Over the last few weeks, we've seen a number of horror stories pop up across the Internet regarding people attempting to cancel Sky. One man even spent 90 minutes discussing his account with Sky whilst the operator attempted to convince them not to leave the service. By the end though, his request was still denied, completely wasting his time in the process. Clearly, such customer service practices are far from fair and responsible, and are only designed to keep customers from leaving the service. As that news broke, many other disgruntled customers came out of the woodwork to complain about the way Sky had treated them. As such, we've decided that it's about time we gave our readers the low down on how to cancel your account.
In response to complaints last year, Sky reworded its terms and conditions to make it clear that customers would have to call the Sky helpline 24 hour if they wished to cancel their subscription. Though the website states "If you’d like to cancel your Sky subscription, you’ll need to call us or start a Live Chat online", further down the page it clarifies that requests made via the Live Chat cannot be accepted without a verification request over the phone. This means that if you do want to cancel Sky, you'll have to use the phone at some point. Of course, that doesn't do anything to cut down the amount of time you spend on the phone, so what can you do?
Sky's customer service personnel are trained to try and keep you with the company. It's standard practice across pretty much every industry these days, but that doesn't mean its any less annoying. One thing you can do though is to say the reason you're cancelling is that you're moving overseas, which will see your account closed with no questions asked. It's worth noting though that you cannot cancel your contract at any time, as you must pay for the minimum length of your contract, as agreed with Sky when you signed up. Cancelling before that date will mean you are subject to hefty cancellation fees or having your case being handed over to debt collectors.
From July, Ofcom will be offering a switching service for broadband and landline customers, which will remove the need for customers to contact their olde supplier before they leave. Necessary information will be collected by the new provider and the service will be available to all customers of the BT network, including BT, Sky, TalkTalk and EE, but not Virgin Media.
As always though, you should read carefully your consumer rights before entering into a conversation with the Sky contact people, as knowing where the law will back you up is incredibly useful. Also be aware that cancelling your direct debit without informing Sky (regardless of whether you've paid for the term of your contract) will land you in serious trouble, as Sky require 31 days advance warning before you can act in that way.
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