The way I see it DSTV, has always taken the Zimbabwean market for granted. For years Zimbabweans have always complained that they pay more for less. In fact it took them ages to add the English Premiership League (EPL) to the Compact bouquet.
South African Compact bouquet accounts, as far as I know have always had EPL on SuperSport 3. They can also watch UEFA Champion’s league on SuperSport 3 while the rest of us are stuck with SuperSport 3A and have to fork out $40 for the privilege. Then there are the cricket exclusives that never find their way north of the Mzansi border.
Well you can add one more thing that South Africans have on DSTV that we cannot enjoy. South African Premium subscribers get to enjoy Showmax for free. After seeing these adverts on DSTV I decided to link my DSTV account with my Showmax account. When I visited the linking page all I got was this:
My first clue that something was wrong was the fact that the prices for all the bouquets were showing in Rand. Zimbabwean accounts are in USD. Upon clicking on the sign up button you will be taken to the login page where you are supposed to sign into your Showmax account and the two (DSTV and Showmax) get linked. If you are a Compact or Compact Plus subscriber you will get a discount. Premium subscribers will get free Showmax.
Upon logging into my Showmax account I was greeted by an error saying whatever it is that I intended to happen whe I logged in was not supported. After getting in touch with DSTV I was told that Showmax was not yet officially in Zimbabwe so Zimbabwean DSTV customers did not qualify for the free Showmax perk.
This left me a little confused because here is the thing. I have been using Showmax, on and off, for a while now. I signed up legally using my Zimbabwean mobile number which I was asked to verify. I even used both my Zimbabwean prepaid card and PayPal account. I not only got the 14 day trial but was able to use Showmax which clearly showed Zimbabwe as my region. I was not using an VPN or tricks just the plain old vanilla experience.
It was working and as far as I know it would still work. I have let my subscription lapse but last time I checked my wife was enjoying The River. So Showmax is available in Zimbabwe. In fact at one point I mistakenly changed the language to Polish which means it’s possible the service also works and is available in Poland!
So why is DSTV shortchanging us this way I wonder? Although it is illegal you kind of get the point of view of all those pirate agents in town who offer people South African accounts because clearly even now South Africans get all the perks while all we get are higher subscription prices.
The other thing is I have a Zim account so how come I was shown an ad for a product without being told it was exclusive to South Africans? Luckily for now most Zimbabweans don’t have access to high speed internet so there aren’t a lot of complaints yet as most people don’t know that they are not entitled to free Showmax despite what all those ads say.