Seniors finally find their guide to the stars

Michael and Joan Hatton were more than frustrated when their DStv guide failed to arrive, this after complaining since November to the MultiChoice call centre agents who kept promising “to escalate it”.

During her most recent call, Ms Hatton was told: “We will escalate it”.

“If I hear that word again, I will scream. When I asked how long it will take they told me seven days and I can never contact Nokubonga who answered my original call, I can only get through to customer service,” Ms Hatton said.

Well, that’s the nature of call centres. It’s like a firewall on a computer but in this case it prevents you from speaking to the person in charge.

“They did tell me, though, that they are only sending the magazines to people over 70. My husband qualifies; he’s 74.

“But I can’t understand this. They sit in front of a computer so surely it’s just a matter of hitting a key. I don’t think I am the only one complaining. Can you help?”, Ms Hatton asked.

Hundreds of people probably use the DStv guide to plan their viewing. Mr Hatton does.

However, the guide is printed three months in advance so by the time it lands in your post box it is probably outdated.

Which is why MultiChoice developed digital tools to give their customers access to programme schedules which are sometimes changed a few days before broadcast.

Soon after I sent the Hattons’ complaint to MultiChoice they notified me that the “fairies must have been at work. We found a guide in our post box”.

A few days later, Ms Hatton told me she had a “very nice surprise”.

“A FedEx courier knocked on our door with an extremely urgent envelope addressed to my husband. When we opened it we found a guide. When I phoned MultiChoice to thank them they said you are a valued customer and we could expect it to be delivered by courier every month. I still don’t believe it. That really is service,” Ms Hatton said.

Marietjie Groenewald, spokesperson for MultiChoice, said the magazine gives customers access to the programming schedules of the channels on DStv and to ensure it reaches customers on time, it is printed three months in advance.

“This means that the schedules contained in the printed version are often out of date, as channels update their schedules up until a few days before broadcast. It is for this reason that we developed a number of digital tools – to give our customers access to accurate and up-to-date schedules to use to plan their viewing. That is why we have a digital version of the DStv magazine, online schedules for up to 14 days with the ability to print a PDF, as well as schedules on the decoder and our DStv Now app,” Ms Groenewald said.

“We understand that especially our older customers, prefer to receive a printed magazine and many of them don’t have internet access. That is why we still offer our customers who are over 55 a printed magazine. These magazines are sent out by a courier company, On the Dot, on our behalf to the address nominated by the customer – either a physical address or a post box at the post office.

“There are some guidelines in addition to the age limit. This only applies to Premium customers who were customers as at May 1 (2017), when we discontinued the printed magazine for customers under 55. Should a customer disconnect their DStv, our system will automatically stop sending them the magazine. Once they reconnect, they would need to request the magazine as this will not automatically be sent to them again.

“The Hattons disconnected their DStv in July 2017. However, we’ve made an exception and are ensuring they receive their DStv magazine in future. We’ve also been in touch with them to apologise for the hassle in trying to sort this out. Our focus is to resolve all customer queries at the first point of contact,” Ms Groenewald said.

Said the happy Hattons, who received the “latest” guide from FedEx on June 20: “We did not disconnect, we had trouble with the dish outside, but we did not disconnect. I don’t know where they got that one from. As a matter of fact, we have had DStv for many years, now. Thank you for all your hard work, it is much appreciated.”