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):
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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