Why does it feel like Multichoice and DSTV, a once-loved legacy brand, is hell-bent on becoming a cautionary tale in poor CX?

Is Multichoice “enriching our lives” or just wasting our time? It is starting to feel like Multichoice is becoming a cautionary tale in poor CX.

Why DSTV keeps pushing our CX ‘buttons’


Why does it feel like Multichoice, a once-loved legacy brand, is hell-bent on becoming a cautionary tale in poor CX?


Bad press of late hasn’t done them any favours, like DSTV (owned by Multichoice) billing customers for things they didn’t ask for (Disney+) – not once, but multiple times, or their once-off R19.95 deal during last year’s Rugby World Cup which left customers trapped into a 30-day cancellation policy.


It’s been a bit of a PR nightmare for the company, but they keep making themselves an easy target. The thing is, as a brand, DSTV has some good ideas, but the marketing team is always working against some sort of relentless clock. Everything is rushed and underdeveloped which unfortunately ends up negatively impacting their customer experience, time and time again.


A colleague of mine recently forwarded me an email he got from Multichoice. As a subscriber, he was asked to complete a survey so that they could gather his views and opinions. Sounds fair enough! As players in the CX game, we always delight in hearing of businesses making an effort to gather customer insights (credit to DSTV here).


The problem, however, is that the mailer was riddled with wishy-washy communication, offered a frankly, ‘embarrassing’ incentive to participate (R50 voucher), and even asked the subscriber to sign what can be likened to an NDA (non-disclosure agreement). But the cherry on top has to be the fact that the email was addressed as ‘ Dear Valued Customer’ – an absolute no-no in customer experience! If you are truly a valued customer, you would be greeted by name at the very least.


‘Enriching lives’ or wasting time? 


The well-known Multichoice slogan ‘enriching lives’ is another example of the company’s ability to come up with some truly good stuff, but sadly, with no follow-through. The slogan hits all the marks of a well-positioned brand promise. It inspires, offers value, and paints a clear picture of what we as customers can expect.


In our CX Masterclasses, one of the CX areas that we unpack is the importance of both knowing the value you as a business brings to the table, as well as making sure that you are consistently delivering on this value. And a big part of this is getting the language you use to engage with your customer right.


This is where DSTV fails. They sometimes nail the language, especially when it comes to attractive promotions, but they fall short in offering the value.


In the case of the survey mailer they sent out, they failed in both the language and the value. My colleague couldn’t even get passed the first few survey questions because he didn’t agree to their very vague NDA terms. He spent time reading through the exhausting mailer copy and decided to do the survey, only to be told he couldn’t continue. It ended up being a complete waste of his time.


To summarise my point, here are three CX lessons we can thank the Multichoice mailer for:


  • Know who you are talking to –  What was my colleague going to do with a R50 voucher? And it wasn’t even clear what the voucher was for. This coupled with ‘dear valued customer’ meant the communication was a typical ‘spray and pray’ approach with no real thought or consideration.
  • Add value not effort – Your customer’s time should always be respected. Never waste it by rendering their efforts pointless.
  • Communication matters – Your company language and communication act as your brand ambassador. It’s often the first point of contact a client has with your business, so treat it with care.


Let’s hope Multichoice gets their CX act together, and soon. With younger, more agile streaming services scooping in, they HAVE to do better!