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Moving your Sky Services to a New House

October 3, 2011

Having recently moved house, I decided to take Sky up on their promises of expediting the move of TV and other services so that there is nothing to worry about.

Well, the warning to others considering this, there is plenty to worry about and it all revolves around the ineptitude of Sky staff. Their fine promises fall flat when anything goes even slightly not quite as expected. The issue is compounded when the button pressers at the other end of the phone don’t follow up on their responsibilities and processes can sit in limbo with no one realising.

Before we moved, my wife and I casually discussed cancelling our Sky services, which are in my name and opening up a new account in her name at our new address. The reasoning being that a new customer would likely get a better level of service than an existing customer. I am still not convinced that the process would have been any less painful had we gone that route, but it is tempting to think it would have been.

The warning bells were there from the start

The Sky website allows you to calendar your house move, so that Sky can terminate your existing services and then start them up at the new house. They even have a sensible recommendation and justification for having the satellite dish installed the day after the move. This I did 1 month before the move.

I was called back by Sky two days later to confirm the start of the move procedure and during the conversation I was told that about 14 days after the move process starts, the broadband will be disconnected. This would be the first of many WTF! moments with Sky.

The helpful Sky website allows you to book your move process in one month in advance, but if you confirm it more than 14 days in advance, you risk having no broadband internet for some time prior to the move. Obviously I expressed my displeasure at that and we agreed I would confirm the start of the process 14 days before the move and Sky promised to send me a mobile internet dongle to my home to cover the period either side of the move that I might be without any broadband.

All good so far, but it wasn’t to last

The move came and went, the Sky satellite dish was installed as promised and TV has worked fine since. However, Sky TV installers will not integrate their TV signal into the structure of houses. So despite me having specified TV sockets in several rooms of the new house I have bought, I can not use any of them because Sky installers simply drill a new hole in the wall and take the cable direct to the back of the Sky box.

There is utterly no desire on the part of Sky to be sensible and helpful in this matter. You have you dish and cables put where they put them and that is it. It doesn’t matter if you have a brand new conduit specially waiting for a TV cable so that it can dissipate the TV signal to half a dozen TV sockets scattered about the house. After the Sky engineer has been, you are left with visible cables and TV in only one location.

Broadband woes a plenty

With TV sorted, it was time to concentrate on the phone and broadband service.

Having at first promised to provide phone on the same day as TV, Sky moved the date to 2 weeks after move to provide the phone with broadband following 7-10 days later. Despite several disappointing calls to Sky, this could not be moved. A dongle was offered again. I asked if this one would actually arrived, given that the first one didn’t and we were now a week into the new house.

It turns out the dongle order process was not fully completed by the original operator so the order was completed and my promised dongle eventually arrived, over two weeks later than promised.

The date of the promised phone installation arrived and the BT engineer requested by Sky could not do his job because the previous task, a cable to be installed, had not been done. Joined up communication at its worst. I’m not entirely sure whose fault this was as BT are responsible for the doing the physical work, they don’t let anyone else touch their equipment. However, Sky should be aware of the procedures involved and should not be booking engineers in when the job can’t be done. Frantic phone calls followed and the jobs got done in the right order and I got a working phone 3 days later than promised.

Then came the next Sky broken promise. It turns out that broadband follows 10-14 days after the phone, not 7-10. Why this should take so long is beyond me, all the cables are now in place as I have a working phone, the broadband activation should not take that long. If one phone call can bring a man to install a physical cable outside my house within 1 day, then why can’t it be done for broadband which doesn’t require hand to get dirty?

By now I was used to being let down, so I made sure to ask the Sky operative that everything was ready for the broadband to follow 10 or so days after my phone, the answer was unequivocally yes.

Except it should have been no

14 days after the phone is installed I ring Sky to ask why my broadband is not working. It turns out BT forgot to do something and of it can’t be done yet. So once again, Sky were incapable of following through on a job and checking to make sure everything was ready for their customer. Quite how I managed to get through the phone call without stinging together a long line of expletives is nothing short of a miracle.

It was the second Sky manager I ended up speaking to in the whole process, the first manager I gave an earful to, promised to listen to my calls where I claimed to have received conflicting information and call me back. We would never speak again. Such is the care that Sky and their employees give to their customers.

I now have a date for my broadband, more than 5 weeks after I have moved and nothing in the move has gone smoothly or even how I would have liked. For a company that is taking more than £50 of my money every month for my TV, phone and internet services, this is utterly disgusting.

A complaint has been lodged but I’m not even holding my breath on that.

The sad thing is; Virgin Media don’t offer services to this area, otherwise I’d be moving to them and taking my money away from Sky, as it is I’ll be looking at what alternatives there.

UPDATE:

Well, it turns out I was a little wrong about Sky. My complaint was responded to and some action was taken. The say after my complaint to Sky my broadband started working and a couple of hours after I noticed, I received a response to my complaint confirming that my broadband was working.

Pathetic Compensation

Of course, its not all rosey. The compensation offered was no charges for the period of problems (5 weeks) and 25% off my TV cost for two months. My TV cost is about £40 monthly if you include the £10 HD supplement, though I suspect Sky won’t include that when making their calculations.

So, I am still very unhappy with Sky and I still won’t recommend them and I am now looking at what options I have as an alternative to using Sky. It’ll mean having to accept a cut in the channels I like to watch, specifically the documentary channels, like Discovery and National Geographic. I can cope with that so long as I can get access to their best documentaries on BluRay from LoveFilm.

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From → Reviews, Technology

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