FOXTEL announced late last year that it would change its movie packages come January 1, and nobody took much notice at the time. The change has now happened, and customers are noticing fewer movie channels in their program guides. Cue FOXTEL rage. Here's what the changes mean and what you can do if you really hate it.
The long and short of the whole affair stems from the fact that the company that used to supply movies to FOXTEL's Movie Network and Showtime Movies channels has now folded, leaving FOXTEL to go it alone when supplying movies. The new channel offering is called Foxtel Movies & Premium Drama and it includes 11 channels. For those of you playing at home, that's less than the original movie offering in terms of raw number of channels.
Angus over at Lifehacker has a fairly succinct description of how it's affecting various package holders:
Existing customers who have both Movie Network and Showtime packages will transfer automatically to the new service on January 1 and won’t pay anything extra. Customers who only have one of the channels (a relatively small group, according to Foxtel) will receive a selection of the channels depending on their current package. This page details how the changes will work depending on the packages you have. If your current subscription doesn’t include any movie channels, you’ll have to pay extra to upgrade to a bundle that does.
World Movies, which is now included in the main bundle, was previously sold as a separate $10 a month option. That won’t be available to new subscribers from January 1, and is essentially a new free inclusion for existing two-movie bundle subscribers.
So how have customers responded to the change? Not well. Not well at all.
As angry mobs tend to do these days, FOXTEL customers have taken to Facebook to express their disappointment. Here's FOXTEL's plea for calm:
...and a sample of the 610 (so far) outraged people:
No wonder foxtel you had to con new subscribers with free 3 months if they joined before Xmas. But what a bunch of con artists you are selling them movie channels then taking them away...
— Elizabeth Aires
Hi Foxtel, I know you're disappointed that I and many others will now be cancelling our subsciption to your new and "improved" movie packages but we're not in the mood to be taken advantage of...
— Haley Kelleher
Unbelievable that we pay so much for a service that is not delivered. Such old movies advertised as new releases and repeats. How can this be allowed. So disappointed.
— Susan Watson Dyer
There's even a petition going around asking FOXTEL customers to sign a petition. It's only got 65 signatures so far so don't hold your breath on that one working. Furthermore, an internet petition isn't exactly going to bring the movie supplier that folded, back from the dead.
So what can you do about it if you're one of the outraged? Angus over at Lifehacker points out that it might not make much economic sense to cancel your whole service if you're still locked into a contract. If you're out of one, though, you have a bit more bargaining power. Either way, if you're upset it might just be worth calling FOXTEL and calmly expressing your disappointment to see what it can do for you. If all that doesn't work, you might even want to cancel your movie package altogether and download movies via another method like iTunes, Quickflix or BigPond Movies.
Are you mad about FOXTEL movies changing?