My mum is a longstanding Sky TV customer, but, despite paying the bill for more than a decade, she has discovered she has no control over the account because it is in the name of my long-gone dad.
When she sold her house to be closer to her family, she tried to change the address on the Sky account, but was told she could not without my dad’s permission or, indeed, even cancel.
My parents had this account for more than 20 years, but split 14 years ago, are now divorced and we have no contact with my father.
She has found herself in the bizarre situation of being able to pay for Sky (she has actually changed banks three times since taking over the payments) but not to own the account.
Sky’s advice is to simply cancel the direct debit and walk away, but she is concerned this could leave a mark on her credit file.
We were planning to get Sky Glass in her new property as she isn’t allowed a dish, but this has left us wondering if she shouldn’t just stick to Freeview.
Sky confirmed that any change of address, or cancelling, would require your father’s permission.
It says: “As outlined in our terms and conditions, we require the account holder’s permission to cancel or move an account to prevent against any unsolicited cancellations. In this instance, we encourage the customer to set up a new Sky account at her new address and cancel her previous direct debit.”
It says it will ensure the new account reflects your mother’s more than 20 years with Sky.
Whatever she decides about TV packages, she should go ahead and cancel the direct debit. This will have no impact on her credit file as the account is not in her name. However this, of course, creates a risk for your father, which seems unsatisfactory.
And finally …
This column is usually filled with tales of bad service, but occasionally we receive heartening examples of companies going the extra mile.
Through the Homes for Ukraine scheme we have a Ukrainian family moving in next week. Our building and contents insurance is with Saga and, when I notified it of this, it said it would need to check with the underwriter of the policy.
The underwriter declined to provide continuing cover, so Saga found one that would, providing a new 12-month policy with the same cover at no additional cost – effectively giving us nearly six months’ free cover.
Saga was clear it wanted to support the scheme. What a refreshing change from the “computer says no” response we so often encounter.
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