Well, it would appear that my Sky Saga is coming to an end.
You may recall that I arranged for Sky to fit the broadband in my new apartment in Manchester; to cut a long story short; they didn’t show up after I had arranged to take the day off work. This prompted me to send them a letter (click here for the letter), outlining that I found this behaviour and level of customer service unacceptable and asked for compensation.
A week later I had still not received a reply, so I rang in to find that contrary to what I had asked for, a £30 credit had been placed on my account. I was asked to send in another letter to chase up a reply, which I did (click here for the second letter I sent to Sky).
The time had then come for me to move in, so before I moved I went online to check to see if my broadband was active; it wasn’t. After I rang customer service they said that it could take up to another week. To say I was upset was an understatement; I flooded the Sky forums with my anger, however wanted to take things further; I wanted to email the CEO.
A quick browse online found me the fantastic website CEOEmail.com I found the CEO for Sky, Jeremy Darroch and emailed him, and sent him attachments of the letters I had sent. One of his representatives emailed back (we shall call him Harry), and a tug of war soon developed; Harry refused to offer me any more than the £30 credit, and I refused to accept that pitiful amount. We had reached ‘deadlock’. Each of my replies to Harry were CC’ed to Jeremy however he refused to budge. I informed him that I would be taking this matter further, informing BBC Watchdog, the Ombudsman Service, and if need be, take them to small claims court to get the result I wanted.
All went quiet for a few days, however last Thursday I decided to carry out my promise and send BBC Watchdog an email; however rather than just send them an email, I sent them a copy of every letter and every email I had sent; and most importantly I CC’ed Harry in so they could see that I didn’t make empty threats.
A few hours later I received a call from a Sky representative (we shall call her Amy) out of the blue. She had read all the emails and letters prior to ringing me and was very polite and apologetic. We spoke about the problems that I had experienced, and confirmed that mistakes had been made in both the taking down of my email address, for confirmation purposes, and that no message was sent informing me that my presence wasn’t required for the installation of my broadband. It felt so good to finally be speaking to someone who was not only informed on the problems I had experienced, but recognised that I was entitled to be upset about the way I had been treated.
Amy finally breached the issue of compensation; she understood that in this instance a £30 account credit wasn’t appropriate, and knew instantly that I had asked for £260 to cover loss of earnings, the aborted visit, and transportation costs; she offered to send me a £300 cheque, £40 more than I asked for; which I accepted.
Where do I sit with Sky now? I do now consider this matter resolved, and I am happy with the outcome which I have got. I asked for compensation and after a long hard fight, I did get it. I am a realist and do understand that the larger a company grows there will always be a small percentage of customers who receive poor service, and no amount of training will solve that. Where a large company can set itself apart from its rivals is the amount of time it takes for them to put the mistake right.
I do think (and think Sky would also admit it,) that this dragged on for longer than it needed to, and I am disappointed that Sky couldn’t resolve this prior to me having to involve 3rd parties to mediate – however that said and done I am pleased with the overall outcome, and will not be holding any grudges against Sky; they made a mistake, (eventually) admitted that they were wrong, and put it right – lets move on.
If you have a complaint against a large company what would I recommend that you do to get the result that you are after:
- Firstly and most importantly, when you speak to someone at a company, make a note of the date/time and length of time you were on the phone for (both waiting and speaking). Also get either the name of the person you are speaking to, or an ID number (something that identifies them from their colleagues) and an overview of what was discussed. If you can, ask them to email a confirmation of what was discussed.
- If you send a letter in, always send it recorded delivery, that way you are sure your complaint has arrived.
- If you feel you are getting no-where try and email the CEO by using the email from CEOEmail.com I found it useful to attach a copy of all letters/emails sent so that they (or their representative) can see what has been going on.
- When you put your complaint to them, also tell them what they can do to put it right. They will usually offer an ‘account credit’ as a ‘good will’ gesture however this amounts to free service which is charged at retail rate, and not the true cost to the company concerned. If you are out of pocket, you want to be reimbursed in cash.
- Never make threats or promises that you wont carry out or stick to. If you promise that you will take them to small claims court, do so; the chances are they will realise you mean business and re-open negotiations.
- Refuse to lose. You may feel its an uphill struggle, thats because it is. You are taking on the big companies who anticipate that you will back down the first time you hear the word ‘no’. If you keep fighting, you will eventually win.