DStv website misleads on BoxOffice: ASA

A consumer complaint filed with the Advertising Standards Authority of South Africa (ASA) has taken issue with the “Get Pricing” self-service section on the DStv website, according to a recent ASA ruling.

Laying out the essence of the complaint, the ASA said that the user claimed DStv’s personal video recording (PVR) and BoxOffice services were only available on the two most expensive packages, despite the website suggesting otherwise.

Responding to the complaint, MultiChoice said that PVR access is available to subscribers on any package provided they have a PVR-capable decoder and pay the R70/month PVR access fee.

With respect to BoxOffice, MultiChoice argued that the “get pricing” option on its website is not an advertisement, but is meant to assist the consumer to compare the various DStv options.

In its ruling on the matter, the ASA Directorate sided with MultiChoice on the PVR issue, saying that the complainant appears to be of the incorrect view that PVR Access is not available on cheaper DStv bouquets.

DStv self-service get pricing DSD1131 EasyView with BoxOffice
DStv self-service get pricing DSD1131 EasyView with BoxOffice

However, the ASA ruled against MultiChoice with respect to the way the “Get pricing” section of its website indicates the availability of BoxOffice.

The problem appears to be two-fold as the DStv website lets users select BoxOffice even though:

  1. a PVR decoder isn’t selected; and
  2. bouquets other than DStv Extra and DStv Premium are selected.

It is worth noting that while decoder-based access to DStv BoxOffice is restricted to users on DStv Extra and Premium with PVR Access, BoxOffice Online is available regardless of whether you have a BoxOffice subscription.

The ASA partially upheld the consumer complaint and ordered MultiChoice to remove the unqualified reference to the availability of BoxOffice on its website’s “Get pricing” section.

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DStv website misleads on BoxOffice: ASA