Life without football as CTH fumbles the play

Art August 16, 2013 00:00

By The Nation

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The English Premier League football fans who expected CTH to do a classier but still less expensive job than TrueVisions at broadcasting the matches are now wondering if they backed the wrong horse.



The season opens and they still don’t have the service.

CTH has admitted it won’t have enough TV-set-top boxes for all of its customers, leading wannabe subscribers to lodge a complaint with the National Broadcasting and Telecommunication Commission. They’re also riddling the CTH Facebook page with bullets of dismay. “I registered two months ago and no one has come to install the service yet!” was “friend” Nueng Manci’s comment on Wednesday.

The future abruptly began looking less rosy when CTH offered few details about its programme packages and the call centre declined to offer even an extra hint. “And some of the staff are rude, too,” one of our miffed contacts says.

What to do? The always-helpful people on Twitter suggest either buying and installing the necessary equipment yourself or arranging a satellite feed. Supachai_Mman pointed out on Pantip.com that Greater Bangkok has more than 5,000 apartment buildings and True has almost 4,000 of those tied up. “I guess CTH covers 5 per cent of the buildings and still doesn’t have enough sub-contractors to handle the job.”

An anonymous Pantip visitor said it took him four calls to CTH to get registered. “And since I’m a restaurant operator, they told me I couldn’t get the normal package – my service would depend on the size of my screen. I have a 50-inch TV, so it would cost me Bt2,000 per access point. I asked how to get the best service. The top option costs around Bt70,000 if I can pay for three years in advance – that’s Bt1,700 per month. What a rip-off!”

Anonymous complained about the outrageous fee on the CTH Facebook page. The reply: “In your case it would be very worthwhile because people will have to leave their homes to watch the games for at least three and maybe six months because we can’t provide the boxes in time, especially for those in condominiums.”

Another complaint, this one from Saman Noi, is that there’s no programme guide. “I don’t know which channel to watch and which ones are highlights. Perhaps you can send us e-mails or develop an application on iOS and Android. I don’t want to have CTH for watching football only, but, sad to say, that’s what’s happening now.”

Anything else? Yes, quite a few customers are grousing about the limited language options available. Movies screen on CTH either without subtitles or dubbed in Thai with no English dialogue.

On the eve of the first footie telecast, the CTH call centre is likely to be as overheated as the traffic on the social networks. CTH appears to have learned nothing from TrueVisions’ long and difficult experience. The guys at True have to be chuckling over CTH’s hiccups – and flattered that some customers remain loyal to them even without Premier League.