconnected my service from february i hadnt used the serviceand in april i disconnected it on the 1st may they took double subscriptions from the debit order and there was not enough left for medical aid ,medical aid was cancelled and i am a chronic diabetic and couldnt get my insulin .what must i do?

      Ron Wale - 2013-05-28 22:04

      Sue the buggers!

      Musa Muskidd Mahlangu - 2013-05-29 08:59

      cancel the debit with your bank

  • Andile Memela - 2013-05-28 15:00

    Teach the lesson Udo. It pains me to R680 monthly for watching TV, whereas in Mumbai they pay abt R230 for more channels. Why are the viewers paying for hardware that was bought longtime ago?

  • Joe Bat - 2013-05-28 17:03

    DSTV/Multichoice are such ripoffs..well done to you Udo and nail them!!

  • Cassandra Brompton - 2013-05-28 17:56

    He was inconvenienced and messed about but that hardly calls for damages to that extension. Ridiculous!

  • Luanda Gqirana - 2013-05-28 18:47

    Take that amount as a fine to dstv for breaching their contract.

  • Luanda Gqirana - 2013-05-28 18:48

    Mtn Vodacom and cell c should next.

  • Wayne Hodgson - 2013-05-28 20:27

    Just so typical of Multichoice to NOT respond... they always hide behind the call centre staff and if you don't pay you get disconnected. Rubbish bouquet content and rubbish customer service...

      HJS - 2013-05-28 21:19

      Only thing they offer worth a dime is their monopoly on just about all and every kind of sport. But there is NO way I'm prepared to pay those extortion fees for only the sport.

  • HJS - 2013-05-28 21:13

    That sounds like Multichoice. Hope he's got his ducks in a row and succeeds. Would be a good idea if we in RSA start doing the same with Multichoice, Vodacom, MTN CellC etc. when they screw up.

  • Leon van der Linde - 2013-05-28 22:16

    I hope the guy wins. Multichoice needs to be kicked in the head. They have a monopoly and they can do just what they want. Even ban competition from the retail markets. Go for it my friend. I back you 100%. Just add one zero to your price. They need to be kicked really hard.

  • Beryl Knipe - 2013-05-29 04:24

    Multichoice/DStv need a huge wake-up call and maybe this is it! They have a million excuses for repeat programmes, documentaries going back to 1990, showing E (episodes) and S (seasons) all over the place, repeat after repeat. Perhaps we should all file lawsuits?

  • Jaap Kotze - 2013-05-29 07:34

    ''Rain fade'' can largely be prevented by installing a bigger dish and having the dish properly aligned.

      Patrick Jimu - 2013-05-29 08:16

      Guess we should all go back to the 10m diameter dishes that sit on the front lawn!!!

      Jaco Wium - 2013-05-30 01:42

      Jaap gets thumbdowns but there is truth in what he says. Many dishes are installed by techs who are in a hurry, or who are not sufficiently trained in aligning a dish. Bigger dishes aren't always practical, but they are a cure towards not suffering rain fade.

  • Patrick Jimu - 2013-05-29 08:20

    The only value to be derived from dstv is sport, when in off season, the only reason we subscribe is the children's channels. Movies are a rip off, 8 movie channels showing the same stuff or prehistoric (pre-2000) stuff. Good luck to Chuks, though knowing these corporates, just like the insurance guys, they going to come down on him with their one sided disclaimers that consumers have to sign when they take these services.

  • Chris Kleynhans - 2013-05-29 08:22

    I think a lot of us can take them to court for that. Maybe we should do so, so that they can start respecting their customers again.

  • vernon - 2013-05-29 08:26

    Well done ,time for all of us to back him and stop the garbage and repeats we all pay for.

  • Vaughan - 2013-05-29 08:31

    Probably their rubbish hardware they call decoders. I occassional get a message that my account is suspended, just reboot the thing and it works again. They really need to find a better alternative.

  • Scott Gilchrist - 2013-05-29 09:49

    Multichoice have the monopoly until then, its either Multichoice or Backward SABC.

  • Barry Pottie Potgieter - 2013-05-29 10:08

    BIG Brother DSTV.!!!!!!

  • Anthony Kirby - 2013-05-29 13:12

    If you go to some channels, like on my tv 195 SFRON it states E16-4 You are not enabled to view this channel or your account has been suspended. Please contact the call centre. It is a channel I don't subscribe to but the wording can be embarassing in front of friends if you are channel sirfing. Bet this is what he is trying.

  • Sbu Hadebe - 2013-05-29 13:55

    Hahahaha...Now I know why on SS they have available everywhere except Nigeria...hahahaha...

  • Lionel De Frontignac - 2013-05-29 14:26

    DSTV: So much more...repeats - it's like a bunny from Durban it repeats on you. Switch to ADSL and watsch internet TV.

  • Johan Holtzhausen - 2013-05-29 14:53

    A supplier offers you a service for a certain price. You either pay it or disconnect. DSTV never claimed there would be no repeats. Are we such tv-holics, that we can't survive without it?

  • Ihekwoaba Tony Saso - 2013-05-29 14:53

    Soon we are suing them for every cent they made from Nigerians, rubbish , if they can not provide perfect services then they should be ready to pay big bucks to us Nigerians legally, soon they will have 100 million court cases in Nigeria court file, we are going to buy shares in that company from the damages pay out funds, they think they are dealing with illiterates RUBBISH!!!

      Mabeshankone ZoSuthu - 2013-05-30 02:33

      If a company doesn't provide perfect services, you go to the competition. You don't start a war.

  • Colin Langley - 2013-05-29 16:09

    I cancelled my account and it's the best thing i have done in a very long time!

  • Victor van der Walt - 2013-05-29 16:29

    Typical nigerian scam. That happens all the time here with subscribers.

      Joe Johnson - 2013-05-29 22:07

      @ Van der WAlt, typical docile South African, the fact it happens here without subscribers complaining doesn't make it right

  • Farmer Joe - 2013-05-29 23:13

    Like everyone, one gets irritated by DSTV from time to time. If you dont like DSTV disconnect and find alternate entertainment. No one forces you to watch them. Free choice

  • Marc Anthony Webb - 2013-05-30 08:42

    DSTV have become as efficient as the SABC my service has been cut the last four months due to bungling from their accounts department...Beginning to get tired of all the re-runs and behind the scenes slots of movies...

  • Sean Fenwick - 2013-05-30 10:25

    I have already changed my package and gone for internet TV through Apple TV. I get the latest stuff faster and cheaper. And depending on what I pay I can keep across all my devices! DSTV sucks.

  • Vice Madlokovu Nene - 2013-05-30 10:44

    there is a black envelope on my screen....im suing for that.

  • Bongani Mncwango - 2013-05-30 10:46

    How i wish this person wins the case because Multi Choice has been taking us for a ride for a long long time ,they do not care about anything else but our hard earned money for the repeats after repeats .As i am writing here i am at war with them for lousy R37.00 that the could not explane as to where does it come from and the next thing which they are good at here in South Africa is to blacklist .I once suggested to them that how about that the clients,consumers or customers whatever they call us chose the channels we want to watch and pay for them not them making boquets that do not add value to our lives and guess what nobody even acknowledged receiving my communication with them .Let us all go ahead and sue them and see if they cannot change for the better .

  • Granville Ormerod - 2013-05-30 10:49

    It is about time....DSTV sucks.....got rid of mine ages ago due to constant repeats and incorrect billing....the call centre is totally useless and has the dumbest of the dumbest working there.... DSTV needs some serious competition....

  • Midnite Man - 2013-05-30 13:28

    Get SKY (if available in your region)- it's great for all SPORTS as you can watch Super 15, Currie Cup rugby, F1 racing live "on-the-go" (on your tablet or I-phone) via the SkyGO-app which is totally free.

  • Tlou Edwin Mashilo Phadu - 2013-05-30 15:35

    Go for it

  • Mark Johnson - 2013-05-30 18:43

    I just love this! Let's do a class action law suit against them for not wanting to use the previous months's subscription but broadcasting the same programming again! :-)

  • Maryke de Beer - 2013-05-30 22:02

    I fully Agree, DSTV has TWICE disconnected my signal saying I do not pay it although it is on a DEBIT order with more than enough money in my account! like really now? then they have the cheek to charge me a re connection fee too. I have had DSTV 4 months now and honestly there hasnt been a month that I havent had any issues. And there silly system about being so easily contactable is nonsense. They never response to my sms's and take days to reply to my emails and even after 4 months when I phone to put my ID or smartcard number in...it still doesnt recognise it...very dissapointing

  • Leon Pieterse - 2013-05-31 07:03

    The last time I had the same problems with MC I spent over 30 min on the phone with a clueless "consultant". When I asked to be put through to someone with a brain he disconnected me. I assumed there wasn't someone qualifying...

  • Jacques Slabbert - 2013-05-31 08:20

    it is because there is no competition for multichoice really in SA. Top TV not by far an option. Why don't Multichoice sell each channel separately and let subscribers choose which channels they want and pay then accordingly instead of giving us hundreds of channels of which you most probably only watch 4? If I want 10 channels I pay for 10 ..... easy.

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