Cable TV

MSOs in Kolkata request viewers to act as per guidelines

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KOLKATA: It was early this year that the multi-system operators (MSOs) in Kolkata introduced the gross billing system. And since, through numerous advertisements and hoardings, they have informed cable television viewers in the Kolkata Municipal (KM) area about this.

However, seems like the viewers have still not come to terms with the fact that they have to pay as per the gross billing and not at their own will.

Cable TV sources point out that there is no difference at the ground level. “Customers don’t want bills and that is the reason why local cable operators (LCOs)are not handing out receipts,” says a city-based MSO who adds that the LCOs get the bills without delay.

However, with LCOs demand of a fee of Rs 5 from customers is hampering the process as well. The LCOs say that it requires money and manpower to distribute the bills and hence, the extra charge. “The LCOs are asking the customers if they need a bill and if so then the customers would have to pay Rs 5 extra,” says a MSO. “So they are not distributing bills using this as a reason,” he adds.

Kolkata has around 30 lakh cable homes and since mid-January the MSOs have started issuing ad-hoc bills.

“The MSOs are billing the full amount of package but in reality are getting much lesser in return. This problem needs to be solved at the earliest,” says another MSO.

Advertisements like ‘Collect your monthly bill from cable operator’, ‘Enjoy Your Selected Package’ have been doing the rounds for some time now.

The industry believes that to implement the gross (consumer) billing and bring transparency in the process, the MSOs will have to meet regularly. “Billing is a mess as LCOs are not willing to collect it and consumers are not willing to pay,” says a city-based cable analyst.

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