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BT "need to put it right, right now" claims former Sun editor Kelvin MacKenzie

Peter Kelly
Mar 23, 2020

With no live, professional football being played in England's top-four leagues for the foreseeable future, many paying customers of both Sky and BT have gone to cancel or alter their subscriptions. 

With no allure of Premier League football on the weekend being broadcast onto our screens until April 30th at the earliest, customers have seen no reason to keep paying for their sport subscriptions. 

In doing so, many have commented online that whilst they were able to do so via Sky without hassle, BT on the other hand made it trickier to cancel. 

Responding to these comments, former editor of the Sun, Kelvin MacKenzie, spoke on Love Sport Radio about the situation that developed and his experiences in trying to cancel his own Sky Sports subscription. 

"So the issue for me is the following. I have got Sky and BT. I decided to test [Sky] yesterday because there is nothing on there.

"I and like your listeners, I am not interested in watching re-runs. If it's not live, or it's not the best bits of something that literally happened about 24 hours ago or even 12 hours ago, I am not interested. And I don't want to pay for it.

"So I thought, here we go again, we'll be getting the old run around, it will be as hellish difficult to get through and all the rest of it.

"As it was, it was very simple. I went on, I said I want to pause, they said that'll be three months, these are your new charges i.e. reduction of 20 or 25 quid a month or whatever it was, and as nice as you'd like.

"And so I was astonished, and so pleased that a massive company like Sky could actually look upon me as somebody who might be a bit skint and were prepared to act against their own interest, but knowing that this was a customer to whom money was important, and therefore they were going to do the right thing, I was so pleased.

"And then came BT. Now I haven't tried this yet but according to the online world BT are making it hellishly difficult to put their subscriptions on hold. Listen to this. BT customers could only cancel their subscriptions by calling them directly, but the phone lines according to people who've tried to do it are constantly busy, with some saying attempted calls are being disconnected while they wait.

"There is no online system that allows customers to pause their BT subscriptions, leaving a telephone call as the only method- but even that's turned out to be very tough."

It has been reported in the i that BT customers were offered one month for free: "but if they refused the offer and asked to cancel, they were subsequently told they would have to pay up the rest of the contract, often totalling hundreds of pounds."

Quizzed over why BT have gone down a seemingly different route to that of Sky, MacKenzie added: "Well, even if there isn't some evil kind of Darth Vader somewhere within BT who's thinking 'I'll tell you what, I'll give that MacKenzie and various others a good rogering, I could do with their kind of 12 pounds a month or whatever'.

"Nevertheless, let's say it's a mixture of incompetence plus incompetence in their own interest- that's known as the I-I approach.

"Whatever it is, they need to put it right and they need to put it right, right now. We should we should put pressure on them to do the right thing.

"Sky have much more money to lose. They have many, many more customers than BT does. But when asked whether to do the right thing or not, they [Sky] stood straight up right and said, 'We quite understand. We're not Delivering the service we promised. It's not our fault but we're not going to penalise you'. I congratulate sky."

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