Sky Link Cable Informative - No Service, But Charged Cancellation Fee

Review by PBlanch on 2008-08-29
CARO, MICHIGAN -- In April of 2008 I contacted Sky Link Cable requesting that they set up Cable TV service in our home located Michigan. I told the man on the phone that we had our house up for sale and planned to move to another city in Michigan as soon as it sold. I was assured by this man that Sky Link had a large customer base in that city and that it would be no problem to change service.

On April 21st, 2008 the technician installed the Dish TV service at our residence in Bad Axe. At the end of May 2008, we received an offer on our house with a closing date of June 30th, 2008. In the first week of June, I contacted the Sky Link in Caro and notified them that we were moving to to the new city and requested that they move our service to our new address.

An appointment was set up for a technician to install the dish on June 11th. When the technician arrived, he stated that there was no service at all at our new location and that we needed to cancel our service. We were instructed to request the postage paid boxes at the corporate number so that we could return the equipment. I did so, but they sent the boxes to the old address. I re-requested the boxes on June 3rd, and they were finally sent to the new address. I returned the boxes with the equipment packed inside through the mail, by UPS on about July 8th, 2008.

In the meantime, our checking account was charged $220 on July 3rd, from Dish Network. On July 10th, our checking account was charged $500 from Radio Shack in Caro (Sky Link Cable). We also incurred overdraft charges of $30 for each of these charges, as we were not expecting these withdrawals from our account.

On July 7th, I contacted the Corporate office of Dish Network and complained about the $220 fee. I was told that it was a mistake and that we would receive a credit back in 5 business days. I did not get the operator information for this phone call. We did not receive the credit back as of July 14th.

On July 14th I contacted the Corporate Office of Dish Network and explained that we canceled our service because their company was not able to provide the service which we contracted for and therefore should not be liable for the charge of $220. Juan said that he would go ahead and credit our account the $220 and that we should see it in 5 days, which did in fact occur.

On July 14th, I noticed the $500 charge to our checking account from Sky Link Cable in Caro, so I called their customer service representative. I was told that they did in fact charge us the $500 and that we also owed an additional $179, which would go to collections if we did not pay it. I argued that we only cancelled the service because they were not able to provide us any Cable service, even though we were told that our area is a covered area, and that we should not be liable for the disconnect fees that we were being charged. The Customer Service Representative stated that we were liable and that she had a contract to prove that we were liable. I told her that we were more than happy to pay for our service if they could provide the service that we contracted for. She refused to refund the $500 fee or the $179 fee still pending. I told her that I would be contacting the Better Business Bureau and the Attorney General and she said that that was my legal right. We ended the phone conversation.
Comments:3 Replies - Latest reply on 2008-09-14
Posted by dodge196 on 2008-09-14:
I posted a similar complaint about this company taking money from my account back in August...I was outraged that they just waltzed into my checking acct. and stole almost $200 without any problem. There was an up front agreement with them initially that promised I would have 30 days to walk and they renegged...I, too, live in Caro...how odd.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-14:
This is yet another reason why you should never use auto pay with a business. Once they have your information they have free run of your account.

If you want a simple way to pay your bills, check with your bank or credit union to see if they offer online bill pay. That way you will always remain in control of what money goes out, and when. If it is the auto pay feature that like so you dont have to remember to send the payment, you can set up online bill pay to do the same thing. The difference is you start and stop the payments when you want. The company you are doing business with does not have direct access to your money.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-09-14:
Sure were a lot of players in this mess. Sky Link, DISH etc. Somehow it seems you ended up with contracts with both Sky Link and DISH. Have no knowledge of SkyLink but this is SOP with DISH. DISH like DirecTV will take what ever they want when ever they want. We can only hope someday some Federal Agency takes issue with companies like DISH, DirecTV, SkyLink etc and puts an end to the sleazy contracts they lock consumers into.

John's advice is spot on and to never allow these crooks into your bank accounts.

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