Sunday 21 January 2018

'I forgot to end my TV deal -- must I still pay?'

Siobhan contacted Smart Consumer after she forgot to cancel her TO subscription service that she didn't need any more.

She writes: "A couple of years ago I took out a subscription with Setanta Sports for the rugby, payable yearly. But RTÉ got the rights for the games I wanted, so I did not need to pay for Setanta.

"I kept forgetting to cancel my subscription, then last week I checked my bank balance and noticed they had taken out the next annual charge of £119.88."

So Siobhan contacted them to cancel her subscription. Given 30 days' cancellation notice is required, she expected to forfeit one month's subscription but to be refunded the remainder.

But Setanta responded saying that subscriptions operate on a 'rolling' basis, meaning they are automatically renewed unless instructed otherwise and so they could not authorise a refund.

Siobhan asks: "Is there anything else I can do here? I don't expect the full year's money back but at least some of it!"

A Given that the terms and conditions stipulate that you have to cancel 30 days before renewal, Siobhan should have cancelled earlier.

However, if she was paying her subscription on a monthly basis rather than on a yearly one she would only have to pay the one extra month. So, is she being penalised for paying annually?

Setanta responded: "In Northern Ireland (where Siobhan lives) Setanta offers annual as well as monthly billing products for our customers. The majority of our customers opt for the monthly product but some choose the convenience of the one-off annual bill.

"All Setanta products have 30 days' notice of cancellation before the next billing date which is standard in this industry. Customers are clearly informed of the cancellation requirements at the point of subscription."

However, Setanta did give Siobhan a refund of £109.89, which is the annual cost minus one month's subscription and her account has been cancelled.

Irish Independent

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