Why Sky?


January 9, 2013 by benmblackman

SkyFiling some electronic records from an old lap-top earlier, I came across this gem of a complaint letter. 27 year old me obviously had a little bit too much time on his hands!

That said, I have been a happy Sky customer ever since (they gave me a BIG voucher + 6 months at half price for this)! I love good customer service so, credit where it’s due (once they sorted the problem out). The letter, in full, follows. Bear with it, it’s quite funny.

Sky Subscriber Services Ltd

14th December 2006

Account Number: xxx

Job Reference Number: xxx

Dear Sir / Madam

I write to register my huge disappointment with the experience, or lack of, I have so far enjoyed from Sky Television.

Having not been a sky customer for some years, I was recently encouraged by a friend to become a customer once again. The promise of Live Ashes Cricket persuaded me and I signed up after being assured of an installation date of Wednesday 13th December 2006, just in time to watch some build up and then the important stuff, the 3rd Ashes Test, or so I thought.

I was informed that the engineer could come at any time during the day but that they would ring me in the morning to tell me a more precise time. As I work some distance from my home I had to take the day off work but this in my eyes would be more than well compensated for, a day well spent. After all, I was going to be getting Sky TV, with the full sports package! This is the thing dreams are made of during an Ashes series.

I was indeed telephoned at 8am by my engineer and informed that he would be round at any time between 3pm-6pm. Excellent I thought and I used the time productively to do as suggested in the correspondence I had received from yourselves. I thought about where I would like my sky dish to be installed; which telephone cable I would like the box connected to; and how the cabling might be accommodated. In a blaze of efficiency I even cleared the room of furniture which would be in the way of said cabling and made room for the engineer to work in the area behind my television. Finally, I unplugged my old freeview box. The end of an era, which was sad, but I wouldn’t be needing this old thing any more, I thought, I’m going to have Sky TV.

And then I waited…..and waited….and waited some more. But bored I was not. I busied myself by looking on the Sky website, planning what I would be watching over the next few days and marvelling at the scope and breadth of entertainment available to myself as soon as I would be connected to Sky and its’ sports channels, the holy grail of television for any man worth his salt.

And then I waited some more…..At about 5pm I spoke to my wife briefly who asked, ‘won’t it be a bit dark to put up a dish now?’ ‘Of course not’ I told her, ‘these guys install dishes for a living, they can do it rain or shine, light or dark. They can probably do it with their eyes closed’ I assured her, ‘they are experts in their field of work, true professionals.’ (Obviously she was as excited as me about the prospect of watching her hero Monty Panesar at the WACA so I didn’t want her to worry.) Anyway, I assured her further, ‘I am sure that the nice man who called me at 8am this morning would have phoned again if he wouldn’t be able to install today after all’…….

….Now, I hope you can imagine my utter dismay when, on arriving at 5.30pm, the engineer arrived and asked, ‘do you already have a dish and cabling?’ Of course. I politely replied, ‘um, no I would like you to install those items please.’ Obviously, I am a well brought up gentleman and I was not rude enough to point out some of my inner thoughts related to this question, some of which may be summed up along the following lines: of course I haven’t, that’s why I’ve arranged for you to come round and fit one for me and waited around in my house for the last 9 and a half hours instead of being at work doing the 452 things I desperately should have been doing today!

Anyway, on hearing my answer (indeed the polite version) the engineer looked a bit disappointed and told me that, in that case, he would not be able to do this today and would have to re-arrange another installation date. This, he told me, was because he cannot install a dish in the dark because he is not equipped with lights to help him to do so.

Now, as I hope I have shown so far, I am not a rude man and so, perhaps foolishly, I bit my tongue and did not say anything along the lines that, perhaps he could have blooming well thought about what time it might get dark and inform me a bit earlier in the day if he was running late and would be unable to carry out my installation.

Now, forgive me if I am reading into this a bit too far but, I wonder if my installer was actually just making an excuse because, in fact, he just wanted to get home and didn’t fancy staying for as long as it would have taken him to install my system. He had, on arrival after all, told me that he had just come from, ‘one hell of a job’ which had over ran. This was why he was so late you see. Indeed, he certainly did not look like a man who wanted to spend any more of his time that day installing equipment for your good selves if he could help it. Again, even with these thoughts in mind I did not question his inability to telephone me with this information to save us all a good bit of time and disappointment.

Of course, I would not have wanted to see him injure himself if he did not have lighting to aid the installation in the dark. So, he spoke to yourselves who arranged another installation date for me (almost a week later, when of course the 3rd Test Match will be over, and as I am sure you will hope with me, we will be back to 2-1 in the series).

After he left I was, to say the least, a little disappointed. In fact, coming to think of it, I don’t think I have been as disappointed since finding out that SClub7 were calling it a day. A sad day for the UK music scene I am sure you will agree but I don’t think that anyone can begrudge those 7 inspirations to us all their retirement after bringing us such hits as debut single Don’t Stop and other classics such as Never Had a Dream Come True and Don’t stop Movin. But I digress.

So it was with a weary heart that in somewhat less of a blaze of efficiency, and perhaps, what some* would describe as more of a sulk (*my wife) I undertook the soul destroying task of returning the room of furniture (which would have been in the way of sky cabling had I had some Sky cabling) and plugged my trusty old freeview box back in again. I pushed the television back into the place I had made room for the engineer earlier, the place where I thought he would be working away installing my Sky box.

Yes indeed, it was a sad man who sat back down that evening to watch a boring old BBC2 programme, about two blokes who drive around France in a classic soft top Jaguar drinking wine and sleeping in a tent, instead of any number of more exciting channels I could have been watching (many of which feature sport you know) if I had Sky installed as planned and promised.

And all of this, of course, is not mentioning my wife’s utter disappointment that she wouldn’t, after all, be able to watch past England greats such as Mark Butcher discussing their thoughts in the lead up to such an important Test Match. I don’t want to come on too strong here but she actually told me that she had never felt so low since her first childhood family pet cat (Puddle, God rest his soul 1985-2000) had died. She then cried for quite a long time.

As I sat this evening not watching highlights of the first days play on Sky Sports, an outstanding days play for England too I might add, but on my lap top from the BBC website I thought I had best write to you and explain my woes.

I hope you are feeling sympathetic because to be frank, I am still quite annoyed! Sorry to use such strong language but I feel that I should come to my main issues regarding this sorry affair.

On the engineer leaving my home I phoned yourselves to register my immense disappointment and was somewhat bemused when, after being asked why my installation could not take place and hearing my answer that it was of course, a bit dark, I was greeted with some astonishment. ‘Did he not have lighting?’ I was asked. ‘Usually our engineers have lighting to help in the dark,’ I was told. Hmm, I thought, perhaps I wasn’t wrong about the engineer wanting to get off home.

I apologise as I am boring myself now. So, my main questions:

1)    Why, if dishes cannot be installed in the dark did my engineer allocate a time of 3pm-6pm to come to my house and install a dish (when, good heavens above, it was dark)!

2)    Why, on realising that his previous job had over run, did my engineer not telephone me to inform me that this was the case and therefore he would have to re-arrange the installation?

3)    Why didn’t he know that I would need a dish and cabling installing?

4)    Do you think he made an excuse because he didn’t want to be late home?

And let’s cut to the chase here, we all know why I’m writing this letter after all don’t we?

5)    What can you do to compensate me for the fact that I took a whole day off work for Sky to be installed, only for it not to be installed? (I don’t want to show off but, I hope you can tell from my excellent letter writing skills that I hold down a fairly skilled job which is pretty well paid. If I worked out what a wasted day has cost me in pounds it would be a lot of months worth of Sky subscription)! Also, for the fact that I am still, over 24 hours later, absolutely gutted about everything that has happened. My wife, by the way, is so upset that she has gone to her Mothers house this evening. Imagine how many hours of sport I could have been indulging myself in if I had Sky will you?

Alas, it was not to be. I can only hope that you good good people at Sky, and I have heard that, aside from my own company, yours employs some of the very best (especially you of course, I’ve heard some very good things about you), are able to cheer me up again somehow.

How, I will leave to you. I trust my request is in safe hands.

Thank you for your time. I hope to hear from you soon.

Yours, very sulkingly

Ben Blackman


Did I mention the ridicule I have been subjected to by so many friends following this incident (after I had for 1 week been showing off immensely about the fact that I would be getting a Sky package with full Sports channels)?


Did I mention how great you look today? You really are amazing you know?


2 thoughts on “Why Sky?

  1. Paula says:

    The big question is “what did they do about it?” I love writing complaint letters, complaint phone calls, complaint tweets. They used to work – there was a concept of customer service in those good old seppia-tinged days – but no longer. Now I find it’s usually my fault – to which I just love asking them to repeat themselves. Mind you, I did get £20 from Elephant to reimburse me for four phone calls I had to make to them before they cancelled my insurance. Probably doesn’t make up though for the postage and calls I’ve made to the 253 other businesses who have annoyed me…

    • benmblackman says:

      Blimey Paula. And I thought I had issues!
      £60 credit plus 6 months half price. I have been a happy customer ever since.
      If you can compensate an unhappy customer they’ll be your biggest advocate (notwithstanding my blog – oops).

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