Have Your Say: 29 June 2003

Here we publish any emails that users have sent us.

If you have any thoughts on Sky+ then please contact us using the email link below.

Send us your comments here please

To view the Previous Issues of Have Your Say click here Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3

Twice "the fun" with Sky+

Well, since you asked here's a follow up to the "Incredible Offer".

No problems with the install - I finally got the install date I requested on the web order form. However, there were a few hiccups. Firstly, I was charged £224 twice - and had 2 refunds before the final £199 was charged to my credit card. This was due to a dodgy web order form that accepted an order but gave me an error, causing me to order it twice. Then, when I found out about the offer from your website, I had to order it again.

The first bit of advice from the Sky person in regard to my new card (see original mail below) was incorrect according to the second (incredulous) person I spoke to on the install day. This person realised that I had multiple orders on the system and actually told me about the problem. I was naturally unaware. She firstly said, - I’m not sure what’s going on here - and told me she’ll investigate my order. True to her word, an hour later she rang me back(!) and explained the whole situation and that she’d ensure my credit card would be refunded. Which it was. Result.

The new digicard that was sent out is still in its envelope. From the above experience, I think customer service is dependant on who you speak to, as different staff have different grasps on both sky procedures and general customer service - but when is that new?

The installer was decent enough when asked to plum in the ‘extra’ cable from the quad thingie to a room of my choice as I already have a second dish (freebie) to my second box.

Ok, now for my actual thoughts on the system.

I love it. I can now see why you converts were bitching about dual record. Before - I thought, what the hell were they going on about? Why would you want to record more than one program? 

Now, however I see the light. And since my other half loves her cartoons - if they had a 24-7 Rugrats channel, she’d buy it - I can program the thing to record real television - all the programs that are on when I’m out, asleep and when she has control. And yes, it has changed what we watch - we watch less by hour but more by choice. 

A hard drive filled with Rugrats!

I’m not going to pontificate too much or preach to the converted so my advice to people on the fence - buy it.

Regards: Chris Wolfe

Editor Says: Good to see you finally get the goods and are enjoying Sky+, it's just a shame you went through so much "pain" to get it.

Cutting Edge & Cutting Out

Great idea in principle, worked fine at first.  However, I began experiencing problems when my sky+ box inexplicably left out a large portion of all my recordings.  There was a program I wanted to watch on History channel, that was repeated the next day (and also repeated twice on History +1 hour).  Knowing my sky+ was playing up I set it to record all 4!  Required 6% of my space each and I had 30 % spare. 

No History of some recordings!

Both the ones yesterday failed (1 totally and one left out 8 minutes in the middle) so I deleted them and waited to see today's results. 

Lo and behold they both failed again (1 for 15 mins and 1 for 28 mins).  History channel don't plan to repeat the program in the near future, shame as I have been recording the whole series.  Oh well, back to the old videotape!!!!

Regards: Will Fletcher

Editor Says: This isn't right. Isn't right at all Will. Give Sky a buzz and explain what's happened - they should sort it out for you. Normally Sky+ is dependable, doesn't normally let you down in the way you describe.

How to Win Friends & Influence People - The Sky Way


Here's a story for you!

I booked a Sky+ install via phone last Thursday 12 June for £199 plus £25 installation. They debited £224 from my account on that day.

I notice today that on the website it is £1 install and £199 for the box. So I phone customer services. If I want that offer they have to refund my card, wait two weeks for the refund to process then re-book the order.

What's going on????

-They take my money 10 days too early

-They can't process a refund for a measly £24 because they 'just can't'. So I'm out of pocket.

The person at customer services gave me his name but wanted to remain anonymous (unsurprisingly).

Please publish this story on the web to let others know what a complete pain in the whatever this whole process is and to make sure that people don't feel as ripped-off as I do.

Many thanks

Andrew Moss 

Editor Says: Andy wrote again a few days later - here's what he says:

Just to update you, I cancelled the order, placed an order on the web (even after reading the other poor guy's experience) and have got my old install date back too. Very strange this whole process. I have phoned them to make sure my order has gone through too so hopefully it should be plain sailing from now on.

Many thanks also  for the channel list for Series Links - put my mind at ease before I purchase. I'm interested in this big report you're putting together too!

Many thanks again


Editor Says: Almost a happy ending, but why oh why are Sky so inflexible when it comes to customer care? (Answers on a postcard please!). The big report on Series Links that Andy refers to can be found here.

A Web of Intrigue...

Dear Plus World - I have a Sky + experience I would like to share with you.

For a while now my Wife and I have been considering purchasing Sky + as we have been loyal Sky subscribers now for over 5 years.  We have spoken to friends who have it and seen advertisements promoting the new system and checked out the excellent plusworld.co.uk web site.

I phoned 08708 501607 as I am an existing customer.  After navigating the touch-tone options, I was put through to one of their Customer Advisors.  Should you need it, his name was Chris and I made the call around 16.54 on 19/6/2003:date>.  He was polite and efficient as he took my details and verified who I am.

I then advised him I wanted to upgrade to Sky + and we began to go through the procedure.  When I mentioned to him about the £1 installation he told me that it was only for new subscribers and existing subscribers have to pay £50.  I asked him to double-check his facts as the Sky web site made no reference to this at all.  In fact, after checking the terms and conditions, they still state that installation cost is £50 for existing subscribers and £100 for new subscribers.

He was remained insistent that he could not help me as it was for new subscribers only.  At this point I advised him I was not at all happy with the situation and I would not proceed with my upgrade.  The call then finished.

I have since sent sky an email of complaint and I await their response.

Something your other readers may want to be wary of no doubt!

PS.  congrats on the top draw web site by the way.

Nathan Haywood

Editor Says: Plusworld put your complaint to Sky and this is what they said Nathan:

"Thank you for passing on the details of Mr Haywood's unsatisfactory customer experience when trying to purchase Sky+. We are currently investigating all of the points raised in Mr Haywood's email as we do pride ourselves on excellent customer service.

We can only apologise for the evident confusion at the time of Mr Haywood's enquiry through the call centre. What I can tell you at this stage is that the T&C's (link below) on Sky.com are correct.

As you will read, it clearly states that the £1 offer is open to both new and existing customers. http://www.sky.com/skycom/article/0,,90120-1078375,00.html

Please can you pass on Mr Harwood's contact details to myself so that I can follow this up with him personally."

Editor Says: Well, not a bad response, just need some satisfaction for Nathan, and we're sorted. One for the records: the Terms & Conditions were not updated initially, only when Plusworld e-mailed Sky and told them they were wrong & didn't reflect the £1 install offer did they become correct.

Reception Problems Caused by Sky+?

Dear Sir,

Is it possible that my sky+ box is interfering with terrestrial transmissions? I recently upgraded to sky+ and have noticed considerable picture degeneration on normal reception. When I connect my aerial input to my VCR the quality is very good , but when I reconnect it to my sky+ the picture is poor.I have a videolink to the other rooms in the house and the picture is sometimes unwatchable!

Engineering oversight....

On the old Digibox, at least it was possible to see the picture whenever satellite was being watched by other members of the family. Hope you can help,

Thanks.     Mr. D. Jesson

Editor Says: Yes, the installation engineer has not done his job properly, he should check to see that all your normal channels are free from interference. Phone up Sky and tell them you want to make a complaint about the Installation & that you want a different installer sent out free of charge.

If at first you don't succeed - write to the Boss

This complaint follows an e-mail to Plusworld that was published in the last Have Your Say here

From: Chris Wilson 
Sent: 24 June 2003 12:03
To: 'Tony.Ball@bskyb.com'
Subject: Customer complaint that nobody wants to deal with

Dear Sir
Pardon me for mailing you direct but your Customer Service people seem
unwilling to even acknowledge my complaint.

Earlier this month I ordered Sky+. I have been a Sky Digital customer for
a few years and took up the latest offer after I was contacted by phone.

A series of administrative blunders led to me eventually cancelling my Sky

I have the following complaints about your service.

1. Sky were slow to admit that they had made errors.
2. I was made to feel that the errors were my fault.
3. No offer of compensation was made.
4. No attempt was made to put things right.

I was disappointed to cancel the service but I felt that it was the only
way that I could express my feelings. I find it hard to believe that this
is the way that Sky wants to treat its customers.

To 'rub salt into the wound', I received three letters yesterday one
saying that my credit card would be refunded for the Sky+ installation,
one saying that my service would be cancelled and a the third saying that
I would be contacted by engineers who would install Sky+ today! I'm not
expecting them to turn up...

Yours sincerely
Chris Wilson

Editor Says: It's one thing to make a mistake with a customer, quite another to not respond to a customer complaint. I only have one word for Sky Customer Services if they want to offer a good service - "consistency".

Sounds Serious

Are you aware of the recent problems that some people are experiencing with Premier 1,2 and 3 since the changeover to wide-screen/DD5.1.

I have had a V2 box installed since 24th May and since the conversion of Prem movies I have had many problems with the DD5.1 sound.

The Sound of Silence...

When the sound setting is set to Dolby Digital, on occasions there were sound drop outs for many seconds during a film.

Then the sound completely went silent for days.

If the sound setting was set to normal, there was sound.

This problem affected both the optical and scart outputs.

I contacted SKY who at first denied there was a problem and went through the usual connection check routine. After a number of calls I eventually talked to someone who seems to be aware of a problem as too many people were calling in with the same complaint.

I then went on holiday to Devon for a week assuming that SKY would have sorted the problem out by the time I returned.

Well, on Saturday(21st June) the sound was still missing.

I called SKY again and the operator seemed to know nothing about this problem, but was to look into it and call me back. I still await a call.

I decided to unplug the box and reset it.

This appeared to work.

I think that I now have sound but unless I watch a film each day I cannot be sure its fixed.

Why do we have to make many calls to SKY before we can get anyone to understand there is a problem.

Some of their customers do actually know what they are talking about!

Overall I am very impressed with SKYPLUS, but this problem has taken the enjoyment out of it during my first few days.

I hope that SKY have eventually sorted this problem out, I will contact them again soon.


Peter Rostron

Editor Says: Yes you are not alone Peter in the "sound problem" with Dolby Digital. Sky have no made no public announcement about this, but I suspect they will have to soon if they don't get it fixed. As I say to all Sky+ subscribers if you're unhappy about any aspect of the Sky+ service then send an email to skydigital@bskyb.com with the subject line of "customer complaint about Sky+" as complaints are ALWAYS dealt with on a much serious footing than general questions.

That's it for this edition of Have Your Say - If you would like to get something off your chest, give a bit of praise or let us know what you think about Sky+ then please do drop us a line - we'd be delighted to hear from you.  

To view the Previous Issues of Have Your Say click here Issue 1 Issue 2 Issue 3

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