The above subject and ugly incident witnessed in your above described office between the hours of 1:20pm and 2:20pm on Sunday, 23rd of September, 2012 refer.
1. Our services have been retained by at least eight (8) different subscribers to your media service who together with a certain OLUKUNLE OYENIJI have existing and valid accounts with your company and not in any manner indebted or have outstanding debits on their bouquet accounts. They are hereinafter referred to as “Our Clients” whilst their details are reproduced in no particular order below:
Messrs. DEBO AKINGBADE, HALIRU GADU, RICCA GENTS, SOGA ONI, BOLA SHITTU, ENRISH LTD, YERIMA MAITALA, OLAYIWOLA OLANIRAN with Card details: 4254 2510 435, 4100 7266 47, 4135 4474 69, 4135 4474 748, 4253 5389 62, 4275 9890 322, 4252 2796 52, 4259 5936 606.
2. The above subscribers and many other customers of your DIGITAL SATELLITE TELEVISION have updated accounts, having made full payments for their bouquet while many of them recently renewed their monthly subscriptions. You will also recall that very recently (only a few months ago), your Company unilaterally increased subscription fees without any consultation with, advance notice or communication to your subscribers even though your South African subsidiary continues to maintain its subscription fee to its subscribers while your transmission base is outside the shores of Nigeria with attendant operational costs being the same in both countries.
3. Because your teeming customers here in Nigeria could not challenge the arbitrary increase and owing to the significant monopoly which your Company enjoys, being the only digital satellite television company with the exclusive rights to beam many global football matches live inclusive of the SPANISH PRIMERA LA LIGA, ITALIAN SERIE A and the darling of all Nigerians, ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE, your Company has continued to offer its services at huge costs and poor delivery channels without any iota of care to the customer. It has always been the case for the subscriber to either put up with it at your charge(s) or get off your customer base!
4. The above scenario played itself out again yesterday, 24th of September, 2012 on a Sunday. There is no gain emphasizing the fact that every household is glued to the television set on Sunday afternoons upon their return from Church while men including fun – loving families visit the various Recreational Clubs to close the weekend. Yesterday was particularly important all over the globe especially with respects to the English Premier League. As you are well aware, both MANCHESTER UNITED FC AND LIVERPOOL FC were playing a significant PREMIER LEAGUE match at ANFIELD (home to Liverpool) and seeking a closure to a number of events.
(i). During the outgoing week, the Police in England finally released the report into the HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER. The shortcomings which culminated into the tragic death of 96 football fans of Liverpool FC were laid bare. At that game which was a memorial of some sorts yesterday, Captains of both teams paid tribute to the Ninety – Six (96) fans who died on 15th April 1989 while they released balloons in their memory. Please consult several sports websites for the enormity of that game. Suffice to say that your Company chose at that point in time to indiscriminately cut off services to its customers;
(ii). The other significance of that game was the lingering race – row involving top players in the English Premier League. All eyes were on the duo of PATRICE EVRA who plays for MANCHESTER UNITED and LUIS SUAREZ who plays for LIVERPOOL. Both have been involved in controversies surrounding race rows with the latter having been suspended for eight matches arguably at the behest of the former. Indeed, in the last fixture involving both sides sometime February, 2012, the Liverpool Player snubbed the Manchester United Player in the pre – match ritual of handshakes. The miraculous happened when it was reported they both shook hands at that game which viewing you deprived your customers.
(iii). All through the week, the Police in England and Gaffers for the respective football clubs had been cautioning fans of both clubs against rude and wicked chants tormenting either sides of the HILLSBOROUGH DISASTER suffered by Liverpool FC and the MUNICH INCIDENT were MANCHESTER UNITED FC lost its players.
(iv). Yesterday’s game was thus one of the only few reasons why Nigerian subscribers pay huge fees as subscription, rush to your offices to change your decoders at a cost to them and have no voice for their complaints when they fall victims to your poor, epileptic and less – than world standard services.
5. It was thus a shock for many people who had tuned in all over Nigeria to watch the pre – match ceremonies and the game itself with some public places recording a high in their business as their services were being patronised by patrons with an interest in the game. At about ten minutes before the match, your Company cut off thousands of customers without notice, just like when the subscription was increased, without any prior information. One would have wondered that a call through your customer care lines would be answered for re – assurance or any explanation whatsoever; alas, this was not to be so. The phones were inaccessible and customers had no choice but leave the corners of Lagos to besiege your nearest office.
6. Our Managing Partner who fortunately was in Victoria Island received a call from his family of the disaster and drove to your Victoria Island office. Only three (3) members of Staff were attending to at least a hundred aggrieved customers while only one (1) member of staff took complaints from customers who had been indiscriminately cut – off. Worse still, the television in your Tiamiyu Savage office was beaming the game while twenty – two customers were on the queue waiting; our Managing Partner was the thirty – third (33rd) aggrieved customer. All your Staff could say was that there was nothing that could be done and that the customers should just return home and wait for the signal to come on!
7. While there in your premises, customers continued to assure their families, Patrons at their recreational centers that the signal would return. Several frantic calls were made! As you are well aware, this smirks of gross insensitivity and poor customer care even as another major game MACHESTER UNITED – ARSENAL was due in few hours. Suffice it to say that indeed, in about three (3) hours, the signal was back on with no explanation whatsoever while not a few customers insinuated that this is done routinely by your company to determine customers indebted on their accounts.
8. The collateral damage caused your customers cannot even be imagined. Many of them suffered long – lasting loss of customers who could not imagine that screens went blank just like that. Many aged customers were in your Victoria Island office from very far distance seeking some explanation. We have their instructions to request as follows:
(i). A full page Public Letter of Apology published in this weekend’s editions (specifically SUNDAY) of THISDAY, PUNCH, GUARDIAN, SUN AND VANGUARD national Newspapers to your subscribers addressing the issue and pledging better services going forward, inclusive of your rationale for the arbitrary increase in subscription rates;
(ii). Free subscription for a month as compensation to assuage the embarrassment and economic losses suffered and
(iii). A private letter of apology to each subscriber, copied by your goodself and delivered at addresses of subscribers, pledging better customer services, going forward. The public apology and private correspondence should also contain information on the free subscription.
9. In the unlikely event that ANY OR ALL of the above demands are not met, especially by this Sunday instant, we shall have no other recourse to your Company but access our Clients rights at the appropriate Court in a CLASS ACTION against your Company, seeking N1, 000, 000.00 (One Million Naira Only) as reliefs for each subscriber on your customer base and against your Company in addition to costs of prosecuting the action. Please be guided accordingly!
Yinka Oyeniji, Managing Partner of FIRST CHRONICLES LP
The Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer,
MultiChoice Nigeria Ltd
Tiamiyu Savage Street,