Sky Angel Plans to Charge Lifelong Subscribers for "Special Secular" Channels

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catkoko

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 26, 2007
495
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SA not know how many lifetime? monthly?

I don't know but I think its odd they requested the receiver and smart card info. I for one am NOT sending it to them. If they want to turn off my channels, they can work for it themselves!

As for those monthly people I would suggest that if you do NOT want the 4 "specials" you start emailing, AND calling SA NOW and telling them you do not want those channels and starting 5/1 want a PRICE reduction of $4.99!! they previously said they couldn't turn off individual stations and told people to get a receiver that blocks channels (mine doesn't, its old)

If lifetimers can opt out than so can/should monthly subscribers! See what a can of worms SA opened..............
 
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Mr Tony

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Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
306
54
Mankato, MN
Since I dont subscribe, I dont have the info in front of me but I did find a copy of the letter (TNGTony posted it) and it says

Additionally, so that we might verify and update your equipment information, it is very important for you to locate your set top receiver serial number and the number on the “smart card” (looks like a credit card inserted in the slot in the front of your set top box) and return that information to Sky Angel on the enclosed prepaid form no later than April 15, 2007.

Is that all their asking? The R & S #'s (receiver & smart card) from the reciever? If so, they would need that to verify they keep the channels on the correct receiver. Dish asks me for it all the time when I call in to make changes to my account. Its so they can verify the info is correct in their system. After all, if you do want those channels, you wouldnt want them cut off because of a typo in the SA system?
 
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Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
306
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Mankato, MN
As for those monthly people I would suggest that if you do NOT want the 4 "specials" you start emailing, AND calling SA NOW and telling them you do not want those channels and starting 5/1 want a PRICE reduction of $4.99!!
huh? The price was 14.99 before the extra channels were added

they previously said they couldn't turn off individual stations and told people to get a receiver that blocks channels (mine doesn't, its old)
all boxes can block channels. My old 5000 which was one of the first ones out can.
 
E

esteps

Well-Known SatelliteGuys Member
Jun 13, 2006
25
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There's more than that--
1.They ask if we currently use the subscription or not, or if we want to reactivate, or cancel our subscription.
2. Are we the original purchaser or subscriber, a family member, or if not, do we want the SA service?
DISH does not ask me for my receiver/smartcard number every time they make a program change.
esteps


Since I dont subscribe, I dont have the info in front of me but I did find a copy of the letter (TNGTony posted it) and it says



Is that all their asking? The R & S #'s (receiver & smart card) from the reciever? If so, they would need that to verify they keep the channels on the correct receiver. Dish asks me for it all the time when I call in to make changes to my account. Its so they can verify the info is correct in their system. After all, if you do want those channels, you wouldnt want them cut off because of a typo in the SA system?
 
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MellowYBird

SatelliteGuys Family
Apr 14, 2006
68
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Sky Angel was $11.99 a month, after replacing the Christian channels with the "secular" channels it went up to $15.99 a month. We were not given the choice of receiving these channels.

~MLB~
 
Stargazer

Stargazer

Supporting Founder
Supporting Founder
Sep 7, 2003
16,565
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I think the problem with SA is that they lost space on the satellite due to some failures limiting the amount of channels that they could offer so they had to make a decision as to which channels stayed and which ones left and wanted a good balance of christian and family oriented programming, a solution for people that may not want to have to get a regular satellite subscription to get some decent channels.
 
C

catkoko

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 26, 2007
495
0
smart card and receiver 3

Well if you a re going to let them railroad you into pay for something you already paid for with your lifetime membership then yes you will need to submit those id#s. quite honestly with the numerous emails I have sent them they probably have my service slated to be the first one turned off even if I don't send them the #s! That said IF you do NOT want to pay for the service why do their work for them by supplying them the id #s? let them work for them!

It is my honest opinion that they are going to have to rethink this policy as there are monthly who now want to OPT out also (with a price reduction that would be only fair)

DISH has different "programing levels/tiers". sky angel however does not. Even if they did lifetime members were supposed to have new channels included at no charge. so therefore if they want to add a "special/tier" type of programming it should affect the cost of monthly NOT lifetime.

the reason they are going after liftimers is that we are a captive audience, as we already paid them. so if they can't shake us down for $5, no big deal. however if they try to make changes to the monthly cost they will LOSE subscribers . Once again we are back to the almighty dollar :(

I did some research last night also, this brok/losing 4 satellite company has bee "investing" in property the last few years.......... both TN and florida! hmmmmmmm

anyone else see any patterns here,? 1st we lose christian channels, then they replace they with "family" channels, now they threaten to remove then unless we PAY UP. meanwhile they are "investing"!
 
D

DVBResource

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Feb 8, 2004
15
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I think Glorystar has about 40 fta channels and there might be 4 more on the way making it 44 next month. I guess donations are not enough for SA and if these Christian channels get too commercialized it may just push many away.
 
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TPnMD

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Oct 22, 2004
20
0
I think Glorystar has about 40 fta channels and there might be 4 more on the way making it 44 next month. I guess donations are not enough for SA and if these Christian channels get too commercialized it may just push many away.

Almost 3/4 of the channels via Glorystar are multi-language. It's free, but you only get approx. 10-12 English channels and if you are not Adventist, knock the total number of watchable channels almost in half. Plus, if you don't have kids or speak Spanish, remove two more channels (from the TBN suite). I also find the Church channel a waste and would not watch The Word Newtwork or God's Learning Channel. That leaves Daystar, TBN and JCTV and of those, I really only like JCTV, as seen online.

One thing, the Sky Angel Christian channels are made up of channels that do not just air preachers, like mostly the ones on FTA. I say there is zero in comparison between the two services. I would also say most of those that go FTA for Christian TV are Adventist. I don't see many other reasons. TBN, Daystar and Angel One are all on DISH Family, so why not spend $20 bucks for lots more channels and a smaller and better satellite system, or simply stick with Sky Angel at the $15 a month.
 
ShaneLinder

ShaneLinder

SatelliteGuys Pro
May 1, 2006
388
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Texas
As mentioned, many of Glorystar's Ku channels are not in English. Not that I want to discourage anyone from going that route if they want to but that should be kept in mind. Of course I am an Adventist and I have kids. I think there are some Adventist talk shows (i.e. Lifestyle Magazine) and music programs that non-Adventists would enjoy but they would need to check online for the schedule.

I sent back my letter today with all the info they wanted. I opted to pay $50/year rather than monthly. We don't have cable or other DBS and a 24-hour news channel is worth the little extra money.

When I purchased my lifetime membership I was not signing up for any premium channels. The religious channels come at no cost to SA but the premium channels do. I suspect that SA would like to get rid of all their lifetime subscribers that are not using their subscription and that is why they asked the questions they did. I kind of felt like a freeloader getting the premium channels for free. I didn't want to get cable or even DISH family because of a bunch of undesirable programming. So SA is a perfect fit for my family and our personal and religious beliefs.
 
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tamtamz

Member
Mar 26, 2007
7
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Well, I just had a look at the 1998 customer agreement. It doesn't reference life long subscribers. I did look at a Q&A page of over 40 pages that my dad printed out when he subscribed. It seems SA has really covered themselves. For one it calls it a "one-time $295 Sky Angel Activation". It does not call it a subscription. It says "All basic Dominion Sky Angel Television and radio channels are included in the $295.00 one-time, life-long activation fee." This is from 1998. So if SA says those four are not in the 'basic' plan then I guess we don't have a leg to stand on. It also says "Dominion intends to add even more basic channels in the future most of which will also be included without any further cost."

I keep hearing that SA is trying to weed out their lifetime members, but I don't really understand the concept behind why they would do that. To my knowledge, it doesn't cost them any less if ALL the lifetimers cancelled their membership. They still have to send out the same beam out to the satellite and use the same system, computers, etc. they currently have. Whether the lifetimers are receiving the signal or not does not cost SA any more or any less.

I'm not happy about paying or losing the stations. It seems that the original terms were set to cover themselves incase something like this came up.
 
J

JeffH

SatelliteGuys Pro
Dec 6, 2004
168
6
I sent in my completed form in the affirmative:up for the the four channels. I opted for the one year prepay.

I'm thankful to have Sky Angel.:)

Favorite channels: FaithTV and BOTT Radio Network

Jeff
 
Pepper

Pepper

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Mar 16, 2004
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I'm guessing there is some per-receiver cost payable to Echostar, possibly waived if the customer also has a Dish subscription (similar to the $5/month E* "programming access fee" if you don't subscribe to a minimum package). Lifetime SA-only customers are NOT paying that.

Additionally the cost of the "special secular" channels which they actually pay money for is no doubt calculated by number of subscribers.
 
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Mr Tony

SatelliteGuys Pro
Supporting Founder
Nov 17, 2003
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Mankato, MN
I'm guessing there is some per-receiver cost payable to Echostar, possibly waived if the customer also has a Dish subscription (similar to the $5/month E* "programming access fee" if you don't subscribe to a minimum package). Lifetime SA-only customers are NOT paying that.

Pepper
SA is exempt from the $5 fee. If you have a DVR or two tuners, you get a bill from Dish for the "fees" but if you have just SA there is no extra fee.

Rumour is people have been able to get locals from Dish and still have no $5 fee because they have SA.
 
Pepper

Pepper

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Supporting Founder
Mar 16, 2004
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SA is exempt from the $5 fee. If you have a DVR or two tuners, you get a bill from Dish for the "fees" but if you have just SA there is no extra fee.
Yeah, I know the customer never sees it, just speculating it may still be there embedded somewhere in SA's agreement with E*. If they are paying E* based on "X" per subscriber, that expense is covered by part of the monthly subscriber's bill but they are losing "X" times the number of lifetime subs.
 
a_hockeynut

a_hockeynut

SatelliteGuys Pro
Jan 26, 2006
264
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Rochester, Minnesota
[politely] Shhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh

I won't spread the rumor, I just want to know how to accomplish this. I did find out about the "free public interest channels" I could get from Dish network even though I only had Sky Angel. Please tell me how I can also get my locals too (PM works if this should not be publicly available knowledge :) ).
 
andrews777

andrews777

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Nov 5, 2004
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I got locals during the football season by calling in and asking for them. :)

I already pay two DVR fees (I have two 522s) and one extra receiver fee to Dish. It annoys me that I have to pay "for nothing" in that case, but I meekly pay the ~$15 per month for that.

My wife and I were discussing what we are going to do. We cut our Top 180 (now Top 250) Dish sub a while back to cut expenses, but my wife has been liking HGTV and Fox News. We are not sure the Dish fees are worth it without those, but we are not sure they are worth $4.99 a month either. :)

We have enough DVDs of shows we like to watch for some time, and I am considering hooking a computer up to get Internet radio stations like the all worship network.

I did get the Dish PI channels a while back by talking with a tech support person (the regular CSR claimed it was impossible originally).

I may let things go and just sell my receivers, though I am unsure. If HGTV was on DishFamily, I would be very tempted to add that. (It has Hallmark and Fox News, and it adds Boomerang, Food Network and DIY, <grin>.)

Too many choices, especially when we are trying to get serious about paying off debt.

Brad
 
andrews777

andrews777

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Nov 5, 2004
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I wanted to post a separate note about the viability of SkyAngel. Legal/legitimate or not, SkyAngel is definitely struggling, and they will have a hard time staying in business no matter what they do. My father paid far more for my lifetime sub than the later $299 fee, back long before SkyAngel was a reality. (They allowed me to take it over since he never used it.)

I have definitely got my money out of it, though my tastes in material have changed since even 1998 when I got connected.

What they did however is like a restaurant charging for a lifetime sub to the restaurant. It may bring in good up front money, but it impacts later cash flow, and that is the challenge they face now. Add to that the difficulty of getting people to choose just SkyAngel, as opposed to Dish or DirectTV, and you have a serious challenge.

I don't see how they can ultimately stay competitive "with the big boys". They have to use someone else's receivers, and are therefore dependent there. They have a much smaller selection, so they greatly limit their potential market and thus have a limited actual market.

Should we start a pool on how long they will be around? :)

Does anyone really think they have a likelihood to remain viable in the long run? If so, how?

I would note that suing them is stupid, and definitely violates Scripture as I read it.

Brad
 
C

catkoko

SatelliteGuys Pro
Mar 26, 2007
495
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lawsuit/no lawsuit

Something to consider, for those who feel it is not the Christian thing to do remember Dominion/SA sued and won a lawsuit against DISH

The arbitration panel’s order stems from a breach-of-contract lawsuit filed in April 2003 by Dominion against EchoStar for multiple contract violations by the Littleton, Colorado-based direct broadcast satellite operator. The FCC investigation was launched following a filing by Daystar with the FCC requesting that the government agency invalidate a private contract between Dominion and EchoStar.

At no time has Dominion brought any lawsuits against any Christian ministry, and only after other direct efforts to resolve this matter without litigation failed, Dominion was left with no other choice but to take defensive legal action against EchoStar, a secular company, in accordance with Romans 13:1-5 in order to hold EchoStar accountable to its longstanding contract with Dominion and to protect the Sky Angel ministry.

As for lifetimers "not having a leg to stand on" I have to humbly disagree. At this point they are only trying to have a basic and special package for lifetimers. In order for them to even have a shot at winning this in a court of law the packages wold need to be the same for monthly and liftimers. in other words monthlys must also be given the choice to only receive BASIC channels.

EVEN THEN THEY MAY NOT WIN. REMEMBER THEY HAVE ALREDY GIVEN THEM TO US AND ARE NOW TAKING THEM AWAY. If this was a new addition it might be different.
 

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