Setanta - THE WORST COMPANY I HAVE EVER DEALT WITH!

Discussion in 'Freeview & YouView' 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. I've already posted this on the Sky forum, and I know others have posted about the pain they've had with this company, but I thought my tale has a slightly different spin, so was worth sharing with anyone contemplating subscribing to their Freeview service.

    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.

    I, like others, have mailed Watchdog with my tale of woe, so let's hope we see them expsosed soon.
     
  2. craigy_b

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    If the money was taken by direct debit you can ask your bank to claim the money back for you. I believe that it is then up to setanta to confirm that they have taken the money properly etc. I'm not 100% sure of exactly how it works but I work in a gym and I have known of occasions when people claim back the money because they haven't used their membership in the past X months.

    The bank may eventually (in some way) say you have to pay them the money but in the mean time its better in your bank than theirs.

    Have a word with your bank and see what they say.

    Craig
     
  3. SportBilly

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    I don't understand why you would buy a freeview box for setanta when you already had a sky box that's able to receive setanta despite cancelling your sky account. The Setanta freeview channel is pretty good but Setanta on Sky gives you a lot more for your money.

    Why not just cancel freeview Setanta and continue with the sky Setanta? I doubt your bank will refund the money as it doesn't seem that Setanta have broken their terms & conditions.
     
  4. BigGazza

    BigGazza
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    I didn't purposely move from Sky to Freeview just to change Setanta subscriptions. I cancelled my Sky subscription because it was costing me £63 a month, excluding Setanta, whereas Freeview is free, and as they only thing I really watched on Sky, that wasn't on Freeview, was the football, it seemed a no brainer to stop paying that kind of money. £120 a year versus £936 a year doesn't take much working out.

    As to whether they will refund the money, I'm sure they'll do everything they can not to, as despite me still being customer, their attitude to people who have already signed up with them is basically to treat you like dirt - that's if you can even get to speak to someone in the first place. If you're asking 'should' they refund the money, well that's a much longer debate, and I'm still looking into the legalities of it, but to me, taking £180 out of someones account without even telling them you've done it, is frankly out of order.
     
  5. SportBilly

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    Again, I don't understand your reasons for re-subscribing to Setanta on freeview when you already had it on your Sky box.

    Sure, I understand that you cancelled the Sky subscriptions channels to save money but you don't need an active Sky account to have Setanta on a Sky box.

    After cancelling with Sky, you get to keep your sky equipment in place including the viewing card which will allows you to watch most of the free channels and it's just a matter of keeping paying Setanta to maintain the account on the Sky viewing card.
     
  6. AnthonyG

    AnthonyG
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    Take a printout of all the letters you have sent to satanta and emails. And also any written or emailled responses.

    And write down explaining your situation and what you were told on the telephone by Satanta.

    Telephone your bank and ask to make a chargeback for an incorrect charge made to your account.

    They will ask you to send in these letters for them to investigate (it takes up to 3 months).

    I have done this when Lovefilm after cancellation they decided to take a further £20 out of my Barclays bank account and were doing the "we cant read your email, and we are too busy right to read your letters" stance.

    This situation with Lovefilm went on for 6 weeks

    So I contacted my bank for a chargeback and within a fortnight I got an apology from Lovefilm and the money back from my bank.

    I also did this with DVDsoon and also that other rip off sister site of theirs, which name I now forget, which they setup in 2006 when the name DVDsoon was in the mud.

    If your bank wont do a chargeback I would then complain to your bank, and possibly consider changing banks, and inform them of this too.

    (I say this due to the remembering people posting in forums about the DVDsoon fiasco that some banks were being awkward not wanting to undertake the chargebacks claiming only credit cards can do this).

    Luckily for me though Barclays bank, and also Barclayscard, are excellent for these types of problems.
     
  7. BigGazza

    BigGazza
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    Firstly, when I cancelled with Sky I was not told that I could keep the service running, and therefore didn't keep the box connected (in fact I sold the HD box on Ebay). Plus, I like the ability to record programming on HDD, and would therefore have to have 2 boxes connected to my TV, one just to watch Setanta. Also, Setanta on Sky is more expensive that Setanta on Freeview i.e. £180 vs £120 a year.

    Don't forget that I had cancelled my subscription with Sky a month before Setanta took the extra £180, and was of course not expecting them too, therefore I thought I was saving myself money all round. As it's turned out I'm seriously out of pocket.

    Anthony1uk - thank you for your advice, I will certainly follow up on it.
     

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