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    Freesat and Sky threats!

    This is a discussion on Freesat and Sky threats! within the Freesat forums, part of the Sky & Sky+ TV category; Hi there I am new to this board and not sure if this is in the right thread, but please ...

    1. #1
      rinkydink's Avatar
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      Question Freesat and Sky threats!

      Hi there

      I am new to this board and not sure if this is in the right thread, but please bare with me - this may take some time!

      In December I purchased for my parents a Sky gifiting pack on a 6 month contract with a view to them converting to Freesat at the end of the 6 month period. When I purchased it I wasassured it was a 6 month contract and at the end of the 6 months, the switch to Freeview would be very easy - just a phone call.

      Well, the problems started in January. My father had been receiving letters asking for his direct debit details, which he had ignored, as the account had been paid for. He asked me to ring Sky to find out why he had been getting these letters. Sky informed me that a Direct Debit had to be active on the account for my parents to receive the packages they were getting. I wasn't happy as this had NOT been explained to me on the phone, nor was there any mention of it in the paperwork my parents received. Anyway, to keep the peace, I set up the DD in my name as my father is a little tempermental and would not agree to it.

      Things have been fine until my father received a letter from Sky last month stating that they were coming to the end of the 6 month contract, and he needed to contact them to either continue with their viewing or cancel the account and switch to Freeview. My father once again asked me to ring them (I have authorisation on his account), which I did.

      The first person I spoke to was incredibly rude and catagorically stated that
      A) there was no such thing as a 6 month contract - all contracts were for 12 months only so my parents HAD to continue with the contract and start making payments
      B) no payment had ever been received on the account!!! and so the account was in arrears
      C) I could not cancel the account, only my father could

      When I tried to discuss this with her, she hung up on me!!! I've worked in a call centre and trust me when I say that for me this is a cardinal sin!

      I rang back and got thru to a young man and tried to state my case again, but he reiterated what the previous girl had said and also stated that no payment had been made. I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager but was refuse.

      I then checked back on my credit card statements and found the payment that had been made (after thinking I was going mad) and promptly rang them back and spoke to a girl who acutally did speak to a supervisor after I explained everything and she came back and finally agreed that I was correct about the 6 month contract and the payment etc but that my father DID have to ring to cancel the account, which was fine.

      My father spoke to them but they then said it was too early and he would have to phone back in approx 3 weeks.

      Today, my father has phoned me to say that he has received the letter from Sky threatening to send his account to a Debt Recovery agency for approx £120!! He has tried to phone them but their systems are down! Not once has Sky approached my bank to take money from the Direct Debit, not opnly that, but 6 months has been paid for - UP FRONT!!!

      I an livid that my elderly parents are having to deal with this situation after I was assured by Sky that this would be a simple process.

      I chose this package as it was the cheaper and easier option to get Freeview for my parents.

      I was wondering if anyone had any experiences like this or had any suggestions.

      If Sky do not sort this out today I am seriously considering seeking legal advice


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    3. #2
      murdock's Avatar
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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      Welcome rinkydink.

      Glad you posted this as the promotion you are referring to was
      around Christmas.
      If your story is typical it will be affecting many others.
      I hope this GIFT BOX does not come back to haunt me.

      I bought this gift for my sister.
      Your recollection of the terms are correct.
      I was told the same things.

      It is a 6 month contract .
      You can cancel after 6 months and go to Freesat.
      (There was an additional charge of £20.)

      I phoned from my sister's line and with her we cancelled after 6 months.
      The Sky operator demanded to talk to my sister in person.
      The payment was taken from my Sky account.
      I will be watching my Sky bills and Sky incentives
      more carefully from now on.

      This sounds like one of those computer muck ups when one side of
      the business do not know what the others are doing.

      I suggest you WRITE to the person sending the threatening letter.
      Send it recorded post and give the facts without making counter threats.

      Trying to sort this out by phone will be a nightmare.
      Not least because Sky will recognise which phone you are calling from
      and perversely will want to deal with your father not you.

      What a shame when a generous gift turns into a nightmare.

    4. #3
      rinkydink's Avatar
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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      Hi Murdock

      Thanks for your reply. Surprised about the £20 extra charge to goto freesat - not something I or my father have been tolld about.

      Update on the situation tho'. My father has spoken to someone who confirms that no money is due on the account, or will be requested as it will now be turned to freesat. I will be cancelling my DD just in case!

      My father has requested a letter of apology for the demand but he isn't holding out much hope as they have failed to reply to a letter of complaint that was sent and received by them in May!

      What makes me so mad is that it is obvious the various departments do not communicate with each other. Most of the people I had spoken to had not heard of the Sky Gifting Packages that were advertised at Christmas including the sales department!

      It was a great idea Sky had, but perhaps not thought through properly!!

    5. #4
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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      Quote Originally Posted by rinkydink View Post
      Update on the situation tho'. My father has spoken to someone who confirms that no money is due on the account, or will be requested as it will now be turned to freesat. I will be cancelling my DD just in case!
      Good news Rinkydink.

      My £20 charge was for a new Freesat card.
      But this has not happened yet.
      The original card is still working.
      They are supposed to send a signal to the card.
      I will now write to Sky to confirm the cancellation.

      The problem with phone calls is you do not have a record of what was said.
      Apart from dreadful customer relations by Sky there are other lessons for us all.

      1. Read the small print of all Sky incentives and promotions.
      There are currently a number of other incentives being mailed out.

      2.Keep a copy of the original mailing if you take up the offer.

      On the Freesat offer Sky were clearly wrong to issue a threatening letter.
      They were not abiding by their own terms and conditions.
      A generous interpretation is that the letter was automatically generated by a computer.
      But If Sky had proceeded with their threat it would have messed up
      the credit rating for you and your father.

      3. The threat may have been made to force people to buy something they did not want.

      4. So put the cancellation in writing, keep a copy and send it recorded post.

    6. #5
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      Angry Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      BEWARE OF SKY SPECIAL OFFERS In 2006, I telephoned Sky to get Freesat and was persuaded by the operator to pay £10 per month for 12 months, so that I would pay £120 instead of an immediate payment of £150. She also said I could choose two additional programme packages, in the hope I would remain a Sky subscriber. I told the operator quite clearly that I wanted Freesat and did not want to be a subscriber and that I wanted only the one year contract so my total outlay would be only £120.

      If you are offered a package like this, write immediately to Sky and state that you wish only the one year contract and arrange for your direct debit with the bank to expire at the end of the contract. Sky will not accept you entered into a verbal contract and if you do not cancel as indicated, they thrive on inertia, upping your direct debit payments to (currently) £15 per month. Letters I have written to their so called customer care department have not received individual, considerate replies and Sky immediately threatened with debt collectors and court action even for a "debt" of £30 I have also been pestered from callers from their “collections department” and have had very unpleasant telephone conversations with them.

      I wish I had gone to Freeview and had never become a customer of Sky, who do not seem to have any concept of what customer service. Unfortunately for me Sky did not look after its customer and it seems that there is no-one else who will! Freeview reception is not good in my area . Sky’s virtual monopoly of satellite tv in non-cable rural areas will I hope, one day end, so that consumers will have more choice, and Sky more competition.

    7. #6
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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      Welcome Glosterite.

      Thanks for posting your caution.
      Particularly apt, as the analogue switch off started today,
      according to BBC Radio 4 this morning.

      The BBC FREESAT service starts next year.
      Good news for the 25% of people who cannot get Freeview.
      Maybe the competition will encourage Sky to be more friendly.

      Also, see this thread:

      http://www.skyuser.co.uk/forum/frees...v-freesat.html


      My Max. Faster, Cheaper, Better.
      Last edited by murdock; 09-07-07 at 01:37 PM. Reason: revised

    8. #7
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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      This Reminds me of when sky kept sending me letters stating that my boxes (multi-room) were not connected to a phone line and if i didnt connect them immediately they would start charging me for 2 accounts and not Sky multi-room.. with me being a Movie and sports subscriber at the time i was paying around £55 (£10 for Multi-Room) so they would be charging me 2 x £45.

      Not on any ocassion did they ask me if the box was connected or not..

      btw.. Both boxes were connected 100% of the time.. but had developed a modem fault.. which later on turned out to be caused by a lightning strike hence both boxes connected to the same line had blown the modems.. I could watch Sky No problem, the problem was they couldnt tell if my boxes were at the same address.. so why should i worry? thats there problem..

      So it seams they like sending out threats, rather than trying to actually help their loyal customers... both my boxes warrantys were due to expire when SKY called me up to extend there warranties until i explained they both had modem problems the salesman quickly gave me customers services tel number and passed on selling me an extended warranty, most probably as he knew i would be needing two new boxes..

      Sky Wanted me to pay to have them repaired as by this time the warranty had run out.. but i explained i had no problem watching sky, i was paying for what i was getting... if they wanted the boxes to ring them back to tell them where they was, that was up to them to replace them.... otherwise id cancel SKY altogether, and guess what they did...

      I asked them why they sent me threatening letters instead of asking if there was a problem.. but got no answer... or apology..

      such is life with SKY.. ive been a sky customer for over 20 years or so.. and this is how they treat you...

      Paul.

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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      Quote Originally Posted by rinkydink View Post
      Hi Murdock

      Thanks for your reply. Surprised about the £20 extra charge to goto freesat - not something I or my father have been tolld about.

      Update on the situation tho'. My father has spoken to someone who confirms that no money is due on the account, or will be requested as it will now be turned to freesat. I will be cancelling my DD just in case!

      My father has requested a letter of apology for the demand but he isn't holding out much hope as they have failed to reply to a letter of complaint that was sent and received by them in May!

      What makes me so mad is that it is obvious the various departments do not communicate with each other. Most of the people I had spoken to had not heard of the Sky Gifting Packages that were advertised at Christmas including the sales department!

      It was a great idea Sky had, but perhaps not thought through properly!!
      Letter of apology??????!!!!!!! I'd screw the bs for compensation for the harassment.

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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      Hello

      I am to having a similar problem at the moment.
      I started off with a freesat package from sky and in october i got a letter from sky including a special offer for 3 free months of the top sky package.
      The terms and conditions stated that if you didnt wish to continue the sky subscribtion after the 3 months then you can cancel before it ended, in this case that was the 23rd of December which the sky operator told me.

      All was fine until in january i noticed i had had a direct debit payment taken out of my account from sky. i imediatly called sky and they appologised and refunded the money and said all was cancelled we didnt have to do anything.
      Just to say i have taken names and dates, times of people we have spoken to.

      Then a few weeks later i got another letter saying they couldnt take payment and that i owed them money, so again i rang up and spoke to a sky operator and he said its a computer mistake sorry, you shouldnt have recieved anything. he said he was making sure it was all cancelled, we didnt have to do anything and we wouldnt recieve any more correspondance from them.
      Fine but........

      Today i recieve a letter and guess what.......You have cancelled you sky 12 month contract you owe us money or you can continue your contract for the next 12 months..... right.
      I rang them up and this time they basically said waht the other two sky operaters had said is wrong you cant cancel it because there saying that it was an offer that allows the 1st 3 months of the contract free but you have to continue for 12 months afterwards. I have got a copy of the original deal and the terms state i can cancel aslong as i did before 3 months was up and i did.

      What can i do?

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      Re: Freesat and Sky threats!

      Welcome nhoj

      I do not have knowledge of the particular offer you refer to.
      But you have the original terms of the offer so do not accept
      the latest bombshell from Sky.

      I suggest you phone your Local Trading Standards Office.
      They are likely to give you advice and help you draft
      a letter to Sky.
      It’s important now to put things in writing.
      It is totally unacceptable for Sky employees to tell you
      contradictory things on the telephone.
      Send your letter Recorded Delivery so you have evidence of delivery
      and a signature.
      Copy in The Trading Standards Office person you talk to.

      Trading Standards Central - Trading Standards and Consumer Protection information for the UK

     

     
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