In April 2006, shortly after returning from the USA, we decided to start an installation company when the desperate need for quality workmanship at reasonable prices was most evident.
With absolutely no experience and obviously no training in this industry, we started advertising our products and services at what we deemed “reasonable prices” trading as Sats R Us. The response was inconceivable to say the least! Amongst our many satisfied customers were Peter Cheales of hellopeter.com who instantly recommended us in his monthly newsletter.
What started as a one man (and his devoted wife), home based company, soon grew into a very successful national franchise within only two years, not only dictating acceptable quality standards, but also influencing the retail prices of components today.
It was not until (more than two years in operation) a customer first asked if we were MultiChoice accredited, that we even considered this route. We immediately contacted MultiChoice and shortly after applying, we received notification that our application was successful. From that point onward we dealt with MultiChoice on five occasions until today:
The 1st, when as “accredited installers”, we were forced to re-supply lost equipment to a customer and we could not proof we already supplied it;
the 2nd when we were called in and instructed not to advertise and sell Dreambox decoders (to which we immediately complied);
the 3rd when we moved to Cape Town and had to re-apply for accreditation (as Satellite Solutions);
the 4th when on MultiChoice's instruction, we attended to three installation queries (one justified);
and the 5thd time on 13 February, described in detail below.
During February this year, the entire industry slowed a little (ask any installer) and in an attempt to advertise our services and at the same time create awareness, I used a little initiative and put together this advertisement. Click here to view the video and succeeding article on MyBroadband.
Imagine my surprise when Arthur Brookes phoned me (first time in years) on 13 February 2012 at about 15:00 and instructed me to remove the video. Without hesitation I immediately deleted the original video from YouTube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYQD9wL_SEE and waited for him to call me back as he said he would.
I waited till just before 17:00 and sent him this e-mail – Please read from the bottom up to follow how the events unfolded) - http://www.mydstv.org/docs/YOU_TUBE_VIDEO.htm
On Friday 24 February 2012, Tertia (who is the registered owner of the company) attended a MultiChoice session in Cape Town. She discussed the issue with Arthur Brookes and Sharon Padayachee (MultiChoice Field Services) who informed her we’ve been suspended as a result of the video. When asked if we may appeal the decision, she was told it would only be considered if her husband (Hennie Pretorius) had no involvement in the business, the website and/or decision making.
After a lot of debate I finally agreed to walk away from everything I worked for the last six years and sent this letter to Arthur Brookes and Sharon Padayachee - http://www.mydstv.org/docs/Multichoice%2027%20February%202012.htm
Since 05 March the following conversation took place via e-mail: - (Please read from the bottom up) http://www.mydstv.org/docs/RE%20Satellite%20Solutions%20-%20new%20name.htm
After all they put us through; MultiChoice (dictatorship) still deemed it necessary to play games with ridiculous demands. As you might have gathered we reached a point where we decided to make this entire ordeal public. Primarily to clarify the reason why we’re no longer considered “accredited” and also (in light of the remarkable response to the article) to allow you to choose if you’ll be using our company in future.
At least now we have the freedom to keep our customers and unsuspecting consumers informed, without the continuous fear of victimization and unfair treatment.
Answers to public discussions:
Multichoice Forum: - Quoting the last post by MC Marietjie (before conveniently closing the thread):
“@HTC_guy - actually there were a number of other reasons why the accreditation was revoked, of which this was only one. The journalist chose to clearly only represent the side of the installer without bothering to investigate the full history of us with this installer.
When you read an internet article, never assume that the article represents the full truth. In fact, that should apply to any article you read.
I am closing this thread, as it has already veered off topic.”
This blog is another public forum Marietjie (unfortunately you’re not allowed to delete or close anything here, but you’re more than welcome to post your comments like everyone else!).
I hereby openly invite, in fact I publicly dare you, to publish the “other reasons” you’re referring too, for everyone to see.
We’ve successfully installed in excess of 8000 DStv units since we started this company in 2006 and apart from the R4,77M p/m my installations contribute to your salary and the shareholders, I’ve done nothing but jump every time you demanded it! We returned to 3 out of the 8000 installations on your request, where only one justified a complaint. So once again I beg of you to fault me on my workmanship or customer service and I’ll gladly publicly apologize.
MyBroadband Forum: Quoting DJ & Totempole:
“Apart from the atrocious spelling of the subtitles, it was mildly amusing. I don't think it tarnishes the Multichoice nor DSTV brands whatsoever. This is a rather heavy-handed and unfair approach by Multichoice, unless the advertising in and of itself is contrary to their Ts and Cs...”
“Bad spelling and grammar on subtitles. Ruined the experience for me.”
Guys you’re 100% correct about the spelling. Should at least have done a spell check, sorry.
MyBroadband Forum: @Lyndon, @Garyvdh, @marine1, @jikajoe1, @raind33r, @froot, @burn, @ldmelsa, @Yuu, @Beri, @ponder, @DigitalSoldier, @SiriS, @Rouxenator, @PAYBACK, @lcbxx, @techead, @Madman8, @SHVAK, @BLIXEMPIE, @Rouxenator, @Prof.Merlin, @burn, @saliehendricks, @Stigmata101, @Bern, @joy_Energiser, @Tns, @TheRoDent, @10i, @jannievanzyl, @AcidRaZor, @Garyvdh, @MightyMuffinMan, @casper_v, @KeezA, @Patrick No 1, @PAYBACK, @Geoff D, @ Whackwhack, @Theo Lubbe, @ Nero55, @Jon73, @Andrew Segeren, @TPM2, @DesertFox, @ZarathustraToo, @SmL9, @CR4ZYLEGS, @TrueTenacity, @Bradley Streak, @ R.Gouws, @Jack, @Bull, @Career, @ginggs, @Allin and everyone I might have missed or who posted after this article:
THANK YOU VERY MUCH for the comments and continued support! We read (and highly appreciate) every response.
MyBroadband Forum: Quoting rorz0r:
“So what Multichoice is saying is that an installers accreditation has little to do with their actual ability to actually install DSTV etc then?”
I rest my case. Keep watching MyBroadband – I’ve got a feeling this is definitely not the last you’ll hear and read about accreditation.
“So how are we going to find out about these other reasons then? The journalist probably had as much luck contacting MC as anyone else has...”
Please see my response to MC Marietjie above. Believe us when we assure you, we’d love to hear what else they can dream up!
MyBroadband Forum: Quoting j4ck455:
It is clear to me that MonoChoice should not be allowed to decide which installers are qualified and which should receive an acreditated status.
What Hennie Pretorius / Satellite Solutions should do, is lodge complaints with both ICASA and the Competition Commission on the basis that MonoChoice is abusing its market dominance and at the very least installer acreditation for both DSTV and TOPTV should be performed by an independent entity.”
Please read the following posts in this regard on the DStv Forum dating back to 05/2010:
“I would use SS without hesitation even if they don't have accreditation. Have had awesome service from them in the past.”
You’re the man! Thank you very much.
“Haha, like the bad mouthing about the MyBB reporter on the DSTV forum! Come on MyBB, you going to leave it there?!”
Keep watching this space. Reporters are well known for their ability to dig deeper than the average person and Jan Vermeulen is rated as one of the best. That’s why we choose him when we decided to go public.
“I have several issues with this Nazi representative's post, for a start her post is #6 in the thread where she says posts #2;#3;#4;#5 have derailed the thread to such an extent that the thread had to be closed, it is clear that she is anally retentive and needs an emergency enema.
To make matters worse she clearly has **** for brains because she says that MyBB's reporter did not bother to investigate the full history with the installer about MultiNazi's abuse of power, I doubt that is what she intended to write but that is effectively what she did write.”
Quoting MC Marietjie from the DStv Forum:
- “@HennieP - considering that you used to be an accredited installer of MultiChoice, we will not be having this discussion with you in an open Forum.”
- “I already responded to @HennieP - the second part of my answer to him. My first point was that it is a bit disingenuous of him to quote an expert article as proof of his point when he himself is quoted in the article.”
Quoting my answer to the above on the DStv Forum:
“You're not the first MC representative to make personal remarks about my observations and you probably won't be the last. At the same time, the fact that I choose to display a little more empathy towards unwary consumers when I know they're affected by these issues, will unfortunately never go away!”
In closing we’d like to put the following on record:
If we offended anybody with the advert, we sincerely apologise. As mentioned on numerous occasions to various persons, our only objective was and still is to create awareness about the complexity of XtraView.
"Quoting my e-mail to Arthur Brookes dated 20 Feb 2012: " If you base your decision on an innocent, isolated incident and ignore our unceasing contributions towards your organisations success then with all respect, your department suffers from a serious lack of judgement."
Judging by the responses on different platforms, the endless list of complaints on Hellopeter.com, Amplicate and the pitiable justification for your continuous bad decisions, you guys desperately need help in the decision making department. You’ve obviously given the wrong people the authority to gamble with your already wounded reputation, which turned out to be yet another bad decision. The negative publicity this article (and others to follow) induced could have been avoided by a simple business principle called professional decision making. This is one decision you will regret for many years to come, trust me. When I promised I would use every possible platform to expose your failures, I meant it and the fact that your holding company owns most of the printed media, unfortunately does not mean you own the internet. Google is a very powerful tool in the right hands!
Apart from the self-inflicted harm to your brand, what have you accomplished?
At our customers:
First and foremost, thank you for the continued support from everyone. You guys once again demonstrated the eminent fact that choice is something nobody can force onto individuals. We greatly appreciate every article, post, sms, e-mail, share, like, follower and call in support, thank you very much.
No matter if we make it through this or not, we'll continue doing what we’ve done for as long as possible and that’s to serve our customers to the best of our ability. Our customers are and will always be, the true owners of Satellite Solutions and that will never change.
Under no circumstances will we ever stop updating you on valuable information and facts specifically relating to DStv & MultiChoice. Please consider following us on Facebook or Twitter, to be updated on a regular basis.
In closing a quote from one of my answers on the DStv Forum (2011-07-21):
"In our experience quality workmanship, proper products & equipment, integrity, proficiency and good service proofed more valuable in the long run than anything else. Customers judge you by your abilities & reputation, not your title..."