The decoder to be reviewed here is a DTD 2 U-A Decoder that comes from South Africa. The decoder is black in colour and very stylish with a mix of reflective and somehow rough non reflective plastic. Why does this decoder have an unusable smart card slot? Its very light and its quite shocking that this decoder was not fastened by screws. Only a number of clips and the warranty seal held the top cover from the bottom part. This is despite the fact that the decoder has 4 screw holes at the bottom. The decoder uses a 12Volts 1.2Amps adapter to power it. At the front it has 5 buttons but notably missing is the menu button. With these buttons you can change the channel, volume and put the decoder into stand-by mode or power it. Peeping at the back of the decoder I could see the unusable card reader and the tall Aluminum heat sink on top of the processor.
The remote control is very well made and can withstand rough handling because it’s made of rough plastic. It uses two size AA batteries that will last a long time indeed. If only other set top box manufacturers would make such kind of remote controls. The downside of the remote control (that looks very similar to the Dstv satellite decoder remote control) is that the menu and exit buttons are placed far from each other. The menu button is on the bottom left and the exit button is on the right side above the navigation buttons. The addition of a shift button can make it difficult to use by the non techsavvy. The decoder takes about 5 minutes to scan all the channels available on the dvbt2 platform in Nairobi.
So where does the bad customer service part come in? This is how. I was called by my neighbour to help activate his brand new decoder. The fact that a normal non-techsavvy customer cannot activate a decoder is worrying at first. More on this as you read.
This decoder is not an HD decoder so my neighbour had to sacrifice his DVD Player for the Gotv decoder. If the Gotv decoder had a HDMI port and a HDMI cable then it would have been easier to connect it to his 22” LG TV which only has 4 inputs namely Aerial, HDMI, AV and USB.
I recommended the solution of using the RF out port on the decoder to the Antenna input of the TV. But this is an RF signal and RF signals are not that very clear (In fact RF signals are analogue signals). I thought the purpose of owning a HDTV and a Digital terrestrial decoder was to enjoy very clear pictures and enjoy quality audio. The DVD player is not a bluray player and does not have the RF OUT port. The only way he could enjoy movies on his DVD player was to use the RCA Cables on the AV inputs of the TV. Plus another complication the RF OUT port on the Gotv decoder is a female F-type connector and not the normal Aerial connector. No worries because this is a cable I can easily make in 5 minutes.
Going back to the bad customer service story, the mesh type aerial was already installed and the Go channel and KBC were already showing. Before I went to the house on Monday, the previous Sunday evening I had given my neighbor the Multichoice Kenya customer care number so that he can get things sorted out. The number is 0711066000. He did not manage to get his account activated. Fast forward to Monday, the decoder was still showing the EO17 error on the Gotv scrambled channels and an E66 error on the Startimes and signet bouquet channels. This is despite him sending the activation text to the SMS number provided.
I called the number and to my surprise, Multichoice Kenya already removed the option for talking to the customer care staff directly. This was at around 10.00AM in the morning. The recorded lady voice even had the guts to tell me on a Monday mid morning that the usual hours of operation are between 8.00 AM and 12.00 Midnight from Mon to Sat. The recorded voice just told me to call on business hours in short on a Monday morning. After 4 calls to this number I realized that no solution will be forthcoming.
I searched for the term Gotv Kenya customer care number on the internet. I quickly got the number from this Google search result of a Gotv facebook conversation “GOtv Kenya Hi Ireri, you may reach us directly on 0711 066 555 or 020 423 6555. ... Scaramanga Fawkes Kims For real, go tv customer care is pretty useless” Everything inside the brackets I have pasted from Google's SERP.
I called the number 0711066555 and to my surprise again, the option of talking to the customer care staff directly was disabled. I remember some months ago when I called these numbers, talked to the staff directly and they fixed some Dstv and GOtv problems within five minutes. All these calls I have made have eaten up my credit for no results at all
The only other option I had was to go to the GOtv Kenya facebook page and post my problem. The reply came after about 30 minutes saying that the decoder has bee reset. At the moment Its 1.00 PM and I have the decoder with me at home. I took it back to my neighbour’s house only to find that Gotv had lied to me on facebook. I replied to the reply saying that the decoder is not yet activated, up to now they Gotv has not yet responded to my reply.
I also noticed that the reply is a copy paste game to every query that has the IUC number quoted. The only thing different about all the replies Gotv gives is the name of the customer and the initials of the Gotv social media employee at the end. Here is an example of one such message.
Hi Kev, we have reset your account. Kindly confirm picture. To clear the E0-16 error message, kindly text the keyword RESET followed by a single space then enter your IUC number to 22688. Thank you for choosing GOtv.^WM
It's now 3.00PM, I check my credit and its Ksh45.98. I decide to send the IUC Number to the short code number. I checked my credit because I hate these 5 digit SMS numbers, I might find my number subscribed to a service that will be deducting my credit every day for unsolicited messages. My neighbor had told me that he already sent the text but no activation was done. The decoder was ON at the moment as I sent the text RESET followed by a single space then enter the IUC number to 22688. I quickly checked my credit and to my surprise it was only Ksh45.39. I receive the message Reauth for device number ------------- has been received. What the hell does Reauth mean? I still do not know
Changing the channel from KBC to KTN I saw the message Important Notice. Now I know that the decoder has been activated. It’s no surprise that KTN, CITIZEN, NTV and QTV are not part of the bouquet. I’m glad I am not a Pay TV firm’s customer because all my TV channels are from free to air satellite.
My neighbour had sent the text to the wrong number printed on a pamphlet that came with the decoder. The number is 4688. The vendor never told him that the SMS number had changed.
It took me 5 hours to activate the decoder. To Gotv this is my message “The best customer service is No customer service because of superb services offered”Tweet
Written by Gichane
Tuesday, July 29, 2014