x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 21 January 2018

BeIN Sports’ customer service ‘not good enough’, channel’s top presenter says

BeIN Sport's broadcasts have been disrupted for a month amid an encryption upgrade designed to crack down on viewers watching pirated broadcasts overseas.

Eden Hazard of Chelsea, centre, vies for the ball with Brede Hangeland of Fulham during an English Premier League game on March 1, 2014. EPA / Tal Cohen
Eden Hazard of Chelsea, centre, vies for the ball with Brede Hangeland of Fulham during an English Premier League game on March 1, 2014. EPA / Tal Cohen

ABU DHABI // BeIN Sports’ customer service is not good enough, the TV channel’s top presenter has admitted.

Richard Keys, who fronts the broadcaster’s coverage on big football match days, spoke out after many viewers trying to watch live Premier League football from England again faced blank screens.

One fan complained on Twitter that he had spent Dh1,500 on new equipment and tried to register it with beIN Sports without success. “It’s a joke,” he said.

Keys responded: “I’ll ask a few questions. That’s not good enough.”

BeIN Sports’ broadcasts have been disrupted for a month amid an encryption upgrade the company calls Go Secure, designed to crack down on viewers watching pirated broadcasts overseas.

On Saturday, only hours before the football kick-off in England, the company announced on Twitter that viewers with Humax HD-Free or Humax IR-3000 HD receivers would be unable to view encrypted channels until they had completed an online registration process.

“Why did they have to do it on a game day, why not wait until the middle of the week?” said Darren Ball, a British expatriate who has lived in Abu Dhabi for five years.

Mr Ball spent 35 minutes on hold to beIN customer service to try to register his receiver, before giving up and trying again.

After viewers filled in their details online, an SMS was supposed to be sent instructing them on the next step, but Mr Ball did not receive a message.

“I took to Twitter, asked what was going on and played around with my system. I tried calling again on Saturday morning and this time it worked.

“We just want to watch the football at the end of the day. We can’t fly home to watch each game, you just want to watch your club.

”It has cost me close to Dh2,000 in new cards and boxes already.”

ksinclair@thenational.ae