I am just off the phone speaking to a customer service representative at the call center of SMART TV/SKYY PLUS. I am a very frustrated man.
A week or two ago, I received a text message from SKYY PLUS stating that from 1 August(yesterday), they would start charging 16GHC(US$10.6) a month for their service. I was confused and quizzed, so decided to look at the number, which looked very much like 0302.740.630 -- the number to contact the erstwhile SMART TV, which we bought and subscribed to in August 2010.
Now, I say "erstwhile", because neither SMART TV nor SKYY Digital had the decency to inform customers via text messages that they had merged. As to when exactly the merger happened is unclear. Googling the net, one finds an article on modernghana.com that states:
"As part of efforts to satisfy the demand of its customers, Skyy Media Group, operators of Skyy Digital, has introduced a new pay TV bouquet called Skyy Plus.
Born out of a collaboration between Skyy Media Group and Next Generation Broadcasting (NGB), the new bouquet is aimed at making available to millions of Ghanaians high quality television programmes and channels at an affordable price.
Speaking at a ceremony to outdoor Skyy Plus, Wilson Arthur, the Chief Executive of Skyy Media Group, noted that his outfit saw this commercial arrangement with NGB as very strategic as they were putting together their expertise and television content to ensure that the viewing experience of many homes in Ghana were enriched." (from: http://www.modernghana.com/music/15160/3/skyy-digital-introduces-skyy-plus-in-accra.html).
Let me just say that I hope I am not beginning to regret this merger, which was never announced to customers. SKYY PLUS, it seems, was more concerned about the bottom line than customer service -- and is very much exemplified by the attitude of Sedem, based at the Airport-residential HQ of SMART TV, who claimed he was too "busy" to respond to my queries about some of the questions I have over SMART TV.
Now, the biggest problem for me is this, and this was revealed by the main customer service representative at HQ: SKYY PLUS antennas are not as STRONG as those of SMART TV. My query, then, is if that is so, why on Earth did they decide to merge? Why merge with an inferior competitor? The situation now is that we have channels we are receiving from SKYY PLUS(Skyy world/Skyy one, etc) alongside channels from SMART TV, which is the baby of NEXT GENERATION BROADCASTING.
As to whether SMART TV is alive and well, no-one even knows. Though it is SMART TV customer care I called, I instinctively addressed my issue as a SKYY PLUS problem -- and rightly so. This, despite the fact that I was told last week that SMART TV is "still there".
In short, it is a whole mess, and I am not quite sure whether it is a good idea that I am still subscribing, or I should just abandon the bouquet they are offering.
I want to see the following things:
1. a clarification over the SKYY PLUS/SMART TV merger and its consequences for customers
2. a clarification over the double antennas
3. an apology BY TEXT and/or radio/print to SKYY PLUS customers as to why this is happening.
Anything other than this is unacceptable, and I would therefore implore Ghanaians far and wide--through my twitter/Facebook/and Google Plus status--that they better abandon SKYY PLUS if they don't want trouble, or better still, customers better forget about paying the 16GHC a month till SKYY PLUS/SMART TV get their act together!