Be careful when you buy a DTH connection under exchange

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Sun Direct HD DTH set top box exchange offer has raised some eyebrows in the industry, Economic Times reports. According to rival DTH companies, consumers are not at the liberty to exchange their set top boxes as, apparently, they do not own them.

Remember the time when DTH set top box used to cost around 4000 rupees? That was the time when you actually bought the STB. Later on, in an effort to reduce the entry cost, DTH companies started providing the STBs on lease. They still charge close to 2000 rupees from the consumers, however, the ownership of the STB lies with the company. This is news for many of us, as we believed that we are purchase the STB.

Under Sun’s offer, consumers can give their existing STB to Sun DTH and get a discount of 2490 rupees on Sun Direct HD which otherwise costs 10,000 rupees.

DTH companies give the STB to consumers at a price that is lower than its actual cost and recover the remaining money through subscription fees by retaining the customer for a long period. If the consumer opts out of the service soon after signing on to the service and exchanges or sells the hardware, it results in a loss for the service provider – Economic Times reports.

Sun Direct COO Tony D Silva says that the scheme is targeting the old customers who bought the STBs by paying the full amount few years back. It looks like he is right as this is clearly mentioned in their advertisement (click to enlarge):

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According to Umesh Rao, head of marketing at Reliance Big TV, exchange offers are for saturated markets like TVs and refrigerators. He believes that the DTH market does not need exchange offers yet.

Does this mean that the premium set top boxes with PVR or HD capabilities for which the customers pay a heavy amount are also owned by the DTH companies? Time to go and review the subscription agreement!

[via Economic Times]

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Comments

4 Responses to this post

  1. Tara says:

    Well, when it says, pay Rs. 9990 inclusive of installation, STB, activation, HD Channels, etc, that means we own the STB.

  2. Tara says:

    By STB, I meant – Set top Box..

  3. S.P.Sharma says:

    In the initial query with the dealers and the svc providers,I was made to understand the STB is just like a mobile that I hv to buy when going for a CDMA connection and the cost is to bourn by customer in case of change of operator.

    The DTH companies do not provide any cash receipt etc that show the cost break up of the connections and does not indicate what is purchased or hired in this transaction. If the DTH compnies own the STB then the amount they have charged towards the partial cost of the STB must bear an element of interest payable to the customer.

  4. sunny says:

    Dear customers,

    Please do not buy Airtel digital TV recorder. The recorder does not work properly and have so many hidden flaws and policy, customer service is also pathetic.

    Go for Reliance Bug tv recorder, it works perfectly and their service is also cheaper and good.

    If you don’t believe, then search the term “recorder not working in airtel digital tv” on Google, you will find the answers!

    A Frustrated Airtel DTV Customer,
    Sunny

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