Setanta - THE WORST COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH

Discussion in 'Satellite TV, Sky TV & FreeSat' started by BigGazza, Sep 13, 2007.

  1. BigGazza

    BigGazza
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    Hi all,

    Apologies in advance for the long post, but I thought I'd share the woes I've been having when dealing with Setanta Sports, and see if anyone else out there has experienced similar difficulties.

    I initially subscribed to their Sky service in July last year, and (in hindsight stupidly) paid for a years subscription in one go. At the end of July this year I decided that the money I was paying to Sky every month was just rediculous, so I cancelled my Sky subscription and purchased a Freeview box instead, while at the same time I also signed up for Setanta on Freeview. 2 weeks later I was checking my bank account and noticed that there was a debit on there, from Setanta Sports, for £180! I telephoned their customer services (I had a whole day to spare after all) to ask why they had taken £180 from my account, and was told that my Sky subscription was on a rolling basis, hence they had taken the money for the next 12 months. I explained that I had not been informed in any way that they were going to take the money, and was then told that the original terms and conditions I had been sent a year ago stated that it was a 'rolling subscription' and therefore they don't have to tell me when they are taking money from me, or renewing my contract. Now I may very well be misinformed here, but I thought it was illegal to just take the money without at least telling me they were going to do so, let alone giving me the option of renewing my subscription. I explained to the customer services lady that I no longer even had a Sky box, and had now signed up for Setanta's Freeview service, and she told me that if I put my cancellation in writing they would cancel the account and refund the money, seeing as I was still a subscriber.

    I wrote a letter, as they requested, to their cancellations department on the 15th of August, and 2 weeks later I had still not heard anything. I emailed their customer services department to make sure they had received the letter, andcheck they had processed my cancellation, only to receive a reply saying ‘sorry, but we do not accept cancellation requests via email’. In other words they hadn’t even bothered to actually read the email. I then decided waste another day hitting redial to get through to their customer services department via phone (they charge customers at premium rates to call their customer services, and give you no option to hold, hence you have to sit there hitting redial for hours). When I finally got through they told me they didn’t know if they’d received my letter yet, as they have a large backlog of letters to get through, and mine was probably in the pile. I asked how long that would take, and was told that 28 days was their maximum response time, and if I hadn’t heard anything in writing by then to contact then again via phone. In the meantime I had replied twice to the email they sent me, asking them to PLEASE READ BEFORE REPLYING, and both times they still didn’t bother to read the email, just sent the same stock reply saying ‘we do not accept cancellations via email’.

    As of this morning it’s been 29 days since I sent the letter, and I have received nothing from them so I braced myself for another round of phonecalls with their customer service team. Having spent another hour on the phone to them, I’m still getting told that my letter is probably in their pile, and ‘it will be dealt with eventually’. I explained that I’d been told 2 weeks ago that 28 days is their maximum response time, yet their response is ‘sorry about that, we’ll get to it eventually, but we can’t tell you when’. I informed them that, even by their own standards, this was unacceptable, yet still they just kept saying ‘we’ll get to it eventually’. I therefore kept asking to speak to someone who could tell me when the issue would be sorted, and then started to be told that not only would they ‘get to it eventually’ but I may not even be entitled to any kind of refund after all, despite what they told me 4 weeks previously.

    So all this has been dragging on now for over a month, and as far as I’m concerned they are holding £180 of my money that they had no right (be it legally or at the very least ethically) to take in the first place, and despite repeated emails and phonecalls (all at premium rates) they can’t even confirm that they are going to do anything at all, let alone refund my money.

    I have to therefore say that Setanta make even Sky themselves seem like an absolute pleasure to deal with. Never have I come across quite such an unprofessional company, and believe me I’ve dealt with some bad ones, and frankly the whole experience has left a very bad taste in my mouth.

    So is anyone out there is thinking of paying them money for the poor selection of Premiership games they have on offer, maybe you should stop and think again, as if you ever do have to actually deal with them you’ll be in for a nightmare of an experience.
     
  2. andykn

    andykn
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    Read your terms and conditions very carefully to find out what the cancellation conditions are.

    If the contract is a rolling one, I suspect they are allowed to take the money every month/quarter/year without informing you each time. You have already consented by agreeing to the contract. Setting up a direct debit instead of making a one-off payment would indicate to a court that you knew it was to be recurring.
     
  3. Greg Hook

    Greg Hook
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    Forgot sending them a letter asking to cancel. Reword the letter with terms such as Legal, Court, Small Claims, Trading Standards etc etc. I'm sure that will get their attention. :)
     
  4. BigGazza

    BigGazza
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    Hi andkyn,

    Paying for a whole years subscription meant that I actually made a one off payment, or at least that's what I believed happened. Even so, to take £180 12 months later, without any notification whatsoever, to me is just plain out of order.

    Also, charging customers premium rates to speak to customers services, and not bothering to actually read emails when they reply to them, all adds up to one very unprofressional company to me. Not to mention the fact that they continually brak their own rules, yet don't seem that bothered!
     
  5. FirestarterUKUK

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    Have you contacted your bank yet? Get them to retrieve your money through the Direct Debit Indemnity Scheme (for DDs) or "Chargeback" (for plastic).

    FWIW, I agree - this organisation is a real pain in the a$$ to deal with. Hope they go to the wall ASAP.
     
  6. andykn

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    The trouble is, if you have actually signed up to a rolling contract, they are entitled to take your money monthly/quarterly/annually without further notification. The bank will not refund it unless it was only a one-off payment contractually.

    All my regular monthly/quartely/annual payments are done on direct debit. I can think of no commercial organisation that reminds me unless a price rise is due.
     
  7. BigGazza

    BigGazza
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    That's interesting, because all mine do, except Setanta of course i.e. Vodafone, BT, Be broadband, British Gas, Southern Electric etc. Likewise, yearly contracts all contact me before renewing i.e. RAC, TV license, council tax, car insurance. All these organistations notify me when taking money from me. Also, Setanta wasn't a direct debit, as it was a one off payment, therefore how does that give them the right to just take the money again 12 months later? I did it that way to avoid that situation.
     
  8. andykn

    andykn
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    Don't forget that all the yearly contracts you quote change in value each year, so they legally have to tell you. Likewise your Vodafone bill will change monthly. Do British Gas and Southern Electric advise you monthly? I have Be broadband and of all my regular unchanging direct debits this is the only one who advises me.

    If Setanta wasn't a direct debit what was it? If it was only a one off payment from your bank and not a direct debit then you should be able to get your bank to refund the money as you did not authorise the second payment. Have you checked with your bank to see if a direct debit exists on your account?

    Does your Setanta contract say the payment is recurring?
     
  9. A8229

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    I also wrote to cancel - this was in the final month of my 12 month subscription. I did get a letter over 3 weeks later saying sorry you're leaving us please call this number and you can get setanta for £9.99. I didn't call back and my card no longer decodes setatana so I assume that the cancellation has gone though, but will check that my credit card is not still being debited (I paid monthly). Personally I thought Setanta/NASN was pretty good, but I thought it was wrong that they cut the subscription price to £9.99 while I and others were still paying £15 - and when I phoned them all they said was you'll have to wait til the end of your 12 month contract before you can get the lower rate. If they'd given me the lower rate when I'd called I would still be a setanta subscriber.
     
  10. mooperman

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    What he said ^^^^
     
  11. stoutlad2007

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    The problem with all or most of those customer services people is that they don't actually work for the company you think you are contacting so they don't really care too much. I have a relative who worked in a call center and they were the customer services for loads of different major companies, all in the one building. For example ISP & communications, finance, government, utilities, publishing, retail etc.
    Usually a person would be dealing with complaints for a particular firm on an everyday basis but they were all trained so they could stand in for other people's holidays etc and could easily be dealing with calls for a money lending co one day and a broadband co the next.
    It was quite a stressful job dealing with irate and often very abusive people every day and quite often they would just cut someone off or redirect someone to the wrong department just for a bit of a break. Very annoying if you'd been trying to get through for half an hour.
     
  12. Greg Hook

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    Yes, I noticed this the other day on TV. There was a report on Call centres, might have been on The One Show on BBC1. As they went through the call centre you could see loads of signs above a particular area as to what company's calls they dealt with. So it looks pretty obvious that one call centre company takes calls for loads of other companies.
     
  13. doopydug

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    Setanta are a joke PERIOD! I phoned them 3 months ago to tell them I was a wee bit miffed at being a long term customer on an annual contract paying £15 per month when they were offering it to pay monthly customers for a fiver less so I asked them to adjust my monthly figure seeing as I was a long term annual renewal type client.

    They said no and no amount of persuading would change their mind as I was on contract. So I told them that I would be cancelling when my contract was up in november and I know that they will try to offer me a discount for the 3 months overcharged to keep me, so why not just give it to me now and save all the hassle (and keep my custom). I also said that when they try to give me the discount retrospectively to keep my custom, I will reject it at that time and tell the telephone operator to ram it.

    Guess what happened? YUP, when I phoned to cancel 3 weeks ago, they tried to offer me the three months discount "to keep me as a valued customer" - you can guess what I said!
     
  14. stoutlad2007

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    I also took out the Setanta deal in May for £15 a month on a 12 month contract then not long after that they dropped it to £10. I know there is no point in trying to get it reduced to £10 as everyone that I know of who has tried has been turned down. I was prepared to pay the £15 in the beginning so I suppose there's no use complaining, it's a bit like buying a TV for £700 and the following week it's down to £549 :mad:
    Does anyone know if you can cancel after the 12 months (if they won't reduce it) and then just take out a new subscription or is there anything in the contract which forbids you taking out a new contract within a time limit of cancelling?
     
  15. tecnoguy

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    I had the same prob with Setanta paying £13 a month while every one else is paying £10, phoned them up say they couldnt change it as I signed a 12 month contract but got multiroom installed last week and as I wanted Setanta in other room I had to take out a £5 extra subscription, phoned them up and asked for extra room subscription for £5 and stated that this was supposed to be 50% of original monthly payment and I have now got the £13 reduced to £10, my next payment due out on 5th Dec , will let u know if this so
     
  16. Thug

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    To the original poster.

    My story is nothing to do with sky, but a mobile phone company. Your story reminded me of it.

    Let me give a little background first...
    The year before last, i took out a very good 12 month contract with o2. I kept it for about 9 months then my dog eat the phone. I called o2 who were very unhelpful and said i would have to buy another phone, so i took out another contract with 3 instead. After the o2 contract had expired (3 moths later), i called to cancel it, and was persuaded into keeping it on hold for another 12 months for a total of £20 for the year in case i wanted to upgrad my 3 phone and go back to o2.
    I thought this was a good idea so went ahead with it.

    Now for the point of my story...
    This year of keeping it on hold, went without hitch, and i had £1.22 (or something near) being taken out of my account per month for this period. On the 13th month (august 2007) i noticed a transaction for £40 out of my account by o2. I contacted them and they said that the 12 month on hold period had expired and i was going straight onto a new contract. I mean, i could have gone into a shop and got a brand new phone on a contract for less, and they expected me to pay £40 a month and get nothing for it.
    I explained to them that I was NOT informed of this contract at the time of placing it on hold 12 months prior. I had NOT signed any mandate for the money to be taken from my account either. Now, being a police officer, i know points to prove in various crimes, so brought to their attention 'deception'. I also stated that i didnt have any phones to be used on the o2 network, and that if they checked my contract, they would also know that i hadnt even made or received a call in all of this period. This made them back down, and refund me my money. They also said that they would cancel my account also.
    I immediatly cancelled my direct debit with the bank.

    Now the funny part...
    In the back end of Nov this year, i recieve a letter from a debt collecting agency, stating that i owed £38, and if that i didnt pay it by the 7th Dec, they would take me to court, and also come round to remove property to the value. They stated that they had been instructed by o2 to do this.

    Well, i rang o2, and to be quite honest, feel sorry for the young girl who answered the phone. She got both barrels at full force. I did ask to speak with a manager first though, and she said that she would help.
    To cut a long story short, they have now spoken to the debt collection agency themselves, and have taken my details off, and have cancelled my contract whilst i was on the phone to them.


    Not sure how or if this can help you, but if you havent signed a mandate, then i'm sure that they wont have a leg to stand on. Its up to THEM to prove that you agreed to this, and not up to you to prove you didnt. Even if you agreed on the phone, how are they to know it was YOU on the phone.
    I dont think your bank can get it back for you, as they cant access their bank account.
     

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