Sky-boshed & other sillinesses

Now I have got round to this post. For some time we have had separate accounts for our broadband and TV. This was because my broadband provider had been taken over by Sky. Now this meant that we could save money by having a single account. In January there was a deal on which meant an even better package including both our phone line and upgrading to SkyQ.

One of our sons had spotted this and had rung Sky and specified what we should have. He then rang me to say Sky would be calling me, which they did a few minutes later. After nearly two hours I was beginning to lose the will to live but thought we had got it sorted then the Sky-man said “your new phone number will be . . .“. Hold on a minute, there is no way we are willing to change our phone number. He was quite insistent that we would have a new number until we said we would cancel the whole package. Then off for a conflab with his manager. Yes we could keep our number, so all was good.

A few days later I looked at the details of our order and it showed a new phone number! After a struggle I found an email address on the Sky website and emailed them – I wanted written confirmation that we could keep our number. After a few unsatisfactory exchanges I decided to try a different approach – online chat. This went quite well but I was repeatedly asked the same questions the answer to many of which I included in my initial message. Then they asked for a password but if we ever had a Sky password we forgot it 20 years ago. It seemed that whoever was reading the online message would only read the last message and was incapable of looking at the full picture. In the end I was given a phone number to ring. 

The challenge when ringing Sky is to navigate through the automated system. A charming Scottish voice asks a series of questions – what do you  want to do today, for example do you want to do this or do that. This is fine for 90% of their calls but no good when you say “I want to keep my phone number” – you end up going down a blind alley or being told to try online chat.

Eventually after a week of emails and chats I managed to speak to a real person. She told me that the only way out of this conundrum was to cancel the phone and broadband order and reorder it the next day  The order was cancelled and a day or so later the order was made again. Nearly there or were we? 

The Sky Broadband had to be in place before the SkyQ TV box could be activated. The router arrived in the post and I installed it on the appointed day. The changeover seemed pretty seamless. I had a sorry you are leaving letter and phone call from BT – I explained that I was getting a better package which included free calls to mobiles (a big chunk of our calls these days). Not far to go? 

A week or so later the SkyQ man arrived, he looked at the location of the Sky dish and left. I had explained when I placed the order that we lived in a bungalow with the Sky dish on the chimney next to a flat roof. Pretty easy access I would have thought but it now needs a Specialist Access Team who could come and sort it in a couple of months. Pardon? A couple of weeks later a two man team with ropes, hard hats, harnesses and ladders  turned up. 

0594EB25-720C-4EB0-9188-2A18CF3A9DB2They had to put a couple of eye-bolts to secure the ladder in place so that it now became a stable platform not a ladder. Then another bolt on the other side of the house for a rope for the guy taking three steps up the roof to the Sky dish. Putting a new connection on the Sky dish didn’t take as long as setting up and taking down the ladders and ropes. Now it was back inside to set up the Sky Q boxes. Oh dear we live in a bungalow with solid walls rather than plasterboard and studding so the WiFi struggles to get through. This wireless system requires a wire and a booster for both boxes to work! (They have the same problem with any older houses as well) 

A few weeks later I can report that everything seems to be working well although the touch sensitive keypad on the controller is too sensitive and I found the on screen display more confusing than the old one. Hey ho. Such is progress. 

Other sillinesses – outside our house there are a couple of stopcocks for our water supply (one for us, one for our neighbour). A few weeks ago the cover for one of them went missing leaving a hole that was a trip hazard if not worse  So I emailed customer service at our water company and a temporary cover was put in place. I got a phone call to say that they would be replacing the stopcock (which would of course mean turning the water off). Could they have contact details? Yes but it would be more sensible to have my neighbours contact details since it is their water supply that they would be turning off. “Can’t do that because of GDPR. They will have to raise a new issue“. That”s silly I said and left them with my email (which they already had) and my neighbours mobile phone number. 

Customer service failure #2. My son had ordered something via Amazon which needed to be returned. He left it with us on a day when we would be at home and arranged collection with the specified delivery company which I shall call Yohoho. That afternoon he rang to say that their website says it has been collected. Oh no it hasn’t, it still is in the hall! 

The collection was rearranged. When we had to go out we left it our porch. The next message from Yohoho was they couldn’t find it which was odd since it was four foot tall and eighteen inches square! Fairly obvious to spot you would have thought. 

Try again. The next excuse was that there was no-one in. Again not true. At this point the supplier and my son gave up and decided it should be given to charity and if a receipt was sent to the supplier my son would be reimbursed. Total failure by white van man (or whatever colour they use).


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