Recently I decided to cancel Setanta Sports. Their coverage is at best crap, but the problems I had with them were more signal related – every time I had attempted to sit down and watch a game the signal had been awful. This reached tipping point when I tuned in to watch Liverpool West Ham on 1 December 2008.
Not only was there no signal for most of the first half, but miraculously the signal came back on just before the half-time adverts. It stayed on for the half-time analysis, then went off again after the adverts before the second half. Setanta gave some cock and bull story about unprecedented weather effecting all satellites in Europe. Funny how no other channels (bar Setanta ones) were effected.
I’d read alot about how Setanta basically made it nigh on impossible to cancel. I’d also read about a BBC Watchdog programme on problems with Setanta Sports and the issues customers were having with them, particularly relating to signal and cancellation.
Trying to cancel
Heeding the advice of various forums, I sent a cancellation request to firstname.lastname@example.org, and cancelled my direct debit. They phoned me on the 10 December to inquire as to why I’d cancelled my direct debit. I told them that I had cancelled, via email. The customer service representative (CSR from now on – it’s too long to type) informed me it need to be in writing. “Is email not written?”, I enquired…
The CSR informed me that my cancellation was being processed, but that I would need to make one final payment. Stupidly I gave them my details for what the CSR said was a standing order. I asked him three times if it would be a one off payment and no more money would be taken. Three times he replied that yes it was a one off payment and he even said that a note had been placed on my account to this effect. The payment came out of my account a few days later in December.
So why was this stupid? Well I’d read in the above links about how they are not adverse to taking payments without authorisation. So imagine my surprise, or lack thereof, when Setanta took a payment on 14 January.
Trying to cancel again
Obviously I was extremely fucked off at this point. Having been repeatedly told that it was a one off payment, in effect they had taken a second, unauthorised payment. Or in other words, as far as I am concerned they were stealing from me.
To the Bat Phone. On 15 January I spoke to one CSR who passed me through to another department, saying that he had explained to the person who I would be put through to what the deal was. I got through and they didn’t know what I was calling about. I explained again and was told that my cancellation hadn’t been received – ‘you must have sent it to the wrong email address’ – hence them taking a second payment. I politely explained that they were not authorised to take a second payment, as I had been assured that it was a one of on the phone. So I pulled the speak to a manager card.
James, basically told me that I hadn’t cancelled at all. I again told him that they had fraudulantly taken money from my account having been assured as I was three times that money would only be taken once. I also stated I wanted my account cancelling and a refund right away.
No dice. “We can’t give you a refund, you need to write to head office”. Not good enough. He then said again I must have sent the email to the wrong place. I asked him which email it should have gone to. “Requests@setanta.com” – exactly the address I had written to. He then said I must not have put my name and details in the email. Before he could finish I told him I had put all the necessary information in there.
The upshot? The only way I could get them to take my details off was to give them my direct debit details again. I have to email them again and write to their head office to to complain about the assurances I received regarding the one off payment. Further, the last payment is to now be February “if we receive the cancellation today via email”.
I’ve sent the email again and will post an update whatever happens. Just as an aside, neither email bounced back.
I got a reply from them saying my account would be cancelled, but it’s never that simple with Setanta is it?