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Sky broadband fail left newlyweds unable to 'share a simple smile'

Thursday, August 6th 2015 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

A newly-married couple didn't see each other's faces for the first two months of their marriage after Sky failed to install their broadband.

American, Chantel Parsons married British husband Matt in White Post, Virginia, in May, but had to stay behind to wait for her visa while he returned to the UK.

Mr Parsons, 30, had arranged for Sky broadband to be installed at their new-build townhouse in Canterbury the day after he returned home so the couple could chat to each other online using Skype.

He instructed Sky to email him if there were any changes as he would be out of the country.

“There was no contact and he returned and waited on his appointment day. No one showed up,” Mrs Parsons, 31, told Cable.co.uk.

“Turns out they called his UK phone instead of emailing to let us know that because the council changed our postcode from 8PY to 8PZ, they couldn’t set us up in their system.

“He asked why they didn’t email like he asked, as he could have rescheduled. Their customer service shrugged it off as if they actually tried and we should just be happy with nothing.”

Sky then cancelled the order because of the change of postcode, Mrs Parsons said, meaning her husband then had to set up a new account.

After more missed engineer visits and phone calls promised by Sky that didn’t materialise, the broadband and phone line were finally installed on 28 July.

But the delay meant that the couple had spent the first two months of their marriage unable to even see each other's faces.

“It was very lonely without the ability to Skype. I’d listen to my co-workers talk about their evening plans with their spouses and it just reminded me that I can't even share a simple smile with him yet – things many folks take for granted.

'Cannot change the past'

“Between the five-hour time difference and our work schedules, we couldn’t even get him to his parents’ home for video chat.

“There is only so much you can express through Facebook messenger on your cell phone and letter writing. It doesn’t replace a face-to-face conversation.”

Mrs Parsons said when her husband first enquired about compensation for their ordeal, he was told Sky doesn’t offer it for “third party problems” such as Openreach engineers not turning up.

“Sky said they aren't responsible for Openreach’s technician, and that all UK telecommunication companies have to go through them to get their lines,” said Mrs Parsons.

“It makes me ask the question – why does it take them a half a month to schedule an engineer? Are they understaffed? Why are more telecom groups not upset by this?”

She suggested that Sky puts a sample timeline on its website to show customers all the steps between signing up and actually receiving a service.

Mrs Parsons finally managed to chat online to someone in Sky’s complaints department, who waived the installation fee and promised half-price line rental for six months.

But she added: “While that is making a little bit of amends, it cannot change the past."

A Sky spokesperson said: “We’re sorry we weren’t able to connect Mr and Mrs Parsons’ broadband sooner. We worked to find the quickest way to get them connected and are pleased they’re now up and running.”

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