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Sky+ HD box = kaput. Now what?

Last week whilst I was trying to watch Stephen Fry and Jonathan Ross talking about Twitter on BBC1, my Sky+ HD box — not more than 2.5 months old — screwed up.

It’s making a clicking sound and failing to boot. Sounds to my highly inexperienced ears like a hard disk failure.

Uber annoying. Uber annoying x10.

I can’t specifically recall what I pay BSkyB for this service — but the huge premium I pay above the normal bog standard tenner a month is specifically geared in my mind so I don’t have to deal with this bollocks.

I want to switch it on and for it to work.

The fact it doesn’t is a significant inconvenience when there’s stuff I want to watch, particularly for business purposes. Rarely do I ever watch anything live any more. I get it all on iTunes and consume it on demand. Or I get it on BBC iPlayer.

My wife took a phone call from Sky a week before. Calling to ask if we wanted to buy insurance for the Sky+ HD box. She declined. Sensible. It’s a piece of consumerist tat and I expected the device to function for another year or so.

It’s a Samsung.

You’d think Samsung would have avoided sending me a piece of shit system. They’re supposed to have really low manufacturing error rates.

So now I need to sod about.

I took 3 minutes to skim Sky’s generic ‘My Box is on standby and not working’ help pages. I bet I’ll have to spend minutes reading their generic help and find out that I need to phone technical support.

I really couldn’t be arsed with it. The fact I’m even having to divert seconds of my valuable time to the matter is flucking annoying. Don’t you get it, Mr Sky? You’re not worth the sodding time of day. Either work. Or don’t work and don’t bill me.

And the equipment and service are one and the same, regardless of what the bollocks contract will say. I don’t know. I haven’t read it yet.

But I’m willing to bet it says that if my stupid box stops working — which, delightfully — it has — I need to pay for another.

That isn’t really an issue per say. I took the risk not buying insurance because I don’t want to sod about trying to beat the claims departments.

So if I do have to pay for another, where is the online ordering form? Couldn’t find one. Maybe it’s there, buried somewhere.

I read the generic help page.

Phone technical support.

Joy.

I am willing to bet this is going to be a 100% boring, painful and highly unfulfilling experience.

Which is why I’m writing this post. Have you had a similar experience?

And can I buy a Sky+ HD box on eBay and just plug it in, thus avoiding the pain and negative-joy of interacting with Sky?

By Ewan

Ewan is Founder and Editor of Mobile Industry Review. He writes about a wide variety of industry issues and is usually active on Twitter most days. You can read more about him or reach him with these details.

8 replies on “Sky+ HD box = kaput. Now what?”

Well if it's a Samsung drive inside that Samsung box, I'm not surprised. Samsung drives are a waste of space – I've been burned a couple of times with them, and I've known plenty of other people to have serious problems with them as well.

If it's less than 12 months old, it's covered by a warranty. Service in the 12 month period is covered by the initial warranty as well.

Call Sky and get them to arrange a replacement. So you can't just press a button on your mobile and watch Rupert Murdoch himself repair your box, man up and talk to someone or you'll never get it fixed.

Their 'Sky Repair Plan' is just a normal extended warranty service and is an extension of the initial warranty on the box. That said, the repair plan covers every piece of Sky equipment in your house (e.g. up to 4 sky boxes, LNB, the dish, Sky Broadband Router).

You can of course buy your own Sky+ HD box off eBay, but it won't be 'attached' to your viewing card. Guess what that involves. Yep, a phone call. And that won't be covered by Sky in any shape or form.

Hi. I've had sky+ go a few times out of warranty. Just call sky up, say the box is broke, when they offer you the fixed rate repair, decline stating you pay enough and think you might just buy freesat instead (or similar.). Get put through to cancelations and they'll likely offer a free repair. After all they don't want to loose that revenue stream. Everyone;s happy…..

Also, Sky are probably one of the few companies I don't mind talking to on the phone.

They know their products, they're based in the UK, they're upfront about anything and will try to arrange service at a time best for you.

I'm speaking out of experience here too – my sky+ borked back in 2007, 3 days later the engineer arrived on time, tried to spark it back into life, swapped the HDD out and it was back in the land of the recording.
That box is now the bedroom box whilst our Thomson Sky HD ticks along happily downstairs.

This too.

Like the phone companies – Sky is all about their ARUP and chrun figures each quarter – they will fight tooth and nail to get you to stay with them.

Hell, one quick google on my G1, and Result #4 was this:

http://mysky.sky.com/portal/site/skycom/skyhelp

“Your Sky equipment comes with a 12 month warranty. If any problems occur during that period you'll receive a free service call to take care of them. After the first year you would then have to pay a standard call out charge, but you can extend your warranty with the Sky Repair Plan.”

Ewan man, I don't know what planet you live on. I really don't. Even without a warranty, there is a legal requirement for products to be fit for purpose. They would have to repair or replace a Sky box that broke down a couple of months later. It's probably much more of an arse for Sky than it is for you. Noone is trying to burn you.

Ewan man, I don't know what planet you live on. I really don't. Even without a warranty, there is a legal requirement for products to be fit for purpose. They would have to repair or replace a Sky box that broke down a couple of months later. It's probably much more of an arse for Sky than it is for you. Noone is trying to burn you.

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