New Sky Cards - Not Yet Received

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#1
Hello,

I live in Germany and bought one of the Sky cards via a local agent who has an 'address' in the UK. The card was first activated last November.

Since February, like everybody else, I have been receiving the 'Insert your new card' message. Unfortunately my new card is nowhere to be found! Calls to my agent have become angrier and angrier, but to no avail. I have even called his middle man, but they claim the UK agent is collecting all the cards to be sent out in one packet to 'save postage'. No word on when that may happen!

Sky has become almost unwatchable. The blue window overlay is now up almost 24hrs a day, except for ever briefer interludes. I can no longer record anything, and I can only watch for short annoying periods by 'sitting' on the backup button.

I am starting to think that the problem is more than just waiting for my card and may be due to my agent being unable to complete their side of the contract, perhaps due to the callback authorization problem or some other technical difficulty.

Is there anybody else in my position (ie outside the UK with a local agent) who has either received their new card or suffers as I do? Did anybody find a way of 'twisting arms' to speed up the process? Is the situation hopeless with the new cards and can they not be authorized without a UK landline callback?

It's not just for me. We are bringing my 6 year old up in two languages and english TV has been a great help to advance the process.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

rolfw

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#2
There should be no callback required smanef, simply insert the new card and press the backup button when prompted. What would appear to be of more concern would be the inability of your UK agent to forward the new card, that is of course if he indeed has it in his posession.

The problem with using a third party is that they must use a series of accommodation addresses and normally this will present no problem, as only the magazine is sent to it. If they are perhaps using a block of flats and dropping in periodically to pick up the mail, they may find that some of it has been removed by the time they get there.
 
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#3
Thanks rolfw,

Yes I figured that about the UK accommodation addresses. The agent I used was found off the internet and is based in Munich. I have to assume they have a large number of clients, given that the Munich area is relatively international. I doubt that we would be their first contractees.

As well as that, there are at least 2 other internet German sources of Sky cards authorized via 3rd parties. I wonder how all of these Sky users are fairing with receiving their new cards.

That's good news you mentioned about the ease of the authorization process. I had read indications of that elsewhere on this forum but I had not seen it confirmed. One potential difficulty down, any others to go...???

I get the impression everybody else has received their new cards. Is that so?
 

rolfw

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#4
No, not yet Smanef, I think that they are doing it by area, I haven't received mine yet and the only indication that you will have that the card has been sent, is that the message will appear on the screen.
 

rolfw

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#5
As an addendum to my last post, the batch sending excuse sounds like bullsh*t, how did you pay for the subscription?
 
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#6
Hi rolfw,

Well if the message on the screen is any indication then my card must have been sent out in the early part of February. It's sounding worse all the time...

How did I pay for the subscription? The Sky part is deducted monthly from my credit card. The agent fee for providing the UK address is about EUR 20 per month (whew!, I know, but does anyone have a better idea, and I searched and waited several years just to pull that one off!). Unfortunately for my current predicament, that fee was paid in advance for the entire year! All I know is that come next November I will try any other agent I can find. They may be no better but up to this point the current agent has been useless.

It's too bad that this problem started only 3 months into the contract rather than close to its end. Otherwise it would be easier all around just to take out a new contract from another agent.

On a side issue, I understand the copyright and licensing issues about providing UK television outside the UK. This is even more true for the BBC (which I do not use) where the license fee is paid only in the UK. There is also the problem of advertiser paid programming being broadcast into regions where the advertisers services are unreachable.

Part of the problem is that both Hollywood and European TV program providers use the local language to 'restrict' the reception of programming. So for example, German language programming is widely available throughout Europe. But unlike English, and to a lesser extent French, German is not widely spoken outside Germany/Austria/Switzerland. In the case of English, that is not possible because English is not only a universal language, it is also often the language of the original program material. It is no solution to learn German because the actors original voices and performance is an essential part of any film! In German I have come to recognize the somewhat limited number of voiceover artists and I find listening to them unpleasantly distracting. So, to hear the dubbed Spock of StarTrek fame also providing the voiceover for Robert DeNiro or Michael Caine is laughable! I just used the previous example to make the point but I'm sure you understand the problem.

I have not even touched on the whole problem of European policy, which is partly to restrict English from becoming the de facto European lingua franca...

If Europe is really to be Europe for all, then there must be a better solution than to restrict TV programming to the language spoken in the local country. Copyright problems can be solved, but only if someone in authority make the effort and the rest of us complain!

By the way rolfw, thanks for your speedy responses. I would reply faster but, being Easter, the kids are here playing Lara Croft...
 

rolfw

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#7
Hope that your kids are better than I am at the Lara croft games, got to certain stages and then found them too difficult. :)

I don't suppose that there is any way that you can find out the address that the card was registered under, if you could then at least yo could find someone in the UK to swap it over to and get them to send out a new card. Guess that you're just going to have to keep up the pressure.
 
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#8
I doubt they would part with the UK addess because being the middle man is their 'value added' in this business arrangement. But it would not help me anyway as I do not have any UK contact I could ask for a favour. I am not orginally from the UK, although I did live in London for a couple of years in the mid '70s.

Besides, it's not my style to ask for a favour unless I am in a position to return one. I cannot imagine somebody in the UK wanting a Premiere card from Germany. If they were that desperate then they'd probably already be using multidec.

On Lara Croft: my 6 year old just likes to watch his older cousins doing all the shooting. It's a gemeinschaft thingy. So far only the scorpions seem to be winning.
 

rolfw

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#9
Well it would not be possible to change your address unless you were in posession of the original address anyway, as they always ask for confirmation before changing it.

The one thing that you can of coures do if the card is turned off, is cancel your payments, that may then spur them into action, no pint paying for it if you're not receiving it, this being the last resort though as the box may then be blacklisted.
 
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#10
Whoa!


as the box may then be blacklisted
I hadn't heard of that until now! Do you know under what circumstances that might occur. For example, could it be likely if I cancelled my subscription at the end of the 12 month contract with the current service provider so that I could sign up with a new agent?

What about if I cancelled before the 12 month contract was finished?

By the way, I do actually receive the BSkyB broadcast, but only with a blue panel that covers the middle 25% of the screen. Also the menu system has slowed down to the point where pressing the backup key returns to about 1 minute of blue screen/no sound before the broadcast is again visible. It's almost impossible to set a timer, but even if I could the blue overlay screen would make watching the broadcast unpleasant.

All in all, deeply disappointing after paying, and continuing to pay, about EUR 70 per month.
 

rolfw

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#11
Sorry Smanef, wasn't trying to panic you, but if you cancelled inside the contract period, they do have the facility to black the box, but may not do if it was not subject to the subsidy.

Longer term, if you haven't inserted a new style card, the box will probably cease working, but I would guess, not until they have all been sent out so a while yet.

Sounds like this agent may get a few people hammering on his door in the not too distant future.
 
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#12
That's a relief. My box was not subsidized so "blacklisting" seems improbable.

I guess I have to continue waiting and hoping that the card will surface sooner rather than later. In the meantime, you have allayed a number of my concerns, especially with the telephone activation issue, and I'm grateful for that.

I am also hopeful that over the next month or so other non-UK based BSkyB subscribers will come online here to share their experiences of the changeover process with the new cards. I may learn something I've overlooked.
 

PoloMint

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#13
Originally posted by smanef
...I am also hopeful that over the next month or so other non-UK based BSkyB subscribers will come online here to share their experiences of the changeover process with the new cards. I may learn something I've overlooked.
I can’t help you on the address side of things but I can confirm that when (if?) you ever get your new card then it is simply a process of taking the old one out and putting the new one in. No callback or anything is required. My parents in Spain had the “please insert new card” (or whatever it is) message for a couple of weeks before I could forward on the new card, when it arrived they had it working in minutes.

However for the new card to be recognised you need the 3.0.x.x software revision, if not the digibox wont even be able to read the serial number of the new card.

Also, as a final resort you could tell the company that is organising the card forwarding that you are fed up waiting and are going “to ring the Sky help number and ask what it is all about.” Don’t threaten to blackmail them or anything, but just play dumb and say you might give Sky a call if it isn’t resolved soon. A lot of these companies really do think that Sky are actively out to catch them and if they get the idea that you might tell Sky about them it might hurry them up a bit.
 
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#14
Hello PoloMint.

It's a great idea to threaten to call Sky, but my contract explicitly warns about direct contacts to Sky and how that will probably result in card deactivation. I think they saw that one coming.

My DigiBox is a Panasonic TU-DSB40 from late last year, so I assume it has the latest software revisions.

Glad to hear that your parents fared well with their forwarded card.
 

theslydog

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#15
Not that I know anything about Sky - Im in Asia, but if it is anything like round here you have to threaten these types of companies to get action.

Take no notice of their warning as atm you have nothing to lose.

It seams that u will lose the Sky anyway so if you tell them you are ringing Sky (even better dob them in) if you dont get the new card they may do something.

Maybe u are better to ditch em and take up the kind offer of PoloMint.
That way you are ensured reliability and it will probably be cheaper in the long run.
 
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#16
Hello theslydog,

Maybe u are better to ditch em and take up the kind offer of PoloMint.
I reread Polomint and I could not find a 'kind offer', although he did suggest applying pressure on the agent. This is what I have been doing until now.

Take no notice of their warning as atm you have nothing to lose.
Actually, I do have something to lose - I will almost certainly lose the BSkyB service which means at minimum I lose the prepaid service fee of 12 x EUR 20 = EUR 240, less of course the last 5 months usage. I don't believe the agent will lose anything as they are not breaking the law and are not a party to the Sky contract. My service contract is with the agent but my Sky contract is direct with Sky.
 

rolfw

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#17
Agreed Smanef, at the moment you are the only short term loser, so it is better to wait, but if it does all go pear shaped, you certainly have the ability to make sure that the other members in the chain do not escape entirely unscathed.
 

theslydog

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#18
quote:
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Maybe u are better to ditch em and take up the kind offer of PoloMint.
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I reread Polomint and I could not find a 'kind offer', although he did suggest applying pressure on the agent. This is what I have been doing until now.


oops - sorry my computer main language not in english and sometime apostrophe ' dont come out or come out as Asian character hcan·h so "I can't help u..." came out on my computer as "I can help you...".
 
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