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FCCPC orders Multichoice to allow subscribers maintain a year subscription

Multichoice Headquarters

The Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), has ordered MultiChoice Nigeria (MCN), owners of GOtv and DStv, to allow subscribers maintain same subscription fee for a minimum of one year

The pay-Tv company is also to introduce an additional feature that allows subscribers to increase the number of times they can suspend their subscription.

The Order was signed by the Legal Service, Tam Tamumokonbia, and made available to journalists on Saturday in Lagos.

The Commission said it embarked on an investigation following complaints from subscribers alleging abuse of position by Multichoice.

Specifically, the FCCPC sought features that must include a price lock option that allows subscribers to maintain the same subscription rate for a minimum period of one year.

MultiChoice must guarantee a better value for money and an annual subscription prepayment proposal, including the ability to suspend the subscription at least once every quarter of the year.

It added that such a contractual agreement must clearly specify the applicable terms and conditions and therefore ordered MultiChoice to return a draft agreement to it within seven days of receipt of the order.

The Order reads in part: “MultiChoice must guarantee a better value for money and an annual subscription prepayment proposal, including the ability to suspend the subscription at least once every quarter of the year.

“You must clearly communicate to each subscriber all available channels within their selected industry option.

“The group must also provide free customer service lines that are operational 24 hours a day through which consumers can receive support regarding the services offered when necessary.

“The lines must be free between networks, not only with the same network as is currently the case.

“Shall, within the time stipulated in the Commission Order of February 4, 2022, provide the Commission with a work plan and schedule for the purpose of articulating and addressing, where possible and applicable, any restrictions regarding the compliance and implementation of this specific Order.

“It should also advertise the existing toll-free customer service lines more frequently and widely on the channels available and under the control of MultiChoice on the DSTV and GOTV platforms. Said announcement must be broadcast on each channel at least daily.

“It should also increase the number of times all subscribers can suspend their subscription to at least four times a year.

“We also expect the group to submit to the Commission a compliance report demonstrating full compliance with the orders within the time stipulated in the Commission’s February 4, 2022 Order.”

The Commission warned that a violation of its Order would attract a fine of N5 million under the FCCPC Administrative Penalties Regulations, 2020.

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