How to cut your SKY TV costs in half

I love my Sky TV but a couple of weeks ago I made the (very hard) decision to cancel our subscription.

For those non UK viewers, Sky Television is the name of the main satellite network owned by Rupert Murdoch here in the UK, there are some half decent channels on Sky but alas we probably only watch about 2% of the 200+ made available to us.

We cancelled the subscription (after about 10 years) as firstly, we needed to give 30 days notice and don’t want to be paying once we sell the house, and secondly we need to save as much money as we physically can prior to making the move down under.

We have two boxes in our house and use the Sky + service (the one where you can record or pause live television). We have the full package and for the privilege we pay about £60 per month (more if we opt for a few pay per view ‘box office’ movies.

£60 a month isn’t a massive amount when your earning a half decent salary, however we are now starting to make ourselves get into the mindset that £60 is actually quite a bit of cash when neither of us are earning (as will be the case when we initially emigrate to Western Australia).

For example, £60 could but a decent sized food shop, Four months Sky could pay for a decent chunk of rent.

As I’ve mentioned before, we hope to move out to Australia with a decent amount of cash following the sale of our house. However we don’t want to just whittle all of this money away, any cash we can save for a deposit on some land or a new house will be very well received.

Anyway, back to our friends at Sky.

The buggers wouldn’t leave me alone. We have had a number of calls from Sky since we made the decision to cancel the subscription but they wouldn’t speak to the missus as I was the names account holder apparently (stupid since we both have the same surname, live in the same house and watch the same TV).

They eventually got through to me and asked if they could talk to me about some of the special offers which they have available which might convince me to stay.

I actually stopped the guy mid way through his ‘pitch’ and politely told him to save his breath as we are moving to the other side of the world.

He wished me all the best and then went on his way. After putting the phone down I realised that I should have at least listened to guy to see what offers Sky are willing to make to their ‘loyal’ customers to convince them to stay.

I discussed this with a couple of my colleagues at work and I was surprised by the number of people who I know have been given special offers by Sky due to a recent house move or to stop them from cancelling the package for good. One of my work colleagues was even given FREE SKY for four months followed 25% off for the remaining 8 months.

This kind of makes sense. It used to really frustrate me that as a loyal customer of over 10 years that I was paying through the nose for this service whereas someone can come off the street and pay half the price I do simply because they are a new customer.

I’m not so naive that I don’t understand the principals of marketing but come on. At time of writing Sky are offering the FULL Package to new customers at only £10 a month (plus an extra £10 credit against their first bill if they apply online)…Grrrrr

Anyway. All of these offers made by Sky to existing customers led me to do some additional research on the web and some of these offers are just crazy.

Before I go on, remember that they will take your cancellation and will confirm the cancellation over the phone. They will probably start to ‘fish’ at this point to see if there are any offers, which may convionce you to stay. If they do don’t accept them. Just give the notice to cancel your subscription and wait.

Approx 7 – 10 days later Sky will, in most cases phone back in an attempt at getting you to stay, because they know you’ve already shown little interest in the earlier attempts to get you to stay they will propose some slightly more ‘interesting’ offers:

Here’s a selection of some of the offers Sky have made to other people once they have requested that they cancel the account.

I rang to cancel and was offered 2 months 66p a month!

Just managed to get sky world for £21.25 for three months. At least it softens the blow, as the premiership is not on

Friend of mine rang to cancel Sky+. They begged him to stay – Gave him Half price for three months. After three months they rang him and offered him the next three months 40% off.

I rang to cancel and was offered 3 months at half price.

Got offered two mixes at 75p for six months. Informed them that I was still on my current deal. Don’t worry I was told I can arrange that to start afterwards. I enquired if they needed to keep up subscriber numbers or something.

The guy had no idea. I took the offer as I only watch certain channels on Sky anyway; I’m not going to miss 75p. Especially as they paid me £50 in Argos vouchers to come back with the half price offer.

And the list goes on…

I’m terrible at getting around to stuff. In fact I’m pretty impressed that I finally got around to cancelling Sky! I guess the moral of this story is if you want to save a couple of quid then phone up Sky and cancel your subscription.

At the moment it’s almost a dead certainty that you’ll be given an offer to Stay with Sky.

Remember that you need to give 30 days notice to cancel your Sky so it won’t just get cut off.

If you’ve not been given any special offers within 20 – 25 days and you want to keep your Sky then give the good folks at Sky a call back and they’ll cancel your cancellation…

One other point is if you live in an area where cable TV is readily available (NTL, Telewest , Kingston) then you may well be in for a real treat. I’ve read that Sky is particularly conscious of all areas within the UK where cable companies exist.

These cable companies are a big threat for Sky because if you can get cable, you also have an opportunity to move away from Sky completely whilst still having full access to many of their channels.

This seriously effects the amount of potential revenue Sky can make out of you as a customer and to acknowledge this risk, Sky it seems are willing to really push the boat out to these customers.

Anyway, I wish I knew about this before I decided to bugger off to Aus so go on. Give it a go and if it works for you. Please post a comment.

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