Edinburgh man wins Sky payout after BILLING them 25 an hour for time wasted | Daily Mail Online
Man wins 1,500 payout from Sky after BILLING them 25 an hour for the time he wasted over two YEARS trying to get his service cancelled

  • Pete Swift, 30, faced months of frustration with debt collectors after Sky failed to cancel his TV and broadband account when he moved house
  • Finally decided to take legal action against the company to resolve issue
  • Sent an itemised list of time he had spent on the phone to try and sort it
  • Said he hoped people would now follow suit if faced in similar situation

A man has received a 1,500 payout from Sky after billing them 25 an hour for the time he wasted over two years trying to get his service cancelled.

Pete Swift, 30, faced months of frustration with debt collectors when the company failed to cancel his TV and broadband account when he moved house.

After nearly 18 months of being threatened, Mr Swift decided to take legal action against the company.

Once Sky finally admitted their failings, he counted up the hours he had spent on the phone and emailing, as well as meetings with lawyers.

Producing an itemised list of his hours at a rate of 25 per hour, Mr Swift billed Sky for 1,395, plus court costs of around 72.

The company eventually offered him payment of 1,500 - two years and a half after the dispute began.

Mr Swift, who works as a research consultant, said: 'It was exceptionally frustrating being contacted again and again by debt collectors.

'I grew increasingly infuriated with Sky's inability to correct their error or act upon the information I'd provided.

'The customer service I experienced was abysmal, there was just a complete disregard for the situation they had put me in and a continued failure to take ownership and fix the problem.'

His problems began when he moved house to Leith, Edinburgh in October 2012 and tried to cancel his broadband and TV package with Sky.

But a few months later he was contacted by a debt collection service.

He showed them proof he had paid his final bill to Sky and told them to pass the information over.

Two months later, Pete was contacted by another debt collector and went through the same process again. He also made a complaint to Sky.

But in April 2014 he was called up by a third debt collection agency who told him he had outstanding debts with Sky.

For two months, he was passed from one person to another at Sky customer services which failed to resolve anything.

With no resolution in sight, he decided to contact the Ombudsman.

After talking through his case with the Ombudsman, Mr Swift rejected the offer given to him by Sky.

He said: 'The main reason was that I was concerned about damage to my credit file.

'They said they would ask Sky to correct any negative impact they had made.

'But when I asked about rectifying any damage caused by the third party debt collectors Sky had employed, they said they could not enforce corrections from them as they were not under their jurisdiction.

'The money was also an issue though, they would only request for Sky to pay me 60 as a gesture of goodwill.

'I told them that this sum was not proportionate to the hassle and frustrations I had experienced as a result of their error and was therefore not appropriate compensation.'


Mr Swift's bill and the time he spent dealing with it:

Wescot (debt collection agency) - 3 hours
Mackenzie Hall (debt collection agency) - 6 hours
Sky - 31 hours 25 mins
Equifax (credit reporting agency) - 5 hours 20 mins
Experian (credit reporting agency) - 1 hour 30 mins
Noddle (credit reporting agency) - 30 mins
Citizens Advice Bureau - 4 hours 50 mins
Ombudsman Services - 3 hours 15 mins
Total time spent - 55 hours 50 mins
Consultancy services priced at 25 p/h

Total 1,395.83

He finally decided to take Sky to court and last month they reached an agreement, two days before his court date.

He said: 'I did send the full itemised bill with timings to Sky along with a formal invoice - charged at 25 per hour.

'When Sky finally agreed to cover the full settlement I had mixed emotions.

'On one hand I was really pleased to have the 1,500 and some form of resolution, but I was still very resentful of the lengths I'd had to go to and the way Sky had dealt with the situation.

'Sky had contacted me the week before to try and talk me down to a lower sum of 500.

'The whole time I was dealing with them it just felt like I was being fobbed off with the bare minimum they could get away with.

'There was never really an acknowledgement that something was wrong procedurally that needed to be addressed, it just felt like a case of let's pay off the complaining customer so he shuts up.

'As a single customer you often feel like there's nothing you can do, especially when you are engaged in a dispute with a large transnational company.

'That's why I would encourage people that had suffered a similar problem to follow it through until they receive a proportionate resolution.'

Mr Swift's bill included 31 hours and 25 minutes speaking to Sky either on phone or by email, with a further six hours dealing with Mackenzie Hall debt collectors.

Sky said the issue was due to a technical fault with their systems, meaning his cancellation was not recorded on his file.

A spokesman said: 'Our staff work hard to deliver great service. However, in Mr Swift's case we got it wrong, and didn't resolve things quickly enough.

'We are really sorry and have apologised, offering a gesture of goodwill in recognition of the frustration he has experienced.

Comment: This proves that it is always important to keep your own records when dealing with any firm. Always make a note of whom you are talking with, what time you called and how long you were on the phone for. I think that this person under charged though for the calls. Most firms charge considerably more for service charges than 25 per hour.

Finally: does anyone remember the recent change in Sky's T&Cs meaning that you'll be charged extra for later payments?