I’ve Cut My Astro!!!
I have been a regular Astro user (subscriber) since 2003 or 2004. I cannot really remember the exact year. The first package that we subscribed was the basic package with sports package. The sport package is crucially imperative for me because of the live football match that I follow every week. That time we paid about RM45 per month and was happy with what we have.
Somewhere in 2005, since Ikhwan has grown up and enjoyed watching cartoon, we decided to have another Astro account. So, there we were, having 2 astro disc and 2 astro decoder in a house. We paid nearly RM100 for both accounts per month. Basically one of the astro was conquered by Ikhwan for him to enjoy. We also thought that by watching cartoon, his brain can be stimulated with the colours, story line and english language. Maybe that’s why he has better English comparatively than his friends.
Day by day, month by month, year by year, Astro increased it’s fee. It became more and more expensive due to whatever 1001 reasons. I don’t give a damn about it because I wanted the sports package and also I want to have the cartoon for Ikhwan. But when the price looks ridiculous, we stopped one account. We then take turns to watch our favourite program. We made a rule… No cartoon at evening and night. That time will be solely for the parents (us).
Then last year, when the fee increase to RM85-88 per month (cannot remember exactly the amount) for a basic package, I got fed-up! This cannot be going on. They are sucking our money as they wish.
I also recalled in numerous occasions that when ever we have decoder problems or other technical problems that require some repaid work for them to come to my house, Astro will charge some money up-front. That means before even repairing or servicing, they already charge us. Then we still have to pay the service or repaid cost. This really pissed me off. Luckily I have 2 sets of Astro decoder and 2 set of disc but using only 1. So, I decided to repair, adjust, modify myself until I solved my Astro problem.
I don’t want to keep on paying lots of money to Astro. Not that I don’t like the programs served by Astro, but I hate the fact that they keep on increasing the subscription rate. So, something must be done by the authority to keep the Astro fee on lower side.
Just imagine how much we have to pay per year? Since I cannot remember my last Astro bill, let’s assume it was at RM85 per month. Multiply RM85 with 12 months and you will get RM1020 per year. There you are… that’s the amount of Astro commitment that we have to pay for a basic package.
Imagine if we can keep RM1020 every year in Public Mutual Unit Trust account or purchase gold every year worth that amount for the past 5 years, we will have substantial amount of money in growing without us having to monitor. With unit trust compounding rate and also the price increase of gold per ounce every year, we have a steady income. But, if we keep on paying that high for Astro, I don’t think it is a wise decision. Paying that much for an entertainment that we only can enjoy after daily work or only during weekend. I just hope Astro can reduce its price and make it more affordable.
Luckily we live in JB, so we have additional channels from Singapore and Indonesia to enjoy besides the one served by Malaysia. So, last year around October, we canceled our Astro account. I felt really good cancelling the account.
Unfortunately, it was really interesting and sad because although we were cancelling our subscription early October, they said we need to give them one month notice!!! So, we still need to continue another month with Astro and pay another extra month before Astro really cut off our account.
Wow… I don’t know what to say. I’m naive. I don’t know Astro’s rule.
I don’t have any choice, so I have to follow the rules and obliged for the one month notice. I also felt like they are using the employment rule – Need to give one or 2 months notice before quoting job!!!
It did not end there. We need to return our Astro card to the nearest Astro center. I don’t know why? Last time we cancelled our first account, we don’t have to do this. However, now we have to take the trouble (take leave from work) and return the Astro card to Astro center which is 35 km from my house. Failure to return the Astro card will be penalized with RM80. If I’m not mistaken they give us 3 months to return the card.
What is the rationale of returning the card?!?! Do they want to squeeze our last penny for the last time?
I rest my case… I’m sorry for making this article. I don’t want to blame anybody. I just want Astro to be more reasonable in its pricing. I hope the authority can help and play their role. Plenty of Malaysians want to enjoy Astro…but many cannot afford it now.