Customers wishing to cancel their Sky subscriptions have an arduous task ahead of them, as they must speak to an adviser if they wish to leave the TV, broadband and phone provider, and could face a hard sell to stay.
The problem is not new. Many Telegraph Money readers have reported lengthy phone calls just to cancel services.
Customers can cancel by phone, online messaging, or email but may have to endure a phone call with Sky to verify the cancellation before it can be processed.
How do I cancel?
Sky customers can cancel by calling customer service on 03337 590 958 or using the chat function on the website. Alternatively, they can email Sky at email@example.com.
A minimum 31 days’ notice is required to cancel Sky TV, talk and broadband.
Can I just cancel my direct debit?
Some Sky customers have bypassed the lengthy cancellation process and instead written to Sky notifying it that they are cancelling and then have cancelled their direct debit.
Sky advises against this. Its website reads: “Please don’t cancel your Direct Debit or any other ongoing payment with us, as further payments may still be due.”
Sky payments are taken a month in advance, so you might still be billed for the full month ahead after your service has been cancelled.
Can I cancel if I’m still in my offer period?
Most Sky contracts are sold on a 12, 18 or 24-month minimum contract. If a customer wants to cancel within this period they will face early termination charges.
The way this is worked out is complex and depends on which services you have and how many months are remaining on the contract.
The amount you are charged depends on how long’s left of your minimum term from the date your subscriptions end, the days you have already been billed for in advance, the products you subscribe to, the price you pay for them and when your subscriptions end.
For example, if you had Sky Signature for £26 a month and three months remaining on your contract, Sky would deduct VAT and business costs, leaving £18.18. This then would be multiplied by three for your remaining months, leaving a final bill of £54.54.
Is switching now easier?
In July 2015, Ofcom, the communications regulator, launched a switching service for broadband and landline customers intended to make it easier for customers to switch.
This means if you are moving from Sky to another broadband or phone provider, you can get your new provider to cancel your Sky on your behalf.
You simply pick which broadband or phone provider you want to use and they will then contact Sky. Both will send you a letter confirming which services have been cancelled or switched and the time it will take to happen.
This service only applies to broadband and phone switching, not if you have Sky TV.
Can I get a better deal with Sky?
Often customers that have come off an initial offer period will have rolled onto Sky’s default pricing, which is much higher.
However, by contacting Sky and saying you want to cancel you can usually get a discount on your package. This may require signing up to a new 12 or 18 month contract.