Sky’s employee of the year
Friday was the big day… our Sky Plus box was to be replaced. I had to go to a meeting in the morning (damn work interfering with my life as usual), so the wife was left in charge for the morning. The engineer called and said we were his first call of the day. Regular readers will know that any dealings with Sky are generally painful, but my opinion almost did a u-turn on this day.
I wasn’t there to witness the first visit of an extraordinary young man who broke the Sky mould. He cared. He wanted us to be satisfied with the service. He wanted to sort out the problems. He was concerned about the poor service we’d received. Hang on, was he really a Sky employee? Was he not a Samaritan with a tool box and ladder?
First thing he did was listen (are you getting this, Sky head office?) to the description of what had happened. He pointed out that because our system was actually under warranty from the multi-room installation last October (ah-ha, no-one at Sky Central told me that) we shouldn’t have to pay. So our young hero called customer service and told them so, and patiently waited (and repeated it five times) until it finally penetrated their thick skulls. He then installed the new Sky Plus box, fitted the correct connectors (the guy in October had used the wrong type), and then adjusted the dish to pick up a better signal. On leaving, he once again apologised on Sky’s behalf and left the wife his mobile number requesting a call if we needed any more help.
When I returned home all was well with the Sky Plus box, apart from live pause not working (but a forced upgrade on the software fixed this, I knew the problem was there on older versions). I was amazed to hear the story of some good customer service from Sky and the existence of an employee whose first directive was not to extract money from us. However, I then discovered that the movies and sports channels weren’t working. I called the engineer, and he confirmed that he had phoned Sky Central and asked them to pair up the viewing card and the box – a process which can sometimes have a short delay, but not four hours. He offered to come back to us on his way home… a promise he kept. I stood with him while he called customer service and went through the process again. He offered to stay until service was resumed but it was getting late so I insisted he should go and have a great weekend. I offered him some money to have a drink on me which he politely declined as he felt Sky had given us poor service (this is a true story). He told me to call him if there were any further problems.
By Saturday morning we still didn’t have movies or sport. I thought it unfair to call the engineer (he wasn’t on duty) so I called Sky Central. I went through the process yet again… account number, viewing card number, serial number. The lady in customer service admitted she didn’t know what was going wrong. After a few minutes she said that she was transmitting the fix and the channels would be available after a short delay.
Sunday… what a surprise. No movies or sport. I rung Sky Central again, same process again, except this time I asked what they were going to do different. I was passed onto an expert (hmmm) who asked me the same questions again. And then, get this, she told me that if both Sky boxes weren’t attached to the phone line I might incur extra charges. This is typical of Sky… I have a problem and I’m receiving crap service, and they’re more interested in their own revenue. Words fail me. After a few minutes she said she knew why the updates hadn’t worked and the channels would be enabled in two minutes. And she would call back in five minutes to ensure they were working. The channels did work, almost as soon as the call ended. Good. But did she call me back? What do you think?
By the way, if anyone from Sky’s top brass should happen to read this then contact me and I’ll give you the engineer’s name. Promote him, give him a pay rise… he is the ONLY person in your organisation who has ever given me the impression that Sky cares about it’s customers.
…works for Microsoft as a Global Account Technology Strategist. In a former life he worked for the Lotus brand within IBM for many years. Married with one daughter and two dogs, lives in Camberley (Surrey, England), plays the guitar to a mediocre standard, and runs 10 kms and half marathons at an average speed. That’s it really.