Has SKY salesperson duped my mother?

Kapkirk

Active Member
My Elderly mother in her 90's rang SKY yesterday to see if she could get her bill down as it was costing her £75 per Month. She only has the basic package with no movie or sports ch's, and basic internet for catch up services. She's been with them for about 15 years and last changed to a new sky box 3 years ago, so could leave anytime, in fact I think she said she wanted to pack it in all together because of the cost.
I did initially make the call for her but they kept me on hold for 40 mins and I had to leave and pass the phone to her to continue.
Today I phoned her to see if she got the bill reduced and she said yes she had and they had given her a new package with fast Fibre Broadband but the same TV channels and phone line deal BUT, they only reduced the Monthly bill by about £2-3 for 18 Months.

So, basically instead of making it much cheaper for her, they seem to have hood winked her into a new 18 month contract by selling her Fibre broadband that she didn't really want. I am tempted to call them myself and cancel the whole lot because of these tactics, but mum hasnt been too well and I don't want to stress her out over it.
Should I intervene?
 

obilby

Active Member
My Elderly mother in her 90's rang SKY yesterday to see if she could get her bill down as it was costing her £75 per Month. She only has the basic package with no movie or sports ch's, and basic internet for catch up services. She's been with them for about 15 years and last changed to a new sky box 3 years ago, so could leave anytime, in fact I think she said she wanted to pack it in all together because of the cost.
I did initially make the call for her but they kept me on hold for 40 mins and I had to leave and pass the phone to her to continue.
Today I phoned her to see if she got the bill reduced and she said yes she had and they had given her a new package with fast Fibre Broadband but the same TV channels and phone line deal BUT, they only reduced the Monthly bill by about £2-3 for 18 Months.

So, basically instead of making it much cheaper for her, they seem to have hood winked her into a new 18 month contract by selling her Fibre broadband that she didn't really want. I am tempted to call them myself and cancel the whole lot because of these tactics, but mum hasnt been too well and I don't want to stress her out over it.
Should I intervene?
Hi, I really do not think that is a very good deal, I just did the same for my parents last week and got them to go to £83 for the whole tv package including multi room and the medium speed broadband package, I would definitely intervene. I threatened to leave!
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Intervene, definitely.

That's a crap deal and not what she wanted - I presume she wanted to pay at least 50% less of £75 a month? Did she have a financial limit?

I understand there's a 14 day cooling off period, so exercise your consumer rights and renegotiate a deal that's right for her needs, or cancel completely and switch provider if necessary.

I understand she might find it stressful, but if you take control of this situation maybe it might be less difficult for her?

Let us know how you get on.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
I do feel partly responsible as when I tested her broadband speed via my smartphone right next to her router she was only getting 1.3Mbit, she does try to use the catch up service from time to time but it hardly ever works because of the poor speed, and she's been paying £18 per month for it for god knows how long.
I did say to her that the internet is really crap which is why she may have mentioned it to the the sky rep and why they have done what they did.
I don't feel I can just cancel it as they will switch her off completely, she only knows how to work the sky box not the TV as it all comes on with the sky box, and she records stuff all the time.
They told her they are sending a new router and fitting a fibre optical cable, no doubt they will charge her for all this.
All I really wanted for her was for them to reduce the bill by giving her a bit of "loyalty" bonus and to sort out the crap speeds she's getting for the catch up services that she's been basically paying for but doesn't work properly and never has done.
I did say that the deal they gave her was not very good but she got upset and told me to just leave it now so I am in two minds on what to do, plus I think they will charge her for the new fibre connection and router etc.
I need to make a decision quickly but am finding it hard to know what to do, if they switch it all off she will go berserk. She cant stand to be without the TV for a moment.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
@Kapkirk - you don't need to terminate this new deal, just renegotiate it.

She is being horribly overcharged for what she receives and it doesn't really meet her needs anyway.

Don't blame yourself, you didn't do anything wrong.

If she wants to stay with Sky then fine, just find a different deal with the same provider. Ring them up and tell them you're not happy and want a different deal, that's all.
 

davidf

Well-known Member
Find out what sort of internet speed they should’ve been providing in the first place - they should sort that out before trying to sell a faster package. I’m guessing the speed she should’ve been on would be fast enough.
 

pastrybloke19

Active Member
I do feel partly responsible as when I tested her broadband speed via my smartphone right next to her router she was only getting 1.3Mbit, she does try to use the catch up service from time to time but it hardly ever works because of the poor speed, and she's been paying £18 per month for it for god knows how long.
I did say to her that the internet is really crap which is why she may have mentioned it to the the sky rep and why they have done what they did.
I don't feel I can just cancel it as they will switch her off completely, she only knows how to work the sky box not the TV as it all comes on with the sky box, and she records stuff all the time.
They told her they are sending a new router and fitting a fibre optical cable, no doubt they will charge her for all this.
All I really wanted for her was for them to reduce the bill by giving her a bit of "loyalty" bonus and to sort out the crap speeds she's getting for the catch up services that she's been basically paying for but doesn't work properly and never has done.
I did say that the deal they gave her was not very good but she got upset and told me to just leave it now so I am in two minds on what to do, plus I think they will charge her for the new fibre connection and router etc.
I need to make a decision quickly but am finding it hard to know what to do, if they switch it all off she will go berserk. She cant stand to be without the TV for a moment.
Definitely intervene: that is classic case of Sky taking advantage.

I don’t know what Sky normally costs (apart being huge £££), but we pay about £29 all in for unlimited fast broadband; and I saw recently BT offering it for £20 something. So given her needs are simple, reckon you should be able to half it.

As said above, you don’t need to cancel, just threaten; explain politely but firmly that you feel she has been mis-sold, taken advantage of and if they don’t resolve it to your satisfaction, you will be cancelling the contract and raising a complaint.

Sky website is offering Broadband and Sky Q for £30 a month: I am no expert on Sky but says to me you should be able to reduce her cost to near that mark.

Cancelling Sky full stop and going to just phone/broadband would be the best, if you can find a non-Sky source of tv (free view/freesat/streaming): will be some work but then at least you wouldn’t have to worry about Sky doing the same again in 18mths time.
 

gibbletts

Active Member
The £30 deal sky are doing at the minute might be ideal for your mother it's only free to view channels but if that's all she watches it might do the job, it's a Sky q box though so if that's not what she has now I wouldn't be in a hurry to change to q as its different to the sky HD boxes.
 

Kapkirk

Active Member
Thanks for all the advice everyone, Yes she does have the Sky Q box.
From what I understand she currently has, Basic TV package + HD pack, a phone line (which she must have for her emergency call center) and basic broadband for catch up.

Unfortunately when I try to log into her sky account to get the breakdown of her bill it is saying it cannot be accessed at present, same when we go to check on the sky q box.
After looking on her bank statement it appears she is being charged approx £73.80.
I think she wants to stick with sky as that's all she's known how to use for the last 15 years.

So is it possible to reduce the bill from the 73.80? in any way.? Mum told me she asked for it to be cheaper but that was the best they could do. The sky rep said switching to fibre would help reduce the bill by a few quid and leave the rest of the package in tact as -is. but for an additional 18 months contract.
But all we would gain from this is that the broadband would work better , she never got more than 1.3Mbit on her current line and pays £18 per month which is terrible.
I would prefer sky to NOT fit fast fibre BB and new router but just get the old router on line up to a reasonable and usable state of say 4-6 Mbit, then I would like them to give a loyalty discount on her current package, maybe £10 - £15 off, we could lose the HD pack which will save another £10 I think.

What do you guys think, can that be done with a decent discount? Think I going to need a little ammunition to argue with them.
Last thing is: I do find it hard to communicate with officials and people as I am on the Autistic spectrum at level 1 and get easily confused and go quiet.
 
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gibbletts

Active Member
The internet may have to be replaced with fibre as a slow adsl sometimes is just slow and there's nothing you can do about it, that being said you may get it cheaper elsewhere, I'd ring them to confirm what channels she's actually got and check with her if she actually watches them, overall I don't think anyone has knowingly duped your mother she just hasn't been prepared to cancel and that's the only way to get the good deals, forget about loyalty that means nothing to sky.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
Last thing is: I do find it hard to communicate with officials and people as I am on the Autistic spectrum at level 1 and get easily confused and go quiet.
Okay, so you're also finding this situation stressful too. Can you get a friend or family member to help you with this? Or could you just write your questions down so you've got a script to refer to?

What do you guys think, can that be done with a decent discount? Think I going to need a little ammunition to argue with them.
I think the best ammunition is to do some prior online research before you ring them. I'm with Plusnet and I started thinking about switching to Fibre as I was fed up with Standard Broadband being so slow.

At the time, their cheapest price was £30 a month or something. So I went online and found a deal with Vodaphone at £22 a month. Then I called Plusnet, told them I was thinking of switching to Vodaphone (I wasn't really) and whether they would price match so I'd stay with them.

Not only did they agree, for an extra £1 a month they took over my landline rental and offered me Free Evenings & Weekends, so my monthly bill for both services dropped from about £40 to £22.99.

As @gibbletts says above, the best way to negotiate a new deal is to threaten to leave, doesn't matter whether you intend to or not. So do your research, write things down so you can refer to them and be polite but assertive.

Your mother is probably paying for services she doesn't use, so you just need to keep a clear head about what you want. Don't pay extra for things she doesn't need.
 

mikej

Well-known Member
As mentioned above, if 1.8Mbps is the max speed she can achieve on an ADSL line, then there may not be much Sky or anyone else can do about it, so the best option would be to switch to fibre broadband which is likely (although not guaranteed) to give her faster speeds, depending on how far she is from the nearest fibre cabinet.

I've been with PlusNet for broadband for over 20 years. Their current offer for line rental + 36Mbps fibre broadband (which would be more than fast enough for her needs) is £23/month on an 18 month contract, with no set-up fees and you get a £60 reward card.

The important question first though is does she watch any particular channels that are exclusive to Sky and not available on Freeview ? If not, then ditching Sky and switching to a Freeview PVR (if she has a working TV aerial) would incur an upfront cost for the machine (eg. £169 for the 500Gb Manhattan T3-R) but, along with a deal for fibre broadband like the PlusNet deal I mentioned, would save her over £600/year ! I'm not familiar with Manhattan PVRs personally, but I would imagine it wouldn't be too hard to learn how to use one instead of a Sky box.

If you're not watching the non-Freeview channels or making use of the movie/sport add-ons then Sky is just an unnecessary money-pit, IMO. Charging £10/month on top for HD is just pure greed.
 

pastrybloke19

Active Member
Thanks for all the advice everyone, Yes she does have the Sky Q box.
From what I understand she currently has, Basic TV package + HD pack, a phone line (which she must have for her emergency call center) and basic broadband for catch up.

Unfortunately when I try to log into her sky account to get the breakdown of her bill it is saying it cannot be accessed at present, same when we go to check on the sky q box.
After looking on her bank statement it appears she is being charged approx £73.80.
I think she wants to stick with sky as that's all she's known how to use for the last 15 years.

So is it possible to reduce the bill from the 73.80? in any way.? Mum told me she asked for it to be cheaper but that was the best they could do. The sky rep said switching to fibre would help reduce the bill by a few quid and leave the rest of the package in tact as -is. but for an additional 18 months contract.
But all we would gain from this is that the broadband would work better , she never got more than 1.3Mbit on her current line and pays £18 per month which is terrible.
I would prefer sky to NOT fit fast fibre BB and new router but just get the old router on line up to a reasonable and usable state of say 4-6 Mbit, then I would like them to give a loyalty discount on her current package, maybe £10 - £15 off, we could lose the HD pack which will save another £10 I think.

What do you guys think, can that be done with a decent discount? Think I going to need a little ammunition to argue with them.
Last thing is: I do find it hard to communicate with officials and people as I am on the Autistic spectrum at level 1 and get easily confused and go quiet.
I would go for the faster fibre, everything is moving across and will be way better: also don’t think it will be much more £ than what she has anyway.

I would ring and simply tell them “ it’s too much and she can’t afford it, so would like to cancel”. It will then be up to them to make it cheaper: they may even call back.

I would be aiming to pay around £40 all in: you can offer to drop the HD package, as I doubt she gains much from it.

Don’t feel like it is up to you to justify anything; just tell them it is too much for her, she doesn’t need HD channels and would like to cancel. If they ask “what price would it work for her”, I would say £35 pm, as you have seen other providers offer that sort of price. Don’t listen or pay any attention to there sales bullsh*t, just ignore it: repeat she can’t afford it and if they can’t halve the cost, you will have to cancel.

If that doesn’t work or you don’t feel good about it: asking a friend or relative could work.

Sky do have a vulnerable policy: could mention that on the call and that you & your mum would qualify under that policy, ask if there is a specialist who you can be put through to.

 

Kapkirk

Active Member
OK thanks for all the suggestions, I did ring them back and told them what I thought of their poor offer, I have managed to get her a slightly better deal although still not as cheap as I would have liked. However they still gave her the fibre BB and £16 quid off the previous deal which has brought her bill down to £57 instead of the £73 she was paying. Shame they couldn't just give that deal in the first place.
 

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