Monday, June 25, 2007

Sky'ed up in knots

Have you ever got on a roll with an argument, only to realise halfway through, you're in the wrong? This happened to me this weekend.

Our SKY box broke on Thursday, it's about 4 years old and way out of guarantee. Incidentally, the controller for our Freeview box upstairs has been hidden by Millie never to be found again. Televisually we're going back in time. Tomorrow I'm likely to turn on and observe the liquid sexual chemistry between Anne Diamond and Nick Owen on TV AM.

Something needed to be done, it was the perfect opportunity to reassess our televisual needs. Everyone raves about SKY+, so that seemed worth exploring, and we could probably live without SKY Movies. Well, I'm the customer, BT Vision and Virgin Media mean I'm in a position of considerable power. I decided I was going to get onto SKY and get myself a rollicking good deal. I looked on the website...

Option A was to upgrade to SKY+ at a cost of £159 with the whole package.

Option B was to remove the films and save about £5 a month.

I phoned them; with a head of steam, my negotiating skills and a competitive market they were sure to pull something out of the bag. I said, in my sternest voice, that I wasn't happy with the price being offered. What were they going to do about it? Not a lot, they said.

They could offer me Option C: SKY Motion, which allows you to watch SKY on more than one TV. This would knock the installation down to £99 but put £10 on the monthly subscription.

Option D: They could get my monthly subscription down to £20, but that was without any of the premium channels.

I walked away from the negotiations, because AH HA! I could always get our broken box fixed. The power was with me, for sure; they wouldn't want to lose my custom would they?

Once off the phone I worked it out; Option D wasn't much of an improvement on what I have now with a broken box, and Option C would cost me £120 a year more in subscriptions despite it being £60 less in installation. I could live without the benefit of Premiership football upstairs as well as down and we could get a new Freeview box for about £20.

Option B, dropping SKY Movies, would save about a fiver; but we probably watch a film or two a month, which still beats a Blockbuster rental DVD. So there was no point in dropping SKY Movies either.

Which left me with two options; fix the old box or upgrade to SKY+ for the extravagant price of £159. And then it dawned on me... to get the existing box fixed would be a minimum of £100. Which would be £100 to stand still. Which basically means Option A, is really only £59, the price of a cheap video, for a heap of new features. Really, the hideously priced SKY+ installation was not a bad deal after all.

Sheepishly I went back to SKY and ordered the new box.


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