It was only a few weeks ago that Multichoice (DStv) announced that they would be closing their Joina City branch. We are only three days from the date that they were supposed to shut their doors. Alas, the branch won’t be closed after all.
The original closure announcement:
MultiChoice Zimbabwe will be closing its Harare city centre office in Joina City on the 21st of March 2022.
The customer care centre in Avondale will continue to provide a full range of services.
In addition, there are a number of accredited DStv agents in the Harare central business district and these provide the services that until now have been offered at the MultiChoice office.DStv via twitter
We all wondered why that was and speculated on the reasons here: Why is Multichoice (DStv) closing its Joina City branch? DStv themselves never got back to us to explain why Joina had to shut down. We never got to hear the official reason they considered shutting it down and now we are even more curious because the Joina City branch just narrowly avoided death.
MultiChoice Zimbabwe is pleased to confirm that we have taken the decision to keep our branch at Joina City open, there will be no disruption to in-branch services and customers can of course use any of our self-service options at their convenienceDStv on twitter
We reached out to DStv to understand what is going on. They say they will share the reasons on Facebook. Personally, I won’t be holding my breath. DStv Zimbabwe does not even link to their Facebook page on their website, so why would that be the go to communication portal?
Why the change of heart by DStv?
All we have to go by is the “there will be no disruption to in-branch services” part of the announcement. It appears they underestimated how attached their customers are to the in-person experience. Comments on the closure announcement were mostly negative. And the announcement of the non-closure is being billed as a good decision by some.
When this started I wondered why the most central branch in the biggest local market was the one to bite the dust. Apparently that was not the right move and Joina stays open.
We know that DStv now has good self-service customer support. Could adoption of those channels be compromised because of high data costs in the country? And don’t even start on voice call tariffs. So, there should be a significant number of people that would rather visit the Joina City branch at the earliest time they make the trip to the city centre.
Is it possible they couldn’t get out of a lease agreement without breaking the bank? Or did traffic to the branch shoot up since the closure announcement?
DStv could be saying, “the reports of my death are grossly exaggerated.” After all, we were about ready to inscribe their gravestone. Of course, the pandemic opened people up to new options when they were forced to invest in proper internet to allow working from home. Some moved on permanently to Netflix and others and this no doubt decreased subscribers. However, the walk-in DStv customer may just be refusing to go.
That would make sense though. The customer that would walk in physically is less likely to be comfortable with electronic customer support. To expect such a customer to be at home navigating the internet searching for the best streaming services would be unreasonable. That is ignoring that they might not even have the solid data plan to allow for that.
So, DStv could have been left with a larger proportion of customers that would walk in as the data priviledged left.
Listen, we could speculate till kingdom come. The branch that was not now is once more. That is all we can be sure of for now. We will keep an eye out for the promised communique on what’s really going on here.