So, I currently receive my television (what little I watch of it) through a certain satellite provider. Barring the two year disaster that was NTHell (now Virgin and probably far, far better), I’ve been a customer of this company for around fifteen years. I’ve never had a problem with them. But now, finding myself in a situation where I need to deal with them, I’m discovering that like so many other organisations in this woeful country, they don’t understand the importance of customer service.
Screw it, it’s Sky.
I currently have the basic setup. We simply don’t watch enough TV to warrant anything else. We buy our films on DVD, we don’t really watch anything other than the odd programme here and there (or when Small-to-Medium Son is home, cartoons). But gradually, over the past twelve months, I’ve been increasingly losing quality with digital breakup to the point where there are now many channels I can’t watch at all. So I have the following options where Sky are concerned. Here they are for your consideration and in the same order I worked on them.
- Speak to Sky and explain the problem. The box is well out of warranty, but they will charge me £60+ for the joy of sending me an engineer. Who will tell me that I need to upgrade. Do I choose this option? No.
- Check the website and look at the cost of upgrading from the basic digibox to Sky+. Here’s the lowdown. £99 for a new box plus an extra £60 for setup. Investigate a little further and note that if you are upgrading from Sky+ to Sky+ HD, you have a self set-up option for £15. Note, with irritation, that a new customer will pay £49 for the box and £30 for set-up.
- Email Sky and ask what the feasibility of £99 + £15 self set-up would be given that I’m not a complete spanner and have been a customer for a while.
- Wait for three days.
- Receive email from Sky telling me that if I upgrade to Sky+ HD AND take the year’s HD films subscription, both the box AND set-up will be FREE! Call us NOW to activate this EXCITING opportunity.
- Politely email Sky back. Explain that thanks, but if I’d wanted Sky+ HD, I’d have asked for Sky+ HD. Would they mind very much addressing my original question. Am faintly irritated at having had my question completely squashed in the perceived opportunity to upsell.
- Receive email from Sky saying ‘oh. In that case, it’ll be £159 all in (£99 + £60 set up). Call us to organise.’
- Politely email Sky back again and point out customer longevity. Ask if there is anything that they are prepared to do to acknowledge loyalty. Am also curious to know if their policy is to screw over their loyal customers in favour of new business. Not in those words, but it is implication.
No reply as of yet. I’m presuming they will reply with a repeat of step 7. At which point I’m going to have no choice but to cancel my subscription. Because I’m sick of paying £24.50 per month to watch either crackly blocks or blue screens telling me that NO SATELLITE SIGNAL IS BEING RECEIVED. Of course, then I have to consider getting Freeview and if I do that, I believe I will have to fork out still MORE money to move the aerial as we currently have an internal one. I can watch terrestial… right up until the moment they switch that off with the digital changeover.
It’s so irritating that this world has gotten to the stage where keeping customers is no longer important. That loyalty to a company and their services, despite the fact they’ve been shoddy for the past few months, is ignored and no incentive is offered to keep a customer. They know that they have a captive market in this area as we aren’t cabled and if we want a wider TV range, it has to be Sky. That gives them certain leverage because I can’t turn round and tell them I’m taking my business elsewhere. And at the end of the day, I’m just one customer. They’ll only lose £24.50 per month from me. Why should that matter to them?
It would be nice if they were prepared to consider my statement that as an existing customer, it’s little short of an insult that a new customer is offered the same product for half the price. Where is the incentive to stay? They’ve had £24.50 a month off me for the best part of fifteen years. But that means nothing to them. And I find that truly sad.
Well, they’ve got their chance to prove that they are more than just another faceless, uncaring company. I wonder if they’ll take it?
What bad experiences do you guys have with UK organisations?