Patricia Pearl - Small Claims Procedure - A Practical Guide


An excellent guide for the layperson in how to use the County Court - a must if you are intending to start a claim.

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  1. #1
    Basic Account Holder litchfield Novitiate

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    Default SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Hi

    I wonder if anyone else has come across this?

    I ahve just found out that SKy have been charging me DOUBLE for my Sky Subscription for the past 5 months!!!!

    Their reason - because their boxes are not connected to my phone line and it is aprt of their contract (first I'd heard of it) so that they can check your PPV usage (we don't - and you can't unless you plug the phone in!!) and to make sure that your multiroom box is in the correct property.

    They have assured me that they don't have access to anythign else connected to my phone line but to me it is a glaring security issue.

    Anyway, the reasons I unplugged the phone lines are two fold - firstly because it causes terrible intereference on my phone line - even with the correct filter and secondly because the second box is in an awkward position and would mean trailing a cable through a doorway (which is dangerous) AND their installation engineer told me not to worry about it, to leave it unplugged once it was all set up (he even unplugged the line himself!)!!! I told them all this, they basically said they would send out an engineer to check the line but other than that its tough and they wont be reducing their charges.

    So I've followed this up with a letter demanding that they refudn the additional charges, when they refuse (if they reply at all) then I'll go down the 'prove it or pay' route as they have no written contract with me and I was never told about this.

    All in though, I'm actually not sure how I feel about giving them unlimited access to my phone line, sky box, etc, so they can dial in whenever they want.........

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  2. #2
    Basic Account Holder fuzzywuzzy Novitiate

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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Actually you remind me to check my mums, as when the engineer came round to install he said never remove that cable its to do with the controling the box and my mum may just take it out not knowing.

    So??? what happens if you dont have a land line?

    this is going to be a big question in the future as so many people are now only using mobiles.


  3. #3
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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Just to add to this.
    In the FIRST 12 months of a Sky contract your box must be connected to the phoneline, after this it's up to you.
    Mine has been unplugged for the last 2 years with NO ill effects.

    Be VERY careful whose advice you listen too
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  4. #4
    Basic Account Holder fuzzywuzzy Novitiate

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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Do a google search
    it brings up some other experiences with this, here is one of interesticon but its like any web site or newspaper, is it true.

    We have a special telephone system in our house so the box wasn't able to pick up a line as it normally would. We didn't realise this at the time so as far as the engineer was concerned, the box was plugged in. When it came to inserting the viewing card it wouldn't activate the account or whatever it does via telephone so the engineer had to phone through instead.

    It all worked fine after the telephone callicon


  5. #5
    Basic Account Holder alexteh Novitiate

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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    I had this a while back and refused to pay as the contract with Sky is only for 12 months after install (after that you don't have to have it plugged it). If you're within the 12 months I'm not sure what to suggest but I'd be inclined to look down the "unfair charges" route...


  6. #6
    Basic Account Holder Mark_Blackpool Novitiate

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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    I had this with them - when the box was installed the dial-out feature of the box was faulty and the engineer couldn't get it to work.

    Four years later I was chased for a debit of 75 which might or might not (the DCAicon could not say) be because the box was not plugged into the phone line for the 12 months we had it for.

    I invited the DCA to sue me as I knew I modified the contract before returning it, to strike out the clause about it being connected, so I knew that if the contract came up in Court the clause under which the case would have been based, did not apply to me, as the contract was modified.

    Eventually the problem went away and they gave up with it. If you have to have Sky the answer seems to be not to pay by direct debiticon since you're simply giving sanction for them to bill you what they like.


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    Basic Account Holder Jeanjaquessmoothie Novitiate Jeanjaquessmoothie's Avatar

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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Mine was plugged in for around the first ooohhh.. month of my contract. Unplugged it when I moved it and never plugged it back in. They either never cottoned on, or never realised because they never charged me a penny. I'm out of the 12 months now, so it doesn't really affect me, but it seems to depend whether you "get caught" so to speak.


  8. #8
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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Hi I have just looked at my contract with SKY and the sky multi room section of the contract is a running contract and phone lines have to stay connected to all sky boxes while you have a contract with sky please note this is only for sky multi room. Reading between the lines I think this is to stop people from having multi room and letting someone in another property use their second sky box or taking their second box with them in a caravan etc when on holidayicon.

    all the best dpick

    cannot find it A to Z

    http://www.consumeractiongroup.co.uk...hat-youre.html


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  9. #9
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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    I believe you're right, when I called they admitted that at the start of multi-room provision they had problems with people doing exactly that so added these terms, but why should that become my problem, there msut be technical ways round this? My issue with it is that the clause was never brought to my attention - if it was I would have considered more carefully if I wanted the service, or made more of a fuss over getting the phone line issues sorted out - but having an engineer tell me not to worry and 'just unplug it' gave the distinct impression that it didn't matter.

    I just find it a little worrying that they can hold you to added terms within a contract that you've never signed, that you've never been made aware of and that can affect you financially


  10. #10
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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Unfortunatley these multiroom charges are Not hidden. When you received you viewing card for your second box if was highlighted in bold regarding the telephone line connections and these are also read out over the phone when the viewing card is ordered. When you activate the 2ns viewing card your are agreeing to the terms and conditions set out on the letter.

    If you have only 1 box sky do not police these and have only done so once in the last 7 years.

    Sky are taking a stance on these mutliroom fees and they are not refunding for these charges.

    It's probarbly what you don't want to hear. You cand send a letter of request of refund to their correspondence department as they have the final say on sky's behalf but I do not hold out much hope i'm afraid.


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  11. #11
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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    The Multiroom arrangements is that you get a discount for having it connected to the phone line, and is promoted as such. If you don't (and the reason is immaterial) they charge for two full subscriptions. What is not also explained - but is in the T&Cs) is that both boxes mustbe connected to the same line (ie phone number). It doesn't matter if you have number blocking set permanently, they get the information anyway. It really is a case of you play the game their way or not at all - however the charge could never said to have been 'hidden', it has always been disclosed.


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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    We had this with Sky. We upgraded to Sky+ and kept the old Sky box as multi-room. Both were plugged into phone line. We have a permanently withheld number.

    First thing that I noticed was that the subscription had rocketed after a couple of months. Called them and they said that since there was no CLI presentation when our box dialled out, they couldn't call back. It was pointed out to them that at no time had they said that CLI was a prerequisite. Eventually, they talked me through the 'hidden' set-up to add the code to present CLI. They then asked be to test it and it failed. It came up with line busy. They said they couldn't understand that - erm, perhaps because I am talking to you on the same line.

    Anyway, the Sky+ box never dialled out and they kept the subscription high. They agreed to send an engineer when I said that I would cancel. Engineer arrived and swapped the Sky+ box - thus taking all out recordings away. Still didn't work, but he wouldn't swap back as his jobsheet said swap box. I proved that it was the extension cable that their engineer had installed. He wouldn't have it.

    Called Sky again and said either reduce the subscription to the offer price; sort out the faulty cable that their engineer had installed or cancel.

    Cancellation department gave me 3 months free. Arranged for NTL cable to be installed in that time and wrote to Sky to cancel giving the last free 30 days as the notice period.

    Very happy with NTL - now Virginmedia. Recently upgraded to V+ which includes HD


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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Pat, how recent was this? Since 1998 Sky have always received the CLI on the line calling into their reporting centre, and indeed their Call Centre staff see the number also. This was due to the way Sky receive their telephone callsicon using digital PRA (Primary Rate Access) circuits from the telco -originally BT. On PRA's the C7 signalling provides the inbound calling number, complete with a flag indicating whether the number was available, withheld, a presentation number or the underlying telco number. Unless they have been forced by the regulator not to abuse this (and I've heard nothing about it) Sky and others ride roughshod on the CLI issue. For them to say they need the number 'released' before a box can show its number is NOT one of their T&C, it simply has to be a working PSTN phone line (but not ISDN, which is specifically excluded).


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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by buzby View Post
    Pat, how recent was this?
    Within the last 2 years. Standard BT line, that was extended by the Sky engineer to reach the Sky+ box.

    Both boxes had to be programmed to present CLI after the first round of calls.


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    Basic Account Holder salfordric Novitiate

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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Despite what SKY tell you over the phone it is not neccessary to have a BT line or infact anyline at all. I have NTL line and when they came out to fit my dish the instillation man told me sky just say you must be connected to a phone line so you will be tempted to buy pay per view movies, sure enough when i unplugged the phone connection it still works fine. The 25 fee sky charged as I wasnt connected to a BT line on instillation however is proving to be difficult to get refunded


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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Sky NEVER specify the requirement of a 'BT' phone line - just a standard PSTN (analogue) phone line. This is because it is a requirement not just for Box Office, but their attempt at offering interactivity, which Virgin Media provide automatically down the cable. If you also have multiroom, they require the phone line to confirm both boxes are contained within the same household. If you do not have it connected and check call-ins don;t show up, the charge is automatically billed to your account.


  17. #17
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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Was clearly told that if i did not have a bt line to connect to i would have to pay a fee to have sky installed. 25 extra i think. Was also told that sky would not work through NTL phone socket I dont have a BT and all my interactive services including pay per view movies work fine through a NTL socket.


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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    You were incorrectly told 'BT' in much the same way people refer to Hoovers, Biro's and other trade names as a substitute for the actual reference. By the same token, YOU don't have an NTL line, it is Virgin Media.

    In reality, your actual obligations are based on the Sky Subscriber contract, which does not specify BT.


  19. #19
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    Default Re: SKY - Beware hidden charge for unplugging phone line!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by buzby View Post
    You were incorrectly told 'BT' in much the same way people refer to Hoovers, Biro's and other trade names as a substitute for the actual reference. By the same token, YOU don't have an NTL line, it is Virgin Media.

    In reality, your actual obligations are based on the Sky Subscriber contract, which does not specify BT.

    Yeah buzby is right. they charge you 25 if you refuse to have it connected to a land line or cannot connect. You can have any provider you wish.

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