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We are in a situation where we cannot get terrestrial TV so are at the mercy of Sky

We had sky digital and were subjected to months of letters and phonecalls about upgrading pour system to sky plus, but saw no real need at the time. Then our pace box died so we thought wed give sky plus a try and duly ordered it.

As is the way I suppose, the sales side wide swimmingly, couldnt have been more helpful. The installation..... well that could have been a LOT better. I now have a second sky cable trailing over the front of my house that snakes considerably. it wouldnt have been difficult to do the job properly and neatly, maybe I'm too fussy?

But it worked, although the installation engineer couldnt explain all we asked the system seemed great....until 5 days later when it tuned itself off and wouldnt come back on despite all the usual removing cables, power, card and then putting them all back again. The Sky helpdesk I phoned at 11pm said that Sky plus had closed for the evening at 11pm. I explained the problem, what I'd done to try to correct it and they told me that that sounded like exactly what I would have been asked to do and that the box needed replacing. My only choice, I was told, was to call back at 0830 the following morning to the sky plus number and arrange an engineer to come and swap it out.

The following morning I was on the school run so phoned from my mobile to arrange the swap out. The person I spoke to was obstructive and rude. Although I explained the previous evenings events and the conversation with normal sky customer services this person said they had nothing to do with sky plus and didn't know what they were doing. He insisted that I go through it all again with him on the phone, I explained I couldnt at that time as I wasnt by the system! The sky person then told me I was refusing to help and he wouldnt do any more. I asked for his name to follow up a complaint and he flatly refused to give it.

So when I got home I called again, this time I was bounced around a bit then put through to someone who asked me to do everything I'd done the night before plus press the backup switch - not done before-. I asked how this could work if the box refused to come out of standby but was told this always works they've never had a box not able to backup before...

So after several minutes and failed attempts to get the thing to backup it was agreed that the previous evenings conversation had been correct and that the box needed changing... First available engineer..4 days later. I registered my displeasure with this but was told there was nothing they or I could do.

I explained that on this particular Friday the call would have to be either morning up until 1200 midday or after 4pm, I was told that this information had been put on the job sheet for the engineers.

Friday came after what seemed like double the time at least with the unhappy kids. The engineer called to say that he was scheduled to arrive between 2pm and 4pm.!!
I explained again that we had specifically stated we could not make that time but were told that there was nothing they could do and theyd have to re-schedule, which now would probably be after Christmas In sheer desparation I had to cancel all of my appointments for the day and take the time off to be onsite.

Is it just me or does anyone else get the feeling from Sky that we are not customers, we are in fact a nuisance to them that they just about tolerate and that they are above such minor concerns as customer service.

N McClure (Felixstowe) ... 12 December 2003