I’ve been having wrangles with Sky over the cancellation of my account with them …. I’ve just sent their complaints department the following very long email which explains the situation.
The issue below has now been resolved but I am not at all happy with the service I received and would like to place my complaint on record.
I phoned Sky in mid Jan 2012 to cancel my account – I was moving house soon and wasn’t taking the service with me, for various reasons. I was told I had to give 31 days’ notice so it was agreed the account would be cancelled on 8th Feb 2012.
On 29th Jan my son wanted to watch the WWE pay per view but for some reason we couldn’t book it via the Sky box. I phoned customer services to find out why and was told that PPV services were suspended as soon as a cancellation notice had been lodged. I wasn’t at all happy about this – as far as I was concerned I was paying for Sky services till 8th Feb and expected to receive the full service – including the right to purchase PPV events – until the cancellation date. After about an hour on the phone to several different departments and a request to speak to a manager I was told the cancellation could be suspended to allow purchase of the PPV and that it could be cancelled with immediate effect on 8th Feb, as originally agreed, so long as I phoned Sky cancellations dept on that day.
On 8th Feb I called Sky cancellation services dept to request the immediate cancellation of my account, as advised, and was told that it was not possible to do that as Sky’s computer systems were being upgraded. I was asked to call back on 10th Feb. I said that was not possible – I was flying out of the country early on the 9th to Egypt and would not be able to call the following day. I asked that a note be placed on my account to say that I had called to cancel the account and that it should be cancelled with immediate effect as agreed. I then left the UK for a holiday, expecting the account to be cancelled by the time I returned.
On my return, and having completed the house move, I checked my bank account and discovered that the Sky account was still active and I had been billed for services from 21st Feb to 21st March (as well as the PPV fee, which of course I was happy to pay.) On 27th Feb I contacted Sky again to find out why the account hadn’t been cancelled as requested. During an hour long phone call I was told that there was no way it could have been cancelled while the systems were down – I told the customer service rep that this was not my issue, and I explained that I had requested that a note be left on my account to say I had called, asking for the cancellation to go through and saying that I was going to be out of the country and unable to call back. I was also told that a refund of the money taken would not be possible, and that I could now cancel my account – but only by giving 31 days’ notice; cancelling with immediate effect was also not possible. By this time I had moved out of the house where the Sky account was – so theoretically the next tenant could be watching Sky at my expense for the next month! I was incredibly unhappy with the response of the customer service guy – who was very friendly but decidedly unhelpful. Eventually I asked to speak to a manager and surprise surprise, after waiting a while I was told that the account had been cancelled with immediate effect and a refund of the £51.51 for services from 21st Feb to 21st March would be in my account within the next 28 days. Amazing what can happen when you demand to speak to a manager …
So finally my issue seems to have been sorted out, but not without several very long and costly phone calls to Sky. However, I am annoyed with several features of your “customer service” and would request that you address the following matters to save other customers going through the same as me:
1. Services should not be restricted once a customer has given 31 days’ notice of cancellation. Just because the customer is leaving Sky doesn’t mean they are any less important during their final month, especially given that they are still paying for the service. If services are going to be curtailed in any way once a customer has given 31 days’ notice then you should make that very clear on the phone, so that future problems re: ordering PPVs etc do not occur.
2. Your customer service agents should make notes of EVERYTHING that’s discussed in phone calls, not just the bits that they think are important. In my call on 29th Jan it was made very clear by the agent I spoke to that their manager had given authorisation for the account to be cancelled WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT on the 8th Feb so long as I called on that day – but that wasn’t recorded in your notes so I was told later I had to give 31 days’ notice. It also wasn’t noted down that when I called on the 8th and was told the systems were down and I would need to call back on the 10th, that I stated that I would be out of the country and unable to call.
3. If your systems are unavailable for any reason then that is your problem, not the customer’s. If a customer calls to confirm a cancellation then you should make a note of that and action the cancellation as soon as you are able to – you shouldn’t put the onus on the customer to call again, especially when they have been given a specific day to call in the first place and then it turns out you can’t help them on that day.
4. Please make it easy for customers to deal with you, especially when the errors are on your part. It shouldn’t involve phone calls an hour long and the intervention of a manager for customers to cancel services that should have been cancelled already.
I hope now this issue is resolved, and I will be keeping an eye out for the promised refund. Suffice it to say that as a result of this experience I will never consider becoming a Sky customer again.
I did receive a reply from Sky … but I have sent my comp[laint back to them because I really don;’t think the reply does a good job of addressing any of the issues I raised!
I’m sorry to know that you’ve faced a lot of problems with your Sky account.
We’re sorry to learn that you had cancelled your account as we did appreciate your custom with, however, on checking you records I can see that you cancelled your account on the 27/02/2012.
As you’ve requested for a refund, there is no information wherein you are due a refund, so I’m unable to process your request.
I hope this information has helped with your enquiry. If you require any further assistance, you can respond to my email. You can also contact our Customer Services team on 08442414141, where one of our advisors will be happy to help.
Sky Help Centre
FURTHER UPDATE: I did finally get my money back from Sky, but only after another two emails. At one point they told me I wasn’t going to get a refund at all – despite them promising me one on the phone- but eventually I did get my money back – though it probably cost me as much in phone calls and time spent arguing my case! So they kind of came good in the end – but the whole experience has left a very bitter taste in my mouth and I certainly won’t be returning to Sky in the future.