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Cancelling Sky due to protracted and ongoing outage?

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Our Sky broadband and phone have been down for 7 days now. There has been no update at all from Sky. No reason given for the outage or estimated time for a fix. I am not the only one by the way, this is country wide although some people have a partial connection and others have been without broadband for almost two weeks. 


My contract is up in April and I definitely won't be renewing but I work from home and need broadband of some description. Right now I am relying on my mobile's 4G connection, which where we are is often very slow and of course it is costing me extra for the data. I have invested in a 4G router so I don't need to tie up my phone and I am just waiting on an unlimited sim to arrive. So I have spent over £100 this week on 4G. 


Sky do pay compensation for each day's outage but only after two days have passed and this is "credited" to our Sky account. The problem with that of course is that we never see it. Sky get it back one way or another so it is not really compensation at all. It doesn't offset the cost of my 4G data use. 


The question I have is that, given the service has been down for 7 days (5 business days) am I entitled to cancel the contract without penalty? I have read some posts on various social media and forums saying I can but others saying I cannot. Or rather I can cancel but I would need to pay the remainder of the contract. 


I figured the CAG would be the best place for advice one way or the other?

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Yes I think you would be entitled to cancel – and without penalty.

However, you need to do it carefully because you can be certain that they will rise up against you. All of these companies are happy to give 80% of the service but still demand 100% of the price.

If you want the best way forward on this, I would write to them and put them on notice that you will be leaving them early because of the poor level of service which you have thoroughly documented and you are giving them a further seven days to bring the service to the proper standard or you will be leaving at that time.

Of course they will want you to pay to the end – and you should do this because otherwise you will end up with extra problems with credit files et cetera. Get your alternative broadband supplier and start their contract.

Once you know that you are safe and you have reached the official end of the sky broadband, then I would set about recovering the money which has been paid to them and which clearly they do not deserve.

In this way, you would have given them full notice and have acted reasonably. You won't have placed your own broadband service in jeopardy. You won't have placed your own credit file in jeopardy.

In fact I would even try going to the bank and invoking the direct debit guarantee – but only at the end of your contract after it is clear to sky that you have completed all the payments up to the end of the contractual period.

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Thanks for the reply. 


I would definitely not just cancel and not pay the remaining two months because that starts off a chain reaction of debt collectors and so on. They don't deserve the money and I have a feeling I would not get it back, but as you say, worth writing to them and giving notice.  


I think my main concern is just being able to sign up with someone else before my Sky contract ends. I am not sure I can do that unless Sky cancels my current contract?

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Not at all. You can cancel the contract but sky will insist that you've got to pay the remaining portion. You pay it and then you go back and claim it back.

The most important thing is to give them notice about it. Make time of the essence. Tell them that you have been without the service for seven days and if it continues for another, say, seven days that you will terminate your contract.

Make sure this is in writing. Then at the end of the seven days – call them and terminate the contract but of course you will have made alternative arrangements by then.

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Beware “frying pan to fire”.

How is the service provided, and where does the problem lie?


If the issue lies within Openreach’s equipment (rather than Sky itself), moving provider may not improve things

(Virgin uses its own infrastructure but many of the other ISPs also use Openreach’s equipment ……)

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Well get sky to send openreach around to find the problem or at least remove any possible doubt its nothing to do with anything your end, then under the min guaranteed speed rules etc, sky must release you freeof penalty from any contract.



please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..

DCA's view debtors as suckers, marks and mugs

NO DCA has ANY legal powers whatsoever on ANY debt no matter what it's Type

and they

are NOT and can NEVER  be BAILIFFS. even if a debt has been to court..

If everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's Tomorrow, their industry would collapse overnight... 

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Not to sound like a stick in a mud but do people normally pay for a contract they have terminated?

I think the points above are well made regarding the expected reaction from Sky as well as the possible affects to a credit file, but continuing to pay for the contract could be construed that the contractee isn't serious about their proposal and risks Sky claiming the contract is still enforce.

You could go down the path later of stating Sky should not have collected any further direct debit once the contracted is deemed terminated by the contractee, however and rightfully so individuals have been given much greater control over how automated payments leave their account and can be cancelled when companies go rogue.

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We are on day 9 of no internet now. Still nothing from Sky. No update since the 18th. This is not a local outage by the way. People all over the country are experiencing the same problems. Some have had no internet for over two weeks! 


Right now I am using a 4G router and sim for all my services, including streaming from Sky! Why am I paying them for a service they are not providing?


I did write to them and officially gave notice of my intention to cancel the contract. I have heard nothing from them. I do have the automated response acknowledging my email. 


I am sorely tempted to cancel the direct debit and argue about it later. Given their poor service and the fact that I have contacted them on several occasions with no response other than "there is an outage". I think I have pretty good grounds to win if they try to pursue the outstanding two months payment on my contract?


I am paying them £55 per month. I don't mind paying when I am receiving the service but when I have to pay a 4G network on top of the Sky subscription in order to receive "their" services I think it is a bit much?


By the way, the other suppliers here, Plusnet, Vodafone, TalkTalk etc all of whom use the Openreach network and the same box which sits across the road from my apartment are all working fine.  Everyone in the building has internet except me and I am the only one with Sky.


I don't want to go down the road of just cancelling the direct debit. It is a messy way to go about things but I can't see any other option right now. The thing that stops me from doing this is that I need to sign up with another provider and I think cancelling the DD would cause problems in doing that?

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