Despite a Federal High Court order obtained by the Consumer Protection Council on August 20 stopping MultiChoice Nigeria Limited from executing its recent increase in subscription fees, the company, National Daily gathered has not reverted to the old rates.
Recall that on July 9, 2018, MultiChoice sent text messages to subscribers notifying them of a hike in rates from August 1.
According to the price hike announcement, DSTV premium package will go for N 15,800 rather than the old rate of N14,700; Compact Plus from N9,900 to N10,650; Compact from N6,300 to N6,800; Family from N3,800 to N4,000, and Access from N1,900 to N2,000.
The new price regime was going to take effect from August 1, 2018, DSTV announced.
Soon after DSTV increased prices of its bouquets, the Consumer Protection Council led by its Director General, Babatunde Irukera, ran to court to stop the hike.
Justice Nnamdi Dimgba of the Federal High Court, Abuja on August 20 had granted CPC’s prayers which sought to stop “Multichoice from executing and perpetrating a modification of a material term of its contract with its customers.
The court also asked that the status quo be maintained, meaning that old subscription rates should be reverted to.
Reacting to the court order, Multichoice had accused the regulatory agency of regulating price in a free market.
It said it considered the ruling as an affront to the free market economy. It has therefore filed a Notice of Appeal and an application for stay of execution, pending the hearing of the Appeal.
MultiChoice said until its appeal is heard, customers will keep paying the new subscription rates whose implementation kicked off on August 1.
Meanwhile, CPC explained that by increasing its subscription rates, DSTV had breached an agreement it reached with the Nigerian government after its price hike of 2015.
In CPC’s words, “Over a period of time during which mutual concerns and reservations were addressed, the Council and Multichoice agreed and adopted a Proposed Mutual Joint Consent Order.
“The terms and obligations included an unopposed and undisputed requirement and understanding that Multichoice will not charge, revise or modify any material term or conditions of service(s) for a period of 24 months.
With multichoice insistence on implementing the new price regime, the CPC said it’s ready to fight this in court. It’s DG, Irukera, is now asking subscribers who paid the new rates to send his organisation evidence of payment, as it commences its second round of a legal war with DSTV.
DSTV subscribers who paid at the new price instead of the old price, have been advised to send their receipts to the email: email@example.com. CPC says it needs as many receipts as possible to show the court that DSTV is in violation of its order.