Digital TV Cost Cutting Article - Discuss What You've Been Offered

edited 27 January 2011 at 2:07PM in TV MoneySaving
4.2K replies 1M views


  • I rang up fully prepared to leave Sky and go with FreeSat. I'd rung FreeSat after reading the article and finding it would cost just the £20 for a card as I already had the dish and digibox. It turned out after the phonecall, that I could use my existing Sky card and just cancel the contract, so no cost at all.

    So I rang up and pushed whatever buttons were required for cancelling my Sky contract. The initial "is he really going to quit" conversation with the out-sourced call centre was over quickly and I was soon being enticed to stay by someone in Scotland.

    I'd previously been on a Sky Mix 6 package for £21 a month. After he'd asked why I was leaving, what channels I watched, and I'd said less and less and it was all repeats he'd suggested a Mix 2 package for £15 a month, but he could offer it at a 50% discount for six months.

    So, as Sky need 30 days notice to cancel, £21 was going from my account in a day or so whatever happened. If I chose his option, I'd be ~£14 in credit and I'd not have to pay anything until Feb.

    I could now give notice to quit in Jan and then it would all end in Feb, but I'll probably do is take the 50% deal, paying £7.50 a month until April and then either quit or see what else they offer. The way I see it, is they're broadcasting the signal, I've already bought the dish and box, it;s no skin off their nose whether I receive the signal or not - they might as well take whatever they can get.
  • I find it hard to agree with the advice at the beginning of this thread. I had heard of this tactic before.
    a few months back my Pace Sky Digibox packed in. "No satellite signal is being received" no matter which dish i wired it to. I rang Sky on their 9pence per minute line, and they wouldn't bow down. It was pay 65 quid for an engineer to come out, and if he/she found it faulty then I would have a new one, or pay 200 odd quid for a new one. So I gave my one months notice and I also cancelled my direct debit.
    They came back screaming that I owed them money, ringing me up, 9 o'clock on a Sunday evening at one time. I wrote them a nice letter saying that I would be glad to come back to Sky, if I had a working Sky digibox. Still nothing. They didnt bite.
    Then came a letter through the door from a debt collecting agency, threatening me with allsorts. I had the dilemma if I should wait and prepare for use of an iron rod beside my back door ready for the heavies and face manslughter, or have my credit rating blemished.
    I now think Sky are in the same reigns as BT. Scum. Now I have topuptv on freeview, with a 160GB hard disk box, and the whole lot cost me the same as one years subscription to Sky. Yes and I know Sky own part of Freeview, they're like the proverbial on the shovel.
    Smile and be happy, things can usually get worse!
  • ChunkChunk Forumite
    5 Posts
    The same works for many Internet service providers. I have often rang AOL to say that I am considering changing to a rival provider. In the last year I have been given 4 free months of AOL broadband saving me £72.

    You may thinkl thats being cheeky, but AOL have such a huge customer base and so many service operators that it's very very easy to slip through the 'trying it on' net and not be noticed.

    Give it a whirl. :money:
  • Ash3GAsh3G Forumite
    30 Posts

    Hi there. This is my first post so please be gentle.

    For several years I used to run a digital tv and radio information site, so I know a bit about what's hot and not with digital tv.

    Here are my money saving tips for digital tv.

    Freesat From Sky
    Please note that "Freesat From Sky" is NOT the same as "Freesat". Freesat from Sky is nothing new. Ever since April 1999, Sky allowed those not wishing to subscribe to the service to get a standard box and installation for just £100 (subject to terms). Now this year Sky launched the "Freesat From Sky" which is exactly the same as what they always offered, but the price rose to £150 for the system!

    "Freesat" on its own is actually a BBC name, and will be used in the near future for them branding their satellite proposition.

    Now let's say you were an old Sky customer, and your viewing card expired. Or perhaps you have aquired a system, and need a "Freesat from Sky" card. My money saving tip is do not bother.

    Did you know on satellite that ALL the BBC channels, ITV channels and a whole host of others can be viewed without any viewing card? What the viewing card allows is you to view Channel 4, Five and Sky Three. Ask yourself this: Do you really want Channel 4 and Five via satellite? Can you make do with them from your aerial? Secondly, can you live without Sky Three. The answer is probably yes (see BARB viewing figures :snow_laug)!

    Do I need Sky?
    If you are unsure of if you really make use of Sky I advise this. Take your viewing card out of the box for 24 hours. You will now have access to only the free satellite channels. This includes a respectable mix of music, news and entertainment channels, as well as the usual gambling, ethnic and shopping rubbish. You may find that actually there is something still worth watching after all! If you have Sky movies, look at the online rental services they are often cheaper, and you can have whatever you like, as opposed to what a programmer has decided you might like to watch.

    Freeview coverage
    The postcode plotter on the Freeview website/phoneline is VERY cautious. If you are told "no" then my advice is to ask a neighbour, see if they can get it. Secondly if no-one is sure, take a chance on it anyway. Many retailers will allow you to take a box back within a certain time period, so why not give it a punt anyway. Also it is worth noting that on Freeview you can get channels which on satellite you would have to pay for. Sky Sports News, Ftn, The Hits TV, TMF, UKTV History, UKTV BrightIdeas, E4, More4 and ABC1 are all subscription channels on satellite, but free on Freeview.

    But there's this one channel I really like!
    Have you considered Top Up TV? For £7.99/month (and no fixed contract term) you can view a selection of some of the better known pay channels like British Eurosport, Discovery etc... but beware these channels are not 24 hours. However, may be worth looking in to, if you get decent Freeview reception. Top Up TV also offer a PPV service, but at £2/day I would only recommend this for very occasional viewing!

    I have to pay for Sky+
    Whilst for a Sky+ branded box you have to be a Sky subscriber to make use of the recording facilities, there are many other boxes (often cheaper) that do what Sky+ does (sometimes better). You can get PVRs (as they are called) for satellite (although they can't record pay channels), and you can get ones for Freeview/Top Up TV where you just buy the hardware for a one off cost, and then enjoy many years of unlimited and free recording. If you are technically minding on certain Freeview PVRs you can even archive the programming to a computer!

    Just a few, but worth a go!

    I do feel that some of the comments about cable companies and their monopoly is a tad unfair, as they are still saddled with the debt from digging up the roads and installing the infrastructure! Unbundling BT is a different matter, as us tax payers paid for theirs, but that's for another channel.....
  • N9eavN9eav Forumite
    4.7K Posts
    I have tried canceling the family package before in the hope of getting a half price full package. I could not get anyone to bite. Do you have to be on the full package to get an offer?
    NO to pasty tax We won!!!! Just shows that people power works! Don't be apathetic to your cause!
  • I am an existing Sky customer on the basic £20 per month package and I recently wanted SKy+. I knew that I would have to upgrade my package to include the movie channels at an extra £10 per month but I didn't want to pay the £10 per month for multi room in order to get the package cheaper and free installation.

    So I phone up Sky customer services and said that I would like to cancel, even though I didn't want to. Straight away they put me through to the cancellations department. I told them that I wanted Sky + but wasn't prepared to pay the £10 per month for multi room so I wanted to leave and spend the money on a freeview box with hard drive.

    The offer that they came back with was a Sky+ box with installation for £65 and I didn't have to take the multi room at £10 per month.

    This was a great deal because at the time, if you did not take multi room then you had to pay £199 for the Sky+ box and installation on top (saving me approx £200) or just £120 per year for not having multi room.

    I did this upgrade in early November 2005.

    A colleague of mine did the same trick after I did to get the same deal, but he was offered the same deal but for £100. So I guess it depends on what offers are left or how convincing you are.

    Give it ago, even if they don't offer you the right deal you can just say that you need time to think about it and you haven't lost anything.
  • My sky was playing up so I contacted NTL who qouted me ten pounds cheaper than sky for the same package. I rang sky and asked for someone to attend to look at my sky box etc and they wanted to charge me. I told them that I would change to NTL and that was that.

    I booked ntl and when I rang sky to cancel they put me through to cancelations,who managed to keep me by sending an engineer round to fix my prolem free of charge,new free box if needed and to drop my monthly bill by eight pounds. I know I loose out by two pounds but at least i stick with want I know and it keeps the kids happy. :xmassign:

  • NoozanNoozan Forumite
    1.1K Posts
    500 Posts
    I phoned Sky last night to tell them I wanted to cancel as I thought "it was very expensive considering we hardly watch it". They put me through to cancellations who tried to get me to take the full package at a discounted price of £31.87 a month for 12 months (It's normally £42 a month). I laughed and told him I was wanting to cut back because we don;t watch it much, not increase the number of channels on offer! He put me on hold for 2 mins and then came back and offered me 25% off for the next 12 months, which I was hoping for; and accepted. So, we now have Sky Sports World (DH likes to fall asleep in front of the golf :rolleyes: ) for £27 per month.
    I have the mind of a criminal genius. I keep it in the freezer next to Mother....
  • I'm coming to the end of my cooling off period with sky.. ie the 8 days you have from first getting sky installed to the date ya stuck with them for 12 months. I'm thinking of cancelling because I'm sick of repeats and I only have the music and entertainments package. Do they come and collect the box and dish straight away, or could I use it as a freeveiw supplier for a while??
  • :xmassign:

    I wouldn't put a penny in Rupert Murdoch's pocket, so I won't sign up to Sky and I won't even buy one of his wretched newspapers.

    That was the thinking that drove me to get a freeview box and thought, triumphantly, that this was a small poke in the eye of the most dangerous man on earth (next to Bush of course). Well, what a waste of money that was. Perhaps not if you enjoy the kaleidoscopic effect of random pixels of many colours zig-zagging across the screen to the accompaniment of cracks and whistles that, given that the picture is uninformative, would lead one to assume that a gun fight was in process.

    Of the 100 or so channels available via this box, I can get just 6 that are watchable. The rest are either unobtainable or are just rubbish. I can’t even get the radio channels without this horrible crackling, and I thought that digital was supposed to eliminate this.

    So, it seems I have one of two alternatives, either dispense with my antipathy towards Sky or dump the TV, and I’m pretty sure I know what it’ll be. I always did love a good book anyway.
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