Setanta - The Wretched Story So Far...

6 January 2009

After triumphing in our Worst Company Of Britain award, we thought we’d take a little bit of time out to remind you just why Setanta have pissed off so many of their customers over the last 12 months. Take your pick from any of these...

ROTTEN PICTURE QUALITY – Sky satellite viewers are used to the occasional loss of reception. But it doesn’t happen too often and it’s usually only when there’s enough rain coming down to flood the Netherlands. With Setanta, there can be a smattering of downy snow in Luxembourg and your viewing enjoyment is instantly curtailed.

CRAPPY CUSTOMER SERVICE – If you’ve got a problem with any aspect of the Setanta service, try ringing them up. Go on, try it – hope you’ve got nothing planned for the immediate future though.

WRONG-HEADED CANCELLATION PERIODS – Until pretty recently, if you were sick of the unique Setanta experience and fancied packing it all in, you’d need to give them 60 days notice. Yep, 60; and in writing.

You’d also need to complete a near-impossible 81-squared Sudoku and submit three blood samples at 20-day intervals during the cancellation period. Okay, so we made up the stuff about the blood and the Sudoku, but the equally-ludicrous 60-day stuff was true.

Helpfully, Setanta have recently chopped it to 30 days (minimum) and made email an acceptable form of cancellation communication. But guess what – loads of punters are complaining that their emails have been bounced back to them or that letters sent by recorded delivery have been ignored or Setanta claim to have never received them.

HEAVY-HANDED PAYMENT RECOVERY – If you’ve tried cancelling Setanta through one of their accepted methods but are still sporadically getting unwanted SPL footy pumped into your house, you might think that cancelling the direct debit to them would bring things to a satisfactory conclusion.
Wrong. Scores of customers claim that this miraculously wakes Setanta up and they quickly get in touch demanding the outstanding payment or else they’ll put the debt in the hands of their recovery agents.

TIM SHERWOOD – All that money they’ve got and the best footy pundit they can come up with is Tim Sodding Sherwood. I’ve personally had Setanta for 18 months and I’m STILL waiting for Sherwood to come up with something even vaguely insightful during a live match. It doesn’t even need to be about football – it could be just be about a nice cloud formation he’s seen or an old song he’s heard that took him back to his childhood days. Anything. Please.

Setanta's Customer Complaints Department?

We’ve probably missed out a stack of other recurring gripes about Setanta, but we’re sure you’ll not hang about in filling in that comment box below with some of your own.

Incidentally, if you’re a Setanta satellite subscriber with recurring picture quality issues, try this little hack…

1. Press Services
2. Select option 4 for system setup
3. Then select option 4 for add channels.
4. Now type in: 11585 for Frequency.
5. Now type in: H for the polarisation.
6. Click down to find channels and press select.
7. Move down to SETANTA SPORTS.
8. Now press the YELLOW button on your remote control and press select.
9. Now scroll back to other channels and select SETANTA SPORTS.
10. Your Setanta Sports should now be on.

TOPICS:   Complaints   High Street News   TV

25 comments

  • chrisg
    You forgot the disgraceful handling of the England World Cup highlights package.
  • Mark
    HANG ON... you can't post that hack and not describe why or how it improves things? Its the same feed as the main channel isn't it?
  • ungulator
    you should write a letter to setanta with all the readers thought on and this page, mark the letter FAIL in red at the top!!!11
  • lfcrule1972
    Setanta Sports is just about one of the worst most unreliable companies I have ever dealt with. I signed up in 2007 and put up with the shoddy picture quality as I wanted to see the matches that weren't available on Sky. I then wrote in May 2008 to cancel the contract and stopped the Direct Debit. Within days they were on the phone 3 or 4 times a day trying to speak to me. Eventually when I was actually home they offered me a deal whereby I would pay £15 for the summer months to stay connected and then resume paying £10.99 (or whatever) once the footie season begun again. Given this was the re-connection fee anyway I agreed in June 2008. They then stuck through not only the £15 we agreed but a months worth of normal subscription fee for the period from end of May to when I resigned up again. After many fruitless attempts to contact their customer services I was told that I would have to take this up with their finance dept and was told they would call me..... you guessed it they never did. They never refunded the full months money taken incorrectly so I just cancelled it again. Yeah I miss out on the occasional England match (no great loss at times) and some of the Premier matches but like a lot of my friends I feel that Setanta is not worth the time or hassle.
  • dave
    Tried phoning 30th Nov, sent email to the address given - still receiving channel 1st Jan. Emailed again - bounced back Emailed again - [email protected] - had nothing back to me to confirm cancellation. Stuck now - HOW CAN I CANCEL SETANTA - HEEEEELP!! Nightmare..
  • Danny M.
    Out of interest who won it last year? EBay and Paypal also getting lambasted out of it....WHY? Never had a problem with them and I use their service at least 2-3 times a month.A few moaners come on here and something suddenly gathers momentum. Farcical stuff really. I have had Setanta since they started showing the premiership and ....are you sitting down...I HAVE HAD NO PROBLEMS! Like dealing with most companies if you read the bloody small print before you agree to take their service then you know what you are getting into. I cancelled with them a month before the end of last seaon and gave them the notice and hey presto they took one more payment and that was it. I'm obviously in the minority with the rest of their other 1.5 million customers *rolls eyes*. Yeah they dont broadcast in HD, but how long were SKY sports showing footy without HD for? Give them a chance FFS. Have a look at what they paid for the premiership, they were shafted (along with SKY). What do you expect? I've called them a handful of times since I had the service and if you have the cop on to call them at off peak times you dont have to wait too long, longest I waited was 5 mins. Frankly there are a multitude of companies who should be ahead of this outfit I have to say. Anybody ever had to wait for a BT engineer? Or wait for a delivery from Curry's that never materialises? Ever end up in a Banglore call centre for your mobile operator? The fact that the editor of this rubbish hadnt even experienced the service for himself doesnt exactly give this a whole lot of credibility. You dont happen to have a brother that works for SKY do you :-) And if you actually look a little more closely to the wathdog clip it was the bloody equipment that was at fault...since when is that a broadcasters fault? Oh lets ring Setanta and tell them some twat has fitted my diseh arseways...yeah cos that will work. FFS. Seriously.
  • rr
    i've had setanta since it launched and havent had any problems yes the pundits are shit, but i tend to use half time to have a shit as for ebay and paypal, they are the biggest crooks i have ever done business with.....and the problem is that there is no one else offering that service, so i have to keep going back to them on a daily basis
  • Matt
    I've recently cancelled Setanta (end of October) and received a confirmation email from them saying that it would be cancelled 30 days after my next payment. So November rolls around and my payment goes out and I'm thanking the gods that this is now the end of it. Stupidly I didn't cancel my direct debit so when December comes around and another payment goes out I immediately cancelled the direct debit and contacted Setanta to get a refund. Of course the joey on the other end of the phone can't help as they have no record of my cancellation (the two emails from different customer service members I have sound like proof to me) and so he will have to pass it to a manager to ring me back. I got a call that night but from a different department harrassing me on why I cancelled my direct debit. It's now a month down the line and I am still messing about with this. I'm now being chased for a payment for January even though when I speak to customer services my account shows on their system as cancelled and I can't receive the channel. Bag of shite.
  • Tim
    Perhaps the FA should be contacted about Setantas awful customer service. I had a free trial last year and i cancelled in plenty of time and never had any problems, however i do receive the odd mail (or 10) trying to entice me back. NO WAY, I love football but i'm not going through all the hassle of joining again and the trying to cancel. If you pay by card i think you are eligable to do a "Charge back" with Visa or Mastercard. If a company receives a certain number of "Charge backs" then the card companys can refuse to take payments in future for them. Then they would be stuffed!!
  • Bazmo
    LOL @ Tim and his lack of knowledge about the credit card industry. A company would need to be hitting 10% of payments before they would go down this road, thats 100k transactions a month for setanta. Do you really believe that any organisation is THAT bad? Get real son. The FA premier league sold the rights...they get their money, thats the end of it. I really hope BT or some random outsider win the next batch of rights and that will REALLY give you something to moan about, that would be funny.
  • scribbles
    The best way to handle Setanta is to just cancel the DD, then email off a cancellation request followed by a second when they don't respond. Tell them in each instance to bill you for the balance due, which you will pay on receipt. Then, when they harass you, just tell them to go shag themselves. They eventually just dissapear
  • paul
    Ive had Setanta since they were only SPL, and my monthly payment is ontime, i get an email from them telling me whats coming up, theyve got more than they used to have, and its gone down £2 a month since then. I like it! So I would assume the surveying on here is done by serial complainers
  • fwiw
    paul, I tried to cancel Setanta- they cancelled it after 4 letters had been sent and almost 3 months had passed, in which time they "blitzed" me with telephone calls and letters demanding I pay (undue) arrears. I rejoined Setanta- they cancelled my viewing whilst I was paying for the service- and claimed that I had requested the cancellation (they couldn't produce any evidence, but the computer said so!) I took out a multibox subscription and the price suddenly reverted from £2.99 per month to £12.99 month. In the absence of a reply from Setanta, I claimed the money bank from my bank under the direct debit scheme and informed them accordingly. Setanta's response was to demand it back and cut the viewing on my second box. You seem to be focussing on the price- if you were one of the small percentage of current customers who had previously been prepared to pay £15 per month for Setanta, then I can see how it looks good value to you now. I actually don't have a problem with the price or the content (during the football season!), but voted for Setanta because their customer service has been terrible on all 3 occasions I needed it. Maybe you should consider, that many of those voting/commenting on here aren't "serial complainers"- they just have a different experience to you.
  • gaz
    my sky tv is supplied by a shared dish. its mostly ok but if a big game is on like hearts v hibs and everybody tunes to the shitanta channel it is absolutely un watchable, i just about smashed my 50'' plasma tv on saturday past
  • Bazmo
    ^^ Gaz. So you live in some poxy apartment complex that relies on a shared dish and its Setanta's fault that all the scrotes in the complex view the channel when a match is on?? That Setanta crowd are evil arent they, how do they sleep at night? FFS ! Cop the f**k on son. Half the moaners on here are peddling guff about the broadcast quality and picture that has NOWT to do with them. Would you ring up SKY and tell them you cant watch SKY news if a bird tried to nest on your dish? Unbelievable.
  • gaz
    CALM DOON BAZ YOU CLOWN i pay them to get shitanta they are using sky tv dishes to get thr picture to us do they espect sky to fix it?
  • Tim
    OK Baz so i don't know the in's and out's of the credit card industry. Looks like i do now. LOL - (Whats that!!!) My 14 year old cousin use's terms like this. It aint an abreviation it's what kids use when there pals post a shite video on youtube or something. Its called being on the internet too much and learning lazy little phrases. What next LMAO or ROFL. :-) Oh and i'll get Real soon. Thanks "SON" - Patronising twat
  • Bazmo
    Yes Gaz....if the equipment is at fault, its the residents problem not the broadcasters. They are doing their bit by sending the signal. Would you expect a garage to take back a car you didnt know how to drive? Tim - ah bless, you have been riled up by the internet and we have now also established you are over 40 :-)
  • Tim
    Over 40!! No way buddy. I'll admit i feel over 40 sometimes but not actually there yet
  • Daz
    One of the reasons setanta won this was because they have Tim Sherwood? You're havin a laff lads? My eyes have been burned on more than one occassion today on SKY sports by Iain Dowie, they also have such footballing luminaries as Jamie "I'd suck Fat Frank off" Redknapp, Scott "how the fuck am I getting paid for this" Minto, Graeme Souness, John Salako etc etc. Very bias if truth be known, the only benchmark we have and they are no better with their choice of pundits so frankly you aint done yourself any favours on that one. Seems like you ran out of ideas and needed another reason to add to your kicking list.
  • Nico
    Daz...I get the impression you have an interest in Setanta; its got to be the oly reason you are defending them because in reality, their customer service, connections, disconnections and general administration is a joke. This is the final part of my story with Setanta (There are previous chapters but whats the point - its like a broken record!)..... Decided to cancel Setanta after 3 months as I never really watch it and cant justify £12 per month for something I hardly watch. Sent and emailed a cancellation letter on the 6th Jan giving 30 days notice from the 7th Jan (next payment date) with subscription ending on the 6th Feb, I also cancelled my Direct Debit on the 8th Jan (after they took payment for the 30 days on the 7th) so that I didnt get stung in subsequent months! Got a confirmation via email telling me cancellation had been received and would end on 25th Feb 09?!? Emailed Setanta as to why they think it ends on 25th as I gave 30 days noticce and got this back.... Dear xxxxxx Thank you for your email and please accept our apologies for the length of time it has taken to respond. Your cancellation will finish on the 25th Febuary because you will recieve a final free month from Setanta Sports Yours sincerely Conleth Baxter Customer Services Very nice I thought!!! Turned on Setanta on Friday 23rd Jan to watch the Derby v Forest (Im a Forest fan) and got the message telling me that I needed to subscribe (even though I had paid for the months subscription)! Called customer services and explained that I had a valid and paid for subscrition up to the 6th Feb so why no transmission? Setanta advisor explained that account was on hold and service stopped due to non payment! I explained that I had paid on the 7th by DD, the money had definately gone out and I was due paid for service. The advisor agreed that he could see the payment come in on the 7th but then informed me that as I had cancelled the Direct Debit, I had broken the T&C's of the contract!!!! I couldnt believe this and asked why I needed a DD when I had paid for the 30 dyas notice period and further monies wasnt needed, he then went on about breaking the T&C's. I then asked where in the T&C's it stated this (I had the contract open on the internet) as I cant find it, I was then told that he didnt know where but it was there! Anyway, after getting nowhere and after abiout 45 mins with the advisor, I asked to speak to a supervisor or manager, hI was told he would find one, I was put on hold for 15 mins and then he came back and told me that there wasnt a supervisor or Manager available! I asked to hold until one was and was then told that there wasnt one there!!! Eventually, as I wasnt going to get my service resumed and noone apart from the advisor was available to talk to me, I was asked to give my contact details and a manager would call me the following day. Well, its now Tuesday, 4 days after my initial call and nobody has called me back, I still dont have a Setanta transmission even though I have paid for it until the 6th Feb and not including the 1 month free they have given me meaning my service should end on the 25th Feb. I have since also received 2 letters threatening court action if I do not call them!!! What a nightmare, I will call them again to go through this when I can find a spare 2 hours of my life to waste! Is there not somone I can contact with regards to not getting a service that has been paid for? I feel like this is theft with me paying for a service and not getting it.........If im going to be mugged, at least wear a balaclava when you're doing it!!
  • Lee
    I get Setanta 'free' through cable for having the top VM TV Package. Not had many problems except SS2 being down a few times. But even for free, Tim Sherwood is expensive. Havent heard his commentry on Arsenal games as i only watch when its my team Liverpool (who he openly despises). I cant bear tio watch setanta apart from that because of muppets like him. Are they actualy paying him? They say on the site that his expert leadership and craft earned blackburn the league title... craft? Does anyone actualy remember that blackburn team? They pushed and kicked thier way to that title in probarbly the weakest ever title race with skillfree journeymen like Sherwood padding out a team with one or two genuine good players (like Shearer) He's hardly the most decorated footballer ever is he? You dont remember any of his performances or anything do you? Anyway OK a workhorse who won a trophy 12 years ago is the best setanta can maybe do apparently but given his very poor performance so far (im sure my sister could do better and she doesnt like football), isnt it time they sacked him and got a proper football man in? They can ditch macca as well. I appreciate his performances for Liverpool, but sickened really that he makes absolutley no attempt to redress the balance qwhen sherwood rips Liverpool and Benitez to shreds. Dont forget where you come from son and who made you what you are I guess im lucky that all i have to do is make VM remove it of need be. I dont actualy have to deal with setanta at all and they have no contracts or bank details of mine
  • Deathwatch B.
    [...] For those of you who ideally like to see Setanta buried in a landslide of heavy rock and faeces, you may soon get your wish. [...]
  • bazbaz
    section 5 of their terms there not responsible for your viewing equipment section 8 written notice to cancel... read d small print. if your dish has S&*T alignment u shouldnt sign up ss news is free and its on the same sky frequency as SS1 and ss2 you have no excuse for being stupid if u cant get ss news get sky to fix it first. the hack thing is for a different frequency that setanta also rent from sky
  • jon
    the reason setanta picture quality is crap is due to your equipement setanta is broadcasted on the same set of satellites as sky use but happens to be in the one at the end on one of the highest frequencies what does that mean to you? well if your satellite dish is not correctly allinged (lets face it if sky put the dish instead if a independant or sub contractor then its very unlikley it is) you may still be able to recieve a good picture on most channels but the ones on the eurobird satellite 28.5 degrees not astra 2 28.2 degrees may well be effected also the channels on the higher frequencys suffer first also if you lnb is on its way out again the higher frequencys and the eurobird channels are most likley to dissapear first. and yes you got it setanta is on a very high frequency and on the euro bird satellite. that little "hack" as you put it is tuning into an alternative frequency low down the spectrium which is not on the sky epg. why not you may ask? well their is no offical answer to that one but if you owned sky and you didnt want a competitor to take away all your sports customers would you give them a nice easy viewable slot on your own epg no i didnt think so. sky dont own the satellite but use a massive proportion of it they have no true control over 3rd party broadcasters but they have complete control over their own epg. just one last thing before you are convinced its only setanta thats gone wrong i would also check true movies and movies for men as these channels also broadcast aroung the same frequency on eurobird. anyway looks like you dont have to worry for too long anyway lets see how long they last

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