Sky complaint help required

  urban gorilla 22:34 14 Nov 10

Sky Tv subscription was cancelled but they're still demanding money from me. Due to my financial difficulties my direct debits were not paid by my bank. after receiving demand letters i called Sky and paid the outstanding amount and asked them to cancel the service. The person i spoke to assured me that he will arrange it and that the service will be cancelled at the end of the notice period. I accepted his word and left it that. After a while the service was no longer working so i assumed it was cancelled. I have now started to get letters from a debt collecter demanding £97 that is outstanding. I telephoned Sky customer service and they will not accept i called and cancelled the service. they keep insisting that i owe them money and the that the service has been switched off due to non payment. I asked to speak to a manager and was passed to someone who claimed to be a manager but she spoke to me like she was reading a script and wouldnt accept my version of the events. as i was speaking to their off-shore team i asked to be put through to someone in the uk and was point blank refused and was told there was nothing more she could do for me and ended the call. i cant afford to pay what they're demanding and i feel i don't owe them anything. i had been using their service for years paying over £50 per month and this is the way they treat me because i cancelled their service. I don't know what to do now.can anyone point me in the right direction? please

  spuds 23:34 14 Nov 10

Apparently this sort of horror story is going on all the time, and Ofcom are getting rather concerned how debt collecting agencies are being used in trying to recover money, sometimes which is not actually owed.

Contact Ofcom click here or your local Citizens Advice.

  namtas 23:42 14 Nov 10

I found them very difficult to deal with when I had a problem. They appeared to be unable to believe the customer might be correct and appeared to be determined not to negotiate. unfortunately with the type of service provided the records are not with the customer. and whilst they are providing a service and you are happy to receive all is OK. The problems arise when something changes as their is no hard evidence to support your case. I soon discovered that it was my word against theirs when I disputed a charge. I had to pay up and vowed never to use them again no matter what deal they were offering

  michaelw 08:43 15 Nov 10

Sky customer service is the single reason I stopped using them 7 years ago and never will again.

  961 09:29 15 Nov 10
  Forum Editor 19:03 15 Nov 10

that seems to be fairly common - companies denying that customers have called to cancel services.

Debt collectors act on information supplied to them by their client, and they can be very persistent. The law is on your side however, and although I recommend that you act on 961's advice you should also do this:-

Send a letter to the debt collection agency. Tell them that that you are disputing the debt with their clients, and ask them to stop contacting you. Be sure to mention the account numbers or reference number that they quote in their letter(s).

The Office of Fair Trading and the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 say that if a debt collection agency disregards a person's claim that a debt is disputed, and makes continual unjustified demands for payments that could be termed psychological harassment, it may be subject to prosecution.

There are other provisions regarding debt collectors who visit your home, but I'm sure it won't come to that.

  urban gorilla 21:21 15 Nov 10

Please accept my thanks for your support. I feel i'm not alone now.
When i was talking to the manager i was under the impression that she was at risk of losing her job if she made any consessions to me. I asked her if she thought i was lying and she said no but as there is no record of my call then i didnt cancel.
It's so true that the onus is on the customer to provide all the evidence of contact with the company even though they claim to record all calls and often the person you speak with doesnt offer any reference number other than their first name to identify them or their department.
961 thank you for the email address i'm going to write to Jeremy after this post.
FE thank you for your advice. I have already informed the debt recovery agency over the phone that i'm disputing the outstanding amount giving them the name of the manager i spoke to and as you advise i will follow it up a letter.
I will wait for Jeremy's reply before seeking advice from CAB and taking it from there.
I feel so relieved that this forum exists and there people around to help in time of need. Thank you again.

  Forum Editor 21:31 15 Nov 10

that you keep a record of telephone conversations - who said what, and when.

We all think that we'll remember such important stuff, but a week later the details can be difficult to recall. Confirm everything by email, and save the emails.

  fubar1977 13:19 16 Nov 10

I recently got rid of Sky for exactly this sort of reason, they are totally hopeless to deal with if you have any sort of problem(in my experience).
It is amusing hearing them desperately ply you with offers and reductions when you call to cancel though :-)

I always thought I would miss sky, but I really don`t and I`m enjoying the extra £35 a month in my pocket more...

  spuds 13:30 16 Nov 10

Regarding being given their 'first name' when contacting a call centre, can lead to all types of further complications.

I was once told by a definitely sounding Asian guy that his name was Tom Jones. When asked how the Valleys were, he hadn't a clue what I was talking about. I now find that it pays to ask where the call centre is located and the persons work number for reference (thats if they will provide it to you!). Its alright that they might state the information as to why you are calling 'is on the screen', its when you seek this advice at a later stage, all is not that simple. So keep positive records yourself at all times.

  morddwyd 15:54 16 Nov 10

"I now find that it pays to ask where the call centre is located"

I was once talking to an Indian lady I could barely understand and when I asked her where she was it was about ten miles down the road!

However, just because of problems like urban gorilla's, I now record each and every call.

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