Junges Paar betrachtet Rechnung

Incorrect billing on Sky: expensive standard price instead of a favorable special price

Junges Paar betrachtet Rechnung

If the public television program is not enough for you, you will be happy if you can go for a pay television subscription. For many viewers, commercial-free series and feature films, exclusive sports broadcasts, or award-winning documentaries are a welcome change from the day-to-day shows on ARD, ZDF, RTL and Co; even if you have to pay an additional monthly fee in addition to the radio license fee that is already due.

Sky stumbles on voluntary renewal of offer prices

In this context, the best-known pay-TV provider in Germany is Sky. The station, which belongs to the Comcast group, offers its interested customers various packages from which they can put together their favorite show. For example, an entertainment package for fans of the series at a price of 24.99 euros per month. Or a sports package for 14.99 euros per month. Or a subscription with live broadcasts of Bundesliga football matches for 19.99 euros.

It’s true: a lot of money just to be able to receive additional TV channels. But those who can afford it or want to, of course, will be happy with the special conditions. Sky grants this, for example, if you order several of the packages offered at the same time. Then it is possible to benefit from a special price for twelve or even 24 months. Or Sky waives the connection price that normally applies when ordering online.

Two-year Sky Special Price – In theory

Important in this context: A discounted price is often applied even if you cancel your Sky contract and then accept a return offer from the broadcaster. Because Sky fights for each of its more than five million customers. If a Sky customer cancels because they don’t want to pay the high standard price for their subscription, they can usually wait for an enhanced offer before the contract expires. For example, a select group of Sky customers may use the entire Sky program for just under € 25. Normally you would have to pay 80 euros. Others pay a few euros more. And of course, many users are more willing to pay 25, 30 or 35 euros per month than having to pay 50 to 80 euros for a Sky subscription.

In recent weeks, Sky has even gone one step further as part of a service offense. The pay TV broadcaster made an attractive offer in a letter to many customers whose contracts were about to expire. Just extend the contract for two years and continue using the existing conditions. You didn’t have to give up or actively get close to Sky. The contract simply continued on its existing terms. And unlike a cancellation made by the customer himself and a subsequent return offer, no reactivation fee had to be paid as part of the Sky contract extension.

Fight for customers (almost) at any cost

Of course, Sky did not take this step voluntarily. Rather, one of the main reasons was likely to have been to keep the churn rate at a manageable level during the first quarter. Because after losing the rights to the Champions League, Sky threatens hardships with respect to the Bundesliga. Because competitors like DAZN or Amazon, who have already taken away the Champions League rights from Sky, are preparing to buy licenses to broadcast the Bundesliga’s own matches of the German Football League.

And because currently no one knows where the Bundesliga games will be seen live from mid-2021, the willingness of Sky customers with a Bundeslilga subscription to take out a long-term Sky subscription is likely and, above all, expensive, is quite low. This is why it can be described as pretty smart when Sky offers its (loyal) customers a special price for another two years instead of losing out on insecure subscribers who are potentially willing to cancel on short notice.

Incorrect billing for loyal customers

But now there were problems with many of those customers that Sky wanted to do a big favor for. Incorrect billing caused problems at the beginning of the year and is now being repeated in a large number of cases, as can be seen in various responses from affected customers on the “Sky Community” customer service platform. Sky charged them the expensive standard price instead of the promised special price.

A spokeswoman for the station confirmed in a conversation with inside digital that there were billing issues earlier in the year. But this could be quickly remedied. Referring to current cases, he continued: “We are very sorry if there have been individual billing errors and we expressly apologize to our customers for the inconvenience.” The Sky spokeswoman, however, did not want to confirm a systematic billing error. And that, even though the many responses on the Sky customer forum, dealing with the same topic, actually speak a completely different language.

In the event of a major billing error, Sky says it will proactively reach out to its customers and the error will be corrected immediately, according to a written statement from the broadcaster. In any case, it is important that Sky minimize such errors “through the best possible advice, clear communication and other measures.” Despite the request, Sky did not provide any reason why incorrect debits from standard subscription prices were recently repeated.

Incorrect Sky invoice: what can affected customers do?

The pay TV broadcaster advises customers who are affected by a potential billing error on Sky to first carefully check the bill again to see if there are any proportional rates or flat rates. Also, when changing a contract, Sky customers should ask if all data was recorded as agreed. For this purpose, Sky sends a so-called contract data letter after an extension. It is usually sent to the customer as a PDF file by email.

It may also be useful to use the “My Sky” application. In this smartphone application, it is possible to check your own contract data. If there is any inconsistency in “My subscription”, it is recommended that you contact Sky customer service. The Sky spokeswoman also recommends this in an interview with inside digital: “If the customer still needs any clarification, they can contact us through the online contact form or by phone at 089 9972 7900”.

By the way, it is worth mentioning at this point: the direct line is not always the correct contact. In certain cases, you would like to point out that the online form should be used. For example, if Sky documents must prove a fact. Because the hotline employees cannot see all the contract data (expired).

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