Tata sky has recently launched the satellite tv service, and I gladly ventured to subscribe for the service, having experienced good results with a trial run Hathway’s digital cable service. The only difference is that Hathway is still
delivered through cable operator, and hence we are dependent on vagaries of power supply issues. Otherwise, both services need a settop box.
When we saw an arranged from Tata sky in our apartment complex, it seemed to have more features than Hathway’s. e.g. Active News, which can show 3-4 small news panels on TV screen, and one can jump from one news channel to another, or just
watch the latest headlines in one of the panels. That seems a nifty way to catch up with latest news.
Gladly I opted for the service, but there were then quite a few hitches on the way. For one, I was told by their helpdesk person that the cable settop box (called digicomp by tata sky) will be my property, and I can even transfer to another
person. Reassured, I purchased a digicomp box from a dealer and called tata sky for installation. She also clarified that the subscription form to be filled after installation was just a formality, and did not divulge the details of the
subscription contract. This was to become a thorny point later.
Now the installation was somewhat long drawn affair. Tata sky insists on using their own cable rather than linking up with existing cable. They say the signal will not be as good on any other cable. I asked them to link up and
show if there was any distortion on TV, but they did not do that. On the other hand, one of the technicians pulled up our existing cable (with honourable motive to put tata sky cable in its place) and damaged it inside conduit, so nothing more
could be done about it. After repeated visits, it became clear they will not or more likely could not repair that damaged cable inside conduit, so we allowed them to put another cable in its place and route it along the walls.
So, ultimately with more than 6 hours of on premises and building work, the cabling was done. The TV demo worked as expected and picture quality was superb, as I expected it should be for a digital service. Then came the shocker. I had
been told initially that the digicomp will be property of owner. But point 11 in Terms and Conditions of subscription contract clearly says that the digicomp and remote will be taken by tata sky on deactivation of service. To make it worse,
point 17 which is termed “Data Protection” should actually be named “Data Broadcast”. It says that tata sky may use your viewing habits and information, and may also share the information with third parties.
Rather than signing up, I called tata sky call centre again, and the guy and his senior both tried to insist that the subscription form is a “formality”, and I need not worry about digicomp box etc etc. But the guy did not even have Terms and
Conditions with him or probably made an excuse about that. After much discussion, he said that the service will not be activated till the issue is resolved, which I said was perfectly ok by me, since I could wait for a few more days, having waited
for 3 days for installation issues already. All this happened after 11:00 pm in night, with installation technicians waiting. Ultimately, I signed up their work order and also wrote that only installation is complete, and the subscription
issues are pending still.
But what do I see next morning — the service is very much active, there is an alert message, and in subscription menu, I see a debit of Rs -6.57 starting from previous day (or rather late night). This means tata sky has started the service
WITHOUT a signed subscription form with them.
I expected a lot from the service, but such issues have marred the whole initial experience. I am still paying to the existing cable operator. Let’s see what tata sky does about the issues raised by me.