Sky plus box problems, record not working

Here we have yet another communication to Sky Broadcasting from a disgruntled customer frustrated at the lack of customer care and endless problems with Sky plus recording.

To whom it may concern,

A few months ago, I temporarily and partly suspended my accounts, leaving it open with a minimum of service.  Exactly one week ago, I found I could not record anything, nor even play-back my saved recordings on my Sky plus box.

"recording is not available..."

It came up with the error message "recording is not available call 08705 800 800 to upgrade your Sky plus subscription"  I phoned in this number (which you charged at national rate) and an automated voice advised that I would be on hold for up to 20 minutes.  In reality, it was a full 55 minutes before my call was eventually answered.  It quickly became apparent that the lady taking my call didn't speak English as her first language and she also a strong accent that was difficult to follow.  It isn't her fault of course, but some minutes were wasted before I finally realised that she was asking me whether I was a "Dr or a Mr"!

After some lengthy time speaking to her and explaining my situation, she said that she would upgrade my Sky plus subscription and that it would be activated "between two minutes and four hours".  She then read the "terms and conditions" which took another 10 minutes on your national rate line!  Some four hours later, I tried to record a program only to find the same error message as above.  I phoned your national rate line number again, only to find that your office was now closed.

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Saturday morning, at approximately 11 o'clock I telephoned your national rate line again, waited for 40 minutes and finally spoke to another of your colleagues, again her first language wasn't English, but at least she could understand what I was saying this time.  Yet again, like some dj vu dream, I was promised that my Sky plus would be activated "between two minutes and four hours".  This lady then proceeded to read the "terms and conditions" - I interrupted her to say that she didn't need to as her colleague has already read it out to me, but she ignored me and carried on regardless, wasting another 10 minutes!

At approximately 3:30 p.m. I tried to record on my Sky plus box and of course I got the exact same error message!

Satellite TV - Sky plus record not working Phoning your national rate line for the third time (not counting the time I phoned only to be told that your office was closed) I waited approximately 20 minutes before I got through to a friendly lady with a Scottish accent.  After having a good moan to her, she apologised courteously and again promised that this would finally be resolved.  She was about to read terms and conditions again but this time I managed to stop her.  The lady then said I should hold the line and she would put me through to an engineer.  After some minutes the line went dead at her end, so I put the phone down and waited - fruitlessly.

By Monday morning, I was completely fed up and becoming increasingly angry that this situation was still not resolved!  I tried a different combination on your national rate phone number and got through to an engineer after a few minutes.  He was very friendly and keen to resolve the situation.  After going through all kinds of procedures (this involved the assistance of my helper as I am physically disabled due to thalidomide and I am unable to reach the mains plug) such as taking the card out, turning it upside down, putting it back in, switching off the skybox, checking the skybox set-up etc.  He drew a blank and recommended that an engineer be sent to my home to replace the apparently faulty skybox.  The engineer advised me that this would cost £65.  I thought this was a bit steep, but I reluctantly agreed.  He told me that the earliest appointment would be today (Friday 25th August 2006).

This morning an engineer called at around 11 a.m. and duly replaced the hard drive.  Obviously I lost all previous recordings, but I didn't mind that much because that least it was now going to work (or so I navely believed).  The engineer told me that my Sky plus would definitely be activated "between two minutes and four hours" and he actually phoned in to your office to activate the account for the new Sky plus box.  By 4 p.m. today - guess what?  Yes that's right.  Still no recording facility!

I phoned your national rate phone number (which I'm now almost reciting in my sleep) and got through to an engineer within a short time, of about a minute.  After explaining to him about the engineer's visit this morning, he looked at my (by now extensive) records on his computer screen, and promptly informed me that the problem was because "no-one has activated your Sky plus account"!

I was completely flabbergasted and said so I didn't need an engineer then to visit my home after all?" - He simply repeated that my Sky plus account was not activated.

I repeat again, "So I wasted £65 for nothing then?"  And he just spluttered after a brief pause Oh, I can't confirm that."

I replied, "But you just said that the problem was that no-one want activated it."  He replied cautiously Yes that's right."  Containing my anger I said so therefore, I didn't need a new hard drive!"  He spluttered again I can't confirm that."  Through gritted teeth I said, "But you just said the problem was that it was not activated!"  Yet again, he confirmed that that was a case, but bizarrely this he couldn't confirm that I had indeed wasted £65.

Finally, he promised me that I would be connected within...  Blah blah blah.

I told him that I was now totally sceptical and that if I wasn't reconnected within four hours.  Then I would close my Sky account completely!  He said, I had the right to close my account at any time, but that he would try and get me re-connected tonight.  Then he said that someone would phone me, before adding "oh yeah it's a bit late now, so probably by Tuesday since it is a bank-holiday this weekend."

In anger, I started to compose this e-mail at 5:45 p.m. and I pressed record so that I could accurately copy the error message on the screen - and lo and behold, the blasted thing was recording!

I am pleased and relieved that this has finally been resolved a week later, after many phone calls on your national rate line, and after an engineer's visit today, but I am totally appalled at the level of service that you have provided, and I'm also angry and feel cheated out of £65, especially when your own engineer told me (although he couldn't of course "confirm" it) that the problem was that nobody had activated my account!

Since you record customers telephone calls for "training purposes" then you will be able to hear for yourself my accurate account of the above.  I am quite frankly disgusted at your customer care, especially from an organisation, which prides itself on its reputation of efficiency and innovation.

I expect reasonable recompense for stress, the lengthy national rate telephone calls and the 65 engineering visit, which quite clearly seems (according to your staff) to have been entirely unnecessary!

I await your reply.

Yours truly,

Kevin Donnellon

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Excuse the typo, I could have written that in Non call centre English. I was distracted by mutiny on the buses on itv3.


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Tired and emotional - 26-Apr-14 12:27

If a company doesn't even think you are worthy of being spoken to in understanable English then boycott them.


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Tired and emotional - 26-Apr-14 11:10

Having read through the comments it is apparent that most are not aware that if a UK company has an overseas call centre that you have the right, in law, to be put through to a uk call department where you are able to speak to an English person. They will put up a fight before they transfer you but in the end they have to.
Just thought this might help one or two .


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iceman - 26-Apr-14 10:39

I had no problems ever when I had a basic sky box it was always working until I upgraded to sky plus!!!! grrrrrrrrrrrrrr
It constantly freezes and problems you set to record well theres another story!.. Failed is one for what reason WHO F*****G KNOWS!!! Part recorded same reason as the last!!!! Or it misses the end thats the worst!!! Absoluted crap I havent touched it since it was put in I get a brilliant picture on my TV as im close to a transmittor with little blocked with buildings so go figure!!! The service from sky is pathetic they constantly send crap through the mail about upgrading are they F*****G MAD!!!


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Di, Glasgow - 16-Feb-13 22:53

We recently changed our old sky box for a sky plus. The problem we have is that whenever record anything, on playback the picture breaks up and freezes.
We have recorded a programme while we are watching it and then played it back and all is ok. Reluctant to ring sky again as had to make 3 lengthy calls before findng out that no-one had activated our upgrade.


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Julie - 14-Nov-11 18:13

I have found with sky the only way to get them to do anything they say is record all calls on your mobile . Then on the second phone call tell them that you have a recording and the proof of what you were told . If there unhelpful after that tell them you have no option but to ring Trading Standards . This
has worked every time in my experience .


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Paul - 24-Sep-11 11:51

I feel your pain Kev. I get an issue where I can record stuff from the anytime panner, but on playback I get 'program synopsis not available' and it doesn't play. I'm on my 4th phone call to Sky on the national rate number - nothing has worked so far. Vendor sells customer something that doesn't work. Customer has to pay to get it fixed. Doesn't seem right does it? Especially at £50+ a month. Infuriating.


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double dave - 9-May-11 02:01

Remember as you struggle on with Sky: Believe in better.


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Oi - 11-Mar-11 08:24

Kevin post an email address and I will gladly help you I have obtained satisfaction myself for similar problems. I do NOT work for Sky!


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Christmas Fairy - 25-Dec-10 23:34

My Sky HD + is recording programmes but on play-back IU'm getting picture but no sound. What is the problem?


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Jeffie - 10-Dec-10 09:30

In 6 months my sky+ box broke twice loosing all my recorded programs with it. I had to pay £ 65.00 for the engineer to come and change the box. I complained to sky that I'm paying for a service that I'm not getting as if the box keeps breaking and I loose all my recorded programs whats the point to pay premium rate if I can't watch the programs anyway.
They said there was nothing they could do they offered me £ 40.00 for the inconvenience. The enginneer said the HD boxes are more reliable but they won't give me a new one without paying for it. I told them to cancel my account. I've been with sky for over 15 years. But the way they disregard good custom is beyind belief. With the money saved I'll buy a HD recorder.


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M Serafim - 12-Nov-10 11:05

Call sky on there 0800 free numbers chat for a while and tell them your problem they will keeep trying to stop you just ignor them eventually a manager will come on line, you may have to do this a few times but....


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try - 22-Oct-10 08:39

Angrey Colin again: Sorry have just re-read what I have posted and it all sounds a little confusing along with some spelling mistakes, my only answer to this is the anger I am feeling while writing all of this, it just gets to me, so apologise to all and will spell check next time lol
PS if you read it slowly it will all make sense, conclusion SKY you owe me and someone is stealing in your company. Why take £10 extra per month for sky plus for 2 years your records show this along with when you supplied me with a NEW HD box 2 years later, you cannot get out of this, my records and bank statements do not lie, and now £171.88 yet NO SKY services to date? As of 21st October 2010.


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Angrey Colin - 21-Oct-10 21:44

To be continued !!!
Trust me the cost of the telephone calls and the hassle I have had with SKY you would not believe, they are based up in Scotland along with call centres abroad I believe, well they sound Indian most of them but fun will NOT give out details about themselves, WHY ? Nobody will take responsabilty for themselves and actions and it is always your fault along with them passing you from pillar to post and wrong departments. You try and CANCEL YOUR SKY ACCOUNT, it has to be DONE IN WRITING AND THEY NEED 31 DAYD NOTICE BEFORE THEY WILL CANCEL YOUR ACCOUNT ! Steer clear of them, you wait when you have a problem you will see. Colin at colgrey1@sky.com email me SKY go on I dare you. Anyone from the Press want a story, THE FULL STORY THERE IS MORE.


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Angrey Colin - 21-Oct-10 21:25

Part 4/5
The engineer came and said the old HD had packed up completely and as it was under guarantee I could have a new one, which is MADE BUY Sky now! Now my HD box works great but as they have NOT come back to me about the money they owe me I stopped the credit card payment, so Sky stopped my HD services and package. Then I got a bill from Wescot Debt Collection stating that I owe Sky £137.50, I called them saying that Sky owe me and that I have NOT had any services from Sky as they cut me off due to me stopping the card. Wescot said they would look in to this. Then 5 days later they sent me a final demand, I just then happened to check my bank account to only find that Sky themselves have been paid by my Barclays Bank account from my old original account, but they took £171.88 without my authorisation. I called Wescot and told them that Sky have been paid, they themselves were livid that Sky had took the money. Now I am dealing with Sky again along with my Barclays Bank Account. And guess what I STILL DO NOT HAVE ANY SKY SERVICES/PACKAGE and cannot access my Sky account via internet as it does not recognise the last 6 digits of my bank account that I pay the bills with which is needed in order to sign in. Come on Sky you have just been paid by this account number so WHY CANT I SIGN IN ? Sky you are the WORST COMPANY IN THE UK and I recommend anyone to keep clear of them.
Now sky TRY contacting me for a change you have my SKY email account that you set up, just incase you have forgotten it here it is colgrey1@sky.com will keep you posted as to the next stage. Colin.


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Angrey Colin - 21-Oct-10 21:17

Part 3 /5 below/top
Now I could go into Sky people who I spoke to and their names along with what they said and who they passed me on to and the departments, but trust me you would get totally lost on all of this. Lets just say you do not want it to happen to you. I was eventually told that they could NOT refund me the £240 that they admitted to but they would credit my account and the next month’s payment for my Sky services would NOT be taken out of my bank account. Guess what they LIED they took the next month’s payment and again the following month, THEN the NEW Sky HD box packed up just after 5 months use. I called Sky up again who said they would send around an engineer the NEXT day and they did, WHY because I had STOPPED MY BANK ACCOUNT PAYMENTS and told the man (Alan who said he was a manager of the IT/Tech Department) about the trouble I have had with Sky and the money they owe me. This is when he said he could see from my records on file that I have had some trouble but could NOT find that they owed me the £240. To be fare to him he said he would look into it and get back to me, he did NOT. Just to palm me off to get of the phone but I needed to give him a credit card over the phone to re activate the new box that the engineer would be installing the next day when he comes. This I gave him.
Part 4/ Below/top


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Angrey Colin - 21-Oct-10 21:16

Part 2/5
I replied that I had a Sky Plus box still and could I use this instead, they replied yes and for me to give them the details of the card number and they would connect/activate it their end. Which they did 1 hour later, fantastic. Now call me naive but being a very busy man I do not get time to check my bank account as nothing much happens with it other than my sky payments out of it. 2 years passed very happy with my good OLD sky plus box working a treat I decided to treat myself to a new Sony HD 42 TV and thought I would buy another HD Sky box. The engineer came around and fitted it, I paid the £199 deal via my bank account and bought the total HD package, it was then that I noticed that Sky had been taking out the EXTRA £10 for my OLD Sky HD box which had packed up for over 2 years now while I was using the Sky Plus box. I called Sky which took hours and hours to get to speak to the right person who CONFIRMED that they had been taking out the Extra £10 for over 2 years and that on their records it shows that I had NOT had any HD services along with records of them activating the Sky Plus box.
Part 3/5 Below/top


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Angrey Colin - 21-Oct-10 21:14

Part 1 of 5
Wow what a letter about Sky and totally believable as that is nothing compared to the one I have with sky which is now on going for over 2 years and still NOT resolved. Will now put pen to paper and post on here ASAP. Sky owes me £240 and now £171.88 and admitted this but cannot refund it only credit it as they said. They never did and still kept taking money from my bank account and even stopped my services for 3 month (still stopped as of writing this). Yet they admitted they owed me money for THEIR MISTAKE, Now their system/file on myself and telephone recording of my conversations with them have some how mystically have been deleted. and nobody has any records of them owing money to me. How convenient for them, my belief is someone their end has had it away with my money the owed me and originally admitted to and deleted my details. Yet it is very easy to prove and explain if only you could be able to talk to someone who speaks ENGLISH. I have been a sky subscriber for over 6 years with a sky plus box, then I upgraded to a sky HD box which after 13months packed up (how convenient just after the 12 month guarantee, many thousands of people have had this also happen to them, search the internet about this issue) I contacted Sky about my HD box who said it was out of guarantee and I would have to pay £199 for a new one.
Part 2 below/top


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AngreyColin - 21-Oct-10 21:10

I would like to discourage anyone from using Sky boarding or Skytalk. My phone line started to have problem 3 weeks ago, I have called the sky technical service for 7 times. After many rounds of check and discussion, they forced me to agree to terms and conditions to pay £125 if they cannot find any program because they said they remotely do a test with positive result! Reluctantly, I accept the terms of conditions to pay £125, but they still don't want to send anyone to fix the problem! THis is the worse company which I have encountered in my life. When you call the call centre, the line will be diverted to one of the 5 call centres, so everytime, you will get different guy to talk to you. The worst is that, they do not document things in the computer appropriate, so they do not know that you have called before! Everytime you call, you have pay charges also, so even making a complaint is using your money up! I have paid £30 only try to make different calls, so my recommendation is to use smaller company like BE!


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Prettysnake - 24-Aug-10 17:51

I spotted this complaint and though I may be a bit late I might have the solution. I had this problem and resolved it by disabling the Standby. I also disabled Anytime as these are both contributors to the the "Satellite Signal Not being Received" The software from SKY is crap and as a monopoly they make the rules. Currently I have another problem which is common "Programme synopsis is not available". Their final response is only an engineer at my expense! I will threaten cancellation and demand refund. They always back off.,


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Feebe1852 - 2-Jul-10 19:43

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