only 51 Shopping Days til Christmas!

We are really in the Christmas mood at work.  Its our Magical Reindeer Parade on Sunday and we are going reindeer bonkers!

Yes, I know its only just gone Halloween and Bonfire Night is upon us but Christmas is only just around the corner and there are only 51 shopping days left!

So, if you design your own Christmas Cards you’ll be looking for fresh new kits to get those creative juices going.

All my Christmas Mini kits are dropping onto the My Memories store right now and you are sure to find lots to inspire you whether you are looking for digital elements or something suitable for printing & using in traditional or hybrid scrapping or altered art – you could even make funky gift tags!

These are the add-on words and there’s a gorgeous vintage style Home for Xmas template pack which will be in store in the next day or two

Heres a sneaky preview for you:

ooh, a couple of my Christmas  wordarts snuck into that slideshow too!

Here they are!

I’ve been designing a lot while I’ve had no internet so there is lots more coming up over the next week or two.

And on the subject of the internet I just got an email to say the new router has finally been dispatched – only 8 days after it was promised – Sky customer service really is abysmal!    I just wish I had confidence that the router would solve the problem, I still believe it’s an exchange fault     Anyway, that’s for another post and for the Comms ombudsman…..

In the meantime Happy Scrapping

an open letter to the MD of BSkyB

Its late Saturday and I’m sat in McDonalds using their free internet – thanks McDonalds!
This is a copy of the letter I’ve sent to the MD of BSkyB after the total frustration of dealing with the staff at Sky’s call centre’s in Stockport & Nottingham.  We still have no internet now since Tuesday – its Saturday as I write this.  I’m still waiting for the promised call back from the manager of the Stockport call centre and if I hadn’t hung up I’m pretty sure I would still be on hold from the inept operator in Nottingham.
Names have been removed to protect those who might be identified as incompetant……
oh, and just found out what Mr Darroch gets paid – draw your own conclusdions about how that makes me feel after the way Sky has treated me this week……..see the link at the bottom of the page
Sent Friday evening after my first attempt bounced back with the wrong email address given by a Sky employee
2nd attempt to send since your staff are incapable of giving your email address correctly!Firstly sorry that I misspelled your name in the original email (below) however since that is the way your staff member spelled it out to me…….
Dear Mr Darroch

So, since I wrote my email last night I have been speaking to the lovely xxxx in Stockport.  She has apparently arranged a callback for me from a manager since there was no manager available to take my call – it actually staggers me that both your Stockport and Nottingham call centres operate without duty managers!!  No small wonder that your staff don’t seem to know what they are talking about when there is nobody to supervise them.


Anyway, xxxxx confirmed that its only certain websites that aren’t available to customers in the Halifax area – that was lie number 1 of the day.  In fact I went straight to my neighbours house and she too has no internet whatsoever and hasn’t had since Tuesday.   Strange that when its my modem thats broken…….


I asked for the sending out of the modem to be accelerated but was told only a manager could sanction that and yes, the affore mentioned manager is awol or not available or simply can’t be bothered speaking to a disgruntled customer.

It seems that my account has been flagged in some way since the recorded greeting I received went something like this…..’we see that you have been having problems with your account recently.  Please give us some information so that we can deal with your query quickly – just transferring you to one of our experts now’   Not the exact wording but you get the gist.  It seems the expert – xxxx is just another member of the same old Stockport Broadband team – I feel I know enough of them now to be invited to their Christmas party. And it transpires the only thing she is expert in is giving misinformation

So, after going through all the security checks for the nth time, and knowing that I am having continued problems with my broadband the sensitive and considerate xxx asks me what is my preferred email for contact – how crass and insulting.

I asked xxxx for the customer complaints telephone number.  She told me there is no complaints number, only a fax – thats lie number 2 of the day (see below).  Why oh why do your advisers treat customers with such contempt?

So, yet again I have had to drive into Bradford to attempt again to send this email – I wonder whether I have been given the correct address or name for you this time?

And just to prove xxxx’s 2nd lie here are the details from your current customer complaints page including the non existant phone number

 How to complain to Sky
  • We appreciate that sometimes things go wrong and you may have problems with your Sky products and services. We want to ensure you receive the best possible customer service and if we’ve got it wrong, we’d like to get it fixed as quickly as possible.You can contact us by email, choose one of the options below. You’ll need to sign in using your Sky iD. Don’t worry if you have forgotten your Sky iD or password, follow the ‘Forgotten your username or password’ links on the page. By using your My Sky account we will be able to see what products you have and your account details.

Alternatively, you can write to us at the following address:
Customer Complaint, Sky Subscriber Services Ltd, PO Box 43, Livingston, West Lothian, EH54 7DD

You can also contact us by telephone on 08442 411 653 in the UK or 0818 719 819 in the Republic of Ireland. Our advisors are available to take your call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

For the avaoidance of doubt I am sick and tired of being given the runaround by inept and rude staff who’s sole mission in life seems to be to raise my blood pressure

I have been lied to and neglected, left on hold, given duff information and been spoken to like I was some kind of imbecile.

I do not deserve to be treated like this by SKy and I am not prepared to put up with it.

I absolutely will be referring this to the ombudsman and passing it on to anyone else who will read it or listen to me be that on Facebook, Twitter or my blog.

I have simply had enough and though I suspect you will never get to read this I might be able to save some other poor sap from actually signing up for the same treatment

Catherine Riley
angry, upset out of pocket and disgusted with Sky

From: catherineriley
Subject: How to give the Customer the Runaround………sorry, that should be ex customer
Date: Fri, 28 Oct 2011 00:17:29 +0000

Dear Mr DarrockAs I have had no internet connection at home for the last 48 hours with no prospect of a resolution of the problem I have had to drive to Bradford, blag my way into work with night security and write this from my work PC.Shortly after midnight Tuesday ( technically Wednesday am) we lost our internet connection.  As this is such a frequent problem I made the poor decision not to ring Sky but to hope things would be ok in the morning.Sadly they weren’t and my phone call was fairly unsatisfactory with no more advise than ‘try again in a couple of hours’Later yesterday I rang again for an update around 23.45hrs and was told that the outage was a major software fault affecting Halifax, Calder Valley and Hebden Bridge exchanges and the only update was that it would be resolved by 22.20hrs which it patently hadn’t been.

So I waited patiently though somewhat frustratedly for a further 12 hours before calling again.  By now the internet service which I pay Sky for had been unavailable for 36 hours.    I had taken a few days off from work this week specifically to complete several online  tasks and have been thwarted in my intent by the outage.

Now I know that some things are beyond the control of Sky.  However, thats not my real complaint.

When I rang this morning I was informed by recorded message that Sky were busy and the wait time would be 9 minutes.  I was on hold with abbysmal music and insulting announcements about going on line to check for further information for a total of 14 minutes before my call was even answered.

When I did finally get to speak to a person it was xxxx (Stockport call centre) who told me that the outage had been resolved which seemed strange since I still had no service.  I’ve lost count of the number of  timse I’ve reset the modem and rebooted my laptop so when the operator suggested I ‘run some tests’ on the BT line I flatly refused to since our phone socket is in an 18 inch high crawl space and I could see no point in testing the filter when it was patently a line or modem  fault.  Incidentally I was placed on hold for a protracted  period while the operative went away to check the line (the result of which he never told me) and  again while he also attempted and failed to find out when the outage had allegedly been fixed.

After such an unsatisfactory conversation with no prospect of a resolution requested to be transferred to the cancellation department.

I was then transferred to your ‘retentions’ department where I had an entirely unsatisfactory exchange with  a person who’s name I didn’t record.  Knowing how unhappy I was with the service I’d received he made the really clever suggestion that I add the phone line to the package……unbelievable crass under the circumstances.   Why, knowing that I am totally disillusioned with Sky would he imagine that I want to give you any more of my money?

Over the last 17 years I have paid Sky in excess of £xxxxx – over £xxxx pa currently. Yet when I have a real problem the value you place on my custom is abundantly evident and I felt I had no option but to cancel my sky subscription and request the MAC code which I believe will be issued in 3 -4 days.

At approx 12 noon I rang again and this time spoke to xxxx in Stockport.

By now I had my husband with me who had reluctantly agreed to go into the crawl space to run the tests required.

After an hour and a half of swapping and changing lines rebooting the modem and running up and down 2 flights of stairs between the 2 we were no further on.  Although xxxx was friendly and helpful the issue was not resolved.  I requested a new modem be sent out but was told the filter would have to be checked first and it would take 2 -3 days for us to receive one from Sky.

So, against my better judgement I allowed myself to be persuaded to go and purchase another filter and swap it in.  Yes, you’ve guessed, I wasted a further 1.5 hours going out to purchase one and another 30 minutes in a wasted call when the exercise proved fruitless.

At this stage I requested to be put through to a manager as xxxx told me he was still unable to supply a new modem and the call had to be passed to someone else for further tests.  I again asked when the original outage had been cleared and he was unable to answer – just to say it was cleared from their list.

After an extremely unsatisfactory exchange with a teamleader called xxx (also Stockport) I agree to speak to another person about making further tests with the exchange. At this stage I turned down what I consider to be a wholly desultary and insulting offer of a £10 goodwill payment.  I reluctantly agreed to be passed over yet again. I was promised a call back at 4.45, some 15 minutes later.  However, the operator failed to tell me that he was going to leave my line open and I was left unable to make urgent phone calls which had to be done prior to 5pm.  When he did finally ring back it was to sheepishly agree to send out a new modem – in 4 – 5 business days though he never did say whether the line was clear.  He couldn’t resist making a sarcastic little dig about modems not normally being free and ‘he couldn’t really call it a gesture of goodwill’

I am appalled by his behaviour.  How dare he talk to me in that manner?

There is no way I can wait until the end of next week for internet access so I decided to purchase a new cable and a modem myself to speed things up.  Imagine my horror then when neither of the measures made any difference.  By now its 8.30 pm and I’ve spent (wasted) a whole working day and got absolutely nowhere for my pains.

So, and this is beginning to feel like groundhog day, I dialled the by now familiar number – before I even got to speak to a person I was greeted with a message that customers in Halifax were experiencing problems………what a joke, except its not remotely funny. This time got xxxx in Nottingham.  A very nice chap but completely out of his depth.   To my horror he chatted away about the protracted outage in Halifax -‘since yesterday’

So why was I told by not 1 but 3 people that the outage was fixed and it must be my line box/filter/cable/modem????

I asked xxxx to arrange a call back tomorrow from a senior manager and was told it wasn’t possible.  So I asked to speak to the Call Centre duty manager and strangely that didn’t seem to be possible either.  So I asked for your email and was put on hold while he went to try and find that.

Well, I’m pleased to say that while I was on hold I was able to enjoy eating my evening meal -albeit a late one due to my running around after Sky emplyees who were leading me up the garden path…….after 38 minutes I simply hung up as I defy anyone to come back to a customer after leaving them on hold for that length of time.

So now its well gone midnight and I am sending this to voice my frustration and anger at the contempt with which I, a long standing customer, have been treated by Sky.

I am not an idiot and my husband is a computer technician and we are both horrified to have been lied to so consitently by your innept operators and team leaders.

In some respects I feel as if I am wasting yet more time since I will neither be able to see whether you receive this nor respond if you deign to contact me.

I am outraged that Sky should throw away a high paying customer of such long standing but after the last 48 hours nothing surprises me with Sky.

I have resigned myself to having no further access to the internet via yourselves.  As soon as I get the port code I will be off to an alternative provider.  The phone service will be going the same way.  I have to say its been hard to explain to my 10 year old why he will no longer be able to watch his programmes, hubby is not too pleased at loosing his sports channels either but the world won’t stop turning if we don’t have sky TV and I will be £xxx per month better off as a result.

In the meantime I am not out of pocket to the tune of £6.99 for a filter, £11.88 for a cable and £44.99 for a modem.

When I have internet access again which will most probably be next week when I return to work I will be finding the relevant emails at Which, Watchdog and the telecoms Ombudsman to copy this in to.  I think the whole thing will sit nicely on my blog too which will allow me to tweet it and distribute it on Facebook with a degree of ease.

Now I know this won’t bother Sky in the slightest but boy will it make me feel better

Yours in outrage and disappointment

Catherine Riley