First of all, we would like to APOLOGIZE for publishing an article earlier on which said that DStv was banning South African-registered Accounts (SRA) of customers who are in Zimbabwe. DSTV never said what was written in that document. In fact, DSTV (be it Multichoice or DSTV South Africa) hasn’t said anything at all of that nature.
However, the origins of that fake document is of significant interest. The story is mixed with fraud, conspiracy, and incompetence on the part of some local DSTV installers (agents) and DStv South Africa. As a matter of fact, that document is ‘alleged’ to have been forged by some DSTV installer (or many DSTV installers).
What’s been happening
Apparently, there were some DStv subscribers in Zimbabwe with South African-registered Accounts (SRA) SRAs that were paying half-price to watch any DSTV bouquet since last year. Sweet deal for customers. This was made possible through the exploitation (or manipulation) of DSTV South Africa’s subscription system. And of course, DStv installers were part of the syndicate to make this fraud an overnight success. A bouquet that should have cost you R 120, you’d pay just R 60 to access that bouquet when you subscribed via some shady installers.
Installers were using a very simple technique to ‘trick’ DSTV’s subscription system. When SRAs initially get registered, they get 2 weeks of watching DStv for free. So if your DSTV SRA is deregistered and the ownership is transferred, then DStv’s subscription system deemed the decoder as a new account holder hence you’d get the 2-weeks freebie. Accordingly, the DSTV installers exploited this loophole by switching customers’ accounts between deregistration and reregistration them- and the shady installer pocketed those half-prices you gave them to pay your half-priced subscription. As easy as that.
Unbeknownst to customers was that this cycle of deregistration and reregistration was making them accumulate debts with DSTV. The debts were incurred as result of the accumulation of reconnection fees which DTSV says the account holder should pay “if services have been disconnected due to non-payment or late payment”.
The drama starts
It so happened that DSTV found out about this trick/fraud and it decided to reconfigure its system. Therefore on Monday (this week) its subscription system finally closed that loophole. The shady installers who were involved in this shady deal started to feel pressure from subscribers who were paying those half-prices. But above all, they started to feel pressure from customers who, having called DSTV South Africa, were told that they were owing DStv hundreds of Rands.
Guess what the ‘smart guys’ (the shady DStv installers/agents) did to cool down the pressure they were getting from DStv subscribers (who they were dealing with)? They sat on their computer and started to design and write a memo addressed to Installers saying that DSTV South Africa was shutting down South African registered decoders/accounts (SRAs). And they started to circulate that document on social media.
I feel sorry for customers who were duped by their trusted installers. Now they owe DStv hundreds of Rands. The sad news is that there is nothing you can do about it because DStv doesn’t endorse the use of SRAs with people outside South Africa. Even if you go to Multichoice Zimbabwe, it won’t help because it’s illegal to have an SRA when you are in Zimbabwe. Evidently, you cant seek recourse anywhere. Therefore you just have to take the hit and honor your Dstv debt.