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Standard User signage
(newbie) Wed 10-Aug-11 13:01:59
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Consumer Rights when ISP incorrectly disconnects you

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Here's the situation. I'm on Sky for line, phone & broadband. About 3 weeks ago I received a letter from Sky, addressed to my address, but not for me. As I'm a Sky customer I opened it without checking the name. In short, someone else was moving their Sky talk line to my address. I presume they just entered the wrong details when instructing Sky about the move. The letter was informing the person that an engineer would be on-site on such and such a date to set up the line.

I called the Sky helpdesk and informed them of the situation, confirmed that no one lived here by that name, and advised them that I did not authorise any change to my account. They said they would place a note on the other customers account, and said that my account would not be canceled. I'm sure you can see where this is going... a week later, received another letter from Sky for the wrong person. Called Sky again, the again assured me that there were no blocks or changes on my account. The letter was dated before I originally called the helpdesk so had to assume that the Sky rep was properly informed when they claimed my account was fine and would not be cancelled.

So come this week, and you can imagine what happened. Midday yesterday the line is dead. Ring up Sky and sure enough they have cancelled my account. Only way to get me back up and running is to create a whole new account locked in for another 12 months, arrange for an engineers visit (which won't happen for another 3 weeks), and issue me with a new telephone number (despite deactivating the phone no more than 2-3 hours prior). Add to that I had to pay the ~£35 setup fee, which they 'supposedly' have noted on my account to be reimbursed upon activation. Upon pushing, they offered ~£55 credit on my account (2 months worth of services).

The phone line has been re-activated since today (with a new number), but the broadband is still non-functional. My home is also my office and I rely on the Internet for my work. I'm using a 3G connection now from Vodafone, but at £5/500MB it is going to be significantly dearer (and slower) than DSL.

So, Question. What are my rights? Do I have any?

Is there a government authority or watchdog I can complain to? I think my best bet is Ofcom, but want to know if there are others I should talk to? Is there a breach of authority here, given that they cancelled my account without authorisation?

Has anyone else had this problem in the past? Were you able to get a quick re-activation, rather than the 3 week gap I've got here? Sky keeps claiming that there systems are all automatic and they can't schedule anything closer than 3 weeks.

Sky has tried to deny responsibility, but given that I pointed out the problem to them twice, they clearly have some major failings to account for.
Administrator MrSaffron
(staff) Wed 10-Aug-11 13:12:16
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Re: Consumer Rights when ISP incorrectly disconnects you

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Ofcom don't act on individual cases....

See which talks about the complaints systems.

You should not have to pay the setup or enter a new contract due to no fault of your own. Now the Sky systems may be setup such that you have to pay etc, but they should undertake to credit you this amount. Which they seem to be doing.

Don't tell Sky about the work, as they say the lines are not for business use, same with the residential call packages.

Visit Citizens Advice who will tell you what you can claim for, e.g. making Sky pay for mobile access during this period. NOTE: £5 per 0.5GB is a lot, someone like T Mobile will be cheaper.

Andrew Ferguson, - formerly known as
The author of the above post is a thinkbroadband staff member. It may not constitute an official statement on behalf of thinkbroadband.
Standard User john2007
(legend) Wed 10-Aug-11 13:17:45
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Re: Consumer Rights when ISP incorrectly disconnects you

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Get proper advice from a Citizens Advice Bureau or solicitor.

Can you think of a reasonable compensation amount for time, trouble, and extra costs? Write/e-mail Sky and ask for compensation.

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Standard User RobertoS
(sensei) Wed 10-Aug-11 13:24:27
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Re: Consumer Rights when ISP incorrectly disconnects you

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Following on from the others, it is possible all the system can do is start another 12-month contract. You just need it in writing, and I mean writing, not email - though that's better than nothing, that should you choose to leave during the 12 months no penalty charge will be applied. Or if the system cannot be prevented from doing that then the full amount taken will be reimbursed within one month.

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