On Saturday I experienced the dreaded 8118 error loop. My decoder wasn't always responding to the remote, especially on the sports channels, so I reset it. After the reset it show dl for a while, then 8118, and resets itself. Sits in that loop for ever. On the DSTV forums they claim it's a power supply error, and that's what they told me at the agent when I took it in as well.
I'm an engineer, and I'd rather guess that it's a software error that caused it. Possibly the firmware/software was corrupted somehow, and it is now in a state where it cannot download working firmware/software. I can't see how it can be the power supply. Can someone explain to me how it can be the power supply? Be as technical as you want.
I took the decoder to my local agent, and they said I have 3 options:
- give it to them, and they send it in. I'll get another decoder back in 4 - 7 business days, with a 3 month guarantee (is this a joke?!) . It will cost R340, and I will be without the service I have already paid for for a week or more.
- take it to Multichoice in N1 city (an hours drive), and exchange it there myself for a decoder with a 3 month guarantee. Cost R340
- Buy a new decoder from Game for R499. 12 month guarantee.
I exercised a 4th option by cancelling my subscription.
I think it's very bad business for Multichoice to charge customers for the decoder (new or repairs). Is it really worth losing my monthly R530+ payment just to milk me for a few more Rand for the repairs (of a fault that I'm suspicious is their faulty software)? Surely if the failure rate is really that low, Multichoice shouldn't lose much by repairing them for free, and gain much more in customer satisfaction? At the very least, give the customer an immediate replacement from the agent's stock, so he can use the service he already paid for!
I hope Top TV or any other competitor gains a foothold in the sport market, because it is only DSTV's monopoly in that market that keeps most customers with them. It's definitely not their good customer service.
Until then I'll just learn to live without it by watching DVDs and sport at my local golf club or pub. Heck, I might just get an uncapped 4Mbit account and watch everything on streaming video, then they'll never see my money again.