Monday, March 15, 2010

Astro subscribers are all donkeys

This letter is written with the hope of 'enlightening' the millions of Astro subscribers to the high-handed and couldn't care less attitude of our cable TV provider, Astro. I myself have been an Astro subscriber for the past 10 years and still am a subscriber today due to the sad fact that I have grown so accustomed to Astro programmess, I shudder to think of spending a day without them.

Maybe it is due to this fact that Astro has gathered enough nerve to exploit us subscribers to the fullest. From numerous scandals, big and small that rocked this nation, it has been proven time and again that we Malaysians are a patient and forgiving lot. Maybe it is also due to this fact that Astro has grown to become a snobbish, 'couldn't give a damn' conglomerate.

It is time we, the subscribers, stand up and make ourselves heard. It is time we make it clear that we are smart, intelligent consumers who will not bow to giants who monopolise the market. I have listed down the 'Seven Sins' of Astro below with the hope of 'waking' up subscribers.

Ponder over them with a cuppa in front of Astro programmes and see for yourselves what we have been put through.

Sin No 1: Advertisements and commercials

We have been sold and told that there would not be any kind of TV commercials since we are paying for the programmes we are watching. Since the launching of Astro, you will notice that more and more TV commercials have been put into our living rooms. Start counting them and your blood will boil. Is this how a cable TV is supposed to be run?

Sin No 2: Astro-on-demand re-runs

We are paying additional rates for this so called 'Watch when you like, how many times you like' programme named 'Astro-on-demand'. Fine, we get to watch first-hand episodes of Hong Kong dramas and serials. But then again, you will also notice that these same dramas and serials will be aired again over 'Wah Lai Toi' some months later. And mind you, we are also paying for this 'Wah Lai Toi' package. Think, subscribers, think. We have been milked high and dry.

Sin No 3: 'Services currently not available'!

I am sure this is the dreaded punch-line all subscribers hate to see when their favorite programmes are interrupted due to 'bad weather'. This has been Astro's problem from the start and we don't see any effort being done to overcome or improve it. But then, they can say that there are always repeats and re-runs when services are resumed.

Fine, then what about the 'live telecasts' that we missed? Finals like the 'All England' where a Malaysian is playing and capable of winning after seven years? Live football matches where we are being made to pay more? Not to mention the coming World Cup where we are staying up to watch?

Imagine the frustration of staying up late with some hot coffee, sitting on your couch complete with wonderful excuses for going to work late tomorrow wanting to watch your favorite teams play 'live' and all you can see is 'Services currently not available'. Just wonder whether we, as subscribers can just write in to Astro when our bills arrive and tell them 'Payment currently not available'?

Sin No 4: Programme re-runs and re-re-runs

Sure, we all know how these cable TV providers operate. I am sure we can stomach some re-runs. Have you ever experienced switching on your Astro and have the feeling that you have watched this programme before?

But the real 'miracle' is that this same thing will happen to you again and again with the same programme. Then it will dawn on you that this is the same programme that they have repeated over and over again. Switch on channels like HBO, Star Movies, etc and you will know what I mean.

Sin No 5: Wanton price hike

I am sure this needs no elaboration from me. We have been put through this over the years.

Sin No 6: Programme cancellation fees

Ever notice how you are being pampered when you want to add new channels? Notice how efficient they are when you can have your new programmes channeled into your living rooms within half-an-hour with absolutely no connecting fees?

Of course, when you want to cancel these same programmes, you will be at their mercy. A cancellation fee will be imposed. So they are telling us that getting in is simple and free but getting out will cost you. Wake up subscribers, if this is not daylight piracy, then Somalia must be a tourist heaven.

Sin No 7: Unfair programme package

Ever notice how packages are being grouped? We, as subscribers, are not given a free hand to choose which programme we like to see. We are being shoved programmes we don't like just because we choose certain channels and other channels are being 'thrown' in.

Of course, this is a free world and I can just pick up the phone and terminate my Astro. But as a full-blooded consumer, I would not want to see my fellow consumers being exploited the way they are.

Stand up and be heard, then they will see that we mean business. We might then someday be really enjoying our beloved Astro programmes without the two long ears sticking out of our heads.

news courtesy of Malaysiakini


Syah said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Syah said...

not to mention F1 HD fiasco... even FOM confirmed theres no HD anywhere in the world this year..but here?the promote F1 HD like nobody biznez