I am residing in Nairobi. I’d like to share with you on what I experienced with one of the digital television platform by the name Startimes.
I subscribed to Startimes in 2012 during pilot migration from analogue to digital. I have been subscribed to the higher bouquet called Unique which I have been paying Ksh 1,499 until this December 2019. This month of December, realized that I have been paying double subscription since February 2019.
In the first week of December, I started experiencing signal problems. I called the customer care and a technician was dispatched to my place. After checking my decoder and some few calls to his work colleagues, he told me that my decoder is okay and the signal problem is with Startimes’ booster in Upper Hill. He then handed me a flyer containing Startimes products.
I was shocked after going through the flyer. The Unique bouquet which I pay every month at Ksh 1,499 was missing on the flyer, which bears classic bouquet as the highest at Ksh. 749. When I inquired from the technician, he told me the following;
- That Unique bouquet was removed around February 2019 from the platform where my decoder is and can only be accessed by subscribers using satellite disk,
- That the type of my decoder is not suited to receive Unique bouquet
3. After checking list of channels on my decoder, he only found one unique bouquet channel called Bloomberg, which I wasn’t able to watch because I am not in unique bouquet platform.
That I am Monthly being charged for Unique bouquet at Ksh 1,449 yet the channels I am able to watch are for Classic bouquet at Ksh 749.
These are just examples of payment records I made.
All these revelations triggered my memory and remembered when Startimes tried to persuade me to return my old decoder for replacement in early March 2019, which I refused after realising that new decoders are overheating and not durable. Again in early April, Startimes called me asking for my old decoder so that they can give me a new decoder and a disc for “free”. I asked them that, if the offer is for free, why do they need my old decoder?
They were unable to convince me. They knew I am paying double and wanted to fix me on a suitable
platform without letting me know the truth.
While still with the technician, I called customer care and asked to be told which platform I am in. A lady called Lucy told me that I am in unique bouquet. I then asked why it is not on the flyer given to me by the technician. She replied that some changes were made around March 2019.
She told me a lot of things which were not making sense like I was the one who should call and ask to be removed from unique to classic. How would I have known? She told me that a message was supposed to be sent to me, it didn’t receive it, then maybe they were unable to send a message to everyone. I became mad on hearing this. Technician advised me to go straight to their headquarters. I was surprised that even before their technician left my house, I received a message telling me that I have been removed from unique bouquet to classic bouquet and doubled my December subscription. Why was this change done yet I didn’t ask for it as they wanted
But guess what, nothing changed on the list of channels till to date. These confirmed that I was/have been in classic bouquet since February 2019 yet was being billed for unique bouquet which means paying for a service which I never received. Every month, Startimes would send me an alert for cut-off. After payment, the confirmation message from them stating that I am on unique bouquet was a fraud.
On Monday 16th 2019, I went to Startimes and met the personal assistant to the person heading the firm. I explained myself. My position was that I be given my money back or the services I was paying for unknowingly. The PA after listening to call logs maintained the position taken by the call centre lady. But she added;
- That since I didn’t call to ask to be removed from unique to classic bouquet, they concluded that I was willing to pay double
- That there are so many subscribers who are still doing double payment for a product which doesn’t exist on their platform.
- That I should have known or seek to know on which platform I was in, in their system, which I have no access to
- That I should have paid attention to their advertisements and promotions yet i subscribed to the service a long time ago. It’s them who should alert me for any change
I was furious and helpless after hearing all these. I believe there is a fraud going on at Startimes.
Please, this issue is now beyond me that’s why I am seeking for your help. If you can, investigate and publicise this fraud. We are in tough economic times and no single Kenyan should be coerced or wittingly lured into unjustified payments for the services they did not receive.
Please hide my identity. If you need more information, feel free to contact me through my mail
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