Tata Sky - A conspiracy ???

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harrydv

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Hello all fellow members,

Today I was surfing through the internet to find a way to take a Component or S-Video output from Tata Sky, as they only provide Composite. And in this process I found this link, which I found is very thought provoking. So, I thought I will share it with you all, in this Television sub-division of this website. I am pretty sure that many of you would have already read it. Here it is:

Orange Hues: A Conspiracy Called Tata Sky

I am just sharing a Tata Sky user's views on the provider, and other providers, and the Satellite TV provider's service in our country as a whole, that he himself has posted on this blog, and they're not mine, though I found lot of the content to be true & very right.

And, Happy New Year to one & all here. :)
 
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harrydv

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Yes it is, but considering all the factors, and the choices available to us, I've chosen Tata Sky, and got it installed yesterday, for my new LCD TV :)
 

svenkateshsmart

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Hi,

Informative post! But this is what majority of other DTH providers practise as well, probably they are a little lenient in implementing their "rights":D. If you happened to read the terms & conditions outlined on the back of the application form in Font size 7:lol:, you will see lot of things like "the provider reserve the right to terminate or change plans without any further notice.", etc.

But legally you can challenge it because a contract should have "lawful consideration."

Cheers!
 

jbgude

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Tata -Sky also tries to force customers to read their promotions: I have recently, after several attempts to call Tata Sky complained to TRAI and fully intend to file a case in the appropriate forum soon for this and other blatant disregard of customers rights.

Please note that their "Toll free " number almost never works when trying to lodge complaints - after several layers of pressing the appropriate numbers, it will cut off- however, it never fails when renewing subscriptions. Had the same experience with their web-site when on sending the complaint the screen jumped back to "Home" without apparently,accepting the complaint.

Do we viewers realise that we are paying to watch programmes, with the understanding that there will be one or two commercial breaks(the norm in most countries, the world over ), however do you notice the amount of cross promotions during the programme often blocking out almost 40% of the screen,and blocking out interesting scenes/aspects - the channels( like Star world/ Zee/ DIscovery etc) are equally gulity. This practice is a nuisance, similar to unwaranted horn blowing . and other bad practices.I have lived abroad for many years, and am a still ubscriber to DTH, as my family is there) and never faced these atrocious practices.

I shall also try and post a copy of the mail sent to TRAI, after to date( 4 Jan 2010, AM), failing to get a response from Tata -Sky.
 
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svenkateshsmart

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Tata -Sky also tries to force customers to read their promotions: I have recently, after several attempts to call Tata Sky complained to TRAI and fully intend to file a case in the appropriate forum soon for this and other blatant disregard of customers rights.

Please note that their "Toll free " number almost never works when trying to lodge complaints - after several layers of pressing the appropriate numbers, it will cut off- however, it never fails when renewing subscriptions. HAd the same experience with their web-site when on sending the complaint the scree jumped back to "Home" without apparently,accepting the complaint.

Do we viewers realise that we are paying to watch programmes, with the understanding that there will be one or two commercial breaks( the norm in the free world ), however do you notice the amount of cross promotions during the programme often blocking out almost 40% of the screen,and blocking out interesting scenes/aspects - the channels( like Star world/ Zee/ DIscovery etc) are equally gulity. This practice is a nuisance, similar to unwaranted horn blowing . and other bad practices.

I shall shortly post a copy of the mail sent to TRAI after, to date( 4 Jan 2010, AM), failing to get a response from Tata -Sky.

Hi,

Great initiative! Would be willing to help you should you require any help in filing complaints.

Cheers!
 

harrydv

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Hi,

Informative post! But this is what majority of other DTH providers practise as well, probably they are a little lenient in implementing their "rights":D. If you happened to read the terms & conditions outlined on the back of the application form in Font size 7:lol:, you will see lot of things like "the provider reserve the right to terminate or change plans without any further notice.", etc.

But legally you can challenge it because a contract should have "lawful consideration."

Cheers!

You're right Venkatesh, all the satellite providers in India are the same, the price & the picture quality varies marginally, thats it. And as Tata Sky is the most famous, most of the people tend to choose it (including me, and I have read good reviews about their Video quality too, better than other vendors)

And you're right about the conditions written on the back of the form, in tiny letters, I tried reading them yesterday, when my Tata Sky got installed, but then didnt have time to read all the points, so just signed it. Yes we can challenge legally, if there is something against the recent TRAI regulations.

Tata -Sky also tries to force customers to read their promotions: I have recently, after several attempts to call Tata Sky complained to TRAI and fully intend to file a case in the appropriate forum soon for this and other blatant disregard of customers rights.

"jbgude", I appreciate your efforts and wish you luck!
 
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psychotropic

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it is a sad state of affairs undoubtedly but most consumers i guess will continue to stick with tata sky, simply because the user experience is a bit better than the competition, and they offer a PVR, which no one else does. Let's see how the market plays out.
 

hifiashok

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just a few more i/p

-they usually do not give a copy of the call report when called for any maint.
-if the box is out of warranty, replacement on cost is with re-furbished box.
-warranty on re-furbished box is 3 months.
-one dish can handle more than one connection, but may lead to issues.
-escalation eMail ID is ccoo@tatasky.com. this works at closing.
 

harrydv

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it is a sad state of affairs undoubtedly but most consumers i guess will continue to stick with tata sky, simply because the user experience is a bit better than the competition, and they offer a PVR, which no one else does. Let's see how the market plays out.

You're right "psychotropic", Tata Sky' user experience and customer exp is definitely better than other providers. What is this "PVR" that you've mentioned?

Thanks for sharing those other points Ashok, I've made a note of the escalation mail ID, will definitely be useful in case my Tata Sky issues are not getting addressed. And as you've mentioned"warranty", the installation engineer who had come to my home, told me that if I pay 199/- more I will get one more year of complete warranty on STB, cables, Dish and all technical issues. If I buy it at the end of first yr, that might cost me 399/- or even more. Has anyone opted for it, or has heard of it? Is it worth paying 199/- now itself?
 

danccc

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Most, if not all the issues listed in the blog would apply to all DTH operators and for that matter many product related services which you can procure in India where the companies do everything they can to cut corners and bind the customers by hook or by crook.

Im a bit confused as to why only Tata Sky is being challenged here.

PVR is the Personal Video Recorder (Tata Sky +) wherein you can record and store the programmes.
 
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harrydv

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Yes "danccc", you'right, many products sold in India, even by reputed companies like Tata, have conditions & terms like this, not just Satellite TV providers.

Oh ok, I got what PVR is now.
 

asliarun

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The Tata Sky bashing article posted in the "Orange Hues" blog seems to be extremely biased and more like a rant or hate post than anything else.

As others have mentioned, there is hardly any substance in the article that is specific to Tata Sky (and not applicable to other DTH providers) and yet, the article very specifically keeps mentioning Tata Sky in every paragraph.

Some of the points are totally over the top. For example, Issue #1 and Issue #3 of hardware ownership and hardware lock-in is completely lame. The blog author claims that because the Tata Sky STB only works with Tata Sky satellite broadcast signal, this is restrictive trade practice?? What's this guy smoking?! The author then compares this to cell-phones where you can change the SIM card. The way I see it is that if Tata Sky or any other DTH provider gives away the STB for practically free, they're damn well entitled to lock-in their STB to their signal. They haven't opened a dharamshala, they're running a business.

Sure, some of the points mentioned about privacy are quite valid, but that's about it.

Consider another point mentioned in the article in bold:
"You shall remain locked to the direction in which the dish is positioned"

I feel like laughing.
 

harrydv

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Some of the points are totally over the top. For example, Issue #1 and Issue #3 of hardware ownership and hardware lock-in is completely lame. The blog author claims that because the Tata Sky STB only works with Tata Sky satellite broadcast signal, this is restrictive trade practice?? What's this guy smoking?! The author then compares this to cell-phones where you can change the SIM card. The way I see it is that if Tata Sky or any other DTH provider gives away the STB for practically free, they're damn well entitled to lock-in their STB to their signal. They haven't opened a dharamshala, they're running a business.

Consider another point mentioned in the article in bold:
"You shall remain locked to the direction in which the dish is positioned"

I feel like laughing.

I myself am a Tata Sky customer, and I've chosen their service because its the best among currently available providers in the market (its like choosing/electing the least corrupted politician from the herd of all politicians as all of them are corrupted and no choice left), though they've flaws, as mentioned in that blog. But as you''ve brought out some points which I dont think are right, I would like to clarify:

1) Yes, as some of us have agreed, the issues mentioned in the post are common with all the DTH providers in India, and not just to Tata Sky. You're right.

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.

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.

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.
 

teky

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The author seems to be mis-informing blog readers that in US/UK there is no contract with the Service provider which is not true. Even if you pay for the PVR's you've got 12 months minimum contract you've got to sign-up to.

Which companies don't collect your personal information for Marketing purposes? How many of us here really read the terms & conditions completely before signing a contract?
 

jbgude

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Thank you Venkat - for offereing to help : today the idiots have an offer to subscribe to Tata-Sky +, which I already have: and their " mail envelope" refuses to dissappear, unless, ofcourse I read the message.

I feel that since this is apparently a corporate policy, they will not change even if we escalateto the COO(HifiAshok thanks for the tip - I shall do so right away) we need to bring this to the notice of Mr Ratan Tata, who I am sure would not like the trust placed on the TATA brand to be affected and is the best bet to get those responsible for this policy to recant.

I am trying to rope in a newspaper group to take this up on behalf of consumers, and would like to know if any one here has access to newspapers/ magazines -unless the negative publicity hits them, all these companies will not change their ways.

I cannot comment on other services, as I do not subsribe to them.

What say all of us, get our friends , neighbours and even strangers, to get these broadcasters, to:

1. Stop promoting programmes during the broadcast of the current broadcast; a current example of the ridiculous is the " You are watching .... " along with an image of part of a male head with the eyes moving, thereby distracting viewers watching, ironically, the same programme!- this is possibly the Z cafe/ Star innovation- and not limited to Tata-Sky

2. Display the security code( if they really have to) as a watermark- and thereby not disturb/ impede the view.

3. Give viewers the choice of reading/ deleting messages.
Please lket me know if you have any other problems or ideas.

Thanks for your support !
 

asliarun

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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.
 
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BLASTO

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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.

Checked the start date of the article and it is from a time when there were only tata sky and dish..

Further the main competetor for TATA sky is wired cable as they are number one in the DTH.. So if people are moving, a greater % of them will move to TATA sky only..

Iam not inferring anything, Just thinking aloud..
 

asliarun

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Checked the start date of the article and it is from a time when there were only tata sky and dish..

Further the main competetor for TATA sky is wired cable as they are number one in the DTH.. So if people are moving, a greater % of them will move to TATA sky only..

Iam not inferring anything, Just thinking aloud..

Thanks, that is a good point. I had not considered how old the article was. Even so, the article mentions only Tata Sky and fails to mention Dish TV. If I am not mistaken, when the article was written, Dish TV was the dominant and biggest DTH, and Tata Sky was an upstart trying to match up to Dish TV. I may be wrong, but I think that even today, Dish TV is the biggest in India unless Tata Sky has overtaken them recently.

Since the article keeps using only Tata Sky's name, and does not mention the other DTH providers even once, I felt a strong bias.

Furthermore, the blog article is all about negativity, and does not have any balance. For example, Tata Sky's customer support, especially for setup, trouble-shooting etc. is simply the best based on my experience. I'm not saying they're angels, but no service business is in today's world. Talking about ethics, Tata Sky is hundreds of times more ethical than say, credit card companies.

Actually, I would be keenly interested if someone does a picture quality comparison of all channels across the DTH providers. There have been a few discussion threads in this regard, but I don't think there has been a full blown "shoot-out".
 

harrydv

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First, just like you, I really think Tata Sky is definitely better than the other providers in the market. And I too think that their customer care and user experience (atleast until now), has been good with me. But this is just a discussion about the policies in general, which these providers impose, in our country.

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.
Common, I really dont think that makes any sense. Wht would Tata leave the dish & cabling in the same place when I have vacated my house, expecting that the other tenant will also opt for Tata Sky (if in case he opts for a cable TV in the first place)

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.

Ofcourse its subsidized. One of the reasons for that is they order in bulk, so their per unit cost will not be too big.

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.

What ???:lol: You can get a basic phone for 1000 rupees or even less today, depending on the brand.

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.

Yes ofcourse, they will make money out of monthly subscriptions ALSO, in addition to making money out of the intial ownership & installation charges. Its a business at the end of the day, and they should & will try to make money in every stage of the service offering. not only monthly subscriptions.

If you are this principled, you should probably stop shaving as well, as Gillette also practices the exact same "restrictive" practice.

The direction of the dish is definitely not a big issue, as the satellite receiver has to definitely face the satellite to get the best reception, I mentioned it because that blog had a point about it. But your comparison with Gillette is really funny.:lol:

Enjoy your TV with Tata Sky just like I do, atleast as of now. :)
 
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