Here’s something that ought to warm the hearts of everyone who looks at MultiChoice and thinks Monopoly. News coming out of Nigeria (sorry, its not Zimbabwe) is that a Justice in a federal High Court granted an order of interim injunction restraining MultiChoice from enforcing its increase on DStv bouquet prices that was supposed to take effect on the 1st of April.
The issue all stems from the annual price increases that MultiChoice has effected in every country where it provides its DStv Pay TV service. In Nigeria this was represented by a 20% price surge. Locally prices increased by at least US$1 for the entry level bouquets and up to US$5 for the premium package.
There were outcries from a lot of countries across Africa, with thousands of DStv subscribers in countries like Zambia actually starting petitions on social media.
This class action which was filed by two subscribers identified as Adebayo Osasuyi and Oluyinka Oyeniji, is the first of its kind in Nigeria, despite threats of similar action from a group of subscribers back in 2012.
In Zimbabwe, there hasn’t been any action taken by any subscriber collective, despite the usual grumblings that follow the annual increase. There doesn’t seem to be any other indication of a similar legal action being taken up by subscribers in other countries as well. The usual notion is that the regulators will step in, but that never seems to happen.
The Nigerian federal court where this case was filed has adjourned until the 16th of April 2015 when it will hear the case. The outcome will be for Nigeria only, but if MultiChoice is censured in any way, this will likely set a precedent in other countries where subscribers feel shortchanged by increases that MultiChoice has always justified as necessary for the delivery of quality content.
Do you think that local DStv subscribers should also gear up for class action against MultiChoice and DStv Zimbabwe to contest these annual price increases? Do you think that they will do it anyway?
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