Dubai Consumer Mirror

Wednesday, September 14, 2005


I have issues with Showtime. Lousy transmission, constant reruns, the program information system is always screwed.. but what happened yesterday was an alltime classic!

I was browsing for some DVDs in Plug-In's Deira City Centre. I notice a guy who kindda looked like an insurance-salesperson who was 'this close' of invading my personal space.

The minute a look at him, he abruptly greets and me asks me if i a UAE resident or not. He then starts telling about this great deal he has to offer from Showtime.

Showtime (ST): "I want to inform you about this great offer we have from Showtime. Total Plus package is now for Dh 170something/month. If you subscribe now, you'll get free home cinema credit ..bla bla bla"

Me:"oh cool, they reduced the Total plus package? cause i currently pay about 250 for it."

ST:"err.. well, that only applies for new applicants - you still have to pay the same amount"

Me:"so, you are telling me that new subscriber will pay less for getting the exact package that i get? .. can you tell me where is the logic in this?"

ST:"well sir, thats the way the system is setup"

Me:"so, your system is designed to make life easier for your accountants, but rip your existing customers off???!"

ST:"oh no sir, its not like that"

Me:"ok, so here it the deal, if i send a letter telling Showtime that i am a subscriber, and i found out the you are offering the same package for a lower price on the market and i demand the current price - they should approve, no?"

ST:"Not really sir, i don't think thats gonna work"

Me:"interesting. So if i tell you now that i want to cancel my subscription would you do it?"

ST (agitated):"Oh yes sir, thats your right"

Me:"and if i apply again, you will be forced to give me a the new market price - no?"


Me:"ok, how about this one. I will cancel my subscription, and apply again with my wife's name - how does that work?"

ST (nodding his head in approval):"umm.."

Me (taking the promotion brochure with me):"thank you for telling about the new offer, i will cancel my Showtime right away!"


  • this is a first.. showtime are truly losing their customers to other pay for view services. they are over priced for the repeated shows they have not to mention how bad they are becoming anyways. But offering same package with 2 different costs is really funny. i mean its always lower costs for loyal customers and higher ones for new ones not the other way round. But i guess this is only in dubai, coz in Egypt its lower for old subscribers. the only new offers they give new subscribers are the free home cinema movies that already get aired on the movie channel the following month. I guess they think people in the Middle East arent clever enough to realize they are being scammed and will accept anything.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 14, 2005 at 7:03 PM  

  • It may be a first in this industry but not for banking.....oh, in banking, ABN-AMRO's way out there in front...

    If I renew my credit card, I get a renewed credit card....If a new person takes an ABN-AMRO credit card (for the same annual fee I'm paying to renew mine) he gets a TV or a DVD player....that's their way of rewarding me for my loyalty....

    If I top up my loan with them (i.e., take a fresh loan on top of the existing one) I pay 11.95 percent interest.....if a new applicant wants a loan with them, he pays 10% good can it get...?

    By Anonymous El Condo, at September 15, 2005 at 2:25 PM  

  • This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    By Blogger moryarti, at September 15, 2005 at 2:47 PM  

  • Typical..

    Blame it on some marketing manager's strategy to "retain" new customers and simple sideline the existing ones ...

    I guess he/she never heard of the 80/20 rule..

    By Blogger moryarti, at September 15, 2005 at 2:49 PM  

  • SHOWTIME SUCKS...listen to my tale. I have been a ST subscriber for 4 years, I had to buy my own decoder costing about 1000 Dhs 4 years ago. That decoder recently died out so I called ST to get a replacement. Apparently they have been promoting their services with a free dish & decoder to new subscribers. There was a catch, they would not give me a new decoder since mine was an old contract and only new contracts get free decoders. I would have to pay an amount of Dhs 200 as 'Administrative Fees' they call it in order to avail of the 'FREE' decoder.

    So I just get into satellite town and pick up a new and better one for Dhs. 250

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at September 17, 2005 at 4:41 PM  

  • I would send them a nasty letter, and ask for cancellation of my subscription then apply for a new one - you can check the guy at Plugins :P

    my god!

    Whatever they are doing, i hope they stop doing it cause its not doing ST any good.

    When i first signed up for it, it took showtime 2 weeks to for the service people to install it.

    I recently signed up to Orbit (they run Joy, Saturday Night live, Comedy Central ...etc)

    The point is, i was watching Orbit the very next day signing up for it in City Centre!

    By Blogger moryarti, at September 17, 2005 at 7:15 PM  

  • I work in Azerbaijan and after finding better sports coverage with another satellite provider I switched in December 2004 and cancelled or so I thought SHOWTIME subscription along with Total plus.
    10 months later they were still deducting money from my Visa card for a service I didn't get. (Despite several letters from the satellite company in Baku and an e-mail from me). They finally stopped charging in September not a bad rip off! No word of recompense. I have to send all of the mails and cancellation forms to Visa for them to take it up with Showtime. Good way to make cash. Subscribers beware!Easy to sign up a disaster to get out of!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at October 5, 2005 at 10:59 PM  

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