GoTV Kenya Services disappoint as Kenya’s Digital Migration deadline approaches

Digital migration in Africa
Digital migration in Africa
(image courtesy}

Kenya’s pending digital migration to beat the 15th June 2015 deadline will finally start its implementation in Nairobi and its environs on 31st December, just a few days from today. Kenya’s migration has been put off thrice now due to lawsuits filed by 3 local stations from the original set deadline for the migration which was December 2013. This dragged on with the 3 major local stations sighting a myriad of reasons why the consumers were not ready for the analogue to digital switch over.

The migration to Digital Television broadcasting is a Government initiative resulting from the decision made at the Regional Radio Conference of 2006 in Geneva, Switzerland (RRC-06). The decision requires countries in the R.R.C. planning area to migrate from analogue to digital terrestrial TV broadcasting technologies by 2015.

Although there will be many other benefits that will come with this move, some of them including better picture quality, better viewing pleasure and better utilization of existing frequencies, I have been a proponent of the digital migration for the simple reason of choice.

I grew up in the 80’s when KBC ( then VOK) was the only TV channel there was.The station opening time was at 4pm and closing time was at 11pm( I am not kidding, there was such a thing as kufunga stesheni). When Kenya Television Network (KTN ) was launched in 1992, it was truly our channel, our choice. It was a breath of fresh air and one no longer had to listen to every minute of the boring news that always started with news about the then president Moi whether he had an event worth reporting or not.

I got my current GoTv decoder as a media review generous offering from Multichoice Kenya. This was way before I even made a choice from the existing options of going digital. I have since come to really like it due to the offering it has for children. I am not much of a TV person, actually, I can count on one hand the number of times I have watched TV in the last 2 months. I am constantly online and as it turns out, once you have scrolled through Google news, the twitter timeline and several other sites, you can basically predict what will be in the 7 or 9 pm local news.

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GoTV offers 3 kids channels, Disney Junior, Jimjam and Nickelodeon. Those are the only stations we switch between  when the Mister is not watching sports or documentaries.

In the last 2 months, GoTV has been the worst PayTV station for many of their customers myself included. This comes at a time when they have set up shop in every corner of Nairobi’s CBD in a bid to get as many customers in the run up to the digital migration as possible. This has evidently drastically affected their service offering.  Lack of signal or unending signal scrambling is not new, their sister TV station DSTV always encounters such problems especially during the rainy seasons. However, what has been really off-putting is customers paying for the full bouquet only to be put on the the Ksh 700  that has less channels, that and  the lack of customer support from the Customer service team. Gotv Kenya has an active twitter account, however, its response to queries can only qualify as twitter bots responses or staff who sound like bots who respond to all queries in pretty much the same way to everyone who seeks support regardless of whether someone is having a signal problem or not.

What surprised me most and continues to, is the fact that, GoTV Kenya does not have an on-call phone support team, the customer care number they give, 0711 066000 is a voice prompt service that only serves to frustrate their customers further especially when the problem is not from the customers end. Oh, and the service costs Ksh. 30 per voice prompt call.

I had an exchange of over 10 tweets with their GOTV twitter team before someone finally called me at 11.30 in the night, waking me up and still asking if it was possible for me to go to my decoder for a troubleshooting session.

Talk a walk into Nairobi’s CBD and you will find all street corners occupied by the PayTV providers, GoTV, DSTV, Startimes and Zuku,all wooing you either on price or variety of programs on offer.

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The choice that the Digital migration is set to provide is still very much needed. The 4 existing providers still fail in either service delivery or cost flexibility. DSTV which offers the most variety when it comes to channels, costs over Ksh. 6,000 per month for the full bouquet.  They are still adamant on enabling customers pay for what they actually watch. This is equivalent to a supermarket forcing its customers to pay for items in specific aisles regardless of whether they pick all the items or just 2.

GoTV which is an alternative package by Multichoice was to cater for the customers who still want more good quality and variety channels at a more affordable rate.

The choice for customers to still get a variety of good entertainment at a price they can afford is yet to avail itself. That is why the Digital migration is very important and beneficial not only thousands of  Kenyans who feel like they have no choice when it comes to TV entertainment but also to the a new breed of content creators who will not have to pay millions of shillings to purchase a broadcast license which has been the case before. This will also sound an end to a monopoly, an exclusive club of media owners who all decide to show soap operas after 7pm,preachings every Sunday morning and afro sinema every weekday morning.

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Start-ups like Able Wireless and many others that will enter this space will give the consumer the power of choice on which Pay TV station and channel customers can switch to and enable healthy competition among the different players that will fight for the customer’s eyes.

A few words of advice from my friend Martin who runs the tech blog – Techweez, if you haven’t already bought a decoder, you might be better off buying a Digital TV.

(Image source)

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15 comments

  1. Pete R Njenga (@PeteRNjenga) Reply

    First off, I do not watch TV for the simple reason that all providers (FTA, satellite or digital) deny me the right to choose what to watch, when I want to. I thus find the Internet a better place to spend my previous time.

    PPV (pay per view) is the way to go. Whoever comes up with such an offering wins my heart. No need to be forced to pay for over 100 channels on Dstv while all I need there is less than 10 channels.

    Olivia, good article. You ably share some of my concerns with this digital TV hooey.

  2. nimrod Reply

    just behave you people why fight with other firms then offer zero to your customers? more so you don’t have a cc numbers to be reached!!! am disgusted with you!!!!!!

  3. worshipdiary Reply

    I pay for for Gotv services and hardly enjoys them. I have issues and I can’t seem to get hold of anyone to support. So frustrating.

  4. GEORGE OTIENO WAMANYA Reply

    I paid Ksh 1200 for free to air as per your urgent in thika through mpesa nbr GP98YS297 for. a/c No 2014223484 on 11.03.2015 and at now, what appears on my screen is that i should pay another Kshs 498 can you advise and yet i have been to FTA

  5. shirlz Reply

    Come for this stupid thing. It won’t work even after my 850 getting down. I hate you.

  6. Pingback: How to get Customer Support from GoTV Kenya - AfroMumAfroMum

  7. ERICK Reply

    This Gotv is very frustrating, after paying ksh850 it still keeps on blocking my view with expiry message. Further more my remote control exit function is not working and am told to buy new for 1000/=

  8. josephmbai33@yahoo.com Reply

    mr gotv how serious are u if u dont have direct phone number for your customers:Be ashamed.

  9. LOISE Reply

    i paid for my GOTV SUBSRIPTION FOR KSH 1200 TO BE RECEIVING LOCAL CHANNELS FREE TO AIR AND AM ONLY RECEVING 2 LOCAL CHANNELS I.E KBC AND K24 .WHERE ARE CITIZEN ,NTV,KTN PLEASE?.ARE YOU GOTV LYING FOR SURE?,

  10. sally Reply

    GOtv, you need to improve your services to your clientele.How long does it take you to resume channels upon payment?
    I am very disappointed.
    Payment was remitted to GOtv yesterday and up to now…..nothing!!!!!

  11. Aziaya Reply

    I am frustrated like ERICK above, after paying ksh850 it still keeps on blocking my view with expiry message can you advice on how to clear the message. It might force me to buy a different decorder.

  12. Nancy Maina Reply

    Afternoon, am a frustrated customer of yours, trying to reach you people but all in vain, i paid for my Gotv on Wednesday night from saf. no. Gotv Plus 850ksh/ but unfortunately i entered a wrong NO. MY A/C NO. IS 2017058409 BUT INSTEAD I ENTERED 20117058409, KINDLY ASSIST ME.

    • admin Reply

      Hi Nancy,

      Kindly reach GOTv directly. We are in no way affiliated to GoTV or Multichoice. We are sorry for what you are going through.

  13. Rose Reply

    GoTV do your customer care personnel really take there jobs seriously?m asking because i was called by one during January asking if i had any problem with your services and viewing, so i requested for a change of my package from gotv plus to that of yearly payment which i was told to pay ksh 2250 via mpesa and they would make it effective right on that day after my payments that on on 25/01/206 at 12:03 am,but on 26/04/2016 my viewing was switched off,m really disappointed,my IUC no 2016090571

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