2) I dont understand why some of the points have gone over your top. Yes, the Tata Sky STB can only be used with the Tata Sky dish, but the agreement says you only own the STB and not the dish. So IT OFCOURSE IS RESTRICTIVE TRADE PRACTICE AND TRICKING THE CUSTOMER. There is no use of just having the Tata Sky STB with you, after you discontinue Tata Sky connection. So why should Tata include such a useless benifit in their commercials and marketing ? Just to lure & trick consumers.
Tata Sky is a service, not a product. Their policy is that when you move, you do not dismantle your dish and let it stay where it is. The dish is infrastructure
, not a valuable possession. If your broadband guy or your cable guy charges you x rupees for the "last mile connectivity" which includes wiring from their junction box or cable on the street to your home, do you expect to rip out all that cabling (right from the junction to your house) and take it with you when you move houses?? Or do you just let it be as it is, and get new wiring done in your new house?
The idea is that if another person moves into the apartment, Tata Sky does not need to install the dish all over again. They're just trying to optimize things and grow their last mile connectivity slowly over time, not trying to rip you off a few hundred bucks.
In any case, the dish itself costs peanuts, so I don't see what the issue is about.
3) And Tata Sky is giving the STB for free ???Then what is the initial cost (1599/- currently) we're paying Tata Sky for??? Your donation to them? :lol: The installation and subscription charges are separate and in addition for this. And ofcourse they're running a business and not a dharmshala.
You think that 1599 rupees covers the cost of the STB and dish? I don't think so. I don't have statistics but I'm sure Tata Sky is heavily subsidizing this cost to increase subscription base.
If you think that is a high price to pay for a satellite receiver, compare it with the cost of your unsubsidized cell-phone. A basic model cellphone costs double this amount. Even if you compare it with the most commoditized and inexpensive electronic gadget, namely the DVD player, you will see that your STB costs half of of what your DVD player costs. This is when DVD players sell hundreds of millions of units a year, and Tata Sky sells a a small fraction of that number.
Tata Sky wants to make money out of monthly subscriptions and in future, value added services like interactive TV, HDTV etc. This is a long term strategy play. They're not interested in making money from dish antenna installations. If push comes to shove and if competition really heats, up, they will even sell their dish and STB at a loss
in order to increase their subscriber base. This is how Gillette and HP sell razor blades and printers.
By the way, if I'm not mistaken, some of the newer DTH providers are selling their STB for free to maintain their subscriber base growth.
4) And yes you're locked to the direction to which the dish points, if you need the best quality of transmission coming from the satellite. The recommended direction set in my house itself only gives 70% signal quality, though I stay in the center of the city. So here too, you're bound to them.
All said, I would again like to say, most of these issues are common to all the DTH providers i our country. And only the intervention of TRAI and other similar organisations can assure the best & lawful services to us consumers, like the ones being provided in countries like the UK & US. TRAI has already come out with some good policies like vendor independence, etc, in the last couple of years, but still we've a long way to go.
If you are this principled, you should probably stop shaving as well, as Gillette also practices the exact same "restrictive" practice. This is called vendor lock-in and this business practice is as old as the hills. As long as there is sufficient and healthy competition, vendor lock-in is usually not an issue. It only becomes an issue if there exists a monopoly in the market. Considering the number of DTH providers in India today, I don't see any problem, and I really don't see what your issue is.
By the way, you used the analogy of a cell-phone and how SIM cards can be changed. Please remember that chargers on the other hand are not inter-operable. Why do you think that the noble and gracious cellphone companies all have different pin and socket designs for their chargers??
If you want another example of bias in the article, the article mentions a rumored incident of how a Tata company snapped cables forcing people to upgrade to Tata Sky. Even if they did snap the cables, what is forcing the user to upgrade specifically to Tata Sky? Since they are free to upgrade to Airtel, Dish, BIG, Sun etc. why did the article only mention Tata Sky?? This is clearly bias.