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Sky Digital - Please help me

Posted 28th Nov 2006
Today Sky have taken a payment out of my bank account for £160.15p under the description 'SKY ONLINE LIVINGSTON'

I pay each month on the 15th, they have taken their usual payment of just over £20.

Sky are denying that they have taken this as there is nothing on my record to show this.

I need help on the best course of action basically, this is what I have done so far:

Rang Sky this morning, got a nice bloke, asked me to ring my bank and get the reference number for the payment and when it was requested.

Rang HSBC who were very helpful and gave me the details. Payment requested 24th november at 11.03pm. Gave the refernce number and retailer ID which links to Sky.

Rang sky back with the info, got no where, they would not take the reference number as it means nothing to them. Got told the payment has not been taken and that's that. Asked to speak to someone else, no one avaliable so hung up on him and rang back.

Got someone else, they told me that this is nothing to do with them I have not been charged, please ring Sky Broadband as the Sky Online is to do with them.

Rang Sky Online, they would not even speak to me. I don't have an account with sky broadband, referred me back to Sky Digital.

Rang HSBC to report a fraudulent transaction. My debit card has now been stopped, cannot get cash out, will now have to change payment details with various organisations.

Rang Sky Digital back, this time got told I had either ordered Sky HD, Sky Plus and that I am infact on broadband, which is strange, because their broadband does not cover my area. Got put through to broadband, they asked for account number, I don't have one, they said I'm ringing customer services, put me through to sales.

Rang Sky Digital back again, went through all the details yet again. Got a nice enough chap who said there is no details of this payment, went through everything once more, he referred me to broadband, I said no, can I speak to your manager, he said yes and I waited 10 minutes to be put through to a manager.

Finally get a response, 'Sorry sir the manager is not willing to speak to you about this as we have not taken payment and we are busy'.

Have a large moan but decided it's not the call operators fault.

Ring customer services and ask to put in a complaint. Complaint thrown out and there is nothing they can do because they have not taken the payment and there is no record to show they have. Asked to speak to a manager. The manager refused to speak to me.

I have been polite all the way through as it's not the fault of the person on the phone. They have told me that I need to write to customer services and I will have a response within 28 days. I need to provide them with all my details aswell as a statement from the bank on letter headed paper and a signature from the branch manager.

I cannot for the life of me get through on the phone as they do not have a phone number. Have been given an e-mail address for customer accounts.

So what do I do? I got to say, the services is absolutely disgraceful. I have spent about 3 hours on the phone, they would not ring me back as they are not allowed to do outgoing phone calls. So I must have spent a fair whack on the phone bill also.

HSBC agree that Sky have taken it and they say that the system shows that customer was not present.

Were talking £160 here and the line managers won't even acknowledge me, neither will complaints.

Please help? HSBC have been nothing short of excellent.

So Sky's error has cost me on my phone bill, my time, my bank balance and caused me to have a vein pop out of my head, my switch card has been stopped, I can't get any cash so going to have to use my credit card and pay the fee's for withdrawing cash if I need to. All my payments are going to have to change to various companies.

The first guy said the reference number, which HSBC gave me is the account number for the payment. It does not match my account number but Sky will not enter into that discussion, even though I can give them the account number I have paid for due to confidentiality and the data protection act.

HSBC are trying to pull the payment back, but it will be 20 working days before they can tell me whether it has been succesful or not.

So, how do I go about this? The only option I have is to write to them. Finance will not take calls, customer service agents are not allowed to look at the finances. So can't even give them the reference number so they can see which accont I have paid for.

Oh, and one customer service bloke said if it is their mistake I will recieve a £10 goodwill credit to my account.....wow...can't wait!!

Sorry for the long post, though I'm desperate for help. Sky's attitude is beyond belief.
Community Updates



Sky's attitude is beyond belief.

We dumped Sky a few of years ago due to a similar problem. I wont go into details except to say that it did involve Sky Talk. Since no cash transaction was involved we were not out of pocket (except for the cost of the telephone calls) and spent the day on the telephone trying to sort it out.

We also had the lack of communication and were passed from one useless dept. to another. No one seemed to know what to do.

We had been customers of theirs for 10 years but in the end we cancelled our standing order for Sky and Sky Talk and suddenly they took notice of our complaint and couldn't apologise enough. We haven't returned but they spent the next two years offering us all sorts of special deals and they still contact us every six months asking us to go back.

There are customer services freephone numbers here:
I wish we had access to these then.
Thanks, I did a post on another board, a lot shorter than this and someone said they had a hell of a time with Sky when they did something similar, now he only pays by cheque as he does not want them having his card details.

The freephone numbers would have come in useful. Hack's me off even more that they were making money out of me on the phonecalls to them.

Spose all I can do is write the letter. No one else will take a blind bit of notice.
This sort of thing happened to me about a year ago except it was on my credit card which made it a bit simpler to deal with as I wasn't out of pocket to start with.

I didn't have sky but someone else had obviously used my credit card number and had taken out a sky package and charged me for £299. I phoned sky but they wouldn't speak to me as I didn't have an account number - that was because I didn't have sky! So I just phoned the credit card company to get it stopped.

Was it a switch/debitcard transaction or a direct debit which has come off. If it was through a direct debit you can go to the bank and get the money back straight away I think under the direct debit guarantee.
Switch unfortunately
Phone up Sky and ask for their accounts Fax number, get this then fax through a copy of your bank statement prooving that they took this out.
thats then followed by an extreme apology and hopefully a few months free sky (do this if they accept responsibiity).
Just got the e-mail address for escalating complaints and an e-mail address for one of the complaints managers from another forum. Something sky were not willing to give me, but people on forums have. Apparently over on avforums this type of things is well known, which is how I got the e-mail addresses as they are keeping them!
[SIZE=2]haha, just been told he's not a complaints manager, cheif exec! Lovely! That will do nicely![/SIZE]
Well ask to speak to Rupert I'm sure he'll give you an apology...will he heckas like!!
Anyway all the best with your complaint grdesign.
I only pay £18 a month for my sky package, we dont have Sports-movies-News and kids

I dont even notice this coming out altho i would notice the ful £43 coming out

good luck Grdesign hope you get it sorted mate.
I was thinking of moving to Sky, this has put me off
I've never heard of a manager refusing to talk to the caller! shocking
What a nightmare. Sky are a law unto themselves. unfortunately where I live sky is the only option, I cant even get freeview.
This happened me once and I think there is something your bank can do.
Go to or phone your local branch and explain what has happened and that this payment was taken in error and sky are refusing to deal with it.
There is a thing(which I cant remember the name of) where the bank will reverse the payment and claim it back of sky and it goes back into your account in a couple of days.
They can do this so do not be fobbed of, but it is always better to contact a branch rather than a call centre. The RBS did this for me and it was not a gesture of goodwill it is a procedure because they told me what the name was but for the life of me I cant remember.
Well hope this helps
Good luck:roll:
Bank have rung me this morning and left an answer message, they are going to try and claim the money back due to it being a fraudulent transaction, as thats what it is!

Bank have rung me this morning and left an answer message, they are going … Bank have rung me this morning and left an answer message, they are going to try and claim the money back due to it being a fraudulent transaction, as thats what it is!

The bank will get your money back as from what you have said it was processed as a 'customer not present' and not a direct debit. (I had exactly the same thing with 1&1 internet and all my money was returned and 1&1 got a rollocking).

Phone Sky again (get the freephone number from the sky forum on adslguide.org.uk) and explain to the operator (remember to get their name!) that you are taking legal action against Sky for a transaction that your bank agrees was unauthorised. Ask if there is a manager available to speak to as part of your legal action will list the people you tried to resolve this issue with before resorting to legal action and you will have to state that the operator was the last person you spoke to and you don't really want to drag them in to this as it's not their fault.

The operator will then magically find a manager (again get their name) and explain everything to him and remind him of the legal action and he is the last person you will be speaking to about the matter on behalf of Sky. Hopefully he'll sort it out there and then by adding a credit to your account and then transferring it to your card (yes he can do that).

Oh and buy the way, if you don't speak to someone in the scottish call centre when you phone up, hang up and call back later as the off-shore call centres are totally useless. Don't get angry, don't make any jokes or light-heartedness, speak very polietely, calmly and slowly. It gets much better results when contacting them.

I have had a few problems with Sky in the past (TV and broadband), but if you complain in the right way you can always get you money refunded and compensation payed.
Hi, you will find that a lot of services on sky/interactive/broadband/skytalk will come on your back acct as SKY something ..... but not all of them are actual sky digital services coming from british SKY broadcasting.

Domestic and general used to have an extended warranty called SKY digital repair services, They were NOT part of sky but could use the name to misleed people. they have since been sub-contracted to sky,

Ask to speak to the customer care section, they have that little bit extra scape to look into things, usually one person will deal with your complaint and they can call you back.

The new computer system in Sky means that calls are guided through a regimented responce system which means that most staff don't realise that there is a rage of queries and problems out with the selection of that listed on their screen, There is no personal input on the calls now coz if the opperator advises of something that is not on that screen then they will be repremanded,

I've never heard of a manager refusing to talk to the caller! shocking

Ha! they get the person in the seat next to them to pretend to be a Supervisor, this used to happen all the time, although the new system will not allow them to log off of the phone to look into things for the customer. it controls every thing and reports are drawn up daily and weekly to check that the operators have complied.

Sky are a law unto themselves.


(remember to get their name!)

OMG YES, allways do this and get the time you called, if you start quoting names and times back to the opp's they will take a hella'a lot more notice of what you have to say, Be advised that the one good thing to come out of the new computer system (say new but has been going for about 3 years now) is that if an opp is rude and thinks they can hide by not noting on the system that you had called so that their System ID does not appear for others to see, the system records every ID that has logged into your acct so when you call the system brings your acct up by your phone number automatically and their ID is listed,

Don't get angry, don't make any jokes or light-heartedness, speak very … Don't get angry, don't make any jokes or light-heartedness, speak very polietely, calmly and slowly. It gets much better results when contacting them.

even better is when you call and just sigh and act like "Whatever... its never going to get sorted... i give up..." kind of manner as this is when they realise you have gone around and around and never got anywhere and are just fed of the whole thing now,

HTH a little sorry to waffle on
The absolute 1st thing you should do is talk to the bank......

1. Get a statement providing proof

2. ask for a Direct Debit indemnity form

Legally, direct debits are water tight, and if any changes are made to payments, they need to legally give you 10 working days notice in advance of that change. DO NOT allow the bank to pass the buck, the bank have FULL control to refund this, and then THEY hassle sky for the refund, not you.

3. As said earlier in thread, send the statement via fax. Make sure to include a letter explaining the situation, and give them a timescale for a formal response, warning them of further escalation if this is not adhered to.

If THAT fails, get a postal address for high level complaints and send a copy of your letter and statement via RECORDED delivery; so they cannot refuse that they have not recieved the documents.

Hopefully this will help you on your way to retrieve the money.


I hope all works out Grdesign and remember if you get your money back which you probably will get on the blower and demand some sort of reinbursement from sky like half price for a year or something.

They know their in the wrong and you could file this at the court, what they have done is illeagal and you should bring that up when you speak to someone of higher authority.
i hope you get this sorted... it has worried me a bit as we joined sky last month. however we had a call from them last night to go through a few details and because the sales guy had given me a load of bo**oks when i took the package out, the guy gave me £10 credit.
HSBC have sent me papers to sign to confirm that I did not take part in the transaction. Have already signed and will post back later today. Taken a copy of the signed piece of paper and HSBC letter which I will be sending off to sky with my complaint. Have been waiting for this to arrive before I sent it off as it act's as even more evidence as it states the transaction, my card number (which is now obsolete), the date processed and requested aswell as the amount and 'Sky Online' as the description.

Rang sky again yesterday, again, manager refused to speak to me as according to my account I have not paid this, therefore they will not talk to me as they are busy.

What a joke sky is really.

HSBC have been nothing but excellent with the whole thing, followed everything up like they said they would, rang me to confirm that they are taking things further and what process it's currently at etc. They have also confirmed that it is sky who have taken it, and confirmed that it is fraud as I did not give the go ahead, which is what the piece of paper was, have to sign to declare I did not authorise it.

So seems I have sky on fraud. Still, even so, managers will not speak to me and the customer service people don't know what to say to me, which I can understand.
That's absolutely disgraceful - I do accept that mistakes do happen but if they do I expect the company to bend over backwards to quickly resolve the issue. I got a fright when Dell accidentally took two payments out of my account with a duplicate order however they immediately resolved it when I phoned them.

Something you should be aware of is that if you get this transaction reversed, make sure you have a note of times and calls made that you were told by Sky they didn't take this payment. I had a similar problem with O2, the decided to take a year's line rental out of my account just after my contract has been cancelled. When I phoned up I was told I could wait 14 working days for a refund or they recommended I reverse the transation with my bank and I would have it back that day. I was a bit concerned by this but I was assured by O2 that it wouldn't be a problem and there was a note on my account this was the action I was taking. That was no problem with the bank and I had my money back the same day.

Six months later I received a letter from a debt collection agency demanding the money back - the mail had been forwarded onto me so there was a few days delay before I received it. It very quickly escalated with the company phoning me to ask when I was making payment and brightly coloured letters warning they were going to come to my door and if I didn't pay they would take my belongings. When I informed the company the original transaction was a fraudulent one on O2's behalf they simply asked me when I would be making payment. O2 couldn't care less, they wouldn't look into the issue at all - after many phonecalls I managed to get diverted to the right department who called off the debt collection agency but no apologies or anything.

Hopefully you will get your money back from HSBC, just make sure you are prepared in case Sky try and get the money again.

LOL Well!

It's been sorted out. At least Sky have now admitted that my card has been used for a transaction of £160.15p. The reference number that I got from the bank matches the account for which the payment was taken. (not my account with sky)

Now sky are trying to say this is fraudulent and not their mistake. The girl dealing with it is excellent, but now, because its fraudulent and not their mistake, they are saying there is nothing they can do for me, i.e in terms of re-imbursing me for my calls to sky or the hassle from it or anything else.

I don't believe this, surely if someone had cloned my card they wouldn't have used it just for Sky?

I believe this to be an error on sky's behalf. Again they have gone into the data protection act.

I've asked her for a goodwill gesture, mentioning HD again, she's calling me back later on tonight to see what she can do.

I still don't have my money though! Sky have wiped their hands of it.

Had to go right to the top to get this sorted out. Mr James Murdoch himself! Only way for me to do that was to get his e-mail address from other customers who have had the same kind of thing happen.
sky really are appalling from what I can tell.

I begun a contract on 21/10/05 and rang up to have it cancelled early Oct 2006. The guy said I had to wait as if i cancelled too early I would be charged. So i rang back a few days later and my account was terminated successfully... or so i thought.

On the 30/10/06 I got a letter saying I hadn't completed the full 12 month contract and would be charged for installation. Rang up, got through to a Scottish guy who seemed very helpful and was told that yes, I had completed my full 12 months (it had ended on 21/10/06) and would not be charged.

Wait two weeks and along comes another letter, entitled "not good news". This one said a charge of £60 had been added to my account and if payment is not recieved they will be prosecuting which will put a black mark on my credit rating (I'm a 20 year old with no credit cards or overdrafts or anything, only a student loan, so this is the last thing I need)

I rang up again and this time got put through to the offshore call centre. The lady was nice but I could barely understand her. As far as I can gather the charge has been cancelled and I haven't heard anything for a week or so. Here's hoping its all sorted, however I am more than a little wary this is not the last i'll hear of this
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