/ Technology

Why I left Sky for Plusnet TV

Pointing a remote control at a TV

After nearly 14 years as a Sky customer, I’ve just cancelled. I’ve only ever been on the basic Sky+ package but at nearly £30 a month – and with regular price hikes – it began to feel like an albatross around my neck.

The problem was, I couldn’t get rid of it because my kids wanted to watch channels like Disney and my husband wanted Eurosport. How could I save cash but keep everyone happy?

When I first got Sky, the world was a different place with painfully slow dial-up internet and buffering videos, so watching via a satellite made complete sense. But now we have super-fast fibre internet at home and watching video is no longer a tedious experience.

What’s the best way to watch TV with the family?

Sites such as YouTube have become a great place to catch up on old TV shows and all sorts of videos. But for me, TV should be about relaxing together as a family around a big screen.

This led me to experiment with devices such as the Google Chromecast and Apple TV which can send whatever you’re watching on your computer, phone or tablet, and see them on your TV. These worked fine but I felt the content was limited, – although they do offer apps such as Netflix.

What I was after was a way to watch just the channels my family love at the cheapest price. Sky seems to have gone down the opposite route, offering me more and more channels, box sets, on-the-move TV etc.

Can you have too much TV choice?

Sky is Britain’s biggest pay TV provider with lots of TV options, the widest choice of TV channels and HD channels, from sports including Premier League matches, to the latest blockbusters from Sky Movies, plus catch-up and on-demand TV content.

But it became like how I now feel going into a Tesco hypermarket after discovering the joys of Aldi. There’s just too much choice and it feels like an irritation rather than a benefit.

Ironically it was Sky’s NOWTV service that led me to leave the Sky mothership. It offered me the Disney Channel – meaning happy children! And, for less money than I was paying before, I could now also subscribe to its movie option so we can have as many family movie nights as we want rather than constantly buying DVDs.

I teamed it up with a FreeSat box and, voila, I was free!

But a month or so in, I spotted an email from my broadband provider Plusnet. It seemed to suit my needs more perfectly – Disney Channel and Eurosport (I’d had to pay for a subscription directly from it when I was with NOWTV).

Plus my nine-year-old daughter can now record any programmes she wants. She’s no child of the 1970s like me, happy to wait for the programme to be shown when the TV scheduler decides. She wants to watch what she wants when she wants so her limited tv-viewing time is used to maximum effect.

I’ve only just signed up, so it will be interesting to see how it works out in practice.

Do you think Sky is worth the cost? Have you been able to get the perfect mix of channels for the cheapest price?

Comments
Profile photo of NFH
Member

Sky is a big rip-off. When I cancelled it a couple of years ago, the day after service was withdrawn, Sky phoned me and offered me 75% off for 12 months. I accepted and then paid £6.50 per month. At the end of the 12 months, I tried doing the same thing, but Sky wouldn’t offer me more than 25% off, so I cancelled it again. Over many months, Sky has sent me letters offering me a 33% off for 5 years and other similar deals, but I’m not interested any more. Sky’s failure to renew the previous 75%-off deal and my consequent lack of Sky service has shown me that I can live without Sky. Sky lost me as a customer of 15 years. The only thing I miss is Sky News in HD, but I don’t see why I should pay a subscription for HD quality of a free-to-air channel anyway.

I now have a US-based Netflix subscription instead, which costs me $9 (£5.75) per month for the middle package that costs £7.49 per month in the UK. Netflix’s content is based on the IP address where the service is used, not on the country where the subscription is based, so I get UK content when I watch it in the UK, US content when I watch it in the US, and similarly local content when I watch it in other countries.

Profile photo of Ceri Thomas
Member

How did you get the US-based subscription? Were you in the States when you took it out?

Profile photo of NFH
Member

I have a US bank account, US Amex card and US postal address. That makes it very easy. Although you can’t open a US-based Netflix account from a UK IP address.

Profile photo of alfa
Member

We have had the full Sky package for over 20 years. It has come a long way since we had our first box expanded when the Disney channel came along.

You have to admit that Sky is pretty amazing.

BUT… 🙁 🙁 🙁

We record practically everything to watch at our convenience. We also record a lot more hours than we actually watch. This should not be a problem as there are times (like at the end of the winter season) when our favourite series have ended and there is nothing new recording, we have plenty of progammes recorded to catch up on.

But, what happens when a programme didn’t record properly and is unwatchable that occurs far too often and there is often no warning? No problem you think !!! Just go to Catch-Up or On Demand to download it. After all Sky keep advertising “never miss an episode” etc. But is the episode you want ever there? There might be episodes from various previous series but the recent ones only seem to be available for a week at the most.

It is so annoying not to be able to watch something we have paid to watch especially when the story has been building up…… then nothing.

Then there are the series that start on Sky, you wait for the next series only to find it is only available on the internet like Extant.

So, you turn to the internet for those missing episodes or series. 😕
And that also costs money. But those series/episodes are there when you want them, unlike Sky.

Ok, we are not that interested in the sport that has gone to BT Sport, but nevertheless, the service is diluted on Sky.

And the cost of Sky keeps going up.

So is the cost of Sky worth it?

Hardly, especially when you end up paying twice for the same programme. Sky could get away with it when the only alternative was cable TV that was not widely available. But now high-speed broadband is here and series are available on the internet when you want them not when Sky lets you have them. Sky is no longer the ultimate in TV viewing but the escalating cost does not reflect this.

I think it is time to have a rethink on our Sky subscription.
🙁

Profile photo of alfa
Member

And just to add to my previous post….

When you do download a programme from Sky Catch-Up or On Demand, it can have an expiry date. So by the time you get around to watching that episode, it has gone. grrr !!!

Profile photo of Sophie Gilbert
Member

I have Freeview through cable and it’s more than enough for me.

Topical subject, I think BBC is worth the cost, and when the TV licence is finally ditched in favour of a subsription, I will happily pay for that, even if it’s twice, three times the price. Just look at TV abroad and my case rests.

Profile photo of NFH
Member

That’s a good point about the BBC. I told Sky that I wouldn’t pay more for Sky than I pay for a television licence, because the BBC is better. I also don’t understand why many of Sky’s channels are funded by both a subscription and advertising. This means that viewers are paying twice. If I’m paying for something, then I don’t expect to be bothered by advertising, whether it be television channels, smartphone apps or anything else.

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

Sophie, I am a fan of the BBC – they offer some good programmes that we are unlikely to find produced by commercial channels, where audience size presumably is their key objective to secure advertising. I also like the freedom from advertising breaks. However the BBC needs a radical reorganisation in its management – it is top heavy and overpaid. It needs to put money into programmes and programme makers If the future funding – whether by licence fee or by subscription – is to be effective we need an organisation run by professionals with a well-resourced and trained workforce – and not subject to political pressure and interference.
Same goes for the NHS.

Member
Angel says:
22 March 2017

Can not get cable where we live in the U.K. Some towns have it our town don’t and further along as it was never installed this far 😕 Used to love watching my cable tv now I’m on sky and get all problems with it , my broadband won’t stay up long it keeps dipping and I loose contact with people and can not play on games as they kick me out of them saying my broadband ain’t connected and we have had years of this and all that’s happened is we have been put in a lock down with the company as the ombudsman as to deal with it and sky won’t discuss the account with us but they will take our flaming money tho so how fair is that and until the ombudsman deals with it we just have to put up with it , if we leave the company we loose all chance on getting back all we have paid as sky said they won’t deal with the bill from the passed one as we just changed down from fibre to normal broadband hoping that worked , so if anyone else as this trouble 1) do not leave the company till you have got your money back , 2) do not down grade your package or change from fibre broadband to normal broadband in hope that this works as then they stop you claiming your money back from that last account , never had any of this trouble with cable none at all

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Angel the real legal problem is that people dont realise that it only takes a call over the phone nowadays to constitute a contract . If you in any way try to change that contract , you are,in effect, making a NEW contract with your ISP under new terms , this has caused many hasty people get into deeper trouble thinking they are “getting back ” at the company –they are not, massive companies arent stupid they have corporate lawyers working for them and high power business accountants. I take it you moved into the country or into the outskirts of a city/town ? It was the wrong move downgrading to copper as it takes a bit of engineering work to restore it back to fibre , going down a grade of fibre is one thing , going back to copper is quite different . People who are used to high speed internet connections get very angry when they move to that lovely leafy country area without checking how fast the broadband is first .

Profile photo of banjo
Member

I’ve been with Sky since 1990 (I decided against British Satellite Broadcasting) and it is too expensive. I take sport but not movies and I’m still paying £801 per year. I must be mad.

Time to look at alternatives like Virgin (I already have the 50Mb service currently which gives me free Netflix) but not TalkTalk.

Profile photo of Ceri Thomas
Member

NowTV would be worth investigating as it lets you watch Sky Sports as and when you want to. They offer the ability to watch for just one day; a week; or a month, so you can pay just when there’s a particular sport you want to watch.

Member
Mabel says:
8 July 2015

As Sky has outbid all others for the rights to all important golf tournaments – even The Open from 2017 – I now have to decide if I should give up on viewing golf or look at cheaper alternatives to Sky. Sky sports plus a basic TV channel package will cost £45 per month and that is way too much from my income. I may look at Now TV and just pay for sports channels when there is an important golf tournament being played. Sky are abusing their monopoly position on sports by not allowing subscriptions to a specific sport. Nobody challenges them on this or why we have to subscribe to an entertainment channel when we only want to watch sport.

I’m getting a new TV soon and wonder if I get a smart TV will I need a Now TV box. Are smart TV’s smart enough to replace a box long term or do they all get amnesia after a period of time.

Profile photo of Ceri Thomas
Member

You’ll need to check if the smart tv you buy has the NowTv app. If it doesn’t you can get the NowTv box with two one-day sports passes for £19.99

NowTV is a useful way of watching sports events that Sky owns the rights to as you can just pay for the times they’re on tv and then not pay times when you’re not watching.

Profile photo of Patrick Taylor
Member

I briefly had Sky in the 1990’s however irealised the business model was going to end up with a captive garden for some sports. This , plus it menat I was paying money to the Murdoch organisation made me quit.

There is no doubt there is more content now available than any family could possibly watch. The break-up of the family in watching [and discussing] the same content I view as socially undesirable.

The internet has made the Sky model even less desirable on cost and content graounds.bu then if you are addicted to sport you may well hooked.

Profile photo of Lisa Barber
Member

If I left Sky, I’d really miss Sky Atlantic.

Profile photo of Ceri Thomas
Member

You can get access to Sky Atlantic both live and on demand through the NowTV entertainment package which costs £3.99. It also gives you their box sets like Modern Family and Games of Thrones, and lots of other channels includes kids’ one such as Disney.

Profile photo of Ceri Thomas
Member

Sorry should have said £6.99 not £3.99 for the entertainment package.

Member
Mabel says:
8 July 2015

How long do you have to view after buying a box set. It would need to be a long time for each set to make it worth the money.

Sky used to have a monthly Sky Go sports pass for £30, which could be purchased by non-subscribers. This has now been discontinued and replaced by a weekly pass at £10.99 or a daily one at £6.99. Profiteering by Sky and no one cares. Despite the high charges we will still have to watch frequent adverts – yet more income for Sky.

Profile photo of Ceri Thomas
Member

You don’t buy the box sets on NowTV. They’re all there and you get access to them – £6.99 gives you access to as many as you want for one month. You can get NowTv either through apps such as on my Plusnet box or Apple tv device or you can get a NowTV device from them direct – it costs £19.99 but comes with three months of the entertainment package so is good value. You need wifi or an ethernet connection for it to work and your tv needs HDMI – check the back.

Member
Mabel says:
8 July 2015

I knew you didn’t get physical access to them but a month is not long enough – unless you only watch them and no other T.V. I heard you could watch on an LG Smart TV so can you download the Now TV app to any smart TV. I try not to add too many boxes to my TV since the days of having 2 videos connected. I was planning on subscribing to the £3.99 entertainment package and not bothering if I didn’t watch it very much but I will have a months trial and see if the extra channels are worth the £6.99.

Member
Carole Worthy says:
15 July 2015

I love my SKY service. However I was surprised and irritated recently when I read on an additional sheet with a letter from SKY. ‘Important information about your order’
‘If you want a paper bill it is an extra £1.75 per month. [Lucky me I thought, I pay by DD . However I went on to read that ] “DD are also ‘CHARGED for at 50p per month”. I know it is a small amount but is it actually legal to charge me to pay my bill? If there is no alternative it seems to me that this ‘fee’ is actually part of the actual cost of the service and should be included in the advertised charges.

Can WHICH check this out please ?

Profile photo of Elisa Roberts
Member

Hi Carole.

I’ve taken a look at the general terms on the Sky website and these seem to effectively say that the price you pay for your TV package and equipment is ‘as-is’ and only payments made by debit card or credit card will incur an additional charge of 50p. It states on the following page that: “Prices for Direct Debit payments only. Continuous debit/credit card mandate costs 50p pm.” (http://www.sky.com/shop/tv/#accordion-content-2). This is also stated in the full Terms and Conditions (http://www.sky.com/shop/terms-conditions/new/).

If you check your bill again and find that you have been charged for paying by Direct Debit (which should not incur a charge according to the first link), rather than by debit card (which would incur a 50p charge), then you should contact Sky customer service to request that this is amended on your bill – please let us know the outcome.

Member
phobis says:
16 August 2015

I`ve been with a few isp subscribers and they all had there good and bad points , then I moved to plusnet about 14 mths ago and i av never looked back ..its far the best broadband far the best customer service and now i just added plusnet tv it out beats all its rivals on price quality of service and best fibre broadband speeds i`ve ever had ..110% rating and more i will give this little yorkshire company who in my mind are the biggest and best when it comes to deals in broadband etc..and heres me from lancashire thinking only sheep and yorkshire tea came out of yorkshire lol…WELL DONE PLUSNET..on a little note is this the plusnet tv is great just not enuff different packages to choose from i thinks theres just the 3 the pack i signed up wiv then u can add the carttoons and the bt sports packs …cud do wiv movies and etertainment pck or something …early days yet who know what plusnet will do next ..bet its amazing though

Profile photo of malcolm r
Member

phobis, I’m with John Lewis phone and broadband which is operated by Plusnet. No complaints – easy to talk to (in the UK!) if there is a problem. Plusnet was acquired by BT in 2007, but operates as a separate business. I wonder why it seems two different standards operate within the same group!

Profile photo of queenb
Member

Hi Phobis. Ive read somewhere that you need an aerial to have plusnet tv, is it not run on cable?

Member
sue says:
4 March 2016

im with bt my contract supposed to end 20th april 16.. but they seem to think its 23rd may 16..it was an 18- month contract taken out on 20th october 2014..now im no maths genius but from oct 2014 to april 2016 is 18 months..i have emailed them phoned them their customer service centre is in Egypt language barrier is bad..its like their reading from a script..no joy from them..if i cancel my bt before may 23rd i will be billed for three months as you pay in advance..i want to change to plusnet tv & broadband but cant because of bt being unreasonable to put it mildly.. any sugestions im thinking of contacting ofcom because im getting no resolve with bt customer services…

Member
Peter M says:
18 October 2016

I was in an almost identical situation. I had been a Sky customer for a long time, at least by my standards, six years in our current home and at least four years in our previous. I had never liked the pricing but options at the start were very limited. The price hikes really annoyed me especially when I learned that Sky have a customer retention policy of giving people a discount when they threaten to leave and make it all the way to the last step of actually leaving. I don’t like haggling, I always feel like I’ve been lied to, even if I manage to haggle someone down. I discovered Plusnet was doing a TV service in the first week they were offering it. I had already gotten rid of my Sky broadband because the service was terrible and the customer service was abysmal; I caught them in a lie several times and they liked that about as much as I did. I had them hang up on me at least twice; once when I pointed out that in fact I don’t owe them money to return the box (it was in the contract I had, clearly written, but it had changed for new customers, another way to screw people). As soon as the Sky customer service representative realised they were wrong they straight up just hung up on me. I’ve used every major provider and arrived at Plusnet last. They’re the best by a wide margin for price, speed and service. The only good thing about Sky is that they’re not BT but that’s not exactly a benefit.

Short story: I went from paying Sky £40 per month to £11 a month with Plusnet and a YouView box. Every channel I want is there (even Disney Junior) and I’ve never been happier with any companies customer support or pricing. I’m paying less for my maximum speed, actually unlimited fibre broadband PLUS premium television than I used to pay for just Sky TV itself. The whole TV / phone / fibre broadband package is cheaper than just Sky TV with Plusnet.

Rupert Murdoch is a bit unhappy with the success of Plusnet though since he’s taken the availability of Fox away from the Plusnet TV packages… and nothing of value was lost for me, but I can still get it elsewhere if I want and it will still end up a lot cheaper. There is nothing on Sky that you can’t get elsewhere. The Sky exclusives (Sky Atlantic for example) that you may want to keep are available as single packages which can be watched on something like NowTV. It will still cost less to buy premium packages on NowTV and get the rest for a provider like Plusnet. NowTV + Plusnet = cheaper than Sky by a significant margin and you’re not losing anything.

Do yourselves a service and change to Plusnet at the first opportunity.

Member
Pete D says:
26 January 2017

i have gone back to sky Hd Plus for a year .but wont pay £38.50 in a years time.. broadband i have plusnet fibre unlimited no problems. nowtv is very good, and i have netflix .personally sky seems to be loosing market share i hear. the modern people us will get there tv online and pay for what we want to watch that’s the way its going i think. maybe sky needs to have a rethink its very expensive for tv entertainment packages.subscription

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Your right Pete straight from the media business share websites , its not worrying them yet but if it continues it will. Sky can raise prices by 10 % in a year and every 12 months and you cant leave in the contracted time without paying the FULL cost of the minimum term–and the minimum term is–12 months and for those quoting OFCOM – it doesn’t cover subscription TV . And then there is actually being ABLE to leave read some of the posted complaints on websites .

Member
George says:
5 May 2017

It’s surprising how many of us feel foolish for staying with Sky over many years once we’ve made the move to cancel for good. Like many others we have haggled with Sky for a better deal or down-graded to off-set their constant price hikes only to find within a few months along comes another subscription increase and you are back to square one. Having been with Sky for over 20 years we left March 2017. Leaving wasn’t an easy process as Sky offered one special deal after another, but all this just made us feel like we’ve been ripped-off over the years. Having got rid of this blood sucking leech, we subscribed to Netflix for less than £6 per month. Between Freeview and Netflix we haven’t missed Sky at all. We still receive emails from Sky offering stupid offers to return, most of which are under £10 per month and one offer of 6 Months Free. All this just serves to anger us; as a reminder of our foolishness for staying with them for so long.

Member
Ben says:
24 May 2017

When we moved to our new-build house about 12 years ago, the Sky salesman was going from door to door trying to flog his wares. Excitedly, he announced that Sky were connecting up our street FOR FREE!! ) his excitement, not mine).

I wasn’t, and still aren’t, interested. The salesman couldn’t quite understand or believe that I didn’t want to sign on the dotted line right there and then…

I would go for Virgin TiVo if our street had been cabled up by Virgin, as the mark one TiVo that I had from 2002 to 2013 was far and away the best PVR I have ever used. We still miss it, despite Humax and Panasonic PVR’s. Early TiVo was ironically supported (EPG and so on) for years by Sky.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Just a technical point Ben Sky piggy-back BT Fibre ,when they come round the street looking for customers it means they have installed their own equipment in BT telephone exchanges , its called Unbundling , others do the same. When they talk of “connecting up” they mean entering your home and connecting up their apparatus. VM do “cable up ” your street with their own cable.

Member
Richard Smith says:
27 May 2017

I want to see the list of programs offered on plusnet tv+
Compared to Sky tv.
I am considering changing to you view Tv + Can I see a list of available tv channels from you view+.
I need answers now before I sigh up. I also want the total cost set up.

Profile photo of duncan lucas
Member

Richard -latest update- 8-5-2017 go to : http://www.a516digital.com/p/youview-channel-listing.html also : https://www.broadbandchoices.co.uk/providers/plusnet-tv and yes -click on -compare Plusnet packages –for prices .