Sky Problems: Am I Alone?

chuckalicious

Active Member
I have been with Sky for about 3 years now, and have used Box Office quite frequently, but always checked that these charges came off of my bank account, and they always did, pretty soon after waching the movie.

So about 6 months ago we cancelled our account because we were getting little or no use out of it, plus it showed nothing but crap :)

However a month ago we thought what the hell and re-joined. Note that we we're using the same kit as we were before, which has been unplugged from the phone line since we cancelled. Now, about 3 or 4 weeks ago, our current box went dodgy and the signal was terrible, so Sky sent out an engineer who ended up replacing the box. The bill after the box was replaced (our first since rejoining) was too high. I called Customer "Service" only to be told that the extra charge was for 3 Box Office movies I'd watched in 2004!!!!

They couldn't tell me which ones or when, but said they must have been stored on my box when it didn't get a callback and that I had to pay.

I explained that we got a replacement box (which was more than likely a refurb) and that it was plugged into the phone line while the engineer was working on it. It seems very strange that we get a new box which is connected to the phone line, and then get charged for 3 movies about 1 year old, at least.

I am under the impression that some people make little adapters to plug into their digiboxes which tricks Sky into letting the user watch a Box Office movie and stores the charge on the box until it can dial in again. I suggested this to the customer rep who said that was impossible, the charge is stored on the card, not the box. Now that's not what I've read....

So has anyone else experienced this, and is it possible that these charges were on my replacement box, which was charged to my account when it paired with my card?

I can't see any other way of this happening.

So to cut a long post short :) I am writing a letter to complain (did you know they have shipped most of their calls out to India now??!?!) as I can't get any sense out of anyone else.
 

Heinz

Active Member
Yes. Sky aren't daft. SBO information is stored on the card AND the box. Your 'replacement' box was (obviously) somene else's and you're now paying for their viewing!
 

chuckalicious

Active Member
I am so disgusted at them right now. They haven't managed to get a single thing right. They even managed to send the engineer out to our old address (2 years out of date) even though they sent me the confirmation letter!!!!

If my wife wasn't so fond of the music channels, Sky would know where they could stick their service!!!

I'll let you know if I win on this one, there is no way I'm letting them away with this.
 

chuckalicious

Active Member
SO you say it's stored on the box AND the card?

I was reading a page on another site (albeit 3 years old) which said the movies are stored on the card only, so what happened to me is impossible.

Is this true? Or are they really stored on both the card and the digibox?
 

chambeaj

Well-known Member
I'm pretty certain the data is only stored on the card.
 

saturday

Standard Member
My understanding is that the Sky system is designed to store a record of "events" such as box office movies on the card until the box does a callback. It doesn't callback when you book the movie but later (middle of the night - maybe some days later).

If you accidentally disconnected your box from the phone line, or maybe had a faulty cable or modem, the box will store a certain number of events on the card until it reaches a predetermined limit. Then it would not allow anymore events to be booked. The devices you refer to are a con (no surprise there!). All they are doing is preventing the box "calling home" - pulling the phone lead would do the same thing.

I'd be fairly confident that this is what happened in your case. However, I find it odd that Sky's systems don't have a record of what events were booked.
 

chuckalicious

Active Member
So you think these were things we have watched? I just don't get it. I know we watched at least one movie in 2005 before we cancelled, so why didn't it order them then? If it doesn't store it on the box then I guess my theory of what happened is wrong.

I'm still super confident that all movies we watched were paid for.

I may well look very stupid now when Sky reply to that letter :)
 

Nick_UK

Banned
The box doesn't tell Sky about the movies you have ordered until it "phones home", which is usually in the middle of the night. As has already been pointed out, one of the "fiddles" in getting free movies was to somehow prevent the box phoning out, because the card has a "credit limit", and will allow movie orders without checking the phone connection.

However, as soon as the box is allowed to dial out again, it will "phone home" and relay the details of movies that were ordered. If you watched movies shortly before cancelling the movies subscription, and then pulled out the phone plug, it's quite possible that there could be some movies that it did not relay the details of. I'm not saying that you are telling porkies, but I would find it hard to remember exactly what I was doing 6 months ago.
 

saturday

Standard Member
Maybe you watched them - maybe you didn't. One thing to bear in mind is that Sky is going through a massive system change/upgrade. It is possible, though not likely, that someone elses data has got mixed up with yours.

In any event if Sky can't tell you what movies you (allegedly) watched and when, then I think you have a good case not to pay.
 

chuckalicious

Active Member
That's what I'm saying though, I don't remember what I watched that long ago, but I'm a real stickler for bills and ensure that everything comes off my account as and when it should, so everything balances out.

So if it's impossible that these movies could have been stored on that replacement box, then I'm obviously mistaken. I can't see how, but I must be.

Sky could give me a list of all the movies watched, but they couldn't say which ones were watched when, so couldn't tell me which movies I'd just been charged for, which is what got me.
 

Nick_UK

Banned
Have you tried calling up an online statement ?
 

chuckalicious

Active Member
As an update,

Someone from Sky called yesterday afternoon, and was extremely polite, unlike their CS co-workers :)

Short version of the story is they will refund the movies and are still investigating the customer service reps who were rude and unhelpful (note for future calls, always take the CS reps name and the time and date of call).

So they still didn't answer my question as to why this happened, ie were they stored on the card and I had simply made a mistake, or the box was faulty and couldn't dial out, or if the new box had these on it.

I'm guessing I'll never know now.
 

Nick_UK

Banned
Well, to be honest, £10 isn't worth losing a lot of sleep over. You've probably spent more than that on a round of beers.
 

chuckalicious

Active Member
And that's the type of attitude that allows Sky to not have to worry about that kind of thing. If your bank took an extra tenner off you and said it was for a withdrawal last year, I'm sure you'd be ******.
 

Nick_UK

Banned
I think you've got your priorities wrong. I'd prefer to spend my time making money, not speding it seeking out the odd £10 that might escape from my account. With the money I make, I pay an accountant to do that for me :)
 

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