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SKY ....advice please

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in TV MoneySaving
9 replies 3K views
peanut99peanut99 Forumite
16 posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in TV MoneySaving
Hello.
Not sure if this is the right place for this thread so feel free to move it to the right place.

I've been a sky customer since 2012, and I have TV, Fibre and Phone with them. I've been fairly happy with the service untI l recently.
The issue is the billing side of things. I've had a direct debt set up and all was fine until recently when I changed my address. The payment date was set wrong so the direct debit was taken with insufficient fund. The bank charged me and I paid by card. Last month I set it up again for the correct date and Sky didn't take the money at all. They then suspended my services because the payment was late. I paid by card again the next day. Normal service resumed.

After that I complained to Sky and told them I would not be setting up another Direct Debit or Reoccurring card payment if they could not take the payments correctly. They said I would have to pay by invoice to which a £3 charge would be added. I told them to get stuffed with that as it doesn't cost that much to process a payment. I don't get charged if I just pay by card.
Anyway account is up to date and messages start appearing on screen. Again I called Sky who said it was because no payment details were stored. I told them to remove the messages and they did.

Fast forward to today. The bill payment was due yesterday, it was a Sunday so I paid today, well I borrowed some money to pay the bill and I paid it by card in full. The payment takes me to the next bill due 12th August. On my account I notice message that says my account has been suspended. I clicked the button that said "resume services" or something. This took me straight to a page that was requesting my bank details for Direct Debit or card details for auto payment. Turned my TV on and all they channels I pay for were gone. Replaced by a message telling me to call a premium rate number. Sky+ turned off etc.

I phoned sky who basically told me that unless I set up a direct debit they would not reinstate my service, even though I had just paid the bill in full! I then asked for a refund of the payment I'd just made as they were refusing to give me the services that I paid for. Thet also refused that request. I can't cancel either mid contract. I'm seriously angry. Does it really matter how I pay the bill? It's always paid on time.

I wanted to take this matter to Trading Standards but would like some feedback first. I paid my bill so can sky not give me the services just because I won't set up a direct debit even though the account is not in arrears.

I asked the advisor if she would be happy if she went and bought a new pair of expensive shoes, paid for them then the shop keeper says "nope you can't have these" but offers no refund?

I have the sky app on my phone and I check the balance daily. I can pay the bill from there toi with my debit card on the date stated. It takes 2 seconds and there's no faffing around but that's not good enough for sky.
I did set the DD up just to get my channels back but i will be cancelling a week before the bill is due and paying by card like I usually do. I told the advisor that too. Seems like a royal pain in the !!!! to me. What can I do?

Replies

  • edited 13 July 2015 at 11:25PM
    pen1pen1 Forumite
    369 posts
    edited 13 July 2015 at 11:25PM
    The system used by Sky is heavily automated. Lack of a continuous payment method for subscription payments (active direct debit or credit/debit card details) will trigger automatic responses by Sky, such as suspension of services.

    Their terms & conditions permit them to administer your account as they deem reasonable.

    If you don't keep a continuous payment method active, then you may also incur additional charges from Sky, as outlined here if/when Sky attempt to collect a direct debit, for example, and it fails.

    I'm afraid that you'll have to maintain a continuous payment method to avoid these issues.
  • peanut99peanut99 Forumite
    16 posts
    Hmm. Thanks for your help. I shall not be allowing any company to help themselves to my bank account or my debit card. It's the biggest load of rubbish I've ever had to endure. I've been a customer of their for almost 4 years, and I've always paid the bill give or take a day, depending on if the due date is a Sunday which yesterday it was.
    It's easier for me to pay by card on the date due to avoid bank charges when sky take the money on the wrong date or not at all.
    I guess after this month i will not be handing over any more money. I shouldn't have to pay for a service I don't have. Or be cut off just because a perfectly acceptable payment option is not acceptable to Sky. I don't like being controlled. It's my money and I say who gets it and when. No tv service, no payment. Don't remember agreeing to those terms
  • MataNuiMataNui Forumite
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    At least DD has the DD guarantee. It basically means your bank has to refund you if you have any billing problems. They refund you first then take it up with the company that took the payment. I have used it a few times (twice with TT and once with a motor insurance policy). In all cases the money was refunded on the day i complained.
  • HeinzHeinz Forumite
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    The OP suggests that the difficulty is liquidity and the consequent struggle to have enough money available when the bill is due.

    From an MSE point of view, I'd suggest downgrading to Freesat until that prime issue is resolved.
    Time has moved on (much quicker than it used to - or so it seems at my age) and my previous advice on residential telephony has been or is now gradually being overtaken by changes in the retail market. Hence, I have now deleted links to my previous 'pearls of wisdom'. I sincerely hope they helped save some of you money.
  • peanut99peanut99 Forumite
    16 posts
    Heinz wrote: »
    The OP suggests that the difficulty is liquidity and the consequent struggle to have enough money available when the bill is due.

    From an MSE point of view, I'd suggest downgrading to Freesat until that prime issue is resolved.

    This incorrect. This issue is that I do not want to be forced to pay by direct debit. That's not just sky either, majority of my bills are paid on a standing order as I don't do direct debits.

    Sky have said basically NO DIRECT DEBIT/AUTO PAYMENT/ LET'S HELP OURSELVES TO YOUR MONEY Then NO TV. Even though I'd paid my bill in full they refused to give me my channels even though the account is not and has never been in arrears. The point it's and my question was... can sky refuse to give me what I paid for and cut me off if I don't want to pay by direct debit? When they refused my channels they also refused a refund of my card payment. NO TV SERVICE, ME NO PAY !

    As for going down to Freesat, I'm in a contract and that is not possible. And why should I just because sky refuse to accept my method of payment. I paid the bill like always! I don't see why I should be forced to pay by direct debit when I don't want to. The service is paid in advance, so no payment for the following month then cut off the service.

    But for god sakes give me what I paid for regardless of how I paid for it. THAT IS THE POINT!
  • macmanmacman Forumite
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    Sky can insist on whatever form of payment the contract specifies, and SO is clearly of no use anyway, as the bill will vary from month to month.
    The bank DD guarantee gives you full protection from DD errors, and you are billed well in advance of the date of collection anyway, so if you still refuse to use DD then you alone are responsible for the consequences.
    No free lunch, and no free laptop ;)
  • SnowTigerSnowTiger Forumite
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    peanut99 wrote: »
    This incorrect. This issue is that I do not want to be forced to pay by direct debit. That's not just sky either, majority of my bills are paid on a standing order as I don't do direct debits.

    The issue is that you can't afford Sky:
    peanut99 wrote: »
    Fast forward to today. The bill payment was due yesterday, it was a Sunday so I paid today, well I borrowed some money to pay the bill and I paid it by card in full.
  • edited 15 July 2015 at 12:51PM
    GoldiegirlGoldiegirl Forumite
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    edited 15 July 2015 at 12:51PM
    If Sky won't accept the way you want to pay, I think they are doing you a favour.

    If you need to borrow money to pay for this service, cancel it at your earliest opportunity - it doesn't make sense to borrow money for something that is just nice to have.
    Early retired - 18th December 2014
    If your dreams don't scare you, they're not big enough
  • edited 15 July 2015 at 6:02PM
    pen1pen1 Forumite
    369 posts
    edited 15 July 2015 at 6:02PM
    peanut99 wrote: »
    .... The point it's and my question was... can sky refuse to give me what I paid for and cut me off if I don't want to pay by direct debit? ......

    Extract from terms & conditions (tv):

    Will I be accepted as a Sky digital subscriber?
    You may not be accepted if you owe us any money or your credit or fraud score is unsatisfactory. We can administer your account as we believe reasonable depending on the result of that or any future scoring, which may include applying different payment terms to your account. We may use information from, or supply information to, outside agencies for credit assessment and/or fraud prevention purposes.
    The terms they set as standard are that you must retain a continuous payment authority.

    If you read through all the terms & conditions and find a route out of that, then good luck! :)

    The situation is likely to escalate if you don't provide a continuous payment authority, and they could also suspend or cancel telephone and/or broadand services.

    Ultimately, if when they cancel services as a consequence, they will treat it as a breach of contract and charge an early termination charge, per the terms & conditions and http://help.sky.com/articles/charges-for-ending-your-sky-contract-early

    Instead, you might be better to restore a payment authority and maintain at least the minimum of services that you're contracted to for the duration of the minimum term(s).
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