THE INTELVISION RIP-OFF
With Mukesh at the helm, we should not be surprised
The complaints are finally seeing the light of day! The crony monopoly that is Intelvision is now under the spotlight as being the company that provides the lousiest product and services to the public. NATCOF has finally grabbed the bull by the horns and is trying to wrestle it to the ground to give it a good dose of customer service medicine. But will it swallow this medicine? It is more like a bull in a china shop that sends everyone to hell because it has a monopoly and it is part of the Rene Crony Society cartel.
Televizyon par grap!
This telecoms behemoth was created in very bizarre circumstances some years back when chief architect Albert Rene and his chief engineer Mukesh Valabhji hijacked the property (assets) of Global Vision, a satellite cable company with UAE/Kuwaiti investors. So with the usual scams, Global became Intel and a new bogus company was formed with Mukesh, Indian directors and other silent partners (some claim Minister Joel Morgan is also a shareholder). The location of the company is also of prime significance as it sits on reclaimed land at Providence which is owned by Mrs. Sarah Rene who collects the hefty rent along with the Airtel phone company just next door. Airtel by the way was also concocted by Mukesh and co with the collusion of the Karimjees of Mauritius. The story goes further into hotel investments on how Mukesh took a good slice of Cosproh to make more deals with the Karimjees with the likes of Le Meridien Hotels … The two strongmen eventually acquired (stole) the land that has now been sold to Sheik Khalifa (in addition to the land at La Misere where he has built his massive 7 storey burj). All the equipment belonging to Global Vision was ‘seized’ and the company conveniently lost their case in court and left empty handed. Intelvision was expediently created and handed over the monopoly on Cable-TV. Other local telecoms companies such as ATLAS and Cable & Wireless (who had applied for licenses well before Intelvision) were refused a license to operate cable television. When Global Vision was seized, there was no tender put up for the sale of its assets and contract. This was instead handed over to Mukesh Valabjhi as his ‘retirement’ package (together with managing all the business deals of his ‘tres peu de sous’ billionaire partner Albert Rene). There are also rumors that Joel Morgan became a shareholder and the large tract of land made available at Providence where the buildings of Intelvision were put up in record time are of dubious status. At the height of his political campaign Albert Rene promised ‘televizyon par grap’… He was indeed hinting at one of the many spoils that he was adding to his war chest!
Lousy Customer Service
Today, Intelvision has migrated to a fully fledged telecoms company offering internet and telephony products. The telephone lines are very often down. The internet connection is the worse in Seychelles – tortoise mail at best!
They were obviously marketing masters at the game as they lured customers with very low rates to beat the competition unfairly and then use whatever excuse under the moon (GST, rupee floatation etc) to increase their prices. The latest batch of decoders that they are supplying are the most archaic we have seen and can be bought for $15 in China. One cannot even block channels for parental guidance and therefore our kids are getting their training into bad moral values when the parents are at work (are you listening “Mrs. Let- Us- Protect- Our- Children” Sarah Rene)?
Now let’s have a look at what Intelvision promised in their fancy adverts with nice local smiling girls, football and celebrity icons. Obviously there was an initial installation fee and a decoder to fork out. There were several ‘bouquets’ on offer which started off at reasonable prices for most of the local homes that were tired of seeing the same BS on SPPF B……. Corporation (SBC TV). These range from Sr. 145 to Sr. 790 per month. Most of them broadcast reruns or repeats. Some channels are not even worth the money while others are just there in name.
“We back up our products with superior quality customer service” is the company’s pledge! Talk about false advertising! ‘Thank you for calling Intelvison… Press this, press that’ and when you do manage to reach someone after a while it seems they cannot assist as they do not know what the freak they are doing! NATCOF has confirmed that Intelvision has the worse customer service record and as such, we should boycott the service entirely! Well can one really boycott something when we have not much of a choice? The company is ruthless in disconnecting customers that fail to pay their bills. What we are requesting is that our CONSUMER RIGHTS are respected and NATCOF should make a case for the company to REFUND its subscribers every time Intelvision fails to provide the service they advertise.
The empire keeps expanding
It is to be noted that that the Intelvision management and a lot of their employees are non-Seychellois (Indians in fact). How about that for a slap in the face! But then, remember that Mukesh is the only one in Seychelles with Gurkhas for bodyguards! James Michel wants to clean up the excess expatriates on our books and help feed the hungry Seychellois? This is where to start main man! You wanted to break up the little empires right? We will judge you by your actions!
Intelvision enjoys not only a monopoly but it has tax exemption. It does not pay a cent in taxes. It paid nothing for the cables and equipment (they were seized from Global Vision) and they are not paying a single cent to PUC for the use of the electricity poles for its cable network.
The main kingpin (Mukesh) is expanding the empire even further. Capital City is now owned by Intelvision with Mrs. Mukesh (Laura) looking after this newest venture. But times are tough. The building must be haunted by the Seychelles Club ghost as it has remained empty except for the Intelvision office and a few others…
With Joel Morgan as the main distributor for DSTV satellite dishes and decoders, is there a ‘perfect’ synergy between his company and Intelvision? The complaints box at Intelvision has burst with gripes about the reruns, poor quality / frozen pictures, poor signal etc… And the latest excuse is that the satellites are changing their position! Perhaps this is what happens when you ‘tap’ into the signals illegally! We call upon DSTV / Multichoice in South Africa to look into Intelvision's unfair practice (since they are an affiliate company) of gouging customers and giving extremely poor service. We call on NATCOF and Jules Hoareau to challenge them or SHUT up and close down indefinitely.
What is the best way for Seychelles?
Today Seychelles is supposed to have a more liberal economy. How can monopolies still exist? We call on the Government to open up this market and allow for competitors in order to provide the consumer with more affordable choice and push the providers to compete and offer superior products and services. We have seen the proof in the telecoms business. With more than 3 companies operating in that sector, the customers are the ultimate winners.
Why not give SBC the chance to compete with Intelvision in providing cable services so that they can be self sufficient and use the money from this side business to upgrade their own services and equipment. This will allow them to be less dependent on handouts from government. This will finally allow SBC to break free of its shackles to become INDEPENDENT to report the news in an unbiased way and educate our people out of the darkness imposed by James Michel.