Outdated Homecast Boxes

Last week one customer emailed as said he would like to purchase the subscription to Dream service and he currently have a dish and set box but he thinks it needs to be renewed….or replaced.

I can tell immediately that it is a legitimate subscription unit. We organised a time for a onsite check, unfortunately it had to be in one evening because of his busy schedule. Before the check, I asked what’s the error message on screen, it turned to be “Lost Satellite Signal”. There must be something wrong with the dish antenna. When we check it out on the balcony, it was a not-so-regular 0.35m dish. You can get signal from KoreaSat5 by so small a dish like 0.35m in diameter, but it surely won’t work well in bad weathers. Without hesitation, we put on a standard bigger size dish of 0.55m. We are willing to offer it for free since the day before it we took it over from a customer who left. The antenna is still in perfect condition. Get it for free and apply it for free to circumstances which meets the situation, it’s a shame to waste such a good condition piece of equipment which we know works no difference as a brand new one.

Everything looks proper now and it took us several tries until we figured out there must be something wrong:

1. The position is wrong, the old small dish was facing Southwest, 146E direction. After checking with the owner, it turned that the box had not been in use for 2 years. I worked for a few months only connected to Agila2 at 146E. There was no signal connection after the satellite was migrated to KoreaSat5 at 113E.

2. The Homecast box was not properly software upgrade to 1.09, which might give us extra trouble for unit reactivation. There’s no longer software upgrade satellite feeds from KoreaSat5, it has been almost two years anyway since the migration.

Considering the situation, we decide to come over again the next day, firstly to install a bigger dish on building top because the current balcony got no clear Southeast vision, secondly to bring a properly upgraded Homecast box to replace the current one.

Next day it took us 4 hours to get everything done. Old dish removed, new dish installed remotely on top, cabling properly done, new Homecast box set up and subscription reloaded to the new box.

Price remained as RMB2,500 as we promised, only for the one year extension. The labor work is free, the new dish antenna and another Homecast box are free since we got them from other people for free. It should be a good deal to this customer, two years later, reconnected to Dream.

Some experiences learned: Never assume anything, check everything step by step before giving an offer to a new customer, especially a transfered customer. Questions have to be asked are when the box was firstly purchased, how long it had been used. Smartcard number, when it stopped, what’s the current error message. How big is the dish, and it’s direction?…onsite we have to check box software version, current transponder set up, error message, cable connection, all the way up to dish antenna, and a signal test is must to understand which direction the dish is currently pointing to.

Anyway, a customer wanted to get back Dream after two years of absence is valuable. He deserves some treatment like free installation and replacement of equipments.

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