All You Need To Know About Cancelling Your Sky Subscription
Call the Sky cancellation number on 0843 557 3712.
Update 8/07/2014: In May 2014, shortly after this article was published, the Telegraph reported that Sky had agreed to rewrite its cancellation policy in order to avoid confusion among its customers.
Sky now makes it clear to customers that they will only be able to cancel their contracts over the phone, and the wording on its website has been rewritten accordingly. You can do this by calling the Sky cancellation phone number now on 0843 557 3712.
It has also warned its customers not to cancel their direct debit arrangement until their cancellation has been thoroughly processed by Sky. However, in this case it is assumed the same 31 day grace period applies as before.
You’ve probably heard a lot lately about the impossibility that is cancelling your Sky subscription. Seems like a pretty simple thing to do, right? Not if you’re a Sky customer.
Over the last year or so, the number of customers reporting continuous and repetitive problems with cancelling their Sky account has drastically increased. Eventually The Telegraph decided to file a report on the telecom giant, which was subsequently passed to Ofcom, the industry regulator. Since then, Ofcom has entered into serious talks about Sky about its level of service for customers that wish to opt out, and is forcing the company to rewrite its cancellation policy.
But until that’s done and settled and we begin to see some changes, customers are still left with the cumbersome task of actually cancelling their subscriptions (which trust us, is no easy feat).
What it involves is perseverance, forethought, preparation and probably a LOT of patience. Leaving Sky is indeed possible, without costing you an arm and a leg in the meantime. But be warned – you’re in for one hell of a battle.
Cancelling Sky – Why Is It So Hard?
Sky’s cancellation policy, as written here, is certifiably straightforward in its own right (as quoted directly from the Sky website):
If you’d like to remove a package from your account or to cancel your entire Sky subscription, contact our customer service advisers and they’ll be able to help you right away.
You can get in touch in the following ways:
- Telephone: Calls are free for Sky Talk customers.
- Online: Send us a message saying that you wish to cancel and we’ll call you back to verify your details and process your request. Please note, we won’t be able to cancel your Sky services unless we’re able to verify your request over the phone.
Customers should be able to choose one of these options and receive a simple verification to say that their subscription has been cancelled. The only thing that Sky asks is that customers give 31 days’ notice – they can then expect their subscription to expire at the end of the month or just before their next billing date.
Note that the cancellation information here has been recently changed – Sky has now disclosed upfront that it needs to verify details over the phone before a customer’s cancellation can be actioned. It is this lack of information beforehand that has caused so many customers to become irate when issuing cancellation requests via email, letter or online.
However, the process does not seem to end there.
The main reason for phone-verification, Sky claims, is that other correspondence does not or cannot include the “necessary security information” required to cancel an account. But a large portion of fretful customers have expressed utter bewilderment as to what this mystery information might be, and Sky itself refused to disclose this to The Telegraph during its investigation.
Meanwhile, some customers have struggled to get past the phone line’s voice recognition system, whilst others have experienced the horrifying realisation of their Sky subscription still not having been cancelled a month later, even when they have had verification from an adviser over the phone.
It is somewhat unclear as to whether Sky is being deliberately obstructive or just downright incompetent. Either way, it seems there is a significant amount of miscommunication, employee error and misalignment of rules going on within Sky headquarters, and its undoubtedly having a bigger detrimental effect on its customers than the company could ever imagine.
So How Do I Cancel?
What most of the harrowing tales of past Sky customers seem to illustrate is that one of the most effective ways to shake Sky off their back is to cancel their Direct Debit, thus cutting it off at the source. However, this shouldn’t be a first-time approach – you should follow Sky’s rules as legitimately as you can, whilst taking extra precautions to cover yourself in the meantime.
1. Register your request to cancel using one of the measures outlined above. Registering online will be the natural choice if you are not on Sky Talk and do not wish to pay the extortionate fees. Keep a screenshot of your request as evidence of your attempt to cancel on that date.
2. Sky should, as promised, give you a call-back or some kind of communication via letter or email. One of two things will likely happen here: Sky will perhaps leave an answer phone message urging you to call the cancellation phone line; otherwise they may not even contact you at all. In both cases, respond with a written letter including your name, address, postcode and customer number to Sky’s official complaints address.
In the letter you should explain again your request to cancel and details of when you first contacted them. Send it via recorded delivery and retain a copy of the letter for your records. It may also be useful to keep a receipt of the delivery so that you are able to claim back additional costs from Sky later on.
3. Another option to communicate with Sky without resorting to an expensive phone call is via its Live Chat function. To access their Live Chat navigate to their site and search live chat, do NOT select the ‘Cancel Sky TV’ option – instead, select something similar, like ‘Problems With Sky TV’. Explain your attempts to cancel Sky so far to the adviser and if you can, arrange an agreed date and time at which Sky will be able to reach you on the phone. If you are advised to call the cancellation number, simply insist that you do not wish to pay for the cost of the phone call. Whilst you may not get anywhere, you can make a screen grab of the Live Chat conversation as later proof that you made legitimate efforts to contact Sky in advance.
4. If the cancellation of your subscription has not been verified by the end of your original 31 day grace period, you are at liberty to cancel your Direct Debit via your bank. Do this only when you have given Sky sufficient notice and have certified evidence of your original cancellation request. It is likely that you will receive a letter from Sky’s debt collectors, but do not be fazed by these – the Debt Collection Agency has no legal rights.
5. Don’t be afraid to exercise your complaints rights when speaking with Sky. Be prepared to take the case to the Financial Ombudsman and/or Ofcom if necessary, and make this known to whoever it is you speak with if you feel that barriers are being put in your way. Sky have 8 weeks to respond to your original request before you are able to take the matter further.
6. Another approach that has worked for many customers is to email or write to Sky’s CEO directly. His contact information is as follows:
Mr. Jeremy Darroch Chief Executive
Grant Way, Isleworth
TW7 5QD UKM
Company no: 02247735C
Phone (Customer Service Number):0843 557 3712
In your letter, include all details of previous correspondence, including dates, times, responses along with copies of these, if possible.
Even if your cancellation is granted, it is recommended you register a formal complaint with Sky, describing your experience and giving details of any additional costs of postage or phone calls. Sky ought to know that this is a recurring issue and is turning many customers away from using or returning to its service – fast.
You should also ensure that your evidence is dated so that Sky can backdate any extra subscription costs from the date of your original cancellation. Many customers have continued to be charged for their subscription whilst spending weeks trying to cancel their package. Be clear about when your cancellation should have ended and again, threaten further action if Sky refuses to comply.