How long more are we to be taken for a ride?

Posted on: March 1, 2018, by :
broadband, IPTV, Maxis, MCMC, shortchanged, Time dotCom, Unifi, UnifiTV

I was working on a WordPress project on my computer for a friend-cum-client on a hot afternoon very recently. Suddenly my mobile phone rang.
The caller ID showed that the call was from somewhere in the Klang Valley. I picked up my mobile phone. The conversation, conducted in Bahasa Malaysia went something like this:
“Mr. Chow, you are a current subscriber of Unifi internet service, correct?” asked the lady caller. She went on the identify herself as calling from Telekom Malaysia. I did not catch her name.
“Yup, I’ve been on Unifi since 2012,” I replied.
She then went on to try to sell me an “upgrade” to my current Unifi broadband internet service.
“It costs only RM10 for you to upgrade from your current 30 megabit package to 50 megabit,” the lady said.
“I don’t need an upgrade, I want to stop my subscription to UnifyTV because my contract is long over and I do not need this IPTV service and don’t want to pay for something I don’t use,” I replied firmly.
“Mr. Chow, you can’t. The IPTV subscription comes packaged with your Unifi broadband service, you just can’t detach it” she replied.
Needless to say, I was not too pleased with the information. There was no sale for her!

Can’t detach IPTV subscription from broadband’s

In fact 3 months before this, I did go and downgraded my IPTV subscription from RM50 per month (the “old” Jumbo pack) to the cheapest package of RM30. I wanted to terminate my IPTV service but I was told by the counter staff about the same thing – my broadband subscription is packaged with the IPTV subscription.
Consumers like me are shackled to an IPTV subscription that we do not want. In that occasion, after filing in my complaint of being forced to pay for a subscription where there was a periodic cancelling of channels with no replacement channels for my subscribed package (the latest incident happened in July 2017). I was told that someone “senior” from Unifi will call me to discuss the matter within three days, their “standard operating procedure”, I was told by the young man. Customer service is never TM’s strength. The call from this “senior” person, needless to say never materialized! I was none the wiser on the rationale for being shortchanged (sudden reduction of IPTV channels) and unable to detach the IPTV subscription.

Was told detaching IPTV possible at end of contract

I sympathize with fellow Unifi subscribers who also subscribe to Astro’s satellite TV broadcast and like me, are forced to pay for an IPTV service that they clearly do not need. Worse, there is no explanation from Unifi of why even after the initial contract is over that we still have to pay for something that we do not need? I was given the impression when I subscribed to Unifi in 2012 that upon the cessation of the initial contract, we would have the option to terminate our IPTV subscription. Clearly this has not been the case.
The stability and speed of my so called “broadband” internet can only be described as “patchy”. For a 30 megabit line, one would have expected a relatively stable bandwidth at all times. No such luck. Every evening, one of my security webcams will have its “status light” blinking. This means that it is working but having trouble connecting to the home wifi network. I doubt upgrading to 50 megabit will solve the problem.

No longer “shackled” to home phone number! Now can switch!

If not for the fact that I would have to live with a change in the home telephone number a few years back and the fact that Maxis broadband internet’s performance reputation near my neck of the woods is not stellar (in fact it is not much different from TM’s!), I would have switched already. Time dotCom which has been giving a much bigger bandwidth in Penang (where I lived for 2 years previously), if it eventually decides to make the effort to extend from USJ 6 to my neigbourhood of USJ 9, will surely get me as a subscriber. The house phone is seldom used anyway so it will not have much of a disruption if the telephone number is changed or if we do away with it altogether!

Will the power that be take action?

I think it is about time the Malaysian Communications And Multimedia Commission (MCMC) and Ministry of Domestic Trade, Co-operatives and Consumerism (MDTCC) look into this unfair practice of TM. It is because TM has a sort of “captive” market where it provides the last-mile for most household’s internet service that it can afford to mistreat subscribers like me, forcing us to pay extra for IPTV, that we have no option to terminate, providing substandard selection of channels and gets away with it. None of the other two major competitors, Maxis and Time force their customers to pay for an IPTV package.

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