An Open letter to Sky
Tonight I have cancelled my whole subscription - my 2 Sky+ boxes and my 45 pounds/month subscription after a discussion re moving up to HD. You see, after 10 years of loyal custom, I have to admit, I took the hump - and I now feel better for it.
I take great insult in being asked to pay an installation charge to connect a new box I could now do myself with my eyes closed. After all, I have swapped out so many faulty boxes over 10 years, I could qulaify as one of your engineers myself. Send it and I will do it myself i asked. "no" was the reply, "it would affect the warranty". interesting, I have items delivered to my home all the time and it does not affect their 12 month warranty. Dont get me wrong, the content you provide is generally very good. When I call for service it is generally very good - I am never held waiting. When I called to upgrade to HD, I said I would pay the extra 10 pounds/month for the content - even after seriously considering Freesat - but I could not bring myself to pay the 60 pounds installation. Insult to injury that a new subscriber would pay half that. "Remember", said your call centre, "when you joined 10 years ago you would have received a similar discount...." I have to say, he read well from your prepared script re customer objections, but I doubt he was in the call centre 10 years ago.
He at least had the humility to agree with me that he thought it was a rip off himself. He admitted it showed a lack of customer loyalty. Yes, Sky, this is your call center staff agreeing with me. I am sure you are now penning a letter for staff training saying you should 'never' tell the customer they are right..... at least when it comes to Sky pricing policy.
So what is my point ? Sky, I think you have lost the plot. You fail to accept you now have real competition. You have lost the ability to understand true customer service or what it means to retain customers. You will reach this conclusion and try and reverse it - only when you have already handed over the advantage, mindshare and thought leadership to Freesat or companies such as Virgin and BT. Your recent box price drop just does not cut it. You fail to see the Freesat strategists claiming you have just scored an own goal. Tonight I agree. After the call re migrating to HD, and the installation charge, I sat frustrated for some time and ultimately called and cancelled my whole subscription. I will be a Freesat customer in 30 days. Oh yes, I have to pay my final pound of flesh and wait 30 days even tho I am out of contracts for 9 years.
Remember my comment about never being held waiting ? when I chose the 'cancel' option on the phone I was told that I would be held for 18 minutes. It was over 20. You really, really have lost the ball on customer service. You are soon to be a case study in business schools about how a company with such a market leadership position lost it in a matter of a year or two to a brand new competitor.
Feel free to write a suitable response to this, if you care. I am sure it will be bland and generic about how Sky believes it offers more content and provides a better experience than the competition etc, etc. Here is the catch. I know that - and I agree.
But know this, I still cancelled my 45 pounds a month on principle - and it was soon to be 55 pounds/month. Your 60 pounds installation charge doesn't look so profitable now does it ?