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View Full Version : ASTRO, Making our Lives Richer?



Vixey
11-11-2005, 01:07 AM
Guys...I finally got really fed up. And decided to write to some newspapers..STAR, Malay Mail and Sun.

Just thought if more people hound the editors then maybe some one would light a bonfire under the management team at ASTRO that is responsible for this nonsense.

Really irritating that when you finally get through to the customer service line, they basically tell you they can't help you but won't give you a name & number for the person directly involved with this silly guidebook problem. This is the letter rambling letter I sent:

I cannot begin to count the number of times we have called the ONE and ONLY ASTRO Hotline number: 03 9543 4188. So much so I think I even dial it in my sleep. It really doesn't say much for ASTRO if its customer service number is on speed dial.

Many letters have surfaced in the media regarding ASTRO's atrocious support services lately.Let me reiterate some of the complaints thus far:

1. ASTRO Guide Missing In Action

- Guides have stopped arriving on time from as early as May this year for my household. After countless phone calls to the poor muppets manning the customer service line, once in awhile, we get copies couried to our home. If we are really lucky, we may even receive TWO copies.

- Popular excuses till now have been "problem with delivery". But in light of the festive season, this month's excuse is "Deeparaya". Apparently the logistics/distribution department of the ASTRO guidebook were not aware of these festivities till quite late.

2. Double-Billed and Triple Billed by ASTRO AutoDebit

Thankfully, we have not been victims of ASTRO's Making Our Company Richer scheme. But sad to say, through our online community forum, I see that many of my community members have fallen prey to a malfunctioning billing system. So much so, that many now are steering clear away from ASTRO's AutoDebit system.

3. Customer Service Line & Personnel

I am willing to bet many tension balls have been squeezed to death by ASTRO customers trying to get through the hotline number. When you finally do get through, you soon realise it was a waste of time. Why? Because a muppet will spew well rehearsed lines to lull you into a false sense of security thinking that your grievances are actually being heard. They will promise to call you back on Tuesday. But you fail to realise they carefully omitted which Tuesday in this century or the next they would call, and you wait like a fool for the first Tuesday to come by.

4. Faulty Programming

Some time ago, An Evening with Il Divo was dangled like a carrot for fans. It was scheduled to be aired on a Sunday at 9pm on the slot previously held by Parkinson. Excitedly we gathered on the said date and time, only to be greeted by yet another repeat of Parkinson which incidentally featured one performance by Il Divo. Absolutely frustrated, we turned the TV off. The following day, Monday, at almost 1pm, we turn on the TV only to find the tail end of An Evening With Il Divo! Again, in the Parkinson slot and labelled as Parkinson on your remote control guide!

What on earth are you up to ASTRO? Do your advertisers and investors know what you have been doing and NOT doing?
Thanks to the non-existent guidebook, I only watch regular programs that I know are on. I have missed countless specials during the Deeparaya festivities as well as good documentaries on National Geographic, Discovery etc.

Advertisers, imagine, the number of potential viewers lost due to ASTRO's fault in not providing the guide book promptly? Or at the very least within the first week of the month!

A reasonable conclusion I can come to now is that ASTRO wants its SMS REMIND ME service to flourish.
The only ASTRO Rewards Programme I am really looking forward to is one that delivers our guide on time and airs good movies minus 967 repeats of the same B-grade flick. Plus one that does the following:

When you do realise that you have mucked up the programming, please apologize to your viewers in one way or another.

When you know that your distribution system for the guidebooks is not effective at all, do you have to take more than half a year to even attempt to rectify it?

What about announcing the delay to your viewers and suggesting alternative pick up points for the guidebook?

If its a problem with an out-sourced contractor, let your customers know who the offending contractor is so that we know exactly who to light the fire under and thus eliminating the influx of calls to your hotline number.

Why is it that the ASTRO bill never gets delayed but the guidebook does?

Does your top management know what's going on?

Who do we liase with? Your management team looks impressive. Be good to know who is DIRECTLY in-charge of this ridiculous problem with your guidebooks instead of the appointed spokesperson to soothe things over for the time being.

Make our lives richer ASTRO, instead of antagonizing us! Give us answers & solutions. No more excuses!

~Vixey~

USJ27Resident
11-11-2005, 02:44 AM
Hi Vixey... welcome to the club...

latest grouse in the news... MalayMail (http://www.mmail.com.my/Current_News/MM/Thursday/Hotline/20051110121350/Article/index_html)

Anyway, this Zainuddin Hussein fella would probably call you and apologise for their usual XXXX-ups and read to you the standard script that they probably have...

To tell you the truth... calling their 95434188 would elevate ones blood pressure, not to mention memorising their stinking jingles and corporate slogans... jees, if there were a prize for the most sickening jingle - it would go to ASTRO.... for the ... at astro we strive to make your life richer... crap... can vomit blood!

I have resigned to getting back my RM549 from them. To add insults to the injury, they have deducted this month's subscription in advance and have repeatedly sent me SMSes reminding me that my account is overdue... :mad: Now I honestly don't know if they are trying to be funny or sarcastic... :mad:

Anyway... welcome to the club... cheers

Unbelievable
11-11-2005, 05:45 AM
I am happy with my Astro subscription. You do have the choice to cancel the subscription...

penangkia
11-11-2005, 09:01 AM
I am happy with my Astro subscription. You do have the choice to cancel the subscription...


Unbelievable,...some politikus also said " you have a choice to get out of bolehland if you don;t like it" :rolleyes:

Ski
11-11-2005, 10:51 AM
My sympathies to Vixey, Astro is really treating her bad.
Hello Vixey if you tell me where you live I can drop my guide into your postbox, I actualy dont refer to it, most of the time its outdated . I refer to their website normally.
Cheerz

Vixey
11-11-2005, 05:29 PM
USJ27 Resident ---> Thank you for the welcome but its one club I rather not be in! hehehehe :p

Well, lets see what kind of answers they give me. I did send a complaint to their office saying that I do not want their Customer Service Manager making some idiotic comment like "the problem is now resolved"

My sympathies with you since yours involves $$$$.

Ski ---> Thanks for the offer but it doesn't solve anything. I want them to publicly acknowledge what they are doing is wrong and that it is not an isolated incident. By the way, they couriered a copy over today.

Unbelievable ---> I enjoy my subsription to Astro. If you haven't noticed, my problem is that I would like to enjoy it to its fullest potential ie proper planning for viewing via the guidebook. I am sorry, my attitude is if I am paying for something, you jolly well provide in full whatever is needed for me to enjoy the service. I wouldn't justify their neglect in providing proper service by ending my subscription. That's the coward's way out.

pokemon
11-11-2005, 09:07 PM
Did anyone note that the astro channel will go blinking but the sound is still available after the recent software update? :confused:

kevin23
06-12-2005, 12:11 AM
guyz,just pray u have astro..without astro we would b watching tv3?tv1 ntv7.....mitv? FINE tv?? omg cannot imagine without my astro for my EPl matches!! but so far my magz have been arriving on time normally on the 1s day of the month lah..anyway,who cares about the ppl running astro..as long as the programmes are good,then itz ok...but different talk bout the pricing lah...could b cheaper to attract more of the young customers..

monster
06-12-2005, 09:35 AM
I've given up on trying to contact them.... I just refer to the online guide...
Shifted to my current place in March... used their "authorised installer" to fix the dish and they send their monthly bill to the current place BUT their printed guide still send my old address!!

just my 2sen.....

Stan
06-12-2005, 09:44 AM
Since we are on the subject of Astro, I would like to find out from the forumers here a question.

Is there a wireless system, for two TV sets in different rooms to control the same decoder (1 decoder only). Both TVs will have the same channel.

I know it can be done with some infra red device, but that requires long wiring work from decoder to the second TV. Not sure if there is a wire free way avaialble.

THanks.

USJ27Resident
06-12-2005, 02:07 PM
Since we are on the subject of Astro, I would like to find out from the forumers here a question.

Is there a wireless system, for two TV sets in different rooms to control the same decoder (1 decoder only). Both TVs will have the same channel.

I know it can be done with some infra red device, but that requires long wiring work from decoder to the second TV. Not sure if there is a wire free way avaialble.

THanks.

There is... a few types actually...

the device is sold as a UHF wireless transmitter. They are sold in the DIY hardware shop in Taipan. Plug it to your RCA outlets from the Astro decoder and you would get the transmission on any TV in the specific radius. But you would have to POINT the controller at your decoder to change the channels. Astro don't tell you this because it can actually transmit to your neighbors house left and right :p

Another unit is a more expensive IR device which also allow for channel selection... I have seen it work on the Philips decoder and it is sold in australia @ Dick Smith Electronics or Bunnings... haven't seen it here though.

aimless
06-12-2005, 02:27 PM
I am happy with my Astro subscription. You do have the choice to cancel the subscription...

unbelievable, why is it that whenever a comlaint arises, someone like you will always come along and say exactly that - "i'm happy (in other words it doesn't affect me)... you don't like it, leave lor..."

what is the alternative to astro? free to air tv? i don't think so. MITV? not with the kind of drivel they offer. So if you are not happy with ASTRO, you have to complain. You can't always walk away just because you don't like something.

Stan
06-12-2005, 02:59 PM
There is... a few types actually...

the device is sold as a UHF wireless transmitter. They are sold in the DIY hardware shop in Taipan. Plug it to your RCA outlets from the Astro decoder and you would get the transmission on any TV in the specific radius. But you would have to POINT the controller at your decoder to change the channels. Astro don't tell you this because it can actually transmit to your neighbors house left and right :p

Another unit is a more expensive IR device which also allow for channel selection... I have seen it work on the Philips decoder and it is sold in australia @ Dick Smith Electronics or Bunnings... haven't seen it here though.

Thanks...I've checked the Dick Smith website and what I apparently need is a 'remote or IR extender'.

What you describe is a 'videosender', the one you saw in Australia, is a videosender with built in remote extender.

SOund technical...but still dont know where to get a IR extender. But thanks for the info anyway.

SunwayKid
06-12-2005, 03:14 PM
.................................................. ...
SOund technical...but still dont know where to get a IR extender. But thanks for the info anyway.

Go to Jln Pasar in KL. You should be able to get it there.

tupai
06-12-2005, 05:31 PM
unbelievable, why is it that whenever a comlaint arises, someone like you will always come along and say exactly that - "i'm happy (in other words it doesn't affect me)... you don't like it, leave lor..."

what is the alternative to astro? free to air tv? i don't think so. MITV? not with the kind of drivel they offer. So if you are not happy with ASTRO, you have to complain. You can't always walk away just because you don't like something.

GRANTED! But when a conglomerate keeps on ignoring yr puny complaints cos it knows that u are a true addict to its product, what u goona do? Continue to complaint to the mountain? and then bitch about the whole thing to your friends or usj.com.my, like as thou the friends & usj.com.my can correct the perceived/alleged wrong/injustice? No way Jose.

The company will only act, if its loses its monopoly, or when the customers start to switch brand or stop buying its product. Otherwise, live with it and remain a sucker. Its not as if, watching TV is a do or die thing, is it?

In my newly bought 8page "How 2 B rich" book, Page 2 has a line that says "it's a sin to let sucker keep his/her money..."

Yang Amat Berkecewa dgn Uknowho lato tupai (stopped duh subs 3yrs ago and is still alive, TQVM :p

isarahim
06-12-2005, 07:48 PM
I am happy with my Astro subscription. You do have the choice to cancel the subscription...

That's an unbelievably stupid comment.

Astro is a monopoly. Non-Astro satellite systems are illegal (even though this is against UN human rights declaration).

If the world only has one restaurant you can always choose to stop eating.

If the world only has one brand of car, you can always stop going to work.

If the world only has one book-shop you can always stop reading.

If the world only has one fashion shop you can always walk around naked.

Knight1993
07-12-2005, 05:51 AM
funny,my astro guide actually comes BEFORE the 1st day of the month,funny

aimless
07-12-2005, 09:35 AM
The company will only act, if its loses its monopoly, or when the customers start to switch brand or stop buying its product. Otherwise, live with it and remain a sucker. Its not as if, watching TV is a do or die thing, is it?


hi lato tupai...
yeah, i fully support ending their monopoly - which is why i, and i think many others, were really disappointed with the type of alternative MiTV represents. They were the ones a lot of people were counting on to end the monopoly!

I would say, if you feel you can speak up by cancelling your subscriptions (as you have done), well and good! But as we see from here, a lot of us feel we still would like to have the product - and if we are not happy, we should continue to heap complaints onto them, including writing to the press. As with most other major companies in Malaysia, these people need to take their customer's views more seriously.

what irked me was the attitude of "i'm ok what! you don't like, you go away la!" which some ppl took towards this... :D

Stan
07-12-2005, 10:42 AM
I dont think anyone here has the right to call another person's opinion 'stupid'!

There will always be those who are on opposite sides of an issue...the comparison of Astro with cars, work, food is rather inappropriate, dont you think. Comparing somehting you need to survive with something that is pure entertainment is comparing apples and oranges.

Anyway, if you feel you still want to watch Astro programs DESPITE all the unhappiness with their service, doesnt that mean they have at elast done a good job giving you what you want to watch in the first place?

Only competition will improve their service and attitude but having said that, it is not their fault that there is no viable competitor out there, is it?

I am one of those who is not quite happy with the Astro service, especially when it rains, but I have to balance the pros and the cons, and I have to choose to live with it until the time comes when there alternatives.

kevin23
07-12-2005, 11:14 AM
yea since astro is the only one offering all the good channels in one package we will have to live with it since Mitv n Finetv lookz like rubbish ones to me!
btw,my astro mag comes on the 1st of every month,actually i dont even use it! so far oklah the programmes,when raining have to understand lah cuz the clouds block the reception to the satellite...what to do! about bills and all,i dont knoe much cuz i pay my bills using cash..

alexhay
07-12-2005, 01:08 PM
for your info..Astro will raised their subcription up to 30% somewhere in March/April next year. And also they will repackage their movies.

pokemon
07-12-2005, 05:05 PM
for your info..Astro will raised their subcription up to 30% somewhere in March/April next year. And also they will repackage their movies.

Where is your little bird? :D

tupai
07-12-2005, 05:37 PM
hi lato tupai...
yeah, i fully support ending their monopoly - which is why i, and i think many others, were really disappointed with the type of alternative MiTV represents. They were the ones a lot of people were counting on to end the monopoly!
...we should continue to heap complaints onto them, including writing to the press. As with most other major companies in Malaysia, these people need to take their customer's views more seriously.

what irked me was the attitude of "i'm ok what! you don't like, you go away la!" which some ppl took towards this... :D

I agree that the alternatives are not an option in fact they are a major dissapointment :(

Somehow, too few of 1million+ astro subs are complaining...u actually can forget about the press printing all the complaints (usj.com carried more than all the newspapers combined) and u wanna know why? Cos astro is part of the conglomerate who spent, is spending and will continue to spend RMmillions in advertising with them. No sane media owner will bite the hand that feed it. period.

So what do we have? complaints here in usj.com and there ..(wherever or whatever lah)...I was one of the pioneer boycotters :p and of course, it didn't cause any iota of dent to astro income..in fact, they even threathened me with lowyer's speak (for rm125 or whatever that i supposed owed...) and i unleased my legal beavers to chew them up & more...it has been quiet at the western front since then :D

yang akan tidur lato tupai

alexhay
07-12-2005, 06:03 PM
Where is your little bird? :D

pokeman..what do u mean by little bird ??

tupai
07-12-2005, 06:06 PM
pokeman..what do u mean by little bird ??

ku kuk cheow?

Yang Amat Blur lato tupai

isarahim
07-12-2005, 06:57 PM
I dont think anyone here has the right to call another person's opinion 'stupid'!

As you rightly pointed out it relates to the comment per se, not the person. So I don't think I need any particular right. I have full respect for the person. But the comment was - to my best intentions and findings - stupid.


There will always be those who are on opposite sides of an issue...the comparison of Astro with cars, work, food is rather inappropriate, dont you think. Comparing somehting you need to survive with something that is pure entertainment is comparing apples and oranges.

I don't think so. It's perfectly comparable and very appropriate. Information is a necessity. Information is a basic need. Entertainment is too.

In terms of food for the soul, we have had a very long self-inflicted famine in Malaysia.


Anyway, if you feel you still want to watch Astro programs DESPITE all the unhappiness with their service, doesnt that mean they have at elast done a good job giving you what you want to watch in the first place?

No it doesn't. Not at all. It's a monopoly. I've lived in many countries. Astro is, by far, the worst one around. But since there is no choice, we still eat it.


Only competition will improve their service and attitude but having said that, it is not their fault that there is no viable competitor out there, is it?

Their position is a 25 year concession to be extended. There have been several suggestions to open up the skies from various parties. Astro has fought it with teeth and nails. Furthermore we have a anti-United Nations regulation in our country which makes importing other satellite systems illegal. We are for very suspect reasons not allowed to take in other satellites, even though many people do it anyway...

tupai
07-12-2005, 07:30 PM
...Their position is a 25 year concession to be extended. There have been several suggestions to open up the skies from various parties. Astro has fought it with teeth and nails. Furthermore we have a anti-United Nations regulation in our country which makes importing other satellite systems illegal. We are for very suspect reasons not allowed to take in other satellites, even though many people do it anyway...


Right, money i$ power. Do not underestimate the lobbying power of one who owns satellites, media, telco and a host of mega buck bizz in m'sia + overseas...

Heck! where r the colleagues of those chinese guys who sold the 'illegal-in-bolehland' satellite dishes, up in kedah, b4 they got pinched? I need to order one...there are many free foot prints in the asian skies...

yang amat berkecewa lato tupai

pokemon
07-12-2005, 07:57 PM
pokeman..what do u mean by little bird ??

I was asking who was your informer for this price hike in next year??? Reliable or not?

JackRyan1975
07-12-2005, 07:58 PM
That's an unbelievably stupid comment.

Astro is a monopoly. Non-Astro satellite systems are illegal (even though this is against UN human rights declaration).

If the world only has one restaurant you can always choose to stop eating.

If the world only has one brand of car, you can always stop going to work.

If the world only has one book-shop you can always stop reading.

If the world only has one fashion shop you can always walk around naked.

If one chooses to cancel Astro, he can always tune in to RTM 1, RTM 2, TV3, NTV7, 8TV, the numerous radio channels including BBC, or even come to this webforum (for instance) for the latest goings on. I don't see how it is a monopoly with the emergence of MiTV and countless sources of information on the web (where monopoly of information is concerned).

I still think that Astro is a "want" and not a "need", and cannot be compared to basic necessities like food, clothes and transport.

kwchang
07-12-2005, 11:04 PM
...It's a monopoly. I've lived in many countries. Astro is, by far, the worst one around....
Isarahim, When I was in the UK in 1989, Sky TV was the only satellite TV. UK had BBC1,2,3, and TV4 - so it was very much like Malaysia now. Did that change?
Singapore has a few terrestrial channels and one satellite provider. How is that different?

jessi24
08-12-2005, 04:32 AM
I agree with what stan says. Whenever you use any service there is always the pros and cons. Although I am sometimes not happy with the service Astro is providing I am still a subsciber as my kid loves the disney channels, my mom (she is a retiree) her chinese serials, and my brother his news and sports channels and also CSI, etc....

Sometimes I don't receive the programme guide so I just go into the astro menu and browse around.
For those who faces problems with direct debit, cancel it. Pay online or via payment counters.

I think unless some better competition is available, our complaints will always fall on deaf ears. They always have a standardized script for complaints. :(

isarahim
09-12-2005, 01:41 AM
Isarahim, When I was in the UK in 1989, Sky TV was the only satellite TV. UK had BBC1,2,3, and TV4 - so it was very much like Malaysia now. Did that change?

I think already in 1989 there were some 4-5 different satellite systems to choose from if you had the money to purchase the necessary equipment. In addition, some cities had cable TV networks. However few people purchased high end satellite equipment because terrestrial UK television has always had very high quality.

The most important thing is: there was never a monopoly. If a UK citizen wished to home in on a French, German, American or even Soviet satellite they could do so without doing anything illegal.

I think there are 50++ satellites accessible now in Europe. It depends on your budget vs interest. You can theoretically home in to all 50++ with a high end system, motorised large parabola with multiple receiver heads and multiple subscriptions.


Singapore has a few terrestrial channels and one satellite provider. How is that different?

Sorry I'm not too familiar with the situation in Singapore. My exposure is limited to hotel TV....and evenso whether stay at the Fullerton or Raffles or a two star shack I usually have little time to check it out... From the little I've seen their situation is not much better than ours.

Since we've sprung from the same root, their view on freedom of information is not exactly commendable either.....

isarahim
09-12-2005, 02:03 AM
If one chooses to cancel Astro, he can always tune in to RTM 1, RTM 2, TV3, NTV7, 8TV

Those are government controlled individual channels. Not complete broadcasting systems. And as far as I am concerned those channels are for the most part useless, unwatchable, dissinformative and brain-dead. Those channels are more known for the love-lives and various affairs of their commentators and actors than they are for anything reminescent of information and quality entertainment. The majority of Malaysians, especially kampung Malays, still watch them because they cannot afford anything else and/or they are unaware of anything else beyond the walls of the duck-pond. This is a key element of the persistent Digital Divide.


I still think that Astro is a "want" and not a "need", and cannot be compared to basic necessities like food, clothes and transport.

Agreed, but the point was about illustrating the effects of Astro's monopoly with some analogies that hopefully could easily be understood. Therefore it's relevant. The intention was not to offer a new take on the often fine line between 'wants' and 'needs'. We are talking about a Malaysian context. Not Sudan.