toptvUnfortunately the story starts with a bit of a negative angle, phone calls and e-mails to the TopTV marketing department to get comments, information and a possible promotional use of the TV station seemed to go unanswered or they gave empty promises to get back to me at a later stage via automated email responses. So here is a record of my purchase, installation and first switch-on.

11am on Wednesday 21st July 2010
So putting the bad experience aside and hoping that the actual service from the TV station itself will be better, off I went to the retailers to buy the unit. Our first stop being Dion Wired was unsuccessful as they run out of stock but luckily Game Stores were able to entertain my purchase costing me R499 for the decoder unit. I was told by the helpful attendant that all I needed to do was to call the number on the box, provide the unique ID and then they would recommend an installer for me, who would do the installation. According to this gentleman the installation costs are all-inclusive when you buy the decoder unit. So far so good…..

11:45am – 11:52am
I called the 0860 number on the box which has an automated answering system. Got through to a helpful operator called Lita who took my details: Names, ID number, cell number, address, email address and the Smartcard number from the decoder. He then gave me the details and telephone numbers for three installers in our area for me to call and establish which one of them could install the soonest. I must say as call centres go it was a pleasant experience.

11:55am – 12:11
Allan’s TV told me that they could put me down for an installation for next week but could not give me a day for the installation and that they would call me next week to arrange a time.

My call to SaterNet for the installation on the landline went through to a voice system and I left a message. The call to Logan on his cellphone was more successful and he asked me to call his installer direct, Naresh on his cellphone to establish a date for the installation.
Called Naresh who said that if I SMSed him my customer number and address details he would call tomorrow to do the installation. (Later have been told that this is a bad practice as the details can be used by the installer to claim the installation fees from TopTV without coming to site.)

A call to Prenesh from AerSat was rather positive, he took my address details and told me that he would be on-site tomorrow morning at 10am to do the installation. So my choice of installation technicians goes to Pranesh, merely because he responded with a definite installation date.

Although this would have been better if TopTV arranged an installed and handled the co-ordination themselves, the end result took less than 10 minutes and a couple of phone calls.
Till tomorrow then….

10:52am on Thursday 22nd July 2010
I called Prenesh to ask him what time he would be at our premises, to which he replied that he was on his way and would be with us in 20 minutes.

11:15am
Prenesh called me, to advise me that he had just hit a curb while on route to our house and that the exhaust on his car had been damaged and that he was going to sort out.
We wait…..

1:40pm
Prenesh has called and he is on his way 20 minutes away.

1:50pm
Prenesh and helper have arrived, found the spot next to the DSTV dish and are busy with the installation.

2:40pm
Prenesh and his helper have finished the installation, other than the car story he was very efficient and they cleaned up after they had finished. Durbanites, you may want to ask for him for installations:
Aersat
Pranesh Garrib
pgarrib@telkomsa.net
082 443 7646

After that we had to call the helpdesk again to give them the installer’s code, payment option and the bouquet we decided on. They then give you a reference for the payment to the bank and the amount due.
We opted for the top of the range to test the station for all the readers of Tech4Law 😉

So in a minute my 17 year old son has figured out the remote and what is available – will take me a little longer, but he has to do his homework – so the remote and screen is mine to learn.

On the programs and viewing
We will give you a better update once we have had a little more time with the remote. One thing we have noticed is the lack of a guide, unless they post or email it to us! The web site has the programme for some channels – although it would be nice to see all available channels for a given time frame – so I can drill down if I saw something that was interesting.

Good: The picture seems crisp.

Bad: When listening to a music channel without video, the music has a hiccup every minute or so.

Stay tuned….

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