March 06, 2007

A Conspiracy Called Tata Sky

India's latest entrant in direct-to-home TV has utter disregard for your rights and uses discrete means to take control over them (Last updated on Jun-06, 2008)

Last Friday I bought a Tata Sky set-top box. Today, I returned it to get a complete refund. This is my story of why I did that and what I learned in the process. This isn't a rant, hopefully a bit of education for current and future Tata Sky owners and perhaps even a precursor to change.

I chose Tata Sky over Dish TV because the reviews indicated they have a superior user experience. This seems to be true, as far as interacting with the TV is concerned. Their menus are intuitive and it was easy to grasp all their features. This is true about their website as well, which although ridden with flash, is easier to use compared to Dish.

So why did I still chose to go for a refund? Because of the fundamentally unfair and cleverly restrictive ways in which everything in the service is designed. Tata Sky is great for anyone who only cares about watching TV. But if you refuse to be treated as an idiot who cannot see right from worng and refuse to have your rights trampled, Tata Sky is not for you.

I have three main issues with their service. But first, here's a bit of an introduction, how Tata Sky DTH works:




Issue #1 Hardware Ownership: what am I paying for?

  • You don't own the dish, Tata Sky does
That's correct. They will never advertise this, nor will the dealer tell you about it when you make the purchase. The dish belongs to Tata Sky, if you deactivate they take back the dish and the digicard.
  • You do own the Set-Top-Box (STB) but it's worthless without the dish
The purhcase you make is only for the set-top box. You will get a receipt for the set-top box and the renewal card. The Tata Sky engineer will bring the dish with him at the time of the installation. The dish transmits the signal from the satellite to the set-top box, also called satellite receiver, or in Tata Sky's case - the digicomp. In UK, it's called the digibox. The set-top box by itself is of no use without the dish.
  • In fact, if you deactivate tomorrow, they may take away both the dish AND the set-top box
This was the most shocking bit of information in the contract that Tata Sky wanted me to sign at the time of installation. Clause 11.3 of the contract explicitly states that Tata Sky can remove all the "hardware" from my place at the time of deactivation of service.  It doesn't define what hardware is or makes any distinction between dish and digicomp.

If you are a Tata Sky customer and you wish to stop the service tomorrow, by signing that contract, you have permitted them to take away the set-top box for which you paid in full. Don't believe me? Call up customer support and ask them to read out clause #11.3.


Issue #2 User Privacy: what about my rights?

  • They store all your usage information - how you watch your TV, what you watch, for how long and when
The contract states that Tata Sky may store every aspect of how you use their service. This allows them to create your detailed profile which will include your TV watching habits, how you order their premium services and so on. They already have all your contact information. Can you see where it's going?
  • They can profit from that information by selling it to third parties (read advertisers)
That's correct. By signing the contract you have agreed to let them use that information in any way they choose including making good money from it by selling it to "third parties". You, of course, get no share in this revenue stream. You get something else.
  • Be prepared to receive lots of very targeted ads (read spam)
This is the obvious implication of giving up your rights. Tata Sky knows which shows you've set as your favorites, they know what kind of movies you like, the channels you watch or don't watch, how many times you've ordered movies in the last three months. With this wealth of information, advertisers can draw up a pretty good picture of you so don't be surprised to get mailers online or offline that seem to be designed just for you.


Issue #3 Restrictive trade practices: locked away till eternity

  • You shall remain locked to receive Tata Sky forever, no Dish TV or another DTH service for you
If you buy a cell phone you expect it to work with any SIM card. Except when you get the phone for a discount, in which case, you can only use it with one particular SIM. You'd think that the same would be true for DTH, but no. With Tata Sky or Dish TV for that matter, even after paying for the equipment in full, you are not allowed to access the other's services. As a Tata Sky customer you are forever locked to receive only their services. This is clearly a restrictive trade practice.

TRAI, the regulatory authority that monitors DTH in India, is apparently working on the interoperability issue. But so far the players can behave the way they wish until the rules come into being. However, even if they allow inter-connection, it will be of little use with Tata Sky as you will lose the dish if you deactivate and perhaps even the set-top box.
  • You shall remain devoid of even Free-To-Air channels if you don't renew subscription on time
Free-to-Air channels are supposed to be, well, Free-to-Air. Not so with Tata Sky. If you don't renew the subscription on the due date, by 12 midnight, all your channels will be inaccessible including FTA.
  • You shall remain locked to the direction in which the dish is positioned
I called up customer support to ask whether one can somehow receive FTA channels broadcasted by other countries. Turns out, I'm not allowed to move the dish and in fact, it is not movable in the first place since it needs to be pointed at a very specific angle and has no tolerence for error.
  • You shall remain locked to the settings of the set-top-box
The user interface of Tata Sky does not permit one to setup alternative settings. There are no explicit options to change settings although a hidden menu springs up if you press the right combination of buttons. (see below for more)
  • You shall remain locked to the amount you carry in renewal voucher
Even the prepaid renewal voucher of Tata Sky is designed to get the most out of you. It only comes in the denomination of Rs 550 - which is more than what you need for a month's subscription (Rs 300) but not enough for two month (Rs 600). So at any given time you have Rs 250 always locked up in the voucher whether you want it or not. Perfect for Tata Sky because they want you to pay for their premium services. Not for someone who has no intention of paying for those services.

Not coincidentally, the renewal voucher is the only way to make payment with Tata Sky while Dish TV allows you to pay using several modes of payment.


To sum up all the above, buying Tata Sky digicomp and services was like buying a car which I cannot run on any fuel except the one supplied by the car maker. I must keep buying the fuel from them because if I stop, they can take away my car for which I paid in full!

In US or UK, there's no contract when you sign up for a satellite TV service. The contract only comes in when you get the equipment for free. It's only in India that we are made to sign on these ridiculous terms. What surprised me most in this episode is the utter ignorance about the terms of the contract within Tata Sky itself. The engineer who came for installation said my signature is needed as an authorisation for installation. His team leader I spoke with had no information about the terms. Two senior people in the organisation that the dealer made me speak to prior to refund, also proffered ignorance about these terms and had no convincing answer.


Other things you perhaps didn't know about Tata Sky
  • The reception is extremely poor or unavailable during rains. This however, is true about every satellite TV service in the world. Tata Sky makes no mention of it on their website.
  • Their toll-free number only works with MTNL / BSNL lines. If you're an Airtel subscriber, you'll have to call an STD number to get customer support. Knowing how long these calls take, the support will end up costing you quite a bit. (You can't go out and call from another phone because you might need to sit next to the TV if they tell you to change some settings)
  • In North Delhi, there have been reports that NDPL, also a Tata company, is using force to remove cable connections from NDPL electricity poles causing disruption in the cable infrastructure and forcing cable TV subscribers in 800,000 homes to upgrade to Tata Sky.
  • The set-top box that Tata Sky provides has a hidden port to accept PC card but it's been rendered useless since there's no software interface to use it. It's hidden behind a small plate held by two screws at the back.
  • They charge you Rs. 1000 when you change a house.
  • They will never tell you this but you can watch TV in more than one room with a single set-top box though you'll only be able to watch the same channel on all TVs.
  • There is a hidden settings menu in their interface for the technically inclined. Go to Organiser > System Settings > press 0, 1 and <select> button in quick succession. You'll get to DNB settings and other options.
  • The Tata Sky set-top box is from Thomson, their remote identical to those you get with SkyTV in UK and the software is from Open TV, the firm that sells software to Sky TV (apparently, it's from NDS). Apparently, no one has been able to hack Sky TV (at least not publicly) to use the service without paying subscription fees.

What can you do to protest?
  • Do not purchase their service. If you must, then refuse to sign the contract and demand they respect your rights.
  • Flood their customer care centre asking them questions about the three issues: ownership, privacy and restrictions.
  • Tell others to avoid Tata Sky. At least until they revise their terms and change restrictive policies. Another thing to remember is that there are other DTH players like Reliance, Airtel and new technologies such as IPTV that are on the horizon.


UPDATE, Mar-7: It turns out, 1-860-425-6633 is NOT a toll-free number either (though one certainly gets the impression). Another fact I forgot to add first time is that the 1-year guarantee does not cover every part of the equipment and only selected parts. Now someone in comments mentions that there are hidden annual maintenance charges of Rs.500 after the guarantee period and that you can land in serious trouble if you do not pay that.

UPDATE, Mar-7 (2): An anonymous user writing in comments below, made a couple of clarifications on Tata Sky's behalf. One - they can only take away "Tata Sky Hardware" (the dish) not the set-top box which is the consumer's property. As I replied below, this doesn't make any difference because the set-top box is useless without the dish. The dish should be the buyer's property and they should be allowed to receive any service they desire. The fact that Tata Sky doesn't allow this and that non-ownership of dish isn't made explicit prior to the purchase is is clearly a restrictive and unfair trade practice created solely to prevent competition.

Second, apparently, Tata Sky recently changed the clause about monitoring usage and now it's an opt-in feature. Why would anyone opt in to avail this is beyond me. Since it's the Tata Sky engineer who fills-in the contract form, how can the user even learn that such an option exists or ensure that it's not ticked after his signature? I certainly wasn't told about this during my installation. Clearly, the idea of the contract has to go. If a provider wants me to sign up and stay with them for a stipulated period, they should provide all the equipment for free.

By the way, this is now officially the most popular post on this blog. Thanks for all the encouragement, please tell others about this post and link to it from your blogs.

UPDATE, Mar-13: I received a comment elsewhere from an existing Tata Sky user that essentially said: "It isn't as bad as you're making it out to be - look, its working fine." I want to respond to this because I think many Tata Sky users might be feeling this way after reading my review.

I agreed early on in my review that the user experience - quality of broadcast and interaction with the features, is indeed superior. However, there's more to a product or service than the immediate user experience. My review of Tata Sky is more about the way the plan is structured and how it hijacks consumer rights.

There are certain assumptions that constitute what I'd call a "fair purchase" of a product or service. I assume that my following rights (among others) are being respected:
  1. The right to be explicitly told, prior to the purchase, the product (or product components), and/or service that is being purchased.

  2. The right to be explicitly told, prior to the purchase, the terms and conditions - in an easy to understand manner - that constitute the transaction.

  3. The right to be explicitly told, prior to the purchase, any important limitations of the product/service purchased.

  4. The right to be charged a reasonable price for the product/service and, if there are recurring payments to be made, the right to pay the agreed sum at reasonable intervals rather than in advance without any incentive.

  5. The right to have my personal information respected and/or the right to decide if I may allow to share it.

  6. The right to receive incentive/s for allowing to share my personal information if I so decide.

  7. The right to receive full utility inherent in the nature of the product/service without any restrictions artificially and intentionally imposed.

  8. The right to receive a refund within a stipulated period if I'm unsatisfied with the product/service.

  9. The right to exit the service without an added cost and/or the right to decide if I may retain the service for an agreeable period.

  10. The right to receive an incentive if I decide to retain the service for the agreed period.
Purchasing Tata Sky requires a consumer to abandon all the above rights. I believe that the benefits gained by making the purchase are not worth the compromise.

UPDATE, Apr-3: Since this post continues to get a lot of attention, I decided to update it with new information I gleaned recently. Although it might seem that Cable TV subscription costs (around Rs.300/mth in metros) are comparable with Tata Sky subscription (Rs.300/mth), yet if you add all the hidden costs of Tata Sky a very different picture emerges. This is particularly true in case of multiple TVs where Tata Sky is over two and a half times more expensive than cable over a five year period.

Five-Year Cost Comparison Between Cable TV (analogue) and Tata Sky

                       single TV      two TVs      three TVs

Cable TV          Rs.18,240     Rs.18,370     Rs.18,450

Tata Sky*         Rs.24,000     Rs.35,500     Rs.47,000

* assuming you don't relocate and your set top box doesn't breakdown after one year. If either of these happen, add additional cost. See the calculation behind this.
_______________________________________

How was this calculated?

The costs in all cases include hardware, installation, subscription and maintenance costs (at today's prices) over a five year period. Basically, Cable TV is so cheap because it costs next to nothing to connect multiple TVs and because it has no maintenance costs. All you need is a coaxial cable splitter and you can connect as many TVs as you want. Since there is no STB so you don't have to worry about maintenance either.

Note that in case of Cable TV, the only installation expense is the cost of coaxial cable you use from the nearest connection to your house. The cable guy might quote a prohibitive amount for this wire but you have the option of getting your own (it's freely available at hardware stores) at a much cheaper price.

Here is a complete breakup of the costs over five year period for three televisions.

Cable TV - three TVs

HARDWARE
Installation Wiring = Rs.8/m x 30m = Rs.240 (would vary)
Coaxial Cable Splitter (three-way) = Rs.50
Wiring for two additional TVs = Rs.8/m x 20m = Rs.160 approx.

SUBSCRIPTION
Five years = Rs. 300 x 60 months = Rs.18,000

MAINTENANCE
Zero maintenance

TOTAL Rs.18,450
________________________________________

Tata Sky - three TVs

HARDWARE
Three set top boxes = Rs.3000 x 3 = Rs.9000
Installation primary = Rs.1000
Installation secondary = Rs.500 x 2 = Rs.1000

SUBSCRIPTION
Five years = (Rs.300+100+100) x 60 months = Rs.30,000

MAINTENANCE
Annual maintenance charges for three STBs after first year = (3 x Rs.500) x 4yrs = Rs.6,000

TOTAL Rs.47,000
________________________________________
Bottom Line: If you use Cable TV for three TVs over a ten year period, you save Rs.57,100. Good enough for a home theater projection system. You also incur zero cost on maintenance, zero cost on relocation, you get a larger collection of channels and more protection against price hike in subscription since you can pressure your cable operator but can't do anything if Tata Sky raises the prices.


UPDATE, Apr-26:

Tata Sky Drops 13 Zee Channels Without Explanation

Sometime around end of March Tata Sky stopped broadcasting 13 Zee channels without giving as much as an explanation over the reason behind the draconian action. Well, this is one gets when one surrenders their rights in favor of "excellent picture quality". As much as we all like to hate our cable operator, we'll have to admit that something like this would never happen with cable TV.

As TS user Sampath noted in comments below: "Tatasky makes a tomtom when it adds channels but is radiantly silent when channels are dropped." Apparently they even removed two Neo Sports channels recently, reducing total number of channels to 91 and not 100 as advertised.

Another user Pramila wrote on April 25: "Even today their site mentions that all these channels are available. This is cheating of the first order."

Those who have studied the TDSAT ruling behind this action say that Tata Sky will now save Rs.42 per consumer. However, they have not reduced subscription charges to pass on these savings even though they are quite prompt in increasing the price when additional costs are incurred by adding new channels.

The channels which have been discontinued by Tata Sky include Zee Classic, Zee Action, Zee Premier, ETC, Zee Music, Zee Sports, 24Ghante, Play TV, Zee Jagran, Zee Smile, and regional channels such as Zee Kannada, Zee Telegu and ETC Punjabi.

UPDATE, Sep-01:

TRAI Issues DTH Regulations: Big Win For Consumers

Over the past six months, this post has reached an estimated 100,000 people (directly and through word-of-mouth) and has received over 300 comments. But today all those who have suffered through the hands of their DTH operator have a chance to rejoice. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India has just issued DTH guidelines that address almost all the issues raised in this post about six months ago and others identified in the comments.

From December 2007 onwards: DTH providers cannot lock you to use their own hardware - the STBs will now work with all providers. They must provide hardware refunds if the consumer wishes to return it. They must attend complaints of quality within a specified period. Prepayment vouchers must not be only paying mechanism. Providers cannot suddenly cancel any pay channel in a short period and without previous notice. Best of all, you can now choose which channels to watch - you don't have to subscribe to channel bouquet offered by the provider!

This is a major win for all those who have expressed their experiences of poor customer service and deceitful practices of Tata Sky. I'd like to think that this post too made a small contribution in bringing the issues to TRAI's attention. I did contact them several months ago with a copy of this post and comments. Although they were already working on DTH regulation at that time, yet many issues raised in this post were missing from their DTH consultation paper issued in Feb.

These problems have now been addressed. We'll never know if this post made a difference but ultimately what matters is that consumer rights have been upheld and DTH operators brought under control. Tata Sky and other operators can no longer do anything they want making a mockery of consumer rights.

To read more about the regulations, see the following stories:

Hindustan Times: Change DTH operator, keep set top box

Hindustan Times: Come December, order DTH a la carte

Business Standard: Trai directs DTH cos to offer refunds

Rediff: TRAI to bat for DTH customers


UPDATE, Jun-06 2008::

For the latest on issues with Tata Sky, head over to Kunal' blog.

Also note that this page features only about half the comments ("Newer" comments link below is not working). To check the latest comments, click on "Post a Comment" link at the bottom of this page and then click on "Newest".

In other news, today's HT reports that ESPN is taking TataSky to court: Channels off air, ESPN to take Tata Sky to court

P.S. Please keep comments civil. Disagreement is fine but insulting someone is not. Such comments will be promptly removed. Thanks.

473 Comments so far       «Oldest ‹Older 201 – 400 of 473 Newer› Newest»

Blogger Unknown:

hummmm, interesting, very interesting. Gr8 post Manu. and I am with you. I am surprised someone asked you to remove this blog. Very useful information you have here and most of these i didnt know. i am going to have this blog circulated as much as i can. I agree to each of your points buddy.

27 April 2007 at 12:36:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

TATA SKY IS MISLEADING THE CUSTOMER BY SAYING" ALL CHANNELS OF DVD QUALITY" WHERE AS THIS IS FAR FROM TRUE. THEIR ENGINEERS ACCEPT THAT THEIR 25% CHANNELS ARE OF POOR QUALITY. THIS IS TOTALLY ILLEGAL TRADE PRACTICE ON PART OF TATA SKY AND THEY SHOULD BE DRAGGED TO THE COURT UNDER COSUMER PROTECTION ACT. LET US START A SIGNATURE PETITION FOR TAKING TATA SKY TO COURT FOR THEIR MISLEADING ADVERTISEMENT AND CHEATING DONE TO ME AND OTHER TAAT SKY SUBSCRIBERS

27 April 2007 at 16:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

They have removed ETC channel punjabi........what about the daily Gurbani from Golden Temple,Amritsar????
I am leaving TATA SKY for sure

28 April 2007 at 12:06:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Irshad Ghori:

I fully agree with your views.TATA SKY is cheating customers openly.Switching over from cable tor TATA SKY is my one and only worst decision which i took in my lifeto buy a Product/Service.Sevice of TATA SKY is not fully satisfactory and also have many hidden costs.Viewers are at mercy of TATA SKY. Although,I will loose my 4000/-Rs by surrendering TATA-SKY service but in future,I will not buy any Product/Service,in which the name TATA is associated Directly or Indirectly.
Is it possible to get refund by surrendering TATA SKY services?Please reply.

28 April 2007 at 18:34:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Irshad, I doubt very much you can get a refund at this stage. I got mine before the service was activated. This is the whole problem with DTH, once you're in, you're stuck. Anyway, please contact their customer service to find out.

Another thing you can do is sell your STB to someone you know who wants a new connection. But the procedure is cumbersome, you will have to request Tata Sky to transfer ownership in that person's name. They will issue a new digicard and he would still have to pay Rs.1000 as installation fee.

28 April 2007 at 18:39:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Dear Manu Sharma/Irshad Gori

Please refer to my previous posts in which I explained that Zee network channels quality is poor . Today I got call from Banglorefrom tata sky and they had detalied discussion with me and in principle they agreed that quality of Zee network channels is poor and agreed that this is what they are geting from service provider. When I asked for refund as they have chaeated me She(the executive calling) immediately agreed to refund set top box price i.e. 3000/- rupees but rfuse to pay back installation fee . This is given in contract too in point 13.5 perheps if it is cancelled you are entitled for refund of set top box price but not installation fee and any amount outstanding in your account. But I warned them either reactify the promblem or refund entire amoount with compensation otherwise I will take them to consumer court of Illegal trade practice see their slogan on their site: ALL CHANNELS WITH DVD QUALITY PICTURE AND CD SOUND" which is misleading and cheating to the customers. Manu pleaselet me know can i file this complaingt in TRAI TOO?Plese get back directly to my mail id "rakeshtrikha@yahoo.com"

29 April 2007 at 14:36:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Dear Manu,

I had posted a comment earlier asking you if you had done any other case studies or not. And me being a tata sky customer am not facing these issues. And trust me, the way yiu are geting at them seems as though you have a personal vendetta against them????? What exactly have they done to you dear friend or are you very pro DFISH TV???

29 April 2007 at 20:17:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Mr. Rakesh Trikha, good to know what Tata Sky promised you a refund although it's unfortunate that they are not willing to refund the entire amount. I will write to you at your email address.

Tracey, I did reply to your previous message. Please see above. As to personal vendetta, I have none. As I've mentioned previously, I will gladly write about them if they change their service to address the three issues I've highlighted and others that have come up in discussion. If you read through the comments (and please take your time to do so) you will note that a lot of people are unhappy with their service while many others have found this post extremely useful.

29 April 2007 at 20:54:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

I'd also like to add once again that I have nothing to do with DishTV and I'm not in a position to recommend or disapprove of their service since I know fairly little about it. I've only shared my personal experience with Tata Sky. If someone finds any factual errors in this post, let me know and I'll gladly rectify it.

Once again, I would suggest others to please take their time to read through the comments before pointing fingers at me.

29 April 2007 at 20:59:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

I asked from Tsky helpline, and they said that only the Packages made by them can be choosen. I think their packages are poorly designed with no categorisation of Movie, Music, News Channels etc. Their total channels (91) is way short of Dish TV (150+). On top of that they are hell bent of removing channels & fighting it out in court rather than look for best interest for customers. Dish TV managed to get all channels (including SUN) without much toruble. Surely there is some problem with TSky.

30 April 2007 at 17:03:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

@#$%^ main to lutt gaya tata sky lagwa ke :(

1 May 2007 at 22:57:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Tata SKY claims Full DVD Quality while their Set Top Box does not even have an output that can transmit Full DVD Quality (480p). 480p can be transmitted by Component Video Cables/ DVI or HDMI. Without an output which can take care of this, I have no clue how can they claim "Full DVD Quality". S-Video or RCA cables can only support interlaced 480 signals, far inferior to full DVD Quality. Someone should sue them.

2 May 2007 at 05:52:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sridhar:

Well researched article. For someone who experienced daylight robbery for a poor service from SCV, Tata Sky seemed a lot better.

As other comments point out, there may not be much difference between Dish TV or Tata Sky in contract details.

I guess some of the costs like charge on relocation are justifiable as they are expected to send in their person, manage the request to closure etc., There are unacceptable clauses too as you mentioned, but I wouldn't worry about them now.

2 May 2007 at 13:00:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger gaps:

Very informative blog. I also have a few issues with Tata Sky which I'm not able to resolve with their call center guys. Can somebody give me the mail ids of some of the senior executives of Tata Sky so that I can take up the issues with them? I plan to approach the consumer courts if this fails.
Thanx

4 May 2007 at 09:05:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

well i'm from the northeast and tatasky is getting pretty popular on this side of the world.i just got tatasky too and i'm pretty happy with it soo far,('soo far' being the operative words). just a few points i'd like to add to this conversation,
1. Mr.Manu has every right to express his opinion of the service provided(its called freedom of expression).Whether you agree or not is besides the point because all he is providing is 'information' about his experience of the product(in other words a 'REVIEW') and if you think he is right make use of that info and if you don't ignore it. no one is forcing anybody to do anything. So all those people talking about closing this blog, misguiding the public, and whether we have the rights or not, please respect other peoples opinions as much as you would want others to respect yours. Grow up for christs sake,god gave each of us a brain not one brain for all of us, so use yours.
2. As Mr.P.K.sunder pointed out in a country like india there is no consumer rights (which is true to an extent).My 'opinion' however is that the reason why there are no consumer rights is because Mr.Sunder and the likes don't do anything about it and accept the fact that they are sc**wed anyway. well thats your decision and its great and all but atleast don't discourage the few people who are trying to do something about it, however small or futile it may be. Again freedom to have an opinion.
3. ownership of hardware is a valid point. This in my opinion is tatasky's way of maximising customer retention. one would think twice (or even ten times) about switching to another provider if his investment (stb) is rendered useless in the process. Therefore he sticks with tatasky even if he is not too happy with the service (plus tatasky can do whatever the hell they want). like i said soo far i'm happy with the service and have no complaints but just cause i'm happy now doesn't mean i'll be happy forever,so if a time comes when i feel i am not getting what i'm paying for then i'd like to be able to opt out without having to pay a penalty for it. this may seem a little paranoid but thats exactly why tatasky has this system in the first place cause they're scared of loosing customers too (or being at their mercy) so they want as much leverage as they can get.a more appropriate approach to this would be like the one that bsnl broadband provides. you can either buy the hardware or take it on a rental basis, plus the hardware is usable even if you decide to ditch the service. this may seem unfair to the service provider cause then they have no guarantee that the customer will stay with him, but hey, if they provide good service(like they always advertise),then why should the customers leave right.At the end of the day if you want it bad enough and feel its a reasonable compromise then go for it but if you're not willing to give up that degree of control then look for something that suites you better.
4. As far as the prices or monthly fees go its completely upto tatasky to charge whatever the hell they deem their services to be worth. Its fine even if they start you off at Rs.200 pm in the beginning and bump it up to Rs1000 pm when you're not looking. all tatasky will get if they do this is a very expensive satellite broadcasting system with nobody to broadcast to. the point is a product is worth only as much as a consumer is willing to pay for it, so set the price too high and you don't have any customers. This system works fine in keeping prices in check. but when you bring in the whole stb issue and the inability to change providers without paying a penalty (i.e stbs that we pay Rs4000 for are useless once we unsubscribe)then we start having problems. the customer is forced to remain a customer or pay the penalty and THIS i think is what Mr.Manu wants to point out as being wrong.
5. all in all these kinds of problems always come up when you start something new but they tend to get solved given time like the privacy issue becoming optional.of course we still have people complaining about not being informed of such a clause in the contract but think about it reasonably, if the technician had to sit with every person that got tatasky and go through each and every clause in the contract then he'd probably take a lot more then an hour to install the damn thing and then we'd have people complaining that it takes too long to install and the service sucks. its a contract(legally binding instrument)not a piano lesson so read the damn thing. Of course tatasky can go one step further and do it but its not something that we can't solve on our own unlike the stb problem where we need tatasky to agree.
6. lastly the reason why a few things gets solved is because of discussions like these. people get info, make decisions, and take actions that help solve the problem. so all those against it, move to China. hehe just kidding.

p.s sorry for the long post, kinda got carried away :). cheers.

4 May 2007 at 19:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

I vote the above as the most intelligent and well informed comment I've received on this post so far. :-)

Finally, someone takes time to read through the post without missing any detail, looks beyond biases and identifies things that even I missed.

Thank you.

4 May 2007 at 23:43:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

I agree with Anonymous, too.

By the way, Manu, I must thank you for your views and the focussed manner in which you have put them forth. Believe me, it really helps.

I live in Mumbai and have a cable connection which generally serves my needs in terms of quality and such. However, of late, we've had power cuts in various parts of the city and often, when there is a power failure say, even ten kms. from where I live, I stop getting the cable feed at home. My cable guy – he is courteous and nice – tells me that it is due to the way the network is laid out. Since, he cannot get feed from the previous high-end, he cannot pass it onto me. This summer, there is going to be a load-shedding here and so, I recently decides to opt for TataSky. I called up their helpline number (quite a clever ploy to pass it off as a toll-free no.) and spoke to the rep. I specifically asked her if there is any assurance from the company that the subscription would not be hiked exorbitantly in coming months. She said, they want be hiked. I then asked her if the company can give it to me in writing. She consulted her supervisor and said, no.

In other words, if I buy TataSky and take a Rs. 300 subscription today, there is only one thing I can do in the event that they hike it up to say, Rs. 500 – discontinue the service and thereby wash my hands off the money I spent on the STB. What a way to hold consumers at ransom!

The strategy also disappoints me on a personal level. My father served 35 years with Tata Steel and I have grown up in what we proudly called "Tata culture". No longer proud though. Daylight robbery such as this would never have been allowed by JRD, or even Russi Mody. If my father were alive today, he would be seething red.

Anyways, good job, Manu. I share your feelings completely about violation of our rights.

5 May 2007 at 16:14:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Thank you Raj, for sharing your personal thoughts. I hope that top executives at Tata would some day once again realise that businesses can still be profitable without fleecing the customer... by actually providing such compelling value that it's unmatched by the competition.

But I guess it is easier to fool the consumers and make a quick buck while ignoring the longterm interest of the business.

5 May 2007 at 16:47:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

All I want is that STB should not be service provider specific and charges should be free free channel service plus per channel charges of customer chosen channels.This should be same as CAS.SAT TV providers should be permitted to install service only under CAS regime.

5 May 2007 at 17:54:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

MANU, Obvoiusly you have no clues on how large corporations run and compete.
TATA-AKY service has NO match at all, and that's what metters. Your concerns on rights and privacy are a big phat as Your bank, Your Maid, Your Dhobi, Your Telecom Company, everyone is already capitalizing on what they know about you.
What really matter's in TV is a great viewing experience.

And the quality of service that existed before is easily forgotten by anyone who has moved to TATA-SKY.

6 May 2007 at 22:49:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Response to IndiaPlas' comment

IndiaPlas said: "Obvoiusly you have no clues on how large corporations run and compete."

It's so obvious, is it? You might want to read the tag line on this blog's logo on the top left hand corner of this page. To save you from scrolling, it says "the fascinating art of being good in business," where "good" could mean, both "successful" and "ethical."

Also see my profile and read my past posts on Google, Apple, Ebay, Steve Jobs, Yahoo and so on. Tata Sky is actually puny in comparison with these truly large corporations.

Orange Hues is essentially a business and design blog. And I've been writing on these issues for the almost four years. You won't find any stream-of-consciousness kind of posts here that are so typical of regular blogs.

IndiaPlas said: "TATA-AKY service has NO match at all, and that's what metters."

For a very brief, short-lived period, that might remain true. But other competitors (Reliance, Bharti), new technologies (IPTV, streaming internet TV), and wider access of existing alternatives (CAS & digital cable) will very soon change that.

Btw, they also don't seem to have a match in fleecing customers so openly.

IndiaPlas said: "Your concerns on rights and privacy are a big phat as Your bank, Your Maid, Your Dhobi, Your Telecom Company, everyone is already capitalizing on what they know about you."

My maid and Dhobi are quite alright. As to my bank and the telecom company... well, at least they don't shamelessly ask me sign on a paper to allow them to use this information, do they? Tata Sky? They want you to give them a blank cheque! I don't know about others, but I don't do that.

IndiaPlas said: "What really matter's in TV is a great viewing experience."

First of all, I don't agree that nothing else matters.

Second, others commenting above have already responded to this claim. For one, not all channels have crystal clear picture. Then, it's not even "DVD quality" as they claim, which refers to 480p - a standard that isn't even supported by Tata Sky hardware.

Finally, let me clear up this illusion that every Tata Sky user responding here has bragged about. Think about it a little more deeply... what is it that makes a "great viewing experience"? In my opinion, the top three factors that make up a great viewing experience are...

1. Great TV content - always above everything

2. Size of the screen - the bigger the better

3. Great audio - far greater impact than improvement in picture by the same factor

How many of these get enhanced by Tata Sky? None. I'd rather invest in a projection system with a 100" screen than sell my rights to Tata Sky.

The slight improvement in picture quality that we get with their service cannot compare with these three factors in impact over the viewing experience. And yes, it is a slight improvement only. I've compared both side by side and I know the difference. I'd rate it at about 0.25X improvement over a decent quality analog cable. It's not HDTV after all, which I'd rate as a 1-2X improvement.

IndiaPlas said: "And the quality of service that existed before is easily forgotten by anyone who has moved to TATA-SKY."

So, nothing else comes in your definition of "service" apart from polite customer reps? What about canceling over a dozen channels without notice or explanation? Or how about falsely accusing a person of broadcasting signal at no fault of his? Or lying about the cost of subscription? Or the n number of points I raised in this post? Thats not service?

7 May 2007 at 00:15:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

TO ALL
Tata sky definately befooling the people by advertising" ALL CHANNELS IN DVD QUALITY PICTURE AND CD QUALITY SOUND" I have taken this issue to the highest level in Tata Sky and even asked them to refund all the money as they have cheated . " They are doing illegal trade practice. Now Their national customer care executive has refered my case to Relay department at chandigarh after himself deeply analyising my complaints and agreeing to it in principle that " Picture quality of Zee network channels is poor" They have improved it also in last 10 days on my several representations. I appeal through Mr.Manu sharma that let us expose their illegal trade practice as they are misleading the customers. I am sure they way I am following the case and ifyou all help me we are going to get DVD quality on all channels soon. Manu your blog is great and always talk on facts. When we are paying so high we deserve to get the best( At least what is promised by the company in their advertisement) rakeshtrikha@yahoo.com

7 May 2007 at 17:13:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

TATAsky should not have, at all withdrawn the 13 channels by choice, that is without any technical reasons, as many customers would miss the options available earlier which were being fulfilled for those who do not tend to view more on other available channels. Moreover on quality, there is no provisions of S-Video or component video/RGB connectors in their STB, then what to talk of DVD quality picture! Bigger the picture, more unclear it is.

7 May 2007 at 17:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

The bolg was as much about TataSky as it was about Mr. Sharma. I was in USA for the last 3 years and had DTH (dish network with rain blues), so when I saw TataSky, it was an instant choice. Of Cousrse Mr. Sharma has brought out some valid points, but nothing can be compared to the viewing pleasure of TataSky.
If you understand the way business operates, then the deletion of Zee network channels was on the cards (they being the rivals - dishTV), it was the same stuff in USA, while Dish network carried the Zee & Sony channels, Direct TV carried the star network.
But I do appreciate Mr. Sharma's effort in bringing out contentious issues which should have stayed with the consumer rather than the service provider, but the alacrity at which he replies to each post, actually makes him less credible. I think he has made his point, he does not need to reply to all the posts.Let people choose what they want to see - "Active sports" or only "sports"

8 May 2007 at 17:24:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Srimant, I like to engage with people commenting. It's true about all my posts that have received comments (not that many). I think it's a great thing, makes me available. Not sure how that lowers my credibility.

But regarding credibility, I'd like to ask you something... does Tata Sky have retail distribution in U.S.? If not, is it legal to take the Digicomp there? How did you make payment when you used it in States since they have only recently started online payment?

8 May 2007 at 17:40:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

why has tata sky erased the balance on the alert. i have no clue what my balance is and if i call the customer care, how am i to believe them. i know that the company is cheating its customers, surely whatever they tell me esp when it comes to paying them, i will always doubt them.
also if the ministry can ban certain channels am sure they can take action aga the draconian ways of these dth providers.

10 May 2007 at 19:19:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

ANNOUNCEMENT:
TRAI oranises Open House Discussion on DTH


Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has announced an open house discussion in connection with the consultation paper on issues relating to DTH on 18th May 2007 in Bhubaneswar. The details are available on their TRAI website (PDF).

All interested stakeholders / individuals are invited to participate. Previously, TRAI had issued a consultation paper on DTH.

10 May 2007 at 20:21:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I had a Hathway cable connection in area of Mumbai - Bandra. Then moved to another area, where only Incable provides service. The guy wouldn't accept the same set-top box! You have to buy a new one from him! The supplier of the set-top boxes made a fool of the service providers, or the service providers think the janta is generally stupid and doesn't understand...I can't speak to the fellows for more than 5 mins! :(

Every single service provider tries to lock you in. To be fair, Tata Sky connected in one day, well trained guys, clarity is great..Only problem..they don't a voucher denomination for 1 month. They collect more money they should every month and that sounds unethical, even if it isn't their intention.

12 May 2007 at 22:24:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

"Only problem..they don't a voucher denomination for 1 month. They collect more money they should every month and that sounds unethical, even if it isn't their intention."

It's very much intended. Every month Tata Sky gets to keep your money which you do not owe them. If you do a calculation - on an average (over an year), Tata Sky has Rs.250 in your balance at any given time (assuming you recharge with a Rs.550 voucher. If you use Rs.260 voucher, the avg. amount is Rs.150 but the latter is not available at all dealers).

Multiply this figure with their total subscriber base - which is expected to touch 10 lakh in August - then the figure comes to Rs.25 crore. What a great way to raise cash! Remember, this is not rental, this is *your* money in their account which you *do not owe*!

12 May 2007 at 23:35:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

hey my tata sky experience is not that bad u dont ever read user agreement while installing any software or stuff like these .
which do hv many of such clauses the only thing i think bad is non availabity of switching companies which is not even there in reliance mobiles but still the company is doing well.
and i found quite a difference in the quality of cable operator and this.(at most places u dont get gud cable operators).

13 May 2007 at 16:50:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Ding Dong Bell:

Thanks for the info, i will not read the justifications that people have given here, then again, I wanted to choose a Service for a private building. Guess, i've known what not to take. Thanks. Extremely well written and good collection of data.

15 May 2007 at 08:29:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Thank you, Vamsi.

15 May 2007 at 09:17:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Great Mr Manu Sharma, you have done a good job exposing tata sky, giving titles like "A conspiracy called tata sky" all that kinda stuff.

Well the world has lot of important things to be worried of, there are many serious conspiracy theories going on in this world.

Also we have forgotten days when we used to be content watching any damn stuff on doordarshan, when we have no choice we keep mum and accept whatever is given to us, when we get choices we start writing such enlightening verses, also web has given every tom dick and harry like you a blank wall to scribble on, so no doubt you have your right to write and express what you want.

Also we have started expecting and comparing service providers in india in any field to service providers across globe.

I am a tata sky subscriber and i don't find details highlighted by you compelling enough to crib and cry about this service. I am a satisfied customer today can turn unsatisfied tomorrow, but would not go to this extent cribbing like you, it's true that Indian's do not read terms and condition docs while taking a service like Americans so we feel cheated and come out with words like "conspiracy".

I just feel i would be adding up to your popularity commenting on your enlightening and exposing gyaan, like others have done either supporting or opposing your thoughts.

16 May 2007 at 11:13:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Aww!! the comments are drying up.. WHAT HAPPEN TO ALL THE DUMBASSES WHO KEEP POSTING OVER HEEER????

21 May 2007 at 15:43:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

"WHAT HAPPEN TO ALL THE DUMBASSES WHO KEEP POSTING OVER HEEER????"

Thanks for introducing yourself, Ravi.

21 May 2007 at 15:46:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Amal:

Manu,

I appreciate your effort to collect and publish the data here. Its really informative.
I think some of the issues that you have pointed out are at least "kind of" addressed by the Sky people: Like the opt-in option, and now they have Rs. 300 recharge voucher which I see in the online buying option.
I believe that, being a private firm they will try all possible options to monopolize the market, and will definitely try to lock you in with the subscribership. I was considering to buy the package when I got in to your site. I might still buy it if the picture and sound clarity is really worth the hassle but only after talking face to face with some real customer.
Thanks for the post!

22 May 2007 at 18:03:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Hi Amal -- that's precisely what I recommend, to make an informed decision after knowing all the facts.

I suggest you compare the picture quality with cable side by side to see if there's a remarkable difference. Also note that Tata Sky admits that the quality of Zee channels is poor.

22 May 2007 at 19:30:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

I dont know how you got a refund Manu for the Digicom - I called Tata Sky and they said there is no procedure for refund so Im stuck with it. My complaint is - I got the installation done on 16th Feb and they announced the 3 months free subscription on 17th Feb - I feel cheated.

23 May 2007 at 21:37:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Amit, I got the refund before my account was activated.

23 May 2007 at 22:06:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

MAybe you guys can do what i do.

stop watching Television and move online and watch www.nautanki.tv

slash

25 May 2007 at 10:43:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hey guys...cool it.

It is just a matter of time...remember how the big' Daddy-'s dream' project entered the market...looting us all with ucrative options ( i remember having returned the color handset and also paid Rs 8000/- for breaking the contract)...Well,but they couldnt manage to do it for long.They had to come down to the basics again.

So, the fact of the matter is - when there is competition.They would need to change everything from terms and conditions to pricing.

As far as owning the set-top box and dish is concenred, don't worry.It's gonna get so cheap in future that you won't bother losing one ( i have my tata indicom broadband modem lying with me and no one ever bothered to come n collect it ).

The DTH market in India is in a nascent stage, like GSM was in 2000-2002.As the market grows and consumer base increases,operators would learn to live with each other(removing the issue of missing channels).

Aside to Mr. Manu >> hats off to your patience and research ( not being sarcastic).But it would be great if we can dedicate bit of the same to raise it in a bigger forum, maybe to the media or to TRAI itself... !!

28 May 2007 at 16:04:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

may be due to this blog TATA SKY has introduced three or four different packages along with old all in one package

1 June 2007 at 13:25:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

I highly doubt that. Clubbing several channels in one package was never one of the main issues raised in my post, it only came up in comments. Besides, the new packages were introduced earlier last month.

1 June 2007 at 14:55:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Rajesh NJ:

Good research and info Manu Sharma ..... but I feel that if you do the same research on Dish TV or any other DTH service provider you would end up with the same greivences. All in all as we have more choices now we have got more head aches now.

Being in Chennai I have only 3 options...
1) To get a STB from service provider SCV who have a monopoly over the City Cable TV
2) To get TATA SKY
3) To get DISH TV

SCV is owned by the Marans who run the Sun Network as well and now with the fallout between the Marans and the DMK the future of SCV is debatable.... In this scenario I'm confused as to what to opt for among these three as I find it increasingly difficult to watch just the 'free' channels....

Anyone who can give some info on chosing the "better of these 3 evils" are most welcome :-)

1 June 2007 at 23:18:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Suresh JV:

My blood boiled twice over!!!

I'll print this complete Post & Comments and ask my Cable guy to circulate/show it to all his customers. :)

Let Tata Sky know what consumers can do. I suggest other readers to do the same.

4 June 2007 at 18:15:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I was working in malaysia previously & currently moved back to india and is exploring the cable or DTH for my house, Accidently happen to review this blog, thanks for manu to start this topic, and I was using DTH service in malaysia and here are some of my observation on the services offered by them and in india ( based on this blog's user feedback. may be TS can implement few of them in their service.
1) The STB provided by Tata sky is bulky and outdated, In malaysia DTH service provided by a company Astro ( astro.com.my) their STB are very compact and more advanced ( I have seen their previous STBs which are little bulky), the cost is very less 2000+ (indian rupees) & free installation, but their minimum monthly package will be around Rs 400 + but more options to choose,
I guess the monthly changes are justifiable if we considier the population (users) of that country & cost of living compared to india. but i feel charges are very expensive in india and seems to be exploiting the people. with such a large customer bases they can reduce the monthly fee, hope will reduce if more compititive players enter the market.
2) Regarding customer service, they have different options for bill play like credit card, bank a/c. pay at the service counters etc. they have toll free no. for customer service but we may wait for long duration in peak time as they have few lines. may be now it is improved. in malaysia also this service provider is a single largest DTH service provider and monopolised. but their service and programms are very good.

3)In their case also we need to pay for the STB, Dish is service providers property but installation is free, if you need to relocate the charges for refixing the dish can be negotiated with the dealers. it may be few hundered rupees not thousand as in the case of tata sky.
4) They also has to provide malaysia's free to air channels free to customer, but the other channels there is very very minimal advertisements, in most of the channels no ads. and they too have in house entertainment programmes which are also very good. also few free FM music channels. I don't think TS is have any entertainment programmes produced by them.

4)they have also separate movie package every month, costs around 100+. it has around 15 new block buster films including few local, international, indian( both hindi & tamil) films can be viewed for the whole month one after the other in two channels.
75 Rs for one day for one film from TS is no comparision at all.
also have the feature to see on that days programm schedule in the system with different subtitle options.

5) we can use our card in any of their STBs, it's not locked to single STB. I haven't hard of any issue with STB & as for as i know no AMC charges it might have included in the cost of monthly package itself or we need to pay extra. we have used for few years no issues at all. transfer of ownership of the STB is very easy,
signal blank during heavy rains is common some times. i guess it is due to dish.

6) No need to pay the monthly fee in advance we need to pay within that month not advanced as like TS, if we don't pay or late pay in that month there is some penalty in the next bill for the delay and no signal if you don't pay beyond last date. we may need to reactive the service with additional pay.( around 200+). service provider won't remove your dish. we have still option to reactivate whenever you need again.
subscription fee for one month starts from the date of activation not on the calender month( as some service provider for ex mobile services cheat people if u take any value added services/new promotions in between the calender they won't get full one month usage and also they won't inform u when u take this add on services).
Also u get monthly time table magazine cost included in the monthly fee itself about the programmes for the month all channels except free to air channels. I don't think TataSky has any monthly magzine it includes its time table of all the channels.
7) some live sports events for ex. like cricket series of bangladesh. boxing etc are not free we need to subscribe for this additional event, since malaysia is not in this game internationally. but these events are shown without any advertisements. world cup mathces (football) was free they have included additional channels for this event with more features, like 4 to 5 live views for each match for user selection. like one camera focussing on one player movements throughout the match. etc

hope TS can look at the DTH service provided in other countries and use their good practices/features for our indian customers benifits or customers can demand these features.

5 June 2007 at 16:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Thanks Mohan for the detailed comparison. Very useful in giving us an international perspective.

5 June 2007 at 17:26:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Dude , you just put me off from Tata Sky. Thanks for all the warnings !

6 June 2007 at 13:29:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Wow! Manu Sharma
Excellent read...
Came to know a lot of hidden stuff about this so-called TS.
My cable-wallah is lot better

7 June 2007 at 15:08:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Anonymously Yours:

Hi Orange, A very good article ... companies in India believe that consumer is a dumb ass and they can do whatever they want ...

Tata bunch is a dishonest lot ... I had subscribed for a tata broadband connection a year ago ... I was promised I'll get a connection within 15 days ... after a month I found out that they didn not even have the equipment and facility to run the services in my locality ... I had to run around to get my money back ... three months after pulling a few strings ... I did get my money back ... thanks for bringing to light issues like consumer rights ... for some ppl this might appear as a grumpy harangue ... as long as they see something on their TV screens they don't bother ... but you have put it correctly ... its simply not about buying and using ... it is also about choice ...

8 June 2007 at 10:29:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger AKB:

I have been a TATASKY scapegoat since Nov 2006.

Well.. to start with, till date I have called them precisely 52 times (I made them give me all the case numbers they have logged for my calls).

During Nov-Dec 2006, there was no clear communication regarding when SunTV was going to come into the tatasky rolls.. for around 4 months they kept giving me lotsa "golis" to eat, saying "SUNTV will come soon. Our concerned department is working on it". Which concerned dept is that ? No one knows. And in April, TDSAT says finalise the SUNTV deal by May. I guess May is yet to arrive at TATASky's office. bah!

I havent seen so far in my career a "concerned department" in ANY customer service, who is not concerned about its user's concerns!! After umpteen calls and literal abuse over the calls [I really hate doing that, but they made me - I do not repent for abusing tatasky], their helpdesk manager says "we will have someone get back to you in 24 hours to give you an update. We do not have outbound facility here" [ A Customer service desk -serving customers - which cannot make calls to them]. I havent received a call so far!

Adding to it :
- Dropping 13 Zee Channels -> No communication to customers
- Introducing packages -> No communication to customers
- I lodge a complaint with them in April saying Zee/HBO are not clear -> No callback

I then decided not to recharge my account. Surprise Surprise - I get a call from TATASKY.. ! Saying "Saar, your account has expired and you need to recharge your account. Please recharge so you can continue our service". I was really &*@#@&* taken aback as to how the hell these guys called me to REMIND me to recharge my account! I have been calling them for the past 7 months for an issue / concern .. they didnt bother to call EVEN once...

I really wonder what their team is workin on..

Am I asking for too much when I ask them for an update about my concern? I am paying Rs.300/- a month for a mere 94 CHANNELS!!!! Where as I used to get around 118 channels from my cablewaallah for Rs.250/-.

If there is someone here who knows about a forum to start off something against Tatasky, count me in it. I am not sure how/where to start one, else I would have. Is approaching a consumer court a viable option? Need suggestion from people out here please..

Manu, really appreciate your efforts in starting this off...

9 June 2007 at 08:42:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Arun,

The best thing you can do is launch an internet campaign. Tata Sky doesn't yet understand the power of the internet. So lets show them. Here's a brief account of the difference this post has made.

Over 10,000 people have read this post so far and it continues to be extremely popular. Thanks to others who have been linking here, Orange Hues has been appearing on the very first page of Google results for the term "tata sky" or any other search related with tata sky.

But that's not all. Hundreds of people come here every week from a variety of other sources too. Apart from Google, people reach here by clicking an email link (lots of referrals from Yahoo mail), yet others find the link on their company intranet, some from closed communities like Orkut or linkedin and then there are a over a dozen odd sites and forums that link here.

It looks like everyone who reads this post recommends it to someone else. I remember reading a Harvard Business Review article long ago that said every good experience a consumer has with a product, they tell about it to 7 other people but every bad experience is recounted to 25 others!

So if we assume that even half the visitors have told just ten others about it, that means this story has reached over 50,000 people already. How's that for people power!

So my suggestion is to book a domain and start a blog. Incidentally, TataSkySucks.com is available for purchase, in case you're interested. ;) I can help set you up if you want. orangehues@gmail.com

9 June 2007 at 10:54:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger vs:

A very good article, useful responses and updates.

I am deferring purchase of Tatasky; in fact deferring going in for DTH. Will wait for IPTV or more DTH players.

[By the way, Tata brand no longer promises efficient business practices. And, unfair (even unethical) practices are not ruled out; I am still waiting (more than 3 years now) for refund, having cancelled my subscription to Tata Indicom after being wrongly billed].

12 June 2007 at 01:34:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger sabir:

Eureka Now Get Rid of (Dth) Tata Sky & Dish TV’s Malpractices


All the users of DTH Services of Tata Sky & Dish Tv have been at the receiving end of their services & are really wanting to do something about it.
Well I have a plan & I want your opinion and any suggestion that will help us get rid of Malpractices of DTH service providers.

The idea is that we all DTH users (Both Tata Sky & Dish Tv) have our payment schedule starting on a single date. We can do a little bit of juggling & can easily arrange to have our services pre paid till a certain date.
Say if my services is paid for say till 25th of June & these guys give us a grace period of four days to recharge my service ends on 29 & I don’t recharge again until say 8th or 9th July & say I have recharged for Re 550/- which means I am already having a balance of Re 510/- considering that the four extra days from 25th June to 29th June grace period that I was given has been deducted, the Re 510 balance means I have paid to receive services till September 01, or close to that.
Well once we have a uniform date for paying for the service to continue to receive the signals then boy this burgers will have it, how well we all won’t be recharging for the service & can be off Cable for say ten days or fifteen days or a month, we all will have to give a sacrifice,
But this sacrifice won’t go without bearing any fruit, DTH service providers will lose Advertisement money & will be paying to all their employees from their own pocket with no income forthcoming from nowhere & I believe it will work.
Sabir Khan.

12 June 2007 at 11:31:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger sabir:

Hi
I Also beleive it would be a good idea if say we have a website
dthinindia.in it would be a better way to have users of dth service in india to come under one banner & ask for a good service for money & time.
more so when trai (the apex goverment body who is supposed to protect consumers interest) isn't feeling there is a need for them to regulate & control DTH service in India
Sabir

12 June 2007 at 11:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sampath:

Dear Sabir,

You do not represent all Tatasky customers. There is a big group of satisfied customers and I belong to that group. I get all the channels I want, quality far far better than cable, cost affordable and acceptable as of today, not a minute of viewing pleasure lost since installation in Sep 2006, very high satisfaction quotient. All my friends and relatives who have followed my advice or installed on their own are very happy with Tatasky.
I suggest, you watch your favourite programmes on Tatasky and compare the viewing with your cable. If you still feel that cable is superior to Tatasky, you must hang on with your cablewala. No one is forcing you to go for Tatasky.

13 June 2007 at 21:14:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger sabir:

Dear Sampath
as much as i dont represent all tata sky users nor does you
look its not about me or about you or about anybody
its about the service that we are promised & the service we are receiving
Look we had far worst service all this years via the Local Cable wallah & sadly we had to suffer it without being able to do anything about it
tata sky & other dth services & IPTV & Cas are a way thru which we can recieve our dose of infotainment for a fair price & without any prejudice
but but but i think we are back to square one
there are only four movie Hindi channels Today on Tata Sky rest all has vanished into thin air, my subscription charges stays the same, no Neo Sport, Zee Sports,
If you are happy with Tata i have no problem but i wont my money's & time worth,
Sabir

14 June 2007 at 12:24:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

pathetic service poor dealing they just make fool of customers for their own vested interest moreover the starter package that they have introduced is useless as they have designed in such way that no one in any part of country can watch properly so they indirectly compel people to have the package worth Rs 300,and they follow unprofessional approach they reduce the balance amount on their will and they do not inform about the account when asked.

15 June 2007 at 23:01:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

HI, Good review of the service.
I was happy with the quality of the relay. But I have decided to discontinue the service because of poor customer support.
I tried to recharge my account and because of their IVR issue, the amount was charged in someother account. Now they are asking me to sent the original voucher to recharge my account.
Asking the orginal voucher does not make sense at all. That is the only proof I have to prove that I bought the voucher. I am planning to approach the consumer court.

20 June 2007 at 20:54:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

thanks very very much.. as the tata indicom mobile which created sensation when launched but afterwards everybody knew it was nothing but waste.. only rich people who want to spend money for nothing chooses tata .. but with the ads they show i decided that i should opt for it.. alas, my good luck i read this forum and now i knew its really sucks.. thanks again a lot.. as for the positive replying persons you might be rich or care only about comfort. but there are people who can't afford charges for nothing. if something is perfect then no need to be charges hidden. really its a conspiracy and people will know about it only when competitors come with cheap plans . hats off manu..

20 June 2007 at 21:23:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

shall i or not go for Tata Sky ?
My cablewallah is charging 400 pm
just worried about the rainy season is it that bad you cannot see anything..........

btw having a HDTV will it make a diff in viewing tatasky

pls. advice

25 June 2007 at 18:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sampath:

1. Why do you want to change? If you are satisfied with the cost, quality, no. of channels and service of your cablewala, stay with him. If you think Rs. 400 is too much for the channels you watch, you can reconseider.

2. HD tv is not going to help you. There are no HD transmissions from tatasky (may happen hopefully in future when foreign channels get added, no sign of it now). The STB has only composite video output and no component-video or s- video. No advantage or better picture from HD tv. Of course if you want to use the HD tv for gaming with sony or microsoft gaming consoles, it is a different issue.

3. There is a disruption in reception when the cloud cover is heavy, lot of thunder and lightning, and heavy showers. Drizzle and moderate showers do not affect reception. Last week we had about 12 hours of moderate to heavy rain, Tata sky was off for only 20 minutes. The bright side is, despite a power breakdown, I could watch tatasky (with inverter).

4. There is no single cap for all heads. You evaluate your needs before you decide.
Sampath

26 June 2007 at 12:54:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Abhishek:

"isko laga dala to life jhingalala"
The above advertising line makes it clear that they are targeting ppl who are not aware and not bothered to either do some research or are wre blind as with me before reaching this blog...

Excellent work Mr. Manu Sharma..I appreciate ur efforts. And I have decided to bring the issue into limelight and will got o TV Channels, newspapers etc. to make this issue public. However, it would have been better if we could have a similar Dish Tv review.
I am not their customer so I can't write a letter to TRAI or body responsible for broadcasting licenses.

28 June 2007 at 22:14:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Abhishek:

Date: Fri, Jun 29, 11:30 PM

ok I did some research before deciding to write a letter to TRAI and TDSAT.
First of all when I called their customer care I didn't know that their numbers are toll-free or chargeable. As someone earlier pointed out in the comments before that it was not free, I sticked to it. However, shockingly they had provided three other numbers for no-MTNL/BSNL numbers.

With some research I found out that they were STD numbers, one in Chandigarh, one in Hyderabad and other in Pune. they didn't even mention that it was an STD (ie on their site).

then I called their customer care, which was spot on with their no waiting time and avereage call center diction. The guy informed me about the packages etc.

Points to be noted are:

1. The STBcosts Rs. 2999 and is from Thomson (they don't mention it in the call). It has got one-year warranty and after that average cost of repair would be 300+ (the guy told me).

2. The mini-dish they provide is Tata sky's property(but not entirely). That is if its receives damages via some external factors or from birds etc. we have to pay for it and average charges would be approx 600+ (He told me that is made of tough material and usually immune to such problmes and also he said that the engineer would visit our house and see that whether we are responsible for the damage or is there any external factor involved in it.) This is another qualitative thing and youn are not sure about the truth unless you face it.

3. He told me about channel packages. There were three pachages. Then I enquired about the channels. Out of the Zee bouqet they were offering 5-6 channels as of right now. I also asked him about dropping of Zee channels in March and their aligning to the contarct of providing 99 channels or whatever the package is. So he said that they added new channels when Zee bouqet was dropped but didn't have the exact nos. nor the tpe of channels added. And you expect good, similar to Zee type of channels to be added. another breach of contract I think.

Then after some research I found out that it is not entirely their fualt. As per TRAI norms, content must be made available to all delivery platforms on a non-discriminatory basis.

(Source: http://www.blonnet.com/2007/03/20/stories/2007032005820100.htm)

The source is actually a case of Sun Tv argument when they argued and didn't provide their channel feed to Tata Sky, but later on it was solved after Sun agreed to offer Tata Sky their feed of channels at Rs. 75 or half the rate they quoted before.

(source: http://www.blonnet.com/2007/03/20/stories/2007032005820100.htm)

4. Then I enquired about the video quality. The guy aid that they provide DVD-quality picture and CD-quality sound which when I urned onto reviews disocvered was not true. They say you can't clearly tell the difference from a normal TV but if you own a Plasma or a 29 inch, then you would know that.
(Source: http://www.indian-voice-overs.com/tatasky.html
and
http://www.mouthshut.com/product-reviews/Tata_Sky_TV-925065500.html)

5. Then I asked about two TV. He clearly mentioned that if I view the same channels, then I would have to buy some device which again has one year warranty and after which the average costs will be 300+.
For different channels, I have relaxed subscriptions charges.

6. About the denomination thing, he said
that denominations are available in Rs. 200, 300, 500, 1000, 2500 and 5000. And thet are prepaid subscription just like mobile phones. Means if you have a Rs. 160 package and you buy a Rs. 200 denomination you carry forward Rs. 40 in your account. I see no harm in this thing except that once a person choses to discontinue the service then he has to let go the money left in the account and I don't simply understand that why don't they have denominations in exact amount as their channel packages.

That is the job of TRAi I think yo step over and correct it.

7. Another thing is that if I book my subscriptions through credit card I get some discount, which is of course what most of today's companies are doing to reduce paper work and mechanical delays.

8. I asked about the S-Video output and the composite video output which soemone had mentioned before. He clarified with the technical team and siad that it is the normal video output which is used in TV, whihc is of course not the reply I wnated after insisting on S-video and Composite video. I don't understand about this so can't comment on this.

9. About the clause 11.3 Mr. Manu Sharma had mentioned to ask the Customer care about is that the customer care has no info about it and therefore can't read it out.

10. Then what if I discontinue the service. he said that we are being provided with 3 days grace period before discontinuation of our service.

And there is no concept of FTA channels in Tata Sky. (And according to CAS i think, if we chose any service we are allowed to watch FTa channels for free.But Im not sure about this.)
So once I don not renew my subscription, I am not able to watch anything.

And the mini-dish stays where it is and if I change my house it can be used by the person who comes next. And also that if any damages occurr after discontinuaton of my service, I have to pay for the damges whihc are approx 600+.

11. I asked him if there was something like the will hike the package costs in future and there was any security to customers. He didn't have any information. About the International FTa channels he said that they are working constantly on adding new channels and on popular demand channels.

There is no pay-per-view system. I fyou order bollywood movies, you can watch it for the whole day.
they don't provide live concerts and stuff.

12. Then abou the cricket thing, like multiple angles and stuff, he told me about the feature but the ads would remian the same, like we have to watch all the Set Max ads if we are watching cricket match on it, but we can change angles, view highlights and view graphs through their multiple screens.


-------------------------------------------------

In the end I would tell that they don't provide all the information that a customer needs to know like warranty clauses etc. and also the hidden costs if one discontinues or changes house etc.

I would recommend consumers to wait for IPTV by Airtel which is testing phase currently but will roll-out soon.
And also wait for TRAi till it sets clear norms.

Since I am not a customer of Tata Sky i realized I cannpt sue them or stuff, I can just bring this tata sky picture into limelight. I already forwarded mails to may contacts to read about this blog.

I request Mr. Manu Sharma to update his blog and comment on my comment.

Thanks
Abhishek Bhattacharya

30 June 2007 at 00:14:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Abhishek:

I also forgot to mention one thing about the prices, that they are higher than cable prices at many places and not economical if you consider average viewing of channels. Tata sky had half a million subscribers by Feb 2007 andgrowing strongly. Dish Tv has more than 2 milion subscribers already. So in this case definitely TRAI should step in to reduce the cost.

Source: http://www.blonnet.com/2007/02/24/stories/2007022406771100.htm

30 June 2007 at 00:22:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Abhishek, thanks for the comments and for the investigation. The only thing that's new to me in your comments is that Rs.300 recharge denomination now appears to have been introduced. If it's also widely available with retailers (because releasing it and making it available are two different things) then that's a good news. But another thing about recharge that has come up in comments is that now they don't tell you your balance as they used to earlier.

30 June 2007 at 01:04:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sampath:

Abishek:

"I would recommend consumers to wait for IPTV by Airtel which is testing phase currently but will roll-out soon.
And also wait for TRAI till it sets clear norms."

Till now IPTV is not established as a viable option in any country, I suppose. Please correct me with examples of successful and popular cases.

With the 'proverbial' poor quality and service of almost all the broadband providers in India, it will be a big risk to jump into it.

Even in case of IPTV, the programs have to be purchased from producers and broadcasters. Issues, problems and costs/prices are the same as DTH.

Even MTNL/BSNL have disassociated themselves and appointed private agencies for 'content'.

TRAI is not very keen to control DTH pricing; according to them, it is too early, small market and will settle down when competition builds up. We need more DTH operators for better value for money. Major issue of interoperability of STB may not happen.

My experience, shared by my friends and relatives: we are happy to be rid of the cablewala, pay less for the channels we need and watch, and enjoy a better quality viewing.

Whatever you do, please don't wait or opt of IPTV; unchartered territory for Indian viewers.

2 July 2007 at 11:01:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Tata Sky is a cheater .I regret the day I chose to get their services installed.I has been 8 mtns now.Can anyone tell me how to get my refund after getting their services deactivated

2 July 2007 at 13:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Sampath said: "With the 'proverbial' poor quality and service of almost all the broadband providers in India"

Sampath, I've been extremely pleased with the quality of service of my ISP (Airtel broadband). I would even add that on several occasions, I've seen them provide exceptional service. These occasions include: when their staff responds complaints within minutes of the call, when they come at very late hours (9pm) to respond to a complaint, providing refund or discounts in case the promised service isn't delivered and so on. Apart from this, in over three years of its use, I've experienced very little or no downtime of the connection.

I, for one, am really looking forward to Airtel roll out IPTV in my region and expect the same high standards of service from it.

2 July 2007 at 14:16:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Smitha said: "Can anyone tell me how to get my refund after getting their services deactivated"

Smitha, if TataSky didn't deliver on the promised service / product, you can file a case with the consumer court.

2 July 2007 at 14:30:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Mr Sampath
you have said you are paying less to watch favorite channels? may i know HOW?
as fas as i know both Dish and Tata sky charge you Rs 300 for some 100 channels ( this hundred does not include all the popular channels as of now i.e full banquet of Zee group not there on Tata sky and star banquet on dish) you get both these banquets for around 200-250 from cable wallah. the cost DTH will be enough for 2 year cable subscription
the most important point is both TATA SKy and DISH are fighting for some thing which they are not willing to offer to their consumers. it seems they think they only have the right not their consumer
" It is the right to pick the channels" both don't full banquet of the other but when it comes to consumer they want force him to take. no choice.
the strange irony of Indian Tv market is most popular Tv channels are pay channels but also have large number of ads. when a channels is paid why there should be ads? it is like going to cinema hall to watch a movie and face with ads in between.
ravi

4 July 2007 at 13:46:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sampath:

Ravi:
My cable operator was demanding Rs. 350pm for 150 odd channels, a mix of english, hindi, regional (2 tamil), pak/middle east, and kids channels. Out of these only 45 were of acceptable quality; (aug 06)unfortunately some of the 20 odd channels I watch were not in this category. Frequent breakdowns at his place and at the control centre due to power failure, combined with poor quality of picture forced me to phone him at least three times a week. I kept a log of disruptions, phone calls and quality issues and had to haggle with him every month to reduce the charges. Anyway I want to forget the experience.

Now, I get all the channels I watch (3 tamil), and with excellent viewing pleasure without breaks.

You must not simply calculate cost per channel (monthly charges/no. of channels); issues of your preferred channels, quality, availability, must be factored in the calculations.
Just curious: Will you rate the channels you get from your cable operator and post the study.

Manu had raised valid issues when the service was introduced; they are not going to vanish easily. Of course, we have the choice to select or discard tatasky. You must stick to your cable operator if you are satisfied with the product.

4 July 2007 at 19:54:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

outstanding article mate. Touched on most of what frustrated me about Tata Sky. Add to that though a management that is invisible and does not give a rats ass as to what consumers think, a programming list which is abysmal and does not offer any real choice (shouldn't we be able to chose INDIVIDUAL channels that we chose to watch rather than have Tata Sky create packages for us?!) and a business model that really lacks honesty. I gave up my subscription a few days ago, and I would love to see a large group sign and send a petetion to tata sky.

5 July 2007 at 02:13:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger M@unil...:

guys absolutely fantastic.


one more loss... they are not showing.. star cricket... started sice..10 days... bcoz it costs them 32 rs.. per user...

5 July 2007 at 12:10:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I you do not want Tata Sky or DishTV, go for Sri Lankan Dialog TV.

They have 45 channels with mostly English content. HBO (HBO, Signature, HiTS, Family), AXN are Asian versions with no commercials.

LKR 12,500 installation - INR 4000
LKR 1400 premium package - LKR

Coming soon:
>STAR Movies (Asian)
>STAR World (Asian)
>STAR Vijay
>STAR Plus
>GOD TV
>NDTV 24x7

MORE...

6 July 2007 at 14:40:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Very interesting. Dialogue TV's biggest plus point seems to be HBO without commercials. They seem to have all the channels one watches in India except those you mentioned are upcoming.

That said, INR 500 for monthly subscription is very high. And unless they're launching in India, I'd imagine that lack of support will be a problem as well.

6 July 2007 at 14:58:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Kunal:

yes make a petition... v all will sign it... then send it to the reglatory...

10 July 2007 at 11:40:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Thank you for your enlightening post. We are a joint family living in adjacent rooms in Mumbai and ordered for two (primary and sub)Tata Sky connection. I paid by card. After delivering the hardware, they are now informing that both the connections will be primary in nature and will cost more. I haven't signed any contract as yet and moreover, the facts of the connections was brought to their helpdesk executive. They are denying us refund, can you tell me how you got refund? mwanderer@rediffmail.com

11 July 2007 at 16:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Thanks for sharing your experience. Looks like there's no limit to the extent they will go to exploit you. How can they force you a person to take two primary connections. (Note for other readers: if someone takes two connections in a house, a primary and a secondary, the subscription charges are Rs.300 for primary and Rs.100 for the secondary. The set top box costs the same. Tata Sky can't force a person to take two primary subscriptions.)

In my case, I just went to the retailer who sold me the STB and said I need my money back because the terms and conditions in the contract are not acceptable to me. He made me speak to two senior guys at Tata Sky over the phone who couldn't answer my questions and eventually agreed for the refund.

I suggest you do the same. They have no option but to refund if you say you don't like the terms.

11 July 2007 at 17:18:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi,

I am Tata Sky customer from Feb'07. I have now bought Dish Tv. I want to give up my Tata Sky connection. Do I need to inform Tata Sky for the same? Is anything of this sort mentioned in the contract which I signed during purchase that even if I don't pay anything in a month they will charge and send statements of 300 rs per month? Also kindly tell me if it is possible to get some refund for Digicomp.

18 July 2007 at 14:22:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Yes, I think it's safe to inform them for cancellation. And no, you can't get a refund on the Digicomp. That's the whole point of this post. You can transfer it to someone else before canceling the account, but it's a hassle and the new owner would still need to pay 1000 for installation of the dish. Check with Tata Sky about transfer of ownership.

19 July 2007 at 03:18:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

What manu has said is 100% true. I am never going to fall for either of the 2, Dish or Tata. Both r big cheats. I would rather switch off my tv and read old papers that get fooled by these so called giant corporations. And Tata, a name synonim with honesty and ethics, one cant expect such things. THUMBS DOWN TATA, TATA BYE BYE

Santosh V K

20 July 2007 at 21:05:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Well said and well analysed. Never ever use TATA products.

23 July 2007 at 17:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Excellent analysis.

This clear very much that all big players (Reliance, TATA, DISH, etc) are not different. They just have different method of Exploit the consumers.

I will support petition against TATA.

23 July 2007 at 20:44:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Zinga La La Man:

I just want to say to end this blog. If you have will to spend money then go for a DTH service because good things always come for a price.
And as in India the DTH compt is is still in its infancy. Companies are setting up the projects What you expect in your blog is right and just. but I would say this will only be a possiblity in the coming years.. as what you demand that you get ..
I own a Dish TV and I'm happy with it. I've aligned another dish in way to get DD Direct Signal as well on same STB.. just need to tamper the setup.. what do you say. Another dish does not cost more then Rs.500
if you want tech info you can still use your tatasky STB or dish tv STB for getting the DD Direct Signal with slight rotation in dish and changing frequencies and setting up it according to guidelines in www.ddirect.nic.in

30 July 2007 at 23:31:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Great Work Dude,

I was about to purchase the TataSky. I knew a bit of monopolistic rules/clauses in the DTH sector, but was looking for an option out of Cablewallah. But now, I will be going for CAS, even though it will be implemented only 6 months from now in my place, Navi Mumbai. Once DTH is available with universal STBs and Dish I would go for it. Thanks.

3 August 2007 at 11:03:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Tata Sky Complaint

Subject- Technical problems

We are the unfortunate purchaser of Tata Sky Dish TV connection from the month of January 2007. Our customer details are given below.

DIDGICOMP NO-7263421178694
MODEL NO-DS 132070
NDS NO-*CEA7E01054913708.
Subscriber id no-1001252921
Subscriber Name Krishan Dev Sharma
Installed at : 4B-2/14, Varsova View CHS, Four Bungalows, Andheri (W), Mimbai – 400 053

We purchased the connection in January 2007. Our services were resumed in the month of February 2007. Initially we were very much excited having your connection. But soon our enthusiasm died away. Since the March the dish started giving problems. The programs relayed by Tata Sky Dish TV were hazy and unclear and the sound was bad and irritating, particularly when we connected CD / DVD player. All of a sudden the programs will disappear with a torturing sound.. We inquired in our locality and found out that every Tata Sky Dish TV owner faced this problem.

Upon complaining on your call centre they said they do have a technical problem in our Four Bungalow area which will be resolved soon During this period many mails were sent to Tata Sky Dish TV Bangalore office, but no one responded. . It took almost 60 days for the problems to resolve. Things were OK for about 15 days and the problem started again.

Again the same exercise was repeated and again no response was received. Every time we made a call to your call center a very polite assurance came that the service engineer is on his way. But nobody came and resolved the problem. Finally after many calls the service engineer came and detected some problem and promised to set it right within 2 days which never happened. He fixed the Digicomp adopter in such a way that our TV was damaged and we got our TV repaired by spending Rs 4,800/-.

Even as on today, our Dish TV system does not work and our torture is on. Nobody responds to our complaints. Since the day of purchase our system did not function regularly even for a period of 15 days. It is a torture and not an entertainment.

I am putting this note for general viewer so that they are saved of the torture of facing non existent Tata Sky Dish TV service.

Regards

Krishan Dev Sharma
4B-2/14, Varsova View CHS, Four Bungalows, Andheri (W), Mimbai – 400 053
Phone 022 – 2637 3604 mobile - 9833063991

5 August 2007 at 09:05:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

it is just plain arm twisting by tatasky
they have very poor outsourced agencies to lay cables, absolutely shoddy quality in installatrion
their customer service people can merely sig tutored lines
dr.sarma

8 August 2007 at 13:03:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi!

I live in Chennai and had taken a Tata Sky connection in Jan. For the

pst couple of weeks now I have noticed the following:

1. Every time I change the channel the audio on the new channel is

immediately available while the video takes about 2 second more, during

which time I can only hear the audio for the new channel while the

video follows later.

2. Most of the time an alpha numreic number inside a coloured box keeps

appearing at different positions on the screen and disappears after a

few seconds. But sometimes it sticks in the centre of the screen and my

TS remote stops working. I then shut down TS and restart, the remote is

working again.

Does anyone else have these problems or is it allright and common with

TS?

I have not contacted TS as yet and I shall be most grateful for

anyone's help.

Bye.

Deepak.
Chennai

10 August 2007 at 10:47:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Thanks once again to everyone for sharing their experiences.

You're not alone! Today's Hindustan Times carries a story that highlights the problems a lot of people are facing with the lack of choice of channels. Read the complete story at the link below:

DTH DREAM IS GOING SOUR, SAY SUBSCRIBERS

The story cites Tata Sky specifically and says the company refused to comment even after repeated attempts. Another recent article in the media takes account of the rain problem: DTH viewers face wash-out during rain

10 August 2007 at 11:53:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

FUN WITH TS CALL CENTRE
for all TS subscribers with 2 connections. recently i recharged my account with rs500. later i got a confirmation message on my primary connection, but i didnt check on my 2nd conn.as i had to catch a flight 2 mumbai.
on my return after 3 days, i checked my 2nd conn. and as expected all the channels were blanked out. i told the the TS call centre - cant watch any channel (without tellinmg tht i didnt bother to switch on my 2nd conn for message) to my amazement the CC told me taht it sometimes happens and i insisted to explain me why such a thing happend.
there was a COMPLETE SILENCE FROM THE CC SIDE AND JUST SAID SORRY SIR AND QUICKLY SAID THANKYOU FOR CALLING TS BLAH BLAH and put the phone down!!! and yes my other conn is working now

12 August 2007 at 20:48:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Marc:

The money is deducted daily. So if you buy a recharge card for about Rs. 500 and you are on the Rs. 300 plan you will simply able to use the service for 50 days.

Perhaps Tata Sky owning the dish is better because they are responsible for it completely and the home owners don't have to maintain it.

23 August 2007 at 22:21:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I was looking for some information on self-installation of Tata-Sky receiver when I came across this post. Recently I had installed a DD-Direct connection. The cost was 1500/- for the Beetel SD-96 STB, 600/- for the dish and the LNB (dish tv model FS8). The cost of coaxial cable is 12/- per meter for a reasonably good quality.
While comparing the prices quoted by TataSky vs DD Direct recievers there are some interesting observations:

- Tata Sky costs 3000/- vs 1500/- for the DD Direct receiver.

- DD Direct dish and LNB would cost you 600/- plus an additional cost of 200/- for say 16mts cabling. Whereas TV Sky charges a flat 1000/- for dish, cabling and installation.

It it obvious that TV sky would be losing money if they installed for 200/-. So a portion of either the dish, LNB or installation cost is factored into the STB price. It is reasonable guess looking at the DD direct equipment prices that the price of the dish and LNB is in fact being recovered in the sale of the STB!

So Tata Sky contract, on the customer not owning the dish and cabling, does not seem as fair practice.

24 August 2007 at 14:41:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Thanks Manu Sharma....

I was planning to go for the Tata sky this month...but after reading your blog, I will not get a DTH until the service gets better in the country.

It’s disheartening to see big giants repeating the same mistakes and the best part is...it always happens here.

I have forwarded this link to my complete mail box; every one deserves to know this before going for the service.

28 August 2007 at 15:44:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

there in one more major issues . WE ARE PAYING TO WATCH ADS on "PAY CHANELS. UNLESS ADs are BANNED on PAY TV, as done the world over, NOthing will improve

28 August 2007 at 17:58:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sumit:

Hey u compared Tata sky with mobile phones.If u r talking about GSM connections then ur argument is correct. But we have to look it from CDMA point of view, where consumer is forced to remain with the same sevice provider till eternity. So wats wrong if Tata sky is doing tat, i m sure u will never complain against Reliance and for tat matter Tata indicom.
I appreciate u r efforts in bringing this grave issue in consumers mind, but dont u think so its high time to move on from the "MAFIA" of cable operators. They charge almost the same as Tata sky(specially if live in NCR), and the service quality is well below expectation of the consumers.
Secondly u talked about the hassles and i seriously believe tat ur cable operator must be dilligent and humble guy, but tats not the case of most of the cable operators.
In case of Tata sky there is a dedicated grievance redressal system.
Now we can compare it to consumer Retail in India, where big bazaars and Spencers rule now. Dont u think junta is getting much more option and satisfaction from these kind of service provider.
Let the industry evlve for a while, the diffusion for any innovation or any new product takes time. And in future we can hope to straighten things a bit and much more efforts from service providers side.

29 August 2007 at 01:20:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Sumit said: "from CDMA point of view, where consumer is forced to remain with the same sevice provider till eternity. So wats wrong if Tata sky is doing tat,"

Sumit, I addressed this
above, when you get a locked handset from Reliance you get it for free or at a subsidised price. Tata Sky wants us to pay a full price and still keeps us locked to their hardware.

Regarding cable operators, as I said previously, as competition increases they are behaving themselves now. It's not that my particular cable operator is a nice guy. It's the market that's making them sit up and count the losses.

29 August 2007 at 11:49:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

and with dual sim handsets becoming avasliable even CDMA operators cant LOCK YOU IN

29 August 2007 at 16:05:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Sumit it's not like the industry needs to evolve oversomething like this. this is akin to outright invasion of privacy and misleading consumers for thier monetory gains.The govt must give more teeth to a body like TRAI to make set these guys straight. It was telecom and the credit card companies which needed to be cleaned up,now we have DTH services too.

30 August 2007 at 07:54:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Vishal:

Very Good start Manu.
Indian consumer needs to be more aware and informed of his/her rights.
"Jago grahak Jago"
Its only coz of such aware customers that things have changed - the consumer protection moment has gained momentum and consumer is once more the King.
There is nothing wrong whether X or Y or Z is making money, but we being consumers have every right to question the value we are getting for our money.
Kudos to Manu Sharma.
And only the informed and aware consumer can get the best deal.

30 August 2007 at 15:50:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Almost one year has passed since this interesting blog by Manu is on line. It has been quite popular and frequented by diverse people, and has been quite informative. What has happened till now?
1. Both tatasky and Dish Tv have added more than a million customers each, and are very confident about growth.
2. Costs to users have not gone up; in fact it is down if the options and promotions offered by both are factored in.
3. Discriminating customers have both cable and dth ( some have both dth) as they get some of their preferred channels only on cable.
4. Majority will vouch for superior quality of dth over cable (the response is mixed in cas areas), and will drop the cable if they get the channels they want in dth.
5. Even though dishtv's quality was perceived to be inferior to tatasky, the gap is narrowing and dishtv customers are also happy. Customer satisfaction level is high for tatasky; the major grouse is only on number of channels.
6. For many, it has been a trouble free, interruption free tv viewing with tatasky. Even during rains, the interruption was never more than 10 minutes; a 1000 fold improvement compared to my cable operator. The cable has many links - local fellow, sub-dealer, control centre etc. and any link can fail.
7. Even when there was power failure, tv watching was on with the standard inverter set for lights and fans. This was a boon especially during evenings and peak viewing hours.
8. TRAI is slowly, at its own pace, addressing consumer related issues; let us hope that all issues are addressed and resolved.
9. On balance, dth and tatasky is a boon to those who have suffered for nearly 15 years under the monopoly-cable operator. Now we all have a choice; make the best of the options open to you. Griping at tatasky may give you mental satisfaction, but you may not be a gainer in the end.

1 September 2007 at 09:48:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Sampath, I'm afraid you're inaccurate and uninformed. I suggest you do a count of the number of people in comments who have agreed with the points raised in this post including Tata Sky customers that have experienced their shoddy customer service first hand.

I also suggest you read today's papers about TRAI regulations for the DTH sector. I have a feeling that this post might have something to do with some of the regulations. Apart from that, I estimate that it has reached over 1 lakh people directly or through word of mouth. People who can now make informed choices.

I think that's a remarkable achievement, not just for me but for everyone who have benefited from the above.

1 September 2007 at 14:15:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Also, in case you missed, look up the latest update to this post above regarding TRAI guidelines for DTH sector that end the restrictive trade practices of Tata Sky.

1 September 2007 at 14:19:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

"TRAI Issues DTH Regulations: Big Win For Consumers"


The only way to let consumers win is to allow 3rd party hardware. Smart cards Only should be sold to subscriber as done in the case of GSM (and now CDMA with dual sim handsets or TSIM, RSIM)


and Ads/interruptions should be banned from PAY channels

2 September 2007 at 12:26:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

"The only way to let consumers win is to allow 3rd party hardware."

When one is allowed to move from one service provider to another, it's as good as third party hardware. You could, for example, buy a DD Direct dish + STB for cheap and move to Tata Sky if you want.

Completely agree with banning ads from pay channels part.

2 September 2007 at 12:42:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Manu, what is the need to be offensive? I am neither inaccurate nor ill informed. I have mentioned that TRAI is addressing customer related issues. You must thank your stars as you have the choice not to buy tatasky as other options are available. Good luck to you.

2 September 2007 at 14:57:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

"When one is allowed to move from one service provider to another, it's as good as third party hardware. You could, for example, buy a DD Direct dish + STB for cheap and move to Tata Sky if you want."



The problem is NONE of the current DTH providers sell smart cards alone. so, if you want to move to one provider to another you have to buy a new IRD. And the IRDs provided by DISHTV are so cheap ( and inferior quality) for which they charge a "RENTAL" of 4000. this is unfair and unethical.

2 September 2007 at 15:48:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

when they deleted etc channel punjabi i really wanted to screw them

they r so stupid god damit

stupid TATASKY TATACRY

voltage_fighter4u@yahoo.com

2 September 2007 at 19:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Thanks Manu for giving insight into Tata sky's customer cheating scenarios. I thought I would go for tatasky. Good thing I did was to first google for reviews. The first thing I hit was your article.
Even if I have to take a connection in the future, I know what clauses to look for and how to screw them.

thanks mate.
Great job!!!
surya.

21 September 2007 at 14:03:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger sabir:

Coming to Manu's Rescue
I think Sampath is wrong to say that Manu is aggressive & most of his Post are in a way his personal grouse,
Wrong Wrong Wrong
For fifteen years we had to suffer at the hands of our local cable walah, we couldn't do anything about it, now that we have another way of wathing our TV (the CAS / DTH / IPTV & offcourse Cable)
its just that we should be pro active & guard our interest, it's not about money, its about value for our money, it's about getting maximum satisfaction. it's about being awake of our rights.
& thanks to Manu we have a good platform & one that is making itself seen & heard

21 September 2007 at 17:21:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger LalithaMurali:

Hi Manu, I have been following your blog for the past few months and i vist it regularly for new updates ( though i havent had anything to post on this myself)
But now, i am post this mostly to thank you for being brave in the face of adversity and showing a platform from where a consumer can be heard. Kudos!!
I had one query : Tata sky proclaims itself as digital, but the last mile connectivity is analog ( their set tops ( even dish tv's) have a thirty year old composite out : no svideo/no component/no hdmi)
Arent they cheating when they say they are digital? They are not digital. This applies to dishtv as well.
can we actually get a "truly digital" STB from abroad and use it with one of our satellite tv providers, come december?
Does tata sky even have aplan for providing customers a choice of STBs to choose from?
Best regards
Murali

24 September 2007 at 13:18:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

can we actually get a "truly digital" STB from abroad and use it with one of our satellite tv providers, come december?

Good question, Murali. I think this should be possible but I don't think anyone can say for sure. We don't know how the providers are going to implement the ruling.

But as of now - as the ruling stands today - the providers have to allow third-party STBs. The third party could be any company offering a compatible set top box. So it looks doable.

24 September 2007 at 15:11:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Having used tata sky for 3 months after using sky tv in UK for 1 year and cable tv in india before that, i can say:
1. The picture and sound quality is as good as it can get without using HD transmission and TV
2. You don't have to pay a ridiculous amount of fee for movies and sports channels as in other countries
3. Most annoying thiing is that some channels like B4U are not there at all
4. The rain factor - doen't happen elsewhere in the world unless weather is EXTREMELY bad.

24 September 2007 at 16:06:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

now that the trai regulations are already out, it it okay to go ahead and get a connection from Tatasky now ? or, is it better to wait till Dec 07 to be safe ?

25 September 2007 at 17:33:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

I suggest waiting till December to see how they implement the ruling. You can get a DD direct STB for Rs.1600 today and dish costs around Rs.300.

Or, as Murali said above, if you have a high-end TV, you can get a STB from abroad with S-video output so you can enjoy better quality reception.

So why pay Tata Sky 3000-4000 for obsolete hardware?

25 September 2007 at 17:43:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Tata Sky is a racist company have stopped relaying ETC PUNJABI Channel which carries LIVE GURBANI from Golden Temple, Amritsar for 6 hrs daily

3 October 2007 at 08:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Nihang Shah:

I made the biggest mistake in my life by buying Tata Sky. However, I haven't used the Rs. 1000/- scratch card, which is as part of the installation, warranty charges, etc.

It's not even a day since dish installation, and I wish to go for a complete refund of Rs. 4000/-.

Please help.

4 October 2007 at 18:12:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Nihang, I sent you an email.

4 October 2007 at 18:48:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

One more twist....

How does an individual take on a Business Enterprise?

Legal system in India is known to be very inefficient & slow.

Do Organizations like Tatasky exploit consumers because of the tardy legal system?

Recently I have been short-changed by Tatasky - a company belonging to the famed Tata group.

See the mail I sent them below.

My desire is to alert others who might also end up in similar situation.

I need advise on how to proceed against Tatasky and get a refund from them.

Can the Internet community help?
--------------------------------

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am a consumer of Tatasky Service. My subscriber ID is 1006111007

Last month on 19th I booked 2 additional connections for my house through your call center.
They instructed me to pay Rs.7000/- to the dealer for 2 nos. Digicomp & for installation charges, which I did.

Your engineer visited subsequently and after inspecting my house informed me that since the house had 2 floors and the entrances were separate
each floor are to be treated as a different premises hence additional connection can not be given.

I am living in a joint family & for privacy's sake I have constructed separate entrances in the house I own.

Subsequently I have been informed by your call center executives that refund will be given within 7 days.
But later, after continuous follow ups on my part the executives are now saying refund is not possible quoting some rules.
Now I am stuck with 2nos. Digicomps.

This is an unethical business practice.

The point of contentions are:

No where in your advetisements or you website is it mentioned that a house having separate entrances even though belonging to the same owner will be treated as different connections.

Still, If that be the case you should have sent the engineer to audit the premises before asking me to buy the Digicomp.

It is unfair trade practice to make the consumer buy the digicomps first and then refuse the connections requested & to refuse the Refund.

Please do the needful.

13 October 2007 at 17:35:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Hi All,

Pl help in signing this online petition http://www.petitiononline.com/tatasikh/petition.html, for helping spread GODS message in getting the ETC Punjabi channel back on Tata Sky network, a DTH service provider in India, as ETC Punjabi channel relays close to 7 hours of Live Gurbani from Harmandir Sahib, Amritsar, India and relaying was stopped arbitrarily by Tata Sky for commercial reasons and hurting our Religious sentiments.

Looking forward to your support and pl forward to as many more you can.

Thanks

Inderjit

18 October 2007 at 18:21:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Hi my tata sky keeps hanging. today i switched off the mains, switched it on again but it didn't work. what should i do now?

19 October 2007 at 21:47:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hey really interesting reviews everyone. Yeah I guess I will wait till December to see how things go from the new regulations in force. Also to see it CAS gets implemented in an effective manner, For example currently in Mumbai only a certain part of the city is under the CAS system.

22 October 2007 at 15:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Hi!

Your information is an eye opener. I was searching the net to see if I could buy tata sky online but luckily saw your blog.

I think I'll wait and check more instead of jumping in. You are right that they have no right to assume that we are idiots.

24 October 2007 at 11:51:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger tagMacher:

I have been following this blog for some time now and have found it informative. I have recently shifted to a place where the cable TV does not give all the channels that I want and will also not refund my deposit when I wish to shift to a DTH service. Net result is that we have been without a TV service for over a month now, not willing to enter into a contract with either the cable guy, nor with Tata Sky after reading this blog.

So what are my options? I could but a BIS standards approved box from a TV dealer and get it setup for DD DTH for about < Rs. 3000. Is my understanding of the discussions in this blog correct, in that, after Dec I will be able to apply with one of the other DTH service providers and still use the same set top box to access their service while only paying for their dish antenna, installation and subsciprtion? Or will I still have to buy one of their set top boxes and pay for the entire setup again? And again, are their sufficient trained dealers / maintenance people for me to be able to get the box serviced in case of problems? I can imagine the round-a-bout the DTH provider and the box manufacturer will send me on, blaming each other for any deterioration of service.

28 October 2007 at 13:12:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

My understanding is that DD Direct (dish + STB) should cost you in the range of Rs.2000. And yes, after December you should be able to subscribe to any DTH service without buying their hardware. And they have to attend a complaint in a timely manner. As long as you buy a BIS approved STB, hardware problems should not be an issue.

28 October 2007 at 14:47:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Thanks Manu,

I was planning to go for the Tata sky, but after reading your blog, I will not get a DTH until the service gets better.

31 October 2007 at 14:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Godly277:

Dear all,
Sun Network is coming up with DTH (Sun Direct TV)in South India with an affordable pricing. Recently all the cable operators staged protest against this low pricing. This indicates that they were squeezing the customers and rogging their hard earned money. As customers we all will have good times ahead because of low pricings. Hope that there will be time coming where we have to pay only for the channels we are watching.

31 October 2007 at 18:18:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hello All,

I called up helpdesk asking for why they are charging extra for the Neo sports package..
The senior customer exec called Aditi made this statement "Tata sky has decided not to follow government guidelines and has decided to have its own package policy"
I asked her if she is speaking for herself or for tata sky she replied that its on behalf of tata sky.

Is this true ?
in that case we can kiss the december 2007 TRAI deadline goodbye.

Rohan

2 November 2007 at 10:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Well unless they intend to fight it out in the courts (and I've seen no indication of that in news reports) they *have* to follow TRAI guidelines from December.

4 November 2007 at 00:35:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

remember, these are Just Guidelines and not LAW so no one will follow them. Remember the feed sharing guideline row (CRICKET) until a law was enacted.

the only solution is to let consumers buy only smart cards from the DTH providers the hardware should be 3rd party.

4 November 2007 at 14:00:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

After taking the best pack from Tata Sky ( Rs 300 per month) they are have stopped airing Neo Sports & asking extra money for that channel. They give so many promotional messages to their customers but no message was given for this channel getting paid. Tata Sky has started CHEATING its customers. In future they can start charging for any other channel also. So pls BEWARE of Tata Sky. Dont go for these cheaters. Apart from this they show less channel compared to Zee DTH

8 November 2007 at 20:29:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Mr Gupta ,neo sports subscription is a neo problem not tata sky's. And belive me after the expereince i have had with the local operator and dish tv. You would want to subscribe to tata sky. They r in the consiparcy of making money arent we all guilty of dat???

10 November 2007 at 19:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger sabir:

I am also feeling cheated,
Neo on the basis of Indo - Pak cricket series has gone pay & we are suppose to pay extra to view Neo channels, be ready to pay more, much more, as it is u are being watched which channel u prefer most,
this is like if i want to watch one Channel of chioce i have to pay extra & yet i am paying Re 300/- where many channels are grouped together, some wanted & many unwanted,
either have Gold Package across all categories, General Entertainment, Sports, Movies, News etc or go for full CAS type system, it's not full CAS its not DTH,
guess what
apni to Waat lagi hai Bhai Log
get ready to be screwed Tata Ishtyle

12 November 2007 at 18:08:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I recently installed Tata Sky.At installation, an automatic deduction of Rs 199/ was made for Sports Gold 2.I told the installation engineer then and there that I don't want that package. He assured me that a refund will be made by informing Customer Care. I did inform Customer Care over the phone. They took the stand that once a deduction is made no refund is allowed. This is unfair trade practice. I later registered a email complaint at their site. No response even after 2 weeks

23 November 2007 at 08:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

It is Dec 7th and still TATASKY has not implemented any of the TRAI directives.
They still disable the digicomp and give the msg 'the tatasky card is not authorised' on non-renewal.The provision to watch free to air channels is not enabled still.
Renewal online and other modes not available still.Only 500 rupees coupon is available.
Children's channels are grouped in such a way that any south package compulsorily has to take the family pack etc,so the minimum subscription becomes 350.The provision to choose only the channels we want should be provided.
When we go on tours the service is charged for nothing,when no one is watching the channels.Temporary disconnection on request should be there.It will save lot of money getting wasted on absentee-service periods.

7 December 2007 at 23:00:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sakshar:

Great article, well researched and written well too!

17 December 2007 at 11:51:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Shoumitro:

So ppl in CAS area are really left with no option! It seems, from here and Mouthshut, that both Tata Sky and DishTV are equally bad. And my personal experience with Hathway cables is horrible! Additonally, Hathway doesn't provide you with any mothly bill, so you dont know if the tax component you are paying is really going to the Govt, and also if the Pay Channels are really getting their due.

IT IS VERY IMPORTANT: IF YOPU WANT TO LODGE A COMPLAINT WITH TRAI, PLS KNOW THAT TRAI'S EMAIL ADDRESS SIMPLY DOES NOT WORK!

22 December 2007 at 14:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

It was wonderful going through your comments, though I was late doing so. I have two issues: 1. Is it possible to see one channel and record another in vcr as I used to with cable.
2.Suddenly the number of favourtie channels I could tune in has gone down from 20 to 17 since they took off some zee channels months ago. No amount of calls have helped.
I went to the hidden settings suggested and still am unable to know if I can rearrange the channels to my liking manually.

23 December 2007 at 06:39:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I am also late to see this article,as i had also bad experiance about tatasky as they had taken 500/- from for fixing dish on my gallery grill,they have not informed about this to me.Dealr told me that they provide 20 meters cable for me,if it became less they will return to me.
but speaking to them they told that they will not leave this to you.After giving compalint they had given complain number and told me that it will be solved in 24 hours and they will call me,but in 8 days it is not solved and they had not called me.I have wasted my phone calls to calling them.they do not have mumbai numbers

24 December 2007 at 15:05:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Monica:

Your post is quite informative Manu. Thank you for putting it up.

My parents have had TataSky for over a year now and I too just had it installed this weekend. When the technicians came to install the dish, they gave me the contract to sign and I read it thoroughly because as an adult I believe you should read everything you sign carefully. I didn't really expect the technicians to know what the contract was about anyway. The points you've raised about privacy and ownership are very valid and I must admit that I did feel uneasy while reading these clauses in the agreement.

However, I still went ahead and signed it because,

a) I desperately wanted to watch my favourite TV shows without worrying about the channels not being available or being available with bad picture quality which happens with cable.

b) I really wanted all my channels sorted in genres with synopses of every show available and information about what programmes are next. The way Tata Sky presents the television viewing experience is very user-friendly and comfortable and they have a lot of value-adds that make it worth your while.

I've lived in the UK and experienced the Sky service and found it more than satisfactory. TataSky is so far working on the same lines and my parents or I have no complaints.

As you've pointed out though, the cost is unfair especially when we don't own the dish and are forced to be locked in with only TataSky. However, I feel the cost is worth the service you get but that is my personal point of view.

To sum it up, I do feel that TataSky is acting like a Big Brother dictating terms and not caring about our privacy...however, so far these terms have not become a problem for me or my parents and neither do I see them becoming an issue in the future.

I guess this is just not a big enough issue for me to get all bothered about and I am sure there will be lots others like me who will subscribe to some or the other DTH provider.

I still appreciate having all the information put across as clearly as you have done and thank you for it.

However, I suggest that you do subscribe to Tata sky and start enjoying a better viewing experience.

I don't think anyone will be plotting to take your dish back or raise the prices a lot or even put your personal information all over the internet! :)

Take care!

24 December 2007 at 15:06:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi Manu,

Excellent article. Its sad to see companies ripping off people with draconian contracts and unfair practices - just for the lack of choices! I personally feel that our Govt should have stricter implementation to the laws which are useless without this. Big companies have fat lawyers and lobbyists who delay these implementatios indefintiely - thats why the BROADCAST BILL has been doing the rounds of the Lok Sabha for the past 10 years and still has not been Passed!! That too in an era of media convergence explosion!

2 January 2008 at 13:21:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Much detailed article and discussion. Your points on privacry are valid. Tatasky should have given an option to not choose the sharing of info. Also DTH faces multiple taxes compared to cable/CAS and hence higher charges. Once more operators come into business, quality will improve. In India, Sales will always be prompt. But after-sales services is always worst for any product/service in India.

5 January 2008 at 22:39:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

This artical and views have been posted almost 8/9 months back. Many (if not all) things have changed since then so we should see improvements going forward. All the developed countries have sophisticated mechanism (DTH, IPTV, Fibre-to-the-premise) for data transmission and India should not remain behind. While there may be some grievences with Tatasky you want to express but lets not discourage others from going for it.

11 January 2008 at 01:23:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Use it to watch Free to Air channels.
Hi
for those who don't have money like me for any more further recharge of Tata sky I have a surprise,

They can still utilize it for viewing Free to Air channels.

Just fallow the information given in this thread.

Very use full and worth of trying as at least it enables us to view some of the DD and other free channels.
The link is given below.
watch-other-sats-on-tatasky

23 January 2008 at 14:33:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Great article. Well Researched and to the point. Really a guideline for taking precautions before subscribing to the service. I was planning to switch over to this service in next few days. After reading this article, I am having second thoughts. In any case, I will go through the terms and conditions before signing up. Thanks a million for posting the article.

2 February 2008 at 23:22:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

After completing 1 year and that the digicomp was out of warranty suddenly one day the digicomp stopped working while watching tv and it was dead. I had to pay Rs 600 to get a new digicomp. On the new digicomp given there is no warranty given. Also if i want to avail this warranty i'll have to pay more Rs. 500.
No reason was given to me as to what was the problem with hardware.I am the owner of digicomp so i should have the right to know what the problem is .Whatever may be the problem ,they forced me to get a new one. The software in digicomp is upgraded directly from satellite so they can do anything with the software and make your digicomp not to work if they want.
Inspite of knowing that i was not able to get the services for certain days, the company debited my account at usual rates for these days.

6 February 2008 at 11:39:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I selected TataSky after being assured by the dealer that Tata carried TV5, the French channel. To my shock, this was false. I wondered why Tata would not support a channel that which is head and shoulders above what is normally found inn the ad-ridden wasteland which constitutes TV in India. Never mind that it is provided free by France.

The English-language movie menu is particularly dumbed-down and repetitive. DishTV, at least offers MGM and Turner Classics.

Finally, we recently requested a move to a new house. We were assured service within 24 hours. One week later, the equipment has been removed and left on the floor of our new house.

6 February 2008 at 21:04:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I planned to buy a Tata Sky and somehow got myself into this blog now, i just wanted to know " IS IT SAFE TO BUY TATA SKY NOW ??"

11 February 2008 at 13:58:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

earlier they provided channels like etc punjabi,zee punjabi but now they don't and they don't have a technique to add these channels too even if the consumers are willing to pay for them.they only have there packages which are designed in such a way that a consumer would automatically buy the super package.

13 February 2008 at 17:47:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

earlier they provided channels like etc punjabi,zee punjabi but now they don't and they don't have a technique to add these channels too even if the consumers are willing to pay for them.they only have there packages which are designed in such a way that a consumer would automatically buy the super package.

13 February 2008 at 17:48:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Ankur:

Hi!!
Thanks a lot for making available, such a detailed study and research.If consumers like you become so aware and only share their experiences, awareness will come to lots of people and the service providers will be bound to give services on the terms and conditions of users. Consumers shouldn't be taken for granted any more. TRAI has certainly done a good job in interest of consumers.I was planning for switching to TS, but after going thru your study, I will think on it twice . Thanks again.

21 February 2008 at 16:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

Thanks for a very useful post. Though Im still undecided on buying TATA SKY.

23 February 2008 at 11:33:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Manu Sharma:

Don't buy. Reliance is coming up with a better quality MPEG4 DTH.

23 February 2008 at 13:16:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I own a tata connection. FTA channels have been stopped for want of subscription which is meant for paid channels. Tata or any other private company has a licence from governement to loot the public.

25 February 2008 at 00:02:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Heerak:

Just purchased TataSky few hours ago.
Actually we moved in to a new house and my house is in a remove location in Bangalore and the cable walla will charge a huge amount to come to my house as no other house has connection, all are using TataSky. i do not have the choice as my family cannot wait without TV for a very long time. i had to choose between DishTV and Tatasky, i choose tatasky, let me see how my experience will be, i have my fingers crossed and am expecting to be treated badly

25 February 2008 at 17:36:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

how can tata sky monitor our usage? the singals are only one way right??

26 February 2008 at 00:15:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger rash:

Well apparently its bad news for DTH operators as their facing higher taxes
click to read more
http://www.siliconindia.com/shownews/38496
so i guess everyones facing heat

check out this link to see more news
http://www.siliconindia.com/register.php?id=Kq7U13RE
thanks

26 February 2008 at 15:59:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Karthik:

This is a great post. Amazing compilation of points

7 March 2008 at 12:12:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger ravi:

thanx man very usefull info i was searching for info on how i can catch the othoer contry free channels and i hit this blog i have subscribed for 2 months wihs i had read ur post back then ... TRAI they dont do their research well before giving out licences same happend with mobile service and same is here..

may be they are too ppl pocketed by this mega corparte ppl.

thanx man .

15 March 2008 at 11:34:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger karan:

I have made a great mistake by purchasing the TATA SKY i was told that I can view all the channels free for 7 months but after getting that i disconnected my cable and also converted my subcription to south jumbo annual package and paid 3,500.00 now many south channels came on cable like Kalaingar Isai Aruvi, Jaya Plus, Jaya music but not in the dish in me neighbours house they can able to view all this thru cable for Rs.100/month

27 March 2008 at 13:28:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger vasishta:

i had brought a tata sky my children are having exams so i removed the digicard now what to do.

30 March 2008 at 08:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger vasishta:

i had brought a tata sky my children are having exams so i removed the digicard now what to do

30 March 2008 at 08:40:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

according to TRAI we don't have to buy bouquet offered by DTH operators and select our own channels. Then why don't these DTH operators don't offer individual channel to select. We have to forcefully pay for channels which we don't watch

3 April 2008 at 20:17:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I have been using DISHTV & their service quality is equally bad.

9 April 2008 at 12:25:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Kunal:

Looks like u have almost a forum running here.. If TRAI is looking into this post, i'm the most happiest person on earth right now..
TRAI has made regulatons and asked DTH providers to follow it, But they have not enforced it on them, TRAI needs to monitor everything to make sure the guidelines are followed..
A-La-Carte basis of picking channels will only add more DTH customers..
People want quality over quantity :)

16 April 2008 at 12:04:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Will tata sky refund the amount for the digicomp?i've been using tata sky for 2 months and i've been cheated and harrassed.i've been charged for nothing at all by an engineer who came and charged for things he never did.

18 April 2008 at 10:31:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I just came across this blog while I was searching on google if anyone noticed about the Tatasky picture and sound quality worsening.
They advertise DVD quality but anyone who knows about such things will know that it is heavily compressed and you do not get DVD quality.
They only have a capacity of 120 channels if they want to transmit uncompressed. But they transmit more than 120 channels so it is heavily compressed and you do get DVD quality. The advertising campaign is just misleading.

Anyway I have had it since Dec 2006 and before that I had DISH TV service and both of them suck big time.

Hoping that someone will soon start HD service so that we can use our 1080p tv.

19 April 2008 at 05:45:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I forgot to add that as they are supposed to be providing DVD quality picture then why do we have a composite port to connect the set top box with a tv.
For DVD quality we should instead have a component port to connect with the tv or even a Hdmi one.
This means that they are providing us a cheap set top box.

19 April 2008 at 06:04:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Come IPL!! Out goes actv sports..
Firstly they remove the multiple camera angles.. now out goes actv sports.. I cant eatch highlights of IPL.. TataSky is getting from bad to worse..

23 April 2008 at 18:14:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I think TRAI has been sleeping for while now relating to the policies it has implemented.. It is not forcing the issue..

23 April 2008 at 18:16:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

On going through this whole blog, What Mr Manu has set out to do is enforce professionalism.
Professionalism is a integral component of any product or service you subscribe to or buy.
In India, each service is sold as is without any form of quality assurance. This quality is broadly explained by Manu. There is a user here who thinks that its a personal grouse of Mr Manu for a product or service. How insensitive..
We as INDIANS would have been under colonial rule if "AN INDIAN" had not succumbed to the rules laid down by a ruler. The complacency of years had costed us our independence. He fought for a basic tenet and Mr Manu here works for the same.
Today notably we have Freedom of speech. To exercise this freedom for the benefit of all and to support such an endeavour is the moral obligation of each and every individual. If for some reason you cannot fathom its finer nuances its wiser to refrain from it than to pass loose comments.

5 May 2008 at 15:28:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

first thing....
there r now 2 DTH and one cable service(hathway) which provides digital services...
its totally disgusting to compare analogue (pathetic cable) srvice vs Digital service.
Many things like Dish price and mentioning it..(u should read document b4 signing) no one advertises hidden conditions (applys to all businesses) dont know in which world u live :)


And many things depend on TRAI... if TRAI is not putting regulations and untill there comes many providers conditione will remain

7 May 2008 at 20:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Dish TV Sucks caz the setup box always gives major technical problems
The cable connection gets lost now and then and teh box gets heated quite quckly results technical failure in DIsh TV
Also the customer care of DIsh TV sucks. Though they provide 10% cheap rates then tata sky but i preferred tata sky then dish tv. Paying 10% more and getting a relaxing service fis quite comfortable then fu***ing our brain on dish tv connectivity

I readily PREFER TATA SKY caz of their ausm customer service with an ausm pic clearity and many other technical and gaming option which can be useful and worth it.
TATA SKY More games , More channels , more fun and it sreadily suits teh latest LCD tvs giving ausm clearity.

Its much more to tall about tata sky but its a worth model then any other of its competetors.
I bought i from A&M ELectronics in kandivli (W) Mob : 9224224501

11 May 2008 at 15:37:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I wud like to add one more point here, if you have a problem with your hardware & want to call a technician at your place, his visiting charges are 300/- & if there is any replacements required, they'll cost you extra. There was a issue with my tata sky cable which ran from the dish to my TV, it somehow got damaged, for which I shelled out 600/-, these type of issues you'll never face with your local cable wala, they will attend to your call & even repair the damages without charging you nothing. More so, they will not show you movies (new relaeses) free of cost (they charge around 30/ to 50/- for every movie thay are showing on 'Showcase', even they will block most of the channels, if you are opting for 'Supersaver' pack. I think our very own 'local cable wala' is the best.

12 May 2008 at 12:13:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Capt Yashodhan Marathe:

I was on a search of how to renew TataSky online, when ur blog came up on the search. You write very well, and, well it was even more interesting and fun-filled than many humourous books I've read !!!

Keep up the good work, and I enjoyed your writing style very much.
Will definitely visit now and then.
ciao

15 May 2008 at 15:59:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi Manu and all Readers,

This may interest u to write another blog, Please do read:

http://broadbandforum.in/tata-sky-dth/27809-shocking-news-awaits-next-month/

The information is genuine, I'm the member of this forum for a long time, and all news posted till now have been genuine.
I hope something can be done relating to this, May be a petition, A letter to TRAI, something needs to be done, Make something happen brother.

Kunal

15 May 2008 at 16:12:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Junaid:

I wanted to see "PEACE TV" which is a free to air channel on my TATA sky subscription. But they refused, saying that, adding channels will unnecessary load the transponder and intruments.

16 May 2008 at 14:37:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

I feel like crying..cant do anything else..My hard earned money is being wasted this way..!

16 May 2008 at 22:56:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

The Tata sky dealer suggested me to buy 3 coupans of 1000/- each ie for 3000/- & assured me that this will recharge for one year.To my surprise the recharge was done for 10 months. The explanation given by Tatasky is that there was some Rs 23 negative balance.hence the benefit can not be passed on.This was not Tatasky dealer informed me.
We never had such issues with our cablewala. Tatasky users should know all such beurocracy.

25 May 2008 at 16:49:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger madhavan:

Tata sky has removed 2 malayalam channels Amrita and Indiavision without any intimation to the users.On checking up with them ,they informed that they have published this information in Free Press journal and janmabhoomi,two journals which nobody evn knows or reads.They also said that they have done some surveys for TRP ratings based on whch this has been done.However,all this seems to be an eyewash.tata sky is making money and merry at the expense of their customers.They should be tried in a consumer court and prosecuted.I wonder if Ratan tata knows what his people are doing

30 May 2008 at 10:16:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Well I am one of those who didn’t look beyond quality picture and bidding goodbye to my Cable Operator when I bought Tata Sky paying close to 5k. Why Tata Sky over Dish TV? Well elders in the family had great respect to the brand TATA. ‘TATA’, stood synonymous to all the good qualities and trade practices. When the family bought a car a TATA INDICA, When the family thinks of an up gradation, a TATA SAFARI.

Impulsive and we were a happy family navigating the Tata Sky remote.

“Tata Sky Ltd. reserves the right to add or drop a channel/ package/ service from any package and/or change the package rates”

We went for the highest variant, in terms of the channel packages they had to offer. Were also promised that they would soon add Sun Network Channels. Well after a few months they did, and that meant an additional 50 Rs, Which I refused to pay. So, no Sun Network for my parents ever since TS. Earlier NEO Sports vanished into a sports gold pack. The only way I could react was refusing to pay and sacrificing the India South Africa series.

All the channels which were added, post my subscription to TS , teased the screen for a while and vanished into gold packages. Well who will give you gold for free.. pay and sing jingalala (or whatever.)

Many channels that I had no interest in, I was told were dropped without Notice. Well I was selfish and didn’t bother about this atrocious phenomenon until 2 out of the 6 malayalam channels that my family was glued on to were taken off air without a notice. And what do I get as an explanation, that too only when I took the pain to call them: “with effect today these channels are been deleted due to lack of demand”

Tata Sky Innovation doesn’t end here, hurray to the great marketing and pricing experts; I saw alert flashing on BBC Channels and all the sports channels EXCEPT DD SPORTS announcing them to be part of some other package wef June 1st , while they promised to reduce the price for the base pack.

I call up TS and realize, the reduction in the base price is just a gimmick, for, if one were to watch those channels again, will eventually pay a higher price.

Considering their reputation, in times to come the channels from categories other than sports too would go blank vanishing into gold and platinum packages, jacking up the overall spent.

I further ask them about the information on the additions and subtractions missing on their website, Well “wait until June 1st ” was the answer.

It’s June 1ST today, my astrologer told me that starting June, I enter a new phase from where I never look back. I switch on the TV, those sports channels that I used to watch, had only blank screen to offer. Well my astrologer was right for a while but I decided to contradict him, looked back and remembered my conversation with TS, Logged on to the TS site, to see the info promised still missing. Picked up the phone to call TS …… well I did my first attempt in the morning, its almost evening now and I am yet to get through their numbers.

I have arrived at a decision …sack my astrologer.

1 June 2008 at 14:00:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger freedomsvoice:

I am having horrible experience of not able to reach Tata Sky call centre or access the My tata sky portal. If by God's Grace it gets connected I hear only advertisements with no other human voice and cannot sent a mail as the portal is also not accessible. Result: I am without TV for the last 2 days. All this due to the dish pointing somewhere after the rain and I am scared to do it myselves reading the blog.

1 June 2008 at 18:43:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Tata sky says in its web page
"Tata Sky Ltd. reserves the right to add or drop a channel/ package/ service from any package and/or change the package rates.
How can they say this after they have announced a package and one opts for it.
From yesterday (01/06/2008 )they have removed the sports channels in the guise of being customer friendly
4 channels =40 Rs +Ten sports =15 so now even when I had opted for South Jumbo pack of Rs 350/=
If I want to watch all the channels I have to Pay 365/=
Any operator can give this as an option but not remove it from the subscribers who have opted for a given package unilaterally.
Yesterday when I called It took 4 hours to get thro to them maybe every time I was holding calls for as long as 20 minutes and I must have called them 5 times from Morning 9 AM to 5 Pm .
I was thinking it is toll free after reading in this forum that it is not TOLL FREE I must have spent am Lot to get in touch with them and I have paid hear their non stop advertisements Mobile message bounced back saying Invalid format and My tata sky was not working for the whole day.
And many people say They provide good service.
If this is good service I cannot imagine what is poor service
It seems they can not offer all channels as they do not have sufficient band width and transponders.
They Remove channels as and when they feel like even inspite of subscribing to these channels when it was apart of some pack.
CUSTOMER IS BEING SHORT CHARGED BY TATA
I WANT TO SAY TATA TO THEIR SUBSCRIPTION.
can some one suggest a good alternate please

2 June 2008 at 16:43:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi manu,
time to update the blog, people are looking at ur blog and reading about the pros and cons of the service. The latest packages need a mention on how the modularity is being used to rip money off the customers.

The only alternative i see at this point in time is the cablevala, he is close to ur house, u can catch hold of him for bad service, The STB are also offered for free with the choice of picking the channels at a marginal cost of Rs.5 per pay channel. No limit to kind of channel u want, TRAI has a fair say in the cable market. Looks like the best buy for TV viewing atleast now :)

2 June 2008 at 17:05:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Prateek_tuliki _Sharma:

A very valid argument and proof against the so-called entertainment defining concept introduced to us. Earlier though I used to think that cable TV and its hassels are annoying but due to recent issues with my own subscription I completely agree that the problems and issues involved with Tata Sky are no different. Its only a matter of time that anyone using it would take notice.

2 June 2008 at 22:49:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

They have recently reduced the rates for South Jumbo pack and many other packs by Rs. 40. But, now the STAR and ESPN sports channels are out of the package and we need to pay Rs. 40 per month for that. Also, if you need to get Ten Sports, you need to pay even more. So, Tata sky is just cheating the customers ina grand way. My tata sky at home is not working. I tried reaching them atleast 50 times. They are not picking up the phone for last 3 days.

2 June 2008 at 23:07:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

For anyone who is trying to reach the TataSky helpline, The helpline is not free, U r being charged money for it, Its a kind of premium number for which u pay some price. Next time u r not able to reach, keep the phone down for a while then try again, There is no point trying it over and over again.

Try the my Tatasky section online, Register urself and leave a query about ur problem in ur section, U should receive a call from one of the executives within 24 Hrs, I'm guessing the incoming is free on everyone's cell phone ;)

The only reason i see, for Tatasky to keep its helpline busy is because the change in package rates have caused a spur in the subscriber community, They are just trying to keep off this spur for a while.

I have seen 4 alerts in the last 2 days asking me to register for the sports platinum pack, I guess not many subscribers are subscribing to it.. Thats great news, tata is now going to be under a big loss, They might even fade out as BigTv launches.

3 June 2008 at 09:18:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Tata Sky recently cut BBC on my trasmission. They left a message that I should contact the helpline. The helpline number (a Chandigarh area code)only broadcasts advertisements! So here I am calling on a STD line paying to hear their advertisemnets!I tried on more than 10 occassions, at different times, day and night, wasting over a 100 rupees and I am yet to hear the voice of a help-line executive. By the way can they simply cut off a channel like BBC when you have a valid subscription contract till October 2008?

5 June 2008 at 15:42:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Well it’s almost five days and I have only managed to get through the TS PREMIUM numbers once, that too after listening to all those unwanted promos to infinity. TS have dropped a message saying they are busy since there has been an increase in demand from the customers on the new pricing. I can understand what kind of a demand they are talking about. Demand to see blood.

TS wrote back to my emails, by adding an extra sentence on their automated reply, thanking me to have written to them; not with a single answer to my queries.

ESPN STAR too,is said to be unhappy with TS as they are reported to have gone to the court against TS for dropping their channels out of the basic package.

TS couldn’t just stop their dirty race game, as they outrageously went ahead with the ad campaign announcing reduction in prices. Does a slash down on the existing quality/quantity against a lower price any way mean reduction as far as pricing is concerned?

Even more interesting, my understanding of À la Carte completely differs from that of the TS exec over the phone. According to him it is an add-on package costing Re 15 with only one channel (Ten sports). God only knows what À la Carte means to the TS brains.

Well from the cable wala to the DTH wala, all the same, now where to go! I don’t expect the others already in the market or planning to be,being any different.

Seems its time to bid goodbye to the idiot box, after all what’s in it other than ads, unreality shows and stupid breaking news.

Manu: thanks to have initiated this forum long ago, informative it is, and also helps letting one’s frustration out. Suddenly the whole thing looks like coming to life yet again.(do you still read the comments !!! ???)

5 June 2008 at 21:36:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Influencing people's life:

TATA SKY - the fraud company no. . My tata sky is not working properly ( bought 3 for all the tvs in the house) and it is giving problems in all 3. When i called the helpline, first it tokk me 15 mins of hold time b4 i cud speak to someone. Once i did, he spend another 15 mins asking me to do various things with the set top box & even dish. Even after doing of all of this when it still did not work, i told them to send somebody to have a look since all settops were giving bad reception. Then comes the BIGGEST SURPRISE. The exec tells me that i have to Rs. 300 for the engineer visit. Whe ni asked why? they said since you have bought one year back, your warranty is over and hence we will charge you. AND ALL THE TIME i thought i was paying for a service- a service which has high quality and great reception all the time. Now i know while they continue to loot me for teh montly rent of 3 boxes (i paid for hardware seperately) , there is no guarantee of it working.. working or no working or making it work everything is chargable.. PL. PL. PL. DO NOT BUY TATA SKY AT ANY COST... THE COMPANY IS A CON COMPANY WANTING TO LOOT PEOPLE WHO DO THE MISTAKE OF BUYING TATA SKY

5 June 2008 at 23:53:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Please dont buy TataSky :)
U dont want to shed money and blood over this company, Its a con company, Every ad this company shows is deceptive, 'Haati ke daat khane ke alag, Dikhane ke alag' [ An elephant's has differnet teeth for eating, shows different teeth] Same applies to tataSky.

@ Manu
Time to moderate our comments so people can see it.

6 June 2008 at 10:06:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger ccdayal:

For the last 3 days we have stopped receiving BBC and some of the sports channels. Tata Sky has announced a new scheme of packages. The most ridiculous situation has arisen for most Tata Sky subscribers.All their telephone numbers were not responding till yesterday. Today, they respond, but no operator comes on line. SMS from registered mobiles are not responded and no additional packages such as the Sports and BBC which are ordered through SMS come through. I have tried to go to their help desk on their web site. When you click as "present subscriber" to register yourself, the site never opens. So, my friends, if you are a Tata Sky subscriber, no French Open for you to see. No BBC news. Hang on to what they dish out or wait for the next year or switch over to another DTH provider.

6 June 2008 at 12:52:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Unknown:

We as Indians respect TATA for their value systems. But alas through TATASKY they give the impression that they dont respect the customers, cheat on commitments and authoritarian. Will Mr. RATA TATA wake up atleast now and set the house in order and protect the TATA Values. A number of us bought this system for the brand name TATA and feel duped.

RAVI

8 June 2008 at 13:26:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Ujjwal:

hello mr sharma
i want to tell you that there is no return channel via which the info that what u watch and at which time u watch can go to the service provider as the settop box is a receive only terminal.its not an interactive one.so dont worry that anyone can use the information....

11 June 2008 at 14:37:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi,
And to top it all, recently, TataSKY removed the DD Saptagiri channel. I rang up customer service to ask them about this and the reply I get is "Sir, we have removed this channel to make room for other channels to come in." Take a bow to TataSKY.

13 June 2008 at 15:29:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi manu,
Thank you for your informations.
I have a suggession, that is, why we can't make an association like "tata sky users association"?, let's try maximun users to be members of it and thus we can bargain with the company. In our area it has been found successful. In kerala we are getting full channels in cables at a maximum of 130 rupees per month.whenever they try to hike, all the subscribers unitely stop paying money and they will come for a compromise. i request you to think this way.
Anil

15 June 2008 at 18:51:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Blogger Sanjeev Kr Gupta:

How can we drag this company (Tata Sky) to consumer court?

Can we mobilise support for this so that these people dont continue with this and fleece and cheat more consumers?

19 June 2008 at 10:30:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

Hi, i think u guys are making a big deal out of nothing. Rights, spam, this that and the other. Talking about rights, ur cable operator can demand money at any point of time and pull out ur wire at any point of time. What would you do?
The advantage of signing a contract works both ways! In fact atleast the consumer has a written document from the company which goes to show TataSky has nothing to hide.

19 June 2008 at 10:31:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

and before any of you ask, NO i dont work for TataSky, nor for Dish TVS. in fact i dont work at all! Interestingly none of the products in the current day market are forced down our throats. The choice is ours, why dont you guys exercise it? This is a naturaly phase in any entertainment company, continue to use cable! Dont buy DTH! whats the big deal?

19 June 2008 at 10:38:00 GMT+5:30 link  
Anonymous Anonymous:

we had lots of problems when cell phone technology was initially introduced, Rs. 37 a minute for an incoming call! however today we cant live without a cell phone...??!!?? Give it time....... make a choice, love the good parts, i dont think TATA's have reached such a stage that they need to cheat people to make money! Its a DTH company, it has to cater to the whole country, IT CANNOT KEEP EVERYBODY HAPPY!

19 June 2008 at 10:47:00 GMT+5:30 link  

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