A bit of a long post today. It’s my personal experience of being with Sky and why we decided to leave.
Go and make yourself a brew as I could ramble on for a while!
I’d been with Sky for about 7/8 years. In fact, I used to work for the – not in any department to do with TV, much to the annoyance of family & friends who wanted discounts when I worked there! But in May last year, we left. I’ll tell you why.
Loyalty doesn’t mean anything when mentioned in the same sentence as television companies. It’s difficult to admit and even accept that you’re going to leave. I had no real problem with the television and broadband itself. You read ‘horror’ stories (#firstworldproblems) about people’s Sky broadband being worse than dial up from the 1990s. The television content was always really good, I love Game Of Thrones and The Walking Dead as much as the next guy, probably more as I talk about them all the time!
The issue is, they only care about new customers. The new customer offers for the first 12 months (though they seem to have changed this recently to be 18 months!) are always much better than offerings to retain you as customers. Sky was at one point giving away LG TVs & seem to be doing it again at the moment. We were offered 50% off to stay. Which we refused as it was still more than I was willing to pay and more than I had currently been paying. It slowly went up in 5% increments to 70%.
I still said no.
One of the main points was I kept saying that I’d been with them for so long, yet my brother-in-law who had only been with them for a couple of years had recently been offered a 75% discount and £100 credit on top of that, in order to stay. Nothing like that had been thrown my way, even when I mentioned it to them. There is no prize for being loyal. I was definitely leaving. When I say I’m doing something, it’s happening.
I was never aggressive, just asked them to put themselves in my shoes. Never be rude. You aren’t entitled to a discount, you’re only entitled to leave. Haggling is great, but I think haggling has to work both ways. It was like talking to a Sky logo shaped brick wall. They jus didn’t seem interested in retaining me. Even when I got through to their retentions department.
The thing I find funny is that I don’t think they actually expect you to leave.
When you do, even though you know you can’t watch your favourite show on Sky Atlantic that evening, it’s actually quite freeing.
Before we decided that it was right for us to leave, we figured out just what we watch. The vast majority was on ‘normal’ free-to-air TV. Having these additional movie channels to Film4 was a bit of luxury but there are some great movies on ITV2 and there’s also a Sony Movies Channel available on Freeview.
I looked around and got a deal with BT for our line rental, calls and broadband which worked out at a great price after I went through a cashback website. That was the internet sorted, which I need for working from home. (It was also pretty much constant, with only a slightly outage for a couple of hours. We did notice it was quite slow for a while but it’s got up to a decent speed!) Next was to think about TV. We sat and watched Freeview for a bit but then we wanted a bit more from the television. Our little boy wanted some shows back that he was used to watching on Sky (Paw Patrol!) and TWD (told you I mention it a lot!) was due to come back to our screens soon so I got researching.
Now I know what you’re going to say when I tell you we ended up with NowTV. I know they’re owned by Sky and are essentially Sky’s version of Netflix. Am I technically still a Sky customer? Possibly, but I’m not ‘that’ Sky customer as they still keep ringing ‘that’ customer with Sky TV deals. The thing with NowTV that I like is that you pretty much get what we had before, for less and with no contract. Now it might not be for less when you do all the adding up with BT for line rental etc, but the cash back I received for joining them certainly makes it all cheaper.
We started the NowTV trial, signed up through a cashback website to get our first month paid back to us. So with the trial that was 6 weeks for free.
NowTV has the main channels of Sky but you can also pick and choose what you want to watch. They have 4 types of passes available, Entertainment, Movies, Kids and Sports. When we joined Kids was part of Entertainment but they split them. Now, being able to join for 30 days at a time is ideal. I’m self-employed and I don’t always have a steady income, so being able to say yes or no to something which isn’t a necessity is perfect. At one point I was buying box/pass combinations on offer, keeping the pass and selling the box on eBay for the same price (or more!) than what I bought the combo for. I have learned that you can buy passes cheaper on eBay than just letting your direct debit take charge of the monthly payments.
I hope you’re keeping up?
So monthly for TV, the price of what we receive (we don’t pay this price as I’ve bought passes on offer) is… £9.99 for Movies (we kept our Movies passes to use over Christmas as we knew we’d want to spend some family time in front of the Christmas flicks), £6.99 Entertainment, £2.99 for Kids. We don’t buy Sports. That’s pretty much £20 a month for TV. But it’s probably more like £15 as I’ve been savvy buying passes when they’ve been on offer. You could say to me that I could get ‘proper’ Sky TV for this price. No, a new customer could! I was offered 12 months for about £80 a month, including phone and broadband, and that was after discounts! The price for Sky just continued to sky-rocket year on year. Who has a spare £80+ a month to spend?
I reckon with a little bit of effort, changing my mindset to be more focused on what is right and works for us as a family and also not being afraid to say goodbye to something we’ve been used to for a while, it has set us free a little bit. Sure, we’re still technically paying Sky money, but it’s (more) on our terms.
Sky’s customer service keep ringing up, every week, even 9 months later. They want to know if I’ll go back. I receive an offer in the post and then someone rings up with a completely different offer. If there are so many offers, why not offer me one in the first place and stop me leaving?
We might go back. Who knows? After 12 months you’re considered to be a new customer. So we might go back to them if there is a decent offer for new customers once our current Now TV passes have run out. We’ll see.
I think that if you’re willing to play the game and hop from one supplier to another, you can take advantage of great new customer offers all the time. It does take effort and you can’t be particularly precious about what you’re watching as some shows are only available or some services. If you’re willing to give it a go or do this already, let me know how you get on.
Remember, loyalty means nothing to these corporate clowns, even though they say it does!
Right, Rick Grimes (!) is waiting, I’m off to watch the latest ep! #TeamRick