Dodgy practices from Sky

As a Sky customer, usually I can’t fault their customer services. At least not in the last year or so. But one thing they just did has annoyed me, so I’m going to blog it.

I just had a call on my mobile from someone calling “on behalf of Sky” who didn’t give their name or their company name. Not a great start to a call.

(It’s how most PR company people are when they call you, at least the junior ones who are not trained how to use the phone properly)

My one year warranty on my Sky HD box has now expired, the lady (I say lady in the most generous sense of the word) calling told me.

“And?” I inquired politely. “Well”, she said, “what will you do if it breaks now? You’ll have to pay call out charges and for repairs”.

“But”, she said, “If you buy our protection insurance, we’ll make sure you don’t need to pay for repairs or call-out charges”. How generous.

I asked if she was aware that these kinds of protection insurance plans had been discredited in recent years.

I asked if she or her company knew that there had been a huge rise in complaints across the country at dodgy practices by insurance and electronics firms, amongst others.

She said she was not aware. I found this rather odd.

I asked why my Sky HD box was likely to break, suddenly, after a year with no problems? “Well” she said, “it could break at any time, and you’ll have to pay”.

This sounded like a promise, a prediction if you like. Almost a threat.

I disagreed, saying that given I had had no problem with it in the past year, it was unlikely to suddenly implode. Modern electronic kit doesn’t often do that, I said.

We then had a rather curious short conversation where the saleslady tried to persuade me that a perfectly functioning piece of equipment (my Sky HD box) was likely to break at any moment, and that I should pay her to make sure I did not become liable.

As you might guess, I disagreed, and she become rude, surly and then simply hung up on me without saying goodbye.

So now in the space of five minutes I have gone from a relatively satisfied Sky customer into one who feels like he has just been mildly threatened.

Not only that, but also treated with rudeness, by a company who Sky have sold their customer database to so that they can sell an unnecessary, and ethically very dodgy, product to.

How many vulnerable (elderly, for example) customers are being sold to and treated this way? Thousands potentially.

When I was a student I observed at first hand BT’s (at the time) similarly dodgy practices.

I don’t think BT still does them (it was 13 years ago) but I am surprised, and slightly disappointed with Sky, that they would now allow the same to happen in their name.

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