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Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 48795
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor - Please start your question with 'For Ben Jones'
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Hello I want some advice please. I wrote to Sky TV to

Resolved Question:

Hello

I want some advice please.

I wrote to Sky TV to ask them to cancel my account in August, as I was transferring to Virgin Media. I was paying £49 pcm. I found out that this subscription was not cancelled and that I had paid £49 pcm for seven months. The Halifax building society have reimbursed me the full amount through indemnity insurance. I notified Sky that I had been reimbursed by Halifax and on the 1st April Sky agreed that they would close my account with immediate affect. Since then I have received 2 letters from Sky, 9th of April, I owe then £349 and then 15th April I owe them £49. I rang them and asked them why I have been charged as my account is now closed but they are now saying that if I don't pay them back the money they will send debt collectors to my house to recover sufficient funds. They will not accept that the letter I wrote to them to cancel my contract was acceptable. I spoke to a Sky representative a few days after they received my letter of cancellation but they have no recollection of this conversation.
What should I do now? I am looking to move soon and don't want this to affect my credit history.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Ben Jones replied 3 years ago.

Ben Jones :

Hello, my name is XXXXX XXXXX it is my pleasure to assist you with your question today.

Ben Jones :

Do you still have a copy of the letter if needed?

Customer:

the letter I sent to Sky was a standard letter from virgin media which asks them to cancel my account. Sky have this letter, they received it on 23 August

Ben Jones :

Have they said why this was not accepted by them?

Customer:

I signed the letter, but don't have a copy myself. Sky are saying that they don't accept this as a way of cancellation, it has to be verified through a phone call. I did speak to a sky rep after my letter was sent on the 26th Aug but they have no record of this. Despite cancelling my account with immediate affect they are now wanting to charge me for the indemnity I have taken out through the Halifax.

Customer:

As a good will gesture they did accept my cancellation after I spoke to a team leader on 1 April. The charges have come onto my account that no longer exists as Halifax have instructed sky to pay them the indemnity of £347

Customer:

£343

Ben Jones :

have you checked your contract to see what you had to do in order to cancel with them?

Customer:

They said that they would not accept the letter from Virgin, it is their fault that I have been paying for an account that was not closed as it should have been, however as I said they did agree to shut the account on the first of April, with nothing outstanding left to pay

Ben Jones :

ok but have you actually checked the requirements for cancelling your account?

Customer:

not the actual contract no.

Ben Jones :

Ok well the first thing you need to do is to check whether you have followed the cancellation steps required of you in your contract. This is what you and Sky are bound by and if you have failed to adhere to the required cancellations procedure, they may have a valid argument. However, if you have followed them, you will be able to show that the contract was cancelled correctly and that they should not be pursuing you further.


 


In terms of what is happening now, debt collectors are a somewhat toothless threat because there is little they can do to force you to pay or to affect your credit rating. They are just there to make threats and be a nuisance, hoping that you will eventually pay. But they cannot come to your house and take your belongings, neither can they do anything to your credit rating. All of this can only happen once you have been taken to court, lost the claim and have had a court judgment issued against you. That is when they can send in the bailiffs or affect your credit score – until then they are just working under threats, without actually being able to do much.


 


So you could try and see how far they take it, refusing to pay and hoping that they never actually take it to court. If they do however, then you will need to reconsider your position and whether it is better off paying them rather than going any further with them. And remember – it all depends on whether or not you had acted in breach of contract in the first place.

Customer:

Ok so them agreeing to cancel the account as a good will gesture will have no weight in court?

Ben Jones :

not really, but what would help is if they should have reasonably known that you wanted to cancel and also if they actually stopped providing you with any services once Virgin had taken over

Customer:

What I find most annoying is that Sky never made any attempt to tell me that I was paying for a service I wasn't using, however as soon as I cancelled the direct debit, I received text massages, phone calls and letters.

Ben Jones :

that would depend on whether they knew that they were no longer providing you with a service or if they thought they were still doing so, but this is more of a technical issue so I can't comment on what they know, did not know or should have known

Customer:

Final question, do you think that I would stand a good chance if I went to court?

Ben Jones :

it's an impossible question to answer unfortunately - it depends on so many factors, not least the judge on the day and his/her perspective of the situation. But this is still a far way off...

Customer:

Thank you for yourtime

Customer:

Warren

Ben Jones :

you are most welcome, all the best

Customer:

I want to close this page how do I?

Ben Jones :

just pick a smiley face and close the page down, if that does not work just type your choice below instead and then close the page

Customer:

OK

Customer:

My Rating for this expert is Good. He was clear, honest and concise :-)

Ben Jones :

many thanks again, you should try closing the page now

Customer:

grrr it wont let me leave this page

Ben Jones :

I see you managed to exit eventually...that's good

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