Dear Sky broadcasting,
You didn't cancel when asked - twice - you didn't refund correctly - you didn't answer emails - you didn't provide a facility to reply to some emails - you have a premium-rate phone number - you didn't provide requested FreeSat card - you wrote standard, irrelevant letters - you dealt with me through multiple 'handlers'. And now you bombard me with envelopes. Already there is yet another envelope on the doorstep which I will reply to after writing this. It will just say to read this:
What is Service?
I used to watch Sky's science fiction when they showed new series on their own channels: the nerd in me first subscribed to Sky in early days to watch Star Trek's various 'colon: something' series which they easily stole from under the BBC who still to this day think science fiction is for children or BBC Wales and should be shown before 7pm. When all TV Trek was eventually cancelled in favour of similarly-named Hollywood special effects extravaganza "movies" it was superceded on Sky by the Stargate franchises. They didn't last forever either and nothing as good has appeared since. At least, not in my opinion. Everything new these days has to have the drossy elements mentioned above. New series seemed to be designed by production companies who only feel safe copying each other. For once, could a hero like his boss? I never liked any of mine in the real world: drama is supposed to be fictional! Please could some TV characters and "personalities" at least appear to have more than average intelligence and better manners than a slob?
Hour-long episodes of anything on Sky's subscription channels and other commercial TV now often consist of 40 minutes programme and 20 minutes advertising. To this day, I find it hard to understand why a subscription service has advert breaks at all. I found that as their programming became more mediocre, I would mute the overly-loud adverts (another irk) and easily lost interest in second-rate programmes and would eventually switch off or migrate to the uninterrupted BBC. Friends tell me I should have a Sky plus box so I can skip the adverts but I like to watch in real time, without a live pause or having to fiddle and remember to record everything. (Is there anything more irritating than watching TV with someone who repeatedly winds/rewinds/pauses something you are trying to watch?)
I also believe Sky has been touched by the Murdoch mafia. And not in a good way. Probably.
On 23rd June 2013 (over a year later) I looked more closely at my bank account(!) and phoned Sky again and asked if they had a record of the conversation in January 2012? Yes they did! And guess what? The lady who dealt with me then didn't work there any more. My file was marked for cancellation but nothing had been done. Of course I was due a refund of all the Direct Debits they had erroneously kept taking but the amount was such that it would have to be rubber-stamped by a manager. She would be in touch by email, she said.
All sound good so far? It's all lies, of course, or at the very least Sky management is the type who expect loyalty from their staff but who return none. No email. No call. No letters. Until I took action. I gave up waiting and contacted my excellent bank who were far more efficient. By 4.30 pm on the day I phoned them, all the Direct Debits from 13.1.12 to date were refunded under the terms of the Direct Debit Guarantee. About £400. A few days later, I receive a letter from Sky advising me that I will be receiving a refund of £70.02. WTF? And now the letters keep turning up. Almost daily now. Probably marketing?
I received unanswerable emails from Sky too because I cancelled the Direct Debit at the bank and they still send letters asking if I want to upgrade to sports and movies, but no apology for the woeful incompetence beyond the nice lady I spoke to in June who understood my predicament and seemed sympathetic. I am only guessing but "refer to a manager" is too often synonymous with "pluck up courage to talk to senior coward" these days. Yet again (insert long story about mischievous employment agency) someone who ignores the law but is too scared to face the public, fucks about with my money and doesn't think a truthful explanation or an apology is in order. When someone expects and has been told to expect a refund of something like £416 (16 x £26) and that this is only subject to management approval, the customer's expectation is that you can do simple sums and not behave like dicks. How did you arrive at £70? By being a dick. I don't know: you have not bothered to explain yourselves. In banking this behaviour was known as "trying it on". I had a boss who used to charge someone £100 when he deserved £25 and graciously refunded £50 when they complained: "just this once" and "as a gesture of goodwill" he would lie. Please note: my birth date does not precede the date of this article by one day.
When you read this, faceless cowards of management at Sky, let me make this quite clear: the only medium of communication I will accept from you now is through the comments boxes below. All letters and email from you will be assumed to be junk mail and destroyed, unopened. Oh, and DO NOT phone me under any circumstances. And you DO NOT have any authority to try and reclaim any excess refund from my bank. Be on notice my bank: do not believe Sky or their rascally bankers. If Sky think I owe them something they can try asking me nicely instead and may get something from me once I have made a deduction of £20 for lost interest and £100 for my time incurred in having to put up with useless incompetence.
So, Sky, what have you to say for yourselves? I expect this to be good.
P.S. I am still waiting for my Freesat card.