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Are The Changes to Sky Broadband Mid Really Very Fair?

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Judging by some of the comments on the forums, we believe people are not happy.


Last month we published details of the changes to Sky Broadband, and have been inundated with forum posts, of people threatening to leave their Sky Mid Broadband package.

Historically, in fact, since day 1 Sky Broadband Mid has offered it's customer's,
  • A 40GB Usage Cap
  • Up to 8Mb download speeds
  • Up to 400Kb upload speeds

However, Sky are implementing some changes to the newer Sky Everyday Broadband package, which is of course replacing Sky Broadband Mid. These changes were leaked to us and we have since had confirmation that these new limits are in fact going to happen as from 1st August 2009

The new Sky Everyday Broadband Package contains the following features,
  • A 10GB Usage Cap
  • Up to 10Mb download speeds
  • Up to 600 Kb upload speeds

Unfortunately, Sky have stated that the average usage of the old Mid for the majority of it's customers that took this, was less than 10GB and so they have taken steps to reduce this and package it as an improvement to the newly created Everyday package. Now I don't know who was responsible for these changes, but surely, it would have been a lot more attractive to existing Mid customers, as well as potential new Everyday customers, to have just changed the download and upload speeds. Thereby keeping the old 40GB usage cap, after all if the majority of Mid customers downloaded less than 10GB Sky would have nothing to worry about.

Sky have also taken the step of informing people via a letter shoved into the latest July edition of the Sky Magazine, as well as informing people that their monthly Sky TV subscription would in fact be going up as from 1st September. This I find rather strange, as tbh this is the first time I have ever opened my Sky Magazine, (it normally gets binned) and purely because I was expecting these changes in this edition, as we had been told previously.

The new 'Sky Broadband now even better - All for the same low price' leaflet clearly states,

"If you're a Sky Broadband Mid customer (soon to be Sky Broadband Everyday), you could enjoy faster speeds as the maximum download speed is increasing from up to 8Mb to 10Mb (speeds depend on your location and line quality).

To bring the usage in line with what the majority of customers actually use, the monthly allowance is changing to 10GB from 1st August 2009. Because we have made this change to your service, you may cancel your broadband without charge as long as you do so before this date. Details on how to do this are set out in your terms and conditions available at Sky Broadband- Making your Sky Broadband and Talk services even better where you can also find our current Usage Policies".


Without stating the obvious, if you currently get less than 8Mb as a download speed, it is highly unlikely that you would actually benefit from any increase up to 10Mb as the speed is determined by your line length or quality. It is possible, that if you improved your internal connection, or even tried your master socket, that you could increase the speed slightly, although this is not a 100% guarantee.

As for the faster upload speeds, yes, you should benefit from that if you worked on say, websites, or were to be uploading data often. However, if you just use your broadband for everyday usage and browsing, I would actually question the validity of that so called improvement.

So it leaves you with the new added disadvantage of actually losing a huge 30Gb download allowance, which in the present day, of iPlayer, YouTube, Gaming, Consoles, and more than one PC in the household I personally think this a huge mistake, that could backfire in the most spectacular way towards Sky.

We have emailed Sky to ask if it was at all possible, to actually speak to someone, regarding the changes, unfortunately Sky have chosen to ignore it, and not even replied, after over a week.

You can take part in our forum thread here, or even vote in the current poll, and we welcome constructive criticism, you never know Sky may actually relent on the biggest grudge at the moment, the loss of 30Gb usage.

Comments (54 posted):

John Worthington on 01 July, 2009 20:58:05
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Not very happy with the proposals. My download speed due to being on extended reach is 432 kbs and 246 kbs upload. Under the proposed change it is saying I will only get up to 1mbs with a 75% usage reduction ( I am on mid at the moment)
Blue Squirrel on 02 July, 2009 09:35:46
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I think a lot of people will leave SKY over this. I have a mobile contract with O2 and, with Quidco cashback their service for unlimited internet up to 8Mb works out at £3.90 per month for the year. SKY always spin these changes as though we are stupid. Aside from that they go into the market cheap and then rise and rise. The price for BB MID for those that don't have talk already doubled recently to £10. I'm looking to leave and, I'm actually a shareholder. I think their current practices are pretty pathetic in this credit crunch time. A real shame that they treat customers so badly.
Andrew Hindley on 03 July, 2009 00:35:27
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I am moving home in 3 weeks time and was hoping to take Sky broadband with me I presently pay £5 per month for the Mid package and as along standing customer this was guaranteed until 2010 I was told by the SKY moving team that I would have to sign a new contract at my new property and the monthly fee would increase to £10 because I did not have an active BT line, I have a BT line but when I activate it BT will make me sign a 12 month contract and because of this I won't be able to enroll for SKY talk talk about catch 22!! End result a reduction in service and double the charges = BYE BYE SKY
Marshyman66 on 03 July, 2009 12:48:29
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Very disappointing. It has been a very good service. My question is if they are looking at what people have used to make this decision, how can I as a user check what I have used. I see nothing on Mysky site to tell me what I have used. Obviously what happens if you go over the 10Gb limit, do I get a bill, do I get my service stopped.

I suggest everyone on the mid pack ring sky and ask for their utilisation stats. They will soon get the message.
I feel they cannot make this decision without offering a method for users to check
M J Wilcox on 03 July, 2009 13:53:06
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This is not an improvement of the service, current speed was fine and the download limit 40GB was fine... Why change something that works. I'm not happy but Sky will always treat new customers very well until they have got you and then through multiple price increases drive them away again. When I took this product it was £5 then they increased it to £10 unless you took their phone package; because I was contracted under BT I had to wait 6 months before I could do anything, then a month after I changed to Sky talk... they started doing things like this... and increase the line rental from £10 to £11 WHY?!?! Also, Sky quoted in a news article that they like to keep the pricing structure simple ie: £5 £10 etc... Where did £11 come from other than they could. Why would I want to download my voicemail... I have an answerphone for that. This is not good business - I might try TalkTalk next time and save even more money!
John Robinson on 04 July, 2009 14:51:29
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just received an email from Sky after complaining about usage reduction, stating---
"Sky has made the decision to change the usage limits in line with other competitors in the market"
Surely this makes the whole broadband market place a cartel, rather than a place of competition where customers are valued and treated fairly.
djbrine on 04 July, 2009 19:34:17
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I Emailed sky also complaining of the upgrade con which is in fact a downgrade for the vast majority of us. SKY has not even replied. I am seriously considering cancelling all my sky including TV.
Medicuk on 05 July, 2009 10:58:02
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This slow down is not just sky at peak times, my son who is with BT is having the same problem, I don't think the ISP's can cope.
Whats the point of having BBC Iplayer and Sky player you cant stream anything after 6pm???????.

Opening Emails is a task by itself.
Medicuk on 05 July, 2009 10:58:02
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This slow down is not just sky at peak times, my son who is with BT is having the same problem, I don't think the ISP's can cope.
Whats the point of having BBC Iplayer and Sky player you cant stream anything after 6pm???????.

Opening Emails is a task by itself.
pete22 on 05 July, 2009 15:10:06
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This is the latest in long list of issues I have with Sky. Like djbrine when all my contracts draw to a close, I will be leaving Sky completely.
Slim on 06 July, 2009 10:36:01
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Well I'm now back off to O2 (was on BE before I came to Sky). No longer worth the money. I only get 3mb synch , which is much lower than I got with BE.

Sorry Sky you've blown it.

Slim
Elmundo on 06 July, 2009 17:01:00
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Im not happy about this and rightly told them so, having only recently joined sky broadband in february. Stuck on what to do at the moment as a 30 percent cut on usage allowance will cripple my playstation psn use. O2 is not an option for me as its not in my area. Along with a £1 increase on the tv subscription (again!) I feel as soon as digital freeview is available in my region I will be jumping ship altogether.
Anthony on 06 July, 2009 22:08:31
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I am sure we have a case against sky. We can surely get specific performance against sky, ie, enforcing the existing contract, or cancel the whole sky package incl tv and phone, because sky is repudiating the contract by reducing the usage limit by a massive 75%! I will publish my legal victory against sky and we should all go somewhere else!
TG on 07 July, 2009 12:07:13
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Anyone in-contract term been able to cancel it? I have been on phone for the last 20 minutes and the Cancellations manager has asked me to prove that SKY has degraded the service below the satisfactory level.

This is absurd, the cancellations department was not aware of the cancellation offer.

TG
fatbloke on 07 July, 2009 14:57:43
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as the other poster said don't join the cartel, LEAD THE MARKET just like your tv service, satellite, digital, plus and now hd. you have proudly been on watchdog for the max unlimted allowance, are you going back on to announce we don't use an unlimited amount of bb so you will only give us 40gb like the rest of the market place.
I have max because I have three computers and two sons when not at uni or work eat and sleep online gaming so I will be watching this space as they say
mick feakins on 08 July, 2009 19:16:06
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Totally fed up as I have just upped my useage over the last month. Why change everyone was happy and it seems as though they are just trying to squeeze even more money out of every householders tight budget's again. I would leave but I do not have a lot of choises.
Slim on 08 July, 2009 19:48:59
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TG..

They state in their own leaflet that if your a MID customer you can cancel your whole BB package with them due as long as you do it before the 1st of August.

Also giving two weeks notice for cancellation is not reasonable so by all accounts you are still within your rights to cancel after that (but not for an indefinate period).

Slim
Miezi on 09 July, 2009 14:40:36
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I have been in contact with customer services, but got nowhere. They even try to tie you into a new 12 month contract for that forced upgarde to BB Unlimited! I'm disgusted and seriously consider leaving Sky altogether. Made a complaint with Ofcom. Hope that more people join.
TG on 09 July, 2009 17:48:16
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Slim...

You are correct, but the Customer Care are defiant about our right to cancel it mid-term and are saying that they have not seen the leaflet or been told so by SKY.

Anyone else managed to cancel yet?

TG
SimonT on 09 July, 2009 23:22:42
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This 10Gb limit is about getting extra money of us. I bet they have looked at the monthly download statistice and worked out that a lot of people use between 10Gb & 40Gb. Otherwise why change? All businesses are out to make money first!
bob curran on 10 July, 2009 18:12:03
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I just contacted SKY about this. They informed me categorically that the new service is for new customers only.People who have 40GB downloads will keep it. I cant have less as I upload to my humyo storage space.
NewsreadeR on 10 July, 2009 18:56:53
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Well, according to their leaflet that they have sent out as well as what they have provided us as information, I would assume that the person on the phone has either been misinformed, or Sky have now back tracked.
David Grimwade on 12 July, 2009 19:22:05
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I wonder whether I can cancel my Sky talk package as well as the Mid/Everyday broadband. I only took out the Sky talk to stop the price increase of the broadband. I'm so angry at Sky for this. I really want to cancel everything with them.
M J Wilcox on 14 July, 2009 00:17:42
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I now have Sky TV, HD, Broadband, phone and Line rental with a new contract for HD and Phone line rental for 12 months... this broadband news came shortly after moving from BT to sky - however I made the decision based on the original Broadband Mid package with 40GB limit. This must be entrapment on Sky's part knowing that the product was to change (I have told them this and they haven't replied). They should either keep existing users as they are - or - move them to Unlimited Free of charge to say sorry for these cheap tricks. Topup Tv should have better kid's channels so I could move from sky altogether... this is the only reason we have sky! Sad I know but I provide this service for the kids as I am a good parent. broadband and phone could always get from somewhere else.
Hamish on 18 July, 2009 14:55:08
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I agree entirely!

My Sky mag normally goes straight in the bin, but now they're communicating important changes inside?!!

As say, if average download is 10G, why not leave cap as is - Sky don't lose anything. They are constantly trying to squeeze more and more money out of us by stealth & I'm fed up! (first charging extra unless u join Skytalk, then changing Skytalk package, then subscriptions, now caps and limits and it goes on!!!)

How do we get Sky to talk to us?

Will be leaving Sky as soon as I find time to deal with all the hassle of being without internet for months as BT, Sky etc inevitably screw up the changeover.
Denis Dolan on 25 July, 2009 08:29:12
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just been been moved from max to unlimited superfast 20mb. live 0.6ml from exchange had around 14mb on max on new superfast unlimited i'm capped on 12mb. a drop of 2mb whats superfast about that
Bobby Vee on 28 July, 2009 08:57:22
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M J Wilcox - You think that providing your children with the service of children's TV makes you a good parent? That's not what makes you a good parent by any means.
L Smith on 28 July, 2009 16:45:36
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I think its unacceptable to drop usage like that. I am currently on the mid although not a great user but download on my ps3 and wii as well as pc so 10gb will not be enough and forced to upgrade but i feel conned as my line speed is only 4.6mb so i will certainly not be benefiting from these changes at speeds of up to 20mb. 2.2 miles from the exchange but told they have no idea when they are likely to update. The customer service was absolute crap spent 20 mins on the phone just trying to upgrade and every question resulted in ( i dont know) and continually put on hold. I dont know how much more i can take before i change to a better supplier. And all those not getting replys its becauce they dont care you only have virgin or sky, so not a big choice, we need a new supplier to come along to put right all the wrongs of these two and make priority the customer as we pay there wages.
Jack Benson on 31 July, 2009 14:03:04
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That is absolutely unacceptable. I signed up for Sky BB Mid a few months back and was expecting to get 40gb out of it for the duration of the 12 month contract. Great one Sky, everybody will love a drop of 75% in their broadband package! Genius! I'm seriously considering moving to another ISP, as Sky have proved to be awful!

Once again, cheers SLY, ooh I mean SKY!
M J Wilcox on 02 August, 2009 11:14:57
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Bobby Vee - :)
Very good of you to comment - My child loves me and frequently tells me (There is no handbook for parenting). However, I believe my son has more morals than Sky. Good morals come from the parents; not what they watch on TV.
Tom Hancock on 03 August, 2009 16:00:34
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From the start of this so called upgrade my download speed was 1.5mb it went down to 1mb then 700 kbps it is now 384kbps I phoned Sky at the cost of £7 for the phone call they said they would get back to me.. I AM STILL WAITING... this is once again big business doing and changing what they want want to your contracts. then holding use up to the contract when it suits. I changed from BT to Sky I have all my Phoneline broadband and TV from Sky. £75 a month, I WILL BE GOING TO ANOTHER PROVIDER ASAP. What can you expect we are treated like scum, there is no loyalty from them so they will get the same from myself from now on.
C Page on 03 August, 2009 19:14:26
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It is now past 1 August and neither my upload or download are any faster than they were before 1 August!
Big B on 08 August, 2009 11:58:34
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over the last month my sky BB has got slower and slower tryed 3 different boxes, all they say is connect to the master socket which i have tried but still the same, they say i should get 4 meg always got 3 now only get 1.5 crap crap crap, when its all running fine great get a problem sky are crap
Guesswot on 21 August, 2009 09:28:00
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Changed from Mid to Unlimited. Slower speed despite a replacement router and a lot of talk with a helpful, but no positive outcome, support. Their hands seem to be tied by Sky policy. As I have line rental etc, full tv package, HD and multiroom I pay nearly £90/month. Not happy. Considering options.
arthur on 22 August, 2009 13:16:10
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Hi i left sky this wednesday was on mid package NOT happy with changed sky have made
moved to talktalk my speed has increased from 3.5kbps to 4.5kbps im happy with the change 40 gig download limit so far so good
Ben Jensen on 29 September, 2009 16:25:36
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Not happy at all! I didn't notice this change. I only found out as I received an email today informing me in bold of my '10GB limit'. "I thought I had 40 or 50" I said to myself.

This is up there with daylight robbery. I will basically have to shell out an extra £5 a month (ie. double what I currently pay) for what I already had.
Steve on 29 September, 2009 17:14:44
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I just found out about this via an e-mail sky sent me.
It stated I had a 10gb usage limit.
This is totaly out of order on skys part, 10gb to 40gb is too much of a drop.
Also who reads sky magazine?
Anyone know of a better supplier?
IanPops on 02 October, 2009 21:18:29
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Like everyone else I am frustrated with the changes SKY have implemented. I was on the MID package and quite happy with the 40Gb download limit. What surprises me is every saying that they are going to kick Sky into touch - exactly which service provided out there do you think is better or more ethical in their operation? Sadly I have no faith that a move to another provider will not have me "pulling my hair out" again in another 6 months ! What really frustrates me is this Sky Mag I get every month - it sounds like 95% of those sent out go straight in the bin - if Sky would give me an option to opt out of receiving this or to get it electronically they could happily have the money saved to offset any increase in broadband costs !!
M J Wilcox on 30 October, 2009 19:26:53
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Opting out of the Sky mag is easy... just contact Sky and they stop it... it worked for me. However, in the mag it says £1.50 of your subscription goes to the production... do not expect Sky to do the right thing and give it you back. Save tree's !?!?!
Tank on 04 November, 2009 11:44:28
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i was not even informed of this change, sky even put the price of the broadband up, i cant even get 8 gig through the phone line, and now i am paying over the odds for a service im not even getting, i will be swithcing as soon as i can
Used to Love Sky on 06 November, 2009 11:17:46
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I am 100% changing from sky to other broadband/tv/phone service now. They say they'd raise the speed from 8mb to 10mb, but instead mine got slow as much as 384kb. And moreover, a lower usage cap of 10GB which I think is amateur of Sky to do.
David Williams on 22 November, 2009 17:08:49
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Now that the usage tool is working, I can see that I use about 30gb a month. My original package was fine, however I now face my costs trebling as I won't go to Sky Talk. I get about 5Mb speed so extra speed is not relevant. I am looking around and as cable is in my street may end up with Virgin.
Moving Back to Sky on 27 November, 2009 15:08:20
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I moved away from Sky to PlusNet, after two week i have asked PlusNet for my mac code. I am moving back to sky. You don't know what you've got until you try someone else. For me Sky is very good values for money and good service.
Maybe back to Virgin on 29 November, 2009 22:25:36
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I have just written to Sky at

Sky Television
Correspondence Department
4 Mackintosh Road
Kirkton Campus
Livingston
West Lothian
EH54 7BW

and am about to contact trading standards and BBC watchdog.
I'm no legal expert, but they are definitely in breach of contract. They offered an 8MB/40GB package and have then changed this significantly. It's not about their people saying prove that the service has been degraded. The fact is you purchased the opportunity to download 40GB. Now SKY have reduced this to 10GB. This is clearly a different product. They can offer to upgrade your service FOC but if they are going to force a downgrade, shouldn't they reflect the loss of service (ie 30GB by reducing the base tariff accordingly say 50%)

I suggest you all email BBC watchdog with your experience. Link - http://www.bbc.co.uk/watchdog/gotastory/

I suggest you us the computers & communication option from the drop down menu. The more emails in the same category with a similar experience the more likely it is to be investigated.

Go for it. Then it's up to you weather you vote with your feet. I certainly was happy with SKY until this episode. I think it's been very poorly though through & executed.

We cant let these corporates just bull doze a change of commercial terms through like this.

Good luck.
pitchcraft on 05 December, 2009 13:34:59
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whats all the fuss about i pay £17.00 per mpnth for my bb, only get 2.4 download speed cant get any better deal on sky due to my local exchange no date confirmed to unbundle so will have to sit it out, cant even get a strong enough signal to use mobile dongle, ho hum
Diana on 12 December, 2009 13:32:14
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I only wish that we could get this facility. Living in a village I have to pay Sky £17 per month to cover broadband and a total of over £44 per month to include Sky. O am tired of seing the packages that atr not available to many of us.
WP on 16 December, 2009 07:03:18
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As much as I hate what Sky are doing you have to understand that the service they provide is cheap compaired to many many countries £10 for unlimited downloads is so cheap!!!!!
dave eastabrook on 16 January, 2010 15:04:34
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I was amazed that sky could use the pretext that very few of the mid-range broadband users were using more than 10gb usage per month. I have sent four complaint emails to sky since June 2009 regarding the change but couldn't get a reasonable response from them. I told them that if should I exceed the 10gb usage limit and be threatened with a charge of an additional £5 and put on the unlimited tariff I would leave sky entirely. Bearing in mind I pointed out that I could only get a download limit of 1mb/second; I certainly would not gain from the 20mb/sec unlimited tariff.
Well in December I received the email from Sky to tell me that I had exceeded the 10gb limit and that in future I would have to pay an addition £5 per month should I exceed the 10gb limit again. I have Virgin Cable outside my house and I'm now leaving Sky completetly to join Virgin where I can get 20mb/sec. Sky is now to lose about £600 per year and my custom forever. My bill with Virgin for tv, all programes, phone anytime and 20mb broadband guaranteed will be less than Sky. Always remember the customer is right and vote with your feet.
y o y o y ? on 05 February, 2010 17:37:30
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what is really needed is a company that actually is able to compete with SKY on a like for like basis. i think they know that Virgin media are bad enough to keep customers at SKY. i'm not saying that SKY are perfect in any way but all my dealings with NTL/Virgin media show them to be incompetent on every level. 45 minute calls to the CHARGED helpline were not uncommon only to try and have a technical conversation with someone who could not speak/understand english. the SKY tv picture looks superior as well.
Anne Butcher on 06 February, 2010 08:44:07
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An extra £5 for what we had already and no improvement in speed.

Why aren't Sky just honest for once.
Joe Ferguson on 07 February, 2010 20:02:07
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Just requested my MAC. Called SKY told them I wasn't happy and the retention agent said "guess you want your code then", didn't attempt to keep me as a customer.
Antony Norton on 09 February, 2010 19:56:18
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I recieved a warning letter 18th jan warning me I had exceeded the 10gb limit - this was the first I knew that it had changed! How can sky do that - I don't recieve the sky magazine so had no idea about this...besides being on a slow connection only 2mb download and .5mb upload, I am bitterly disappointed at Sky's clear breach of contract....as many before me I have tried to complain, only to have trotted out, the corporate spiel by call centre staff that care little about your plight (they are less able than us to do anything....) Come on Sky, get your act together!
I'm moving house soon and am looking forward to changing to a honourable supplier, ie one that has the ability to communicate - sorry is sky a communications or media company? could have fooled me....
LIZ on 30 March, 2010 20:41:34
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They arent only doing it to mid customers but to base as well.I am a senior and usage is small.Ive only ever had 2 GB. and never gone over my usage I was told it was free when I took out the package now suddenly I get an email every month to say Im going over my usage so they have upgraded me to everyday at a cost of £5 and get this I was away for 3 weeks of the month taking my laptop with me so how do they work that one out?
they are nothing more than crooks and as soon as my contract ends Im gone although it seems contracts are only one sided for us customers.
ash on 25 August, 2010 17:51:04
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i to had the mid when it was first offered, but then i had vista which alwasy needed updated. sometimes evan reloaded completely. the poor thing i noticed was that sky will still include microsoft security updates as part of the usage. my point is that if a user has to reconfigure there pc the 10gb allowance can very easly be exceeded. so i now pay an extra £2.50 on top of the £5 for the mid package to have the unlimited. might be now okay if my pc needs reloading (windows 7 now so that should not be an issue) however the speed has not increased at all. the old line "well sorry sir but you live to far from the exchange/your line can not support any more", is very annouying to say the least. i live half a mile from the exchange, so that can not be it, and if its my line then as my provider surely they should fix it. give us the speed that is advertised and we will pay for it those of us who want it.

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