Watching sport on TV these days is an expensive game, especially Sky Sports, which is basically the channel you need to watch cricket, tennis, premier league football, etc.
Sky know they have got us all by the balls, and they hammer us knowing that they are basically the only place to get a good package of sports to watch – and in fairness to them, it is a good service, it’s just a touch expensive in my view.
I’ve just checked the Sky website and the MINIMUM you will need to pay to get Sky Sports is 39.75 a month. Breaking it down, that is £19.50 a month for the minimum ‘one’ compulsary Entertainment Pack and £20.25 for the Sports Pack.
Basically, the real problem comes in having to buy the Entertainment Pack at £19.50, needed, just to have the right to add the Sports Pack to your subscription. Personally, I think £20 is enough to watch sports on TV, the crime is having to pay the first £19.50 for what is basically the channels available to you on Freeview, plus a few more.
A few months back I decided that I couldn’t justify spending over £40 a month on watching TV, so here’s what I did.
Well first, I’d just like to say that I found Sky’s customer services department extremely helpful and polite, I’ve never had a problem with them and they have always tried to find a solution to any issue I have raised.
I rang them up with the intention to get rid of the whole thing if they didn’t cut me a deal. First I asked about the cancellation process, if I remember correctly it actually requires you to give 30 days notice.
I didn’t say I wish to cancel, just that I was considering it. I was then asked why I was considering cancelling, to which I replied because it is too expensive and I just can’t justify paying over £40 a month to watch football in the current financial climate.
Note, I told them I only watch football. If they thought I watched Darts, Tennis, Cricket, etc, as well, they would know I have a year round use for their service and they would probably assume I’d be less likely to follow through with my threat to leave. By telling them I only watch football I believe it gave me more bargaining power, this tactic would also be especially useful now with football being in the off season.
I was then asked if I was happy with the service, I replied that the service is brilliant and that I am more than happy with it, it’s purely a financial problem.
I can only assume they were trying to find the reason why I was considering leaving them, if it was because I thought their service was rubbish, I’d imagine they would have just cancelled my subscription.
Because it was a financial reason I gave them, they seemed keen to keep my custom. I believe they would rather have me paying them something, as opposed to paying nothing at all. They then went through my package and came up with different cheaper alternatives.
First they suggested getting rid of the Sports package, to which I replied they are the only channels I basically watch. They then suggested getting rid of one of the sports channels which would save around £6 a month. Again, I replied that it is one of the channels I watch and not really a massive saving.
I then added that the only channels I generally watch are the channels available on Freeview and the Sports channels. That was basically my way of telling them that it’s the whole Sports package or nothing.
The operative then said that he would look and see what he could do before miraculously coming up with a great deal to give me my current package at half price for 6 months. I don’t know about anybody else, but I have no problem at all in paying just over £20 a month for my football, cricket, darts, etc, coverage.
At the end of the 6 months at half price, I again rang them up and gave them the same story. Not quite as good an outcome this time, they first offered me a 25% discount for 6 months, then while I was thinking about it, I was offered £50 worth of credit as well, which adds up to about a 45% discount over the course of the 6 months.
This current deal runs out in September, so it will be interesting to see what happens the next time I ring them up pleading poverty.
I think if you are prepared to go all the way and cancel, that they will cut you a deal to stay. With all the foreign satellite options available these days, I believe Sky are more interested in keeping customers and having us pay them something, rather than risking us finding cheaper alternatives and never going back to them and paying them nothing.
If anyone has any experience of haggling with the Sky customer service department, please feel free to add the feedback of your experience.