Sky Minus

Okay, I used that heading once before. A couple of years ago we had Sky Plus installed, and in the first six months had four replacement boxes until, eventually, we got one that worked and stayed working… most of the time. Even then it wasn’t the most reliable of units – recordings would fail and live pause would stop working from time to time.

In the past few weeks however it got worse. This Sunday marked the third occasion this year that all the recordings disappeared into some technological black hole. It was getting to the point where half of the recordings failed, and those that did succeed would freeze numerous times during viewing (which does rather interfere with your viewing enjoyment). As for recording two channels at the same time… forget it.

Phoning Sky is something I dread and relish. Dread because I know that ultimately it’s going to cost me money. Relish because I know I’m going to have an argument with them and that I’m right (their customer service IS poor and their equipment IS crap). As my warrantly had expired, Sky’s answer was for me to pay £65 for an engineer to come along with a refurbished Sky Plus box. Now bearing in mind the obvious poor quality, the 90-day warranty on a refurbished box is worth the square root of bugger all. We recently got a new box for our daughter’s bedroom, and for nearly seven months that’s been trouble-free, a Sky Plus record in my experience. So £160 buys a new box with a year’s warranty. But let’s recap… their customer service IS poor and their equipment IS crap, so on top of the monthly £53 I pay already, I’ve paid £160 so that I can carry on being their customer. Am I a mug or a victim of their monopoly? Or both?

One saving grace is that I got to put one of their people in his place – on telling the sales department about my woes he chuckled, whereupon I told him to stop laughing as their poor service (now with added lack of empathy) was not funny in any way. Does anyone else have experiences of Sky that they’d like to share?

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