Over Half of Customers Who Cancel Sky Say Service Is Too Expensive
Why do so many Sky customers end up wanting to cancel Sky?
If our research is anything to go by, the main reason people cancel is that the service is just too expensive.
At the end of 2014, we asked our readers the main reason they ended up cancelling Sky. 334 people entered the poll, and the result was distinctive. For 58% of customers, paying for Sky on a monthly basis proved just too expensive, which proves that Sky is by no means the most cost-effective way to enjoy your favourite TV shows and movies.
With 194 of you voting ‘Too expensive’ as your prime reason for cancelling Sky, 59 customers (18%) said they managed to find a better TV deal from another provider.
45, meanwhile (13%) said they simply didn’t use it enough, and 36 (11%) cited a negative customer service experience as their reason for abandoning ship.
Whatever customers’ reasons for leaving, it’s no secret that Sky can be a costly investment…and with the company’s negative reputation in customer service over the last couple of years (including an impossible cancellation policy), we feel Sky needs to start rethinking its approach regarding the needs of its customers.
Why Is Sky So Expensive?
Looking at its current prices (circa 2015), Sky doesn’t seem cheap. Its cheapest TV bundle – the Original Bundle – comes at £21.50 a month, including 75+ channels, 100 free-to-air channels, catch-up, Sky Plus and Sky Go.
One can choose to step it up a notch with the Variety Bundle for £28 a month, which offers 75+ channels, 240 free-to-air channels, Sky Plus, catch-up, Sky Go, and 11 free-to-air channels in HD.
Alternatively, one can go all-out with the Family Bundle, which at £33 a month, gives you 75+ channels, 240 free-to-air, Sky Plus, catch-up, Sky Go, Box Sets On Demand, 50 HD channels and Sky 3D.
Bear in mind that with all of these bundles, you’ll need to pay extra for each of the Sky Movies, Sky Movies and HD packages (and you’ll need all three if you plan on watching movies or sports in HD). This is also before you’ve even looked at getting Broadband or a landline.
Sky’s Broadband packages range from Broadband Unlimited (£21.90 per month for up to 17Mb); Sky Fibre (£26.40 per month for up to 38Mb, and a 25GB monthly allowance) and Sky Fibre Unlimited (£36.40 per month for up to 38Mb, no limit). On their own these prices don’t look so bad, but put them together with the pay-TV packages and it’s easy to see how the cost mounts up.
Plus, Sky has announced that it’s prices will rise from June 1 2015, so if you’re already finding it difficult to maintain, now might be the best time to get out.
Can You Make Your Sky Package Cheaper?
As the good folks at Money Saving Expert have proven, it is indeed possible to reduce the costs of any service and still enjoy some benefits…and that includes Sky. You can also read our previous article on getting a cheaper deal from your Broadband or TV provider for some tips.
Here are some useful things you can try to get the cost of your Sky package down.
1. Make sure you only pay for channels you watch.
It pays to be on the right package. Take stock of the main channels you currently watch on a regular basis, and take into account seasonal viewing – watching more channels at certain times of year, You may watch more sports in the summer, for instance, or more movies in the winter etc. Just cancelling your package for six months can still bring about massive savings, but set a reminder on your phone or calendar as you’ll need to give 30 days’ notice.
Once you’ve decided which channels you might like to keep, give Sky a call and let them know which channels you’re not using. Say you’re thinking of cancelling, but would very much like to stay if you could just pay them for the channels you use. This approach doesn’t work 100% of the time, but Sky are known for their 86% haggle success rate.
For more help on haggling a better deal, read Money Saving Expert’s full Haggling Guide.
2. Weigh up how much sport you want to watch.
Depending on how much of a die-hard sports fan you are, see if you can find your favourite sports games on other channels, such as BT Sport or ESPN (which is free-to-air). You can get access to the Champions League, FA Cup, international games and Premier League highlights all on Freeview, and for the odd Premier League Game, you can use Sky’s online streaming service, Sky Go.
If you use your Sky TV service primarily for the sports channels, consider moving to BT, where Sky Sports 1 and 2 are much cheaper.
If you’re keen on not missing a single game however, Sky TV is probably your best bet.
3. See if you can downgrade to a lower bandwidth.
Depending on how you use your internet, you may be paying for more bandwidth than you actually need. For basic browsing, 2Mb is enough, while for downloading movies and music, and/or streaming TV shows, 8Mb is more ideal.
Remember that ‘up to’ doesn’t mean that that’s what you’re necessarily getting – a lot of it depends on your local area. Check what speed you’re currently getting by heading to Think Broadband and running a speed test.
4. Consider subbing out Pay TV altogether.
If there’s only a small handful of TV shows you watch, why not ditch the TV from your package altogether and watch online instead? With quality streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime Instant (at £6 and £8 a month respectively), you can access your favourite shows and maybe have a little more to spare on broadband instead.
Also, with most channels now offering a catch-up or On Demand service online, you can simply hook your device up to your TV and watch that way instead.
For more help on cancelling Sky, check out our advice piece here.