The pitchforks come out for Foxtel

The situation has gone from bad to worse for Foxtel.

With sporting events cancelled across the globe, including Foxtel’s signature AFL and NRL 2020 seasons, customers have flooded the service seeking to cancel their subscriptions.

Foxtel has tried desperately to push back against the tide, offering heavily discounted packages, but it appears to be losing the battle.

Thousands of angry customers have taken to social media complaining that they are being prevented from cancelling.

A Facebook group named “Foxtel Complaints”, which has over 3,400 members, encapsulates the problems:

The Foxtel_Help Twitter page has been flooded with similar complaints.

Customers have been told that they cannot cancel their subscriptions online, but when they call they are left on hold for hours.

Part of the problem rests with Foxtel’s customer service network in the Philippines going offline due to the coronavirus, with most staff sent home not owning laptops or having access to adequate telephone or internet services.

This has left a skeleton team of staff in Australia to deal with the flood of inquiries, which have become overwhelmed.

Sadly, things are likely to get worse for Foxtel before they get any better.

With mass unemployment looming, falling incomes, and few live sporting events scheduled for the remainder of 2020, the exodus of subscribers from Foxtel is only likely to accelerate.

Despite deep cuts to subscription prices, which has crushed its margins, Foxtel is still priced well above online competitors Netflix, Stan, Amazon and Disney. And with no sports to offer, this necessarily means that Foxtel is first on the chopping block for households seeking to trim their budgets by cutting unnecessary discretionary spending.

With Foxtel already saddled with $2.3 billion of debt, and with subscription numbers and revenue plunging, its very survival is now under threat.

Leith van Onselen

Comments

  1. happy valleyMEMBER

    And would Rupert with his 65% (?) control (Telstra 35%) clinically walk away from it if push came to shove?

    • happy valleyMEMBER

      Very true – Scotty from Marketing has probably had the call and he knows that News is his no. 1 supporter, with Kelly, Akerman and Credlin doing their duty?

  2. I just got offered movies for free, but still can’t take sport off (as they don’t answer the phone).

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      I hardly pay them anything (only pay for the IQ box) and even I’m getting expanded access to lots of channels. Even so – their offering is still not as good as Netflix and I hardly ever watch it (Ms Lovely occasionally watches something on the entertainment channels, but rarely). I cannot see them surviving this. Payback for Mr Murdoch screwing us by destroying the NBN I say. Not sad at all.

  3. mikef179MEMBER

    This reminds me of those websites that you would sign up for in the early days of the internet that didn’t have a link for you to cancel the subscription if you wanted. Not that I ever signed up for any of them…

  4. So the only way to stop Foxtel subscription is to get them to answer the phone. The banks will honour the direct debits, credit cards will do the same. And will tell you to contact Foxtel to change them. So why should Foxtel answer the phone again?

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      The other option (more annoying and drastic I will admit) is to cancel your CC or bank account, which will kill any Direct Debits. Easier to do if the debit is off a credit card than your BSB based bank account.

  5. I cancelled my Kayo, really easy automatic site, it asked me why, I said none of the sports I follow are on (F1 etc). I will happily return for $25/mon whenever it’s all over, unless Foxtel kills it off first.

    • darklydrawlMEMBER

      I think it is more the legacy FoxBox subscribers that are having issues with getting in touch. Their call centre was never that good when there wasn’t a crisis – mainly as the call centre folks were all based overseas and mostly following a script. Their english was passable but their actual comprehension was terrible. They often said the right words, but had no idea WTF was going on or how to fix it. Actually most of the ASX top 50 companies have this issue (looking at you Telstra! – fvkn!)

  6. DingwallMEMBER

    Meanwhile from Optus Sports ……. they are waiving fees for 2+months for now.

    Due to the ongoing impacts of COVID-19, many international football leagues have been suspended, including the leagues we broadcast on Optus Sport.

    In light of this, your monthly Optus Sport subscription fee will be waived from the 24th of March until the 31st of May 2020. This means you will not be charged your regular monthly subscription fees that would usually fall within this period.

    From the 1st of June 2020, billing will resume as usual. Your monthly Optus Sport subscription payment will be due after that date, on your regular subscription fee renewal day.

    Thank you for your patience in these unprecedented times.

  7. I just use Live NetTv. Dodgy app installed on an old phone. Stream to chromecast. Watch pretty much any sport or o/s channel.

  8. Don’t forget to cancel your subscriptions to News Corp newspapers while you’re at it !