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Web Site Created Monday 17th May 1999.  This page updated Sunday 8th March 2015.


Are you signed up with Sky TV? Have you ever tried contacting them by any method other than a lengthy wait in a phone queue?

Further below: Let's see what happens when you have issues with Sky TV and need to contact them other than by phone.

Update: Problem solved. Let's move onto Amazon.co.uk, see further below.


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Doctor Who Season 8 Reviews: Peter Capaldi's series in no effort-spent & non in-depth detail:

Deep Breath    Into The Dalek    Robot of Sherwood    Listen    Time Heist    The Caretaker    Kill The Moon

Mummy on the Orient Express    Flatline    In The Forest Of The Night    Dark Water    Death in Heaven    Last Christmas

Season 8 Overview

The Pets Page has been spruced up and there's a new-ish page: My Friend's Cat Winston.


Tim Harris December 2013

Tim Harris July 2014

Tim Harris

Tim Harris February 2014

Tim Harris


Tim Harris (December 2014) Left: December 2014. One of the few photos taken of me at Christmas as I got hold of a mouth abscess soon after this was taken and spent a week on antibiotics.

Christmas then consisted of pain, pills, drowsiness and grumpiness rather than the food, fun and booze experience I'd been planning.

Not that I can complain, I still had a Christmas dinner lovingly prepared by myself, it wasn't that big and I cut it into tiny pieces and chewed very, very slowly, but I derived some enjoyment from it anyway. The cat got his share too and still lives so I guess I must have done ok at this.

I was asleep by the time Doctor Who started on Christmas Day so thank goodness somebody phoned me up just as it was starting. I started watching it 10 mins after it had begun and I enjoyed it.

Favourite programme watched over Christmas? The 1971 Christmas edition of For The Love of Ada, which I watched for the first time on DVD on Christmas Day. A wonderful series that is so unremembered by most people.

Still, onwards, forwards, can't surely be a bad year coming up can it?

Nah, it's what you make it.


Dear Sky...

Have you ever tried contacting Sky TV by email? No, because it's bloody hard to isn't it? The only way seems to be if you're disabled and happen to stumble across the following page link:

https://accessibility.sky.com/faqs/request-for-help

So I've used this to email them a message having ticked an option for them to reply to me by email 'within the next 48 hours'.

The story so far...

January 2013 I signed to a deal giving me cheap broadband / landline. The landline then went down and 2.5 months later I got an email congratulating me on signing up with Sky from which point the landline worked again. I hadn't missed it because most calls are cold calls. Broadband and satellite worked fine so I had no issue and knew it was just Sky dawdling along until somebody somewhere pressed the right button.

November 2014 I signed up for 2 years free broadband by getting Sky Sports 5. This time the landline, broadband and satellite started playing up.

12th January 2015: Pissed off now, so have contacted Sky by using the one buried link that I could find. It's not like I could have used my landline to make a free call to them so I had to email:

Monday 12th January 11:03am

Phone and Broadband have been playing up since November 

My customer account no:

Since upgrading to include Sky Sports 5 & 2-years-free broadband I have had major issues with the phone / broadband / satellite. This occurred from 9th November.

The landline doesn't work at all, when people try to phone me they get a constant engaged tone. The satellite receiver says it is not connected to a phone line (though it is). Broadband works but is getting slower and slower: the download speed used to be 1032kbps and is currently running at 40kbps.

I have unplugged everything (micro filters included) as per the instructions on the website and this has made no difference.

I had this kind of problem when I last took a deal from Sky and 2.5 months later from the time issues started I got an email from Sky congratulating me for taking up that particular broadband / phone deal and from that point it worked again.

I'm close to cancelling Sky altogether in spite of any contracts I'm tied in to as this is unacceptably poor service and as this is the 2nd time this has happened.

Can you please rectify these issues before I cancel my account? I see no point in paying 82 a month for nothing, and will not do so as of February.

Thanks, Tim

Monday, January 12, 2015 11:04 AM

"no_reply@defacto-cms.com" <no_reply@defacto-cms.com>

Dear Tim Harris,

Thanks for using our online help request form on www.sky.com/accessibility.
We've received your request and your unique customer reference is

We will get back to you within the next 48 hours.

Kind regards
Accessible Customer Service Team

Please do not reply to this email address. Replies to this email address are not monitored or reviewed and you will not receive a response."

Tuesday, January 13, 2015 1:54 PM
 
"Accessibility Website" <mailbox-4207@bskyb.com>

Please note, this mailbox is exclusively for customers registered with the Accessibility team or for customers who are disabled and require a little extra support.
If you do not require our help please contact us on 03442 414141 or alternatively click on the below link to contact Customer Service by email/Live Chat.

https://contactus.sky.com/uk

The Sky Team


-----Original Message-----
From: Accessibility Website
Sent: 13 January 2015 10:04
To: Accessibility Website
Subject: FW: Accessibility website enquiry: Customer reference BSKYB - 5tq3tq3

A request for help has been submitted with the following details:

Unique customer reference:

Full name: Tim Harris

Email address:

Phone number:

Contact by: email

Sky subscriber: Yes

etc

Tuesday 27th January 2015: I didn't respond and waited 2 weeks to see if Sky would get back to me anyway. No. So the response so far has been to tell me not to use this email address. I'd already looked at their Contact Us page but this does not have an email link despite what the above says. Sky acknowledge that I am a Sky subscriber yet haven't actually noted my problem and the fact that I cannot use my landline to phone them as it is not working. I would therefore have to use a mobile which will cost me money. I resent the fact that I have to do this.

I looked at my account and saw that my mobile no. was not listed in my account so I added this thinking "Hmm, bet they call me within 48 hours of registering it in order to flog me something. That'll save me phoning them".

Wednesday 28th January 2015: I got a phone call from Sky asking if I was happy with my services as they have some great deals for me. I said that before considering changing anything I'd like the services I already pay for back up and running. He offered me upgraded set tops, HD, you name it, all for only 5 extra a month. Sounds good I thought, but I'm paying 82 for services I'm already not getting so I said again that I wouldn't consider anything until my current services were up and running. Having thrown him from his scripted sales pitch he then realised that I had issues with my current service and asked me what was wrong with it. After only two attempts I was able to explain that my broadband was very slow and that my phone line acts as if it's permanently engaged. I explained that I had emailed Sky and got a response telling me I was wrong to use that email address. He said he'd put a track on the line. I said I would likely phone up Sky the following weekend but that I wasn't happy to. He asked if he could call me back a week later once I'd sorted my problems out. Okay I said.
Saturday 31st January 2015: Hungover. Didn't ring Sky.
Tuesday 3rd February 2015: Sky phoned back but I couldn't hear a word the chap was saying and the call cut off.
Wednesday 4th February 2015: I looked at my account and could see that Sky were testing the line and had been since Friday 30th January. The line testing would take 10 days. "It's definitely down" is what I'd like to say to them; without phoning them. Interesting that they haven't successfully got back to me to ask how it's going. Maybe I will phone Sky next weekend.
Sunday 8th February 2015: Nah.
Tuesday 10th February 2015: Sky phoned up and asked me if I was interested in any of their offers. Not yet, I'd like to get my existing service sorted out. She asked if I'd reported it and I said yes, that I could see that the line was being tested. She asked if she could call back a week later, I said ok.
Sunday 15th February: I looked to see what was happening with the line check. It said that the test had been completed on 12th February and that the speed was 40kbps. So I caved in and called Sky from my mobile phone.

After only hearing 75% or so of the standard recorded message telling me that Sky was experiencing a high volume of calls an engineer came on the phone. That really is a 'played-all-the-time-no-matter-how-busy-Sky-are' message isn't it Sky?

After only 41 minutes of explanations / tests already previously carried out by myself and verbal diagrams of how the phone line came into the house etc to a nice chap an engineer was booked to come out to see me. Yes, the phone line acts as if there's something plugged in when there isn't, yes they can't identify the source of the problem and yes they need to send an engineer.

Highlight of the call:    Him: "You're telling me you haven't been able to make or receive any calls since November?!"     Me: "No, and I haven't missed it, it's just sales calls, no offence".

It took just 5 minutes of the landline working for the first cold call to come through.

One thing to mention: if you have the same problem as I've been having you really need to phone by mobile as you will likely have to go around the house to test all phone sockets whilst Sky are on the phone.

Now I have to try and get a day off from the day job and this might prove to be the next problem.

Tuesday 17th February: A BT Openreach engineer turned up as per Sky and by crikey he was incredibly good. He had the landline fixed within an hour, the satellite came back to life and I was assured broadband would also start to come to life. I thanked him for doing a great job and said I was very grateful.

Once he'd gone I started looking at the satellite box and found that it had forgotten my subscriptions to sports and movies. Soooo, having learnt my lesson that one should call as soon as there is a problem, I phoned Sky.

I was surprised to get through to Sky quickly again, I'd expected to be sat on the line for ages as per my experiences of several years ago. But no, the phone was quickly answered and I explained the situation. It was fixed in minutes and was so overjoyed I was finally happy to say I'd upgrade other stuff. A Sky engineer was booked to come the following Monday.

Monday 23rd February: Bet you're getting bored now aren't you? Still, let's crack on. A Sky engineer came and once again I was very impressed with the work done, the time taken and of the overall service. They really know what they're doing and they do it very well.
To sum up:

I have gone from feeling cynical about the service Sky give (based on experiences years ago) to being highly impressed. They did answer calls quickly, they did rectify problems quickly and they didn't push sales. They were very professional.

Suggestions for Sky: Have an email address that people can use if their landline goes down. Then offer to phone that person back on their mobile if their landline is down. Next time somebody uses the Accessibility Website email address look to see what the actual problem is and don't just send an email telling that person they shouldn't be using that email address unless they are already registered.

Lessons learnt: Use a bloody phone and phone up as soon as something goes wrong!!!! Don't assume everything will put itself right by leaving it alone.

Having learnt that lesson, let's move onto Amazon.co.uk.


Dear Amazon.co.uk

I wanted to buy an item from Amazon that was too big to fit through my letterbox so I decided to order it using their guaranteed delivery date service. I had to time it so that it would be guaranteed to be delivered on a day I knew I was 100% going to be there for. So I kept an eye on the page for the relevant item until it came up with a date that fitted. I ordered the item shortly after that date became available, certainly within an hour, which was 2 days prior to the guaranteed delivery date.

The date came and I was up by 7am so I went to my account to track the order. Interesting I thought, the item has left its warehouse and is in transit but hasn't arrived at its depot before being sent out on the road. The item hadn't been assigned to a carrier for that reason.

By 1:45pm and with the situation unchanged, I thought "Hmm, what's the chances of it being assigned to a carrier, being sent out for delivery and being delivered by 9 o'clock based on past experiences?" Not much I thought. Right I thought, no point procrastinating as I did with Sky, I'm going to phone now and see what's happening.

Going via the website I was able to ask Amazon to call me back and they got through to me pretty quickly. I spoke to a nice chap who almost understood what my concerns were the first time I explained them and definitely understood the second time. He already had my order up on screen as per the way the system works and whilst I was on hold he went to try and speak to the carrier.

With only 2 minutes of whatever musak it is that plays down their phone line he was back on the line and said he couldn't get in contact with the carrier and that he'd keep an eye on the order. I politely (I hope) pointed out the website still said that no carrier had been assigned to the item and that even if one was assigned now what were the realistic chances of the item being delivered that day. I also politely (I hope) pointed out that the word 'guarantee' was being seriously undermined here and that the reason I'd booked the item to be delivered that day was because it was the only day I could guarantee I'd be there: "See how the word guarantee works?" I said. He said he would refund me the postage if it wasn't delivered that day to which I replied "Thank you, and I guarantee I won't trust Amazon again if that's what happens. I should have gone to Argos."

Anyway, it turned up at 4:20pm on the due date and have no concrete idea if that's because of the phone call I'd made (though it sure feels like it) or whether the system had broken down at some other point. Was I right to phone so soon or should I have waited? Based on what the Tracking information for the item said I feel right that I should have phoned (well I would wouldn't I) and that the delivery was then made because of it.

I've had two orders before this one that have had a guaranteed delivery date then turned up the next day without anything on the website telling me this was going to happen so I wasn't going to let this happen so easily a 3rd time.

When you order stuff this way the website gives you a guaranteed date yet once ordered and is sat in your list of open orders turns into an estimated date of arrival. That seems very wrong to me. My suggestion to other customers is to take a screen print at the time you're ordering as backup evidence that this was what you signed up to and paid for.

Right, who's next?


Andrew O'Day and Guests Logo

New website, Andrew O'Day and Guests: Andrew pictured with cult TV figures.


Grange Hill Memories - a one day cast reunion event held in Chiswick

Grange Hill Memories

On Sunday 25th May 2014 various well-remembered cast members from Grange Hill reunited for an event titled Grange Hill Memories. Andrew O'Day provided biographical notes for the event's brochure and obtained many photos whilst at the event.

 

For photos from the event go to the following page:

Grange Hill Memories


Tim Harris New Gallery Website - Laurel and Hardy Tim Harris New Gallery Website - The Wizard Of Oz Jack Haley Judy Garland Ray Bolger Bert Lahr
Let's hear it for The New Gallery And another recent arrival, Gallery3

The O.L.G. Doctor Who Gallery - Elisabeth Sladen The Doctor Who Gallery

Personalities from the best series in the world can be found here

Part of The O.L.G. Doctor Who Pages

The O.L.G. Doctor Who Gallery - Verity Lambert and Barry Letts


A blast from the past! Tim Harris in comics.
Super Spider-Man TV Comic No. 472 Captain America UK No. 57 Left: Two of the three comics I had my name published in. I'd entered a competition to win a copy of a book titled Heroes of the Spaceways and was one of the winners.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic No. 472

Captain America No. 57 (dated 24 Mar 1982)

I entered the competition as Timothy Harris and was named as such in the competition results.

Below: the covers to the comics the competition appeared in, and the cover to the book I won.

Super Spider-Man TV Comic No. 458

Captain America No. 43

The other comic I had my name printed in (thanks to my brother) was an early edition of Whoopee (which I don't currently have a copy of)

Super Spider-Man TV Comic No. 458 Captain America UK No. 43 Heroes of the  Spaceways
The competition was to unscramble some simple space hero anagrams:

Elku Wykrakles     And Rade     Bleraa Ralb     Nagol    Trodoc How     Trisem Copks     Ramnedmoc Karrets

Slafh Groond     Jor Kabel     Sefoorpors Sutamseraq


Below: books you surely can't live without and all containing the words Tim Harris (and very likely the words Andrew O'Day too)

The Language of Doctor Who - Book Cover

The Language of Doctor Who: From Shakespeare to Alien Tongues (Science Fiction Television) [Hardcover]

by Jason Barr, Camille D. G. Mustachio

With a chapter (and Bad Wolf-related joke) written by Andrew O'Day.

May 16, 2014

Hardcover: 304 pages

Publisher: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers

1442234806     978-1442234802

Order from Amazon.co.uk

Order from Amazon.com

Contains my two favourite words in print: Tim Harris


Below: four must-buy books for any occasion:              

Doctor Who - The Eleventh Hour     

Doctor Who The Eleventh Hour

Edited with an Introduction by Andrew O'Day.     Chapters by Richard Hewett, Frank Collins, Matthew Kilburn, Dee Amy-Chinn, David Budgen, Simone Knox, Jonathan Bignell, Piers D. Britton, Vasco Hexel, Matt Hills, Brigid Cherry, Neil Perryman, and Ross P. Garner

Order from Amazon.co.uk

Order the paperback or hardcover from Amazon.com

 

Contains those all important words in print: Tim Harris.

New Dimensions of Doctor Who 'Doctor Who in Time and Space' edited by Gillian I Leitch. Book cover featuring Billie Piper and Christopher Eccleston'Terry Nation' published book cover


1 New Dimensions of Doctor Who

Order from Amazon.co.uk          (Pre-order from Amazon.com)

  Edited by Matt Mills with a chapter written by Andrew O'Day

An all-important book in that it features those two favourite words of mine in print: Tim Harris.


2 Doctor Who in Time and Space

Order from Amazon.co.uk          Kindle edition: Amazon.co.uk

Order from Amazon.com            Kindle edition: Amazon.com

  Edited by Gillian I Leitch with two chapters written by Andrew O'Day

Much more importantly, this book contains a few uses of my two favourite words in print, Tim Harris. Not only this but there are quotes from myself which unquestioningly make this book automatically even more important (to me anyway). It also contains quotes from James Spence.

If you can afford the price tag this is the book to buy; leave 50 Shades of Grey on the shelf where it belongs.


3 Terry Nation Order from Amazon.co.uk          Order from Amazon.com
  Written by Jonathan Bignell and Andrew O'Day.

This book features stills provided by myself and features those all important words: Tim Harris.



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Below: Logo for the Doctor Who pages.
Tim's Doctor Who Pages Logo

- Other Links -

Full Site Links This is a full list of pages / links on The Tim Harris Website.
Just For You Photography The web site for my brother Andrew's professional  company.
Andrew O'Day Profile Page This is the fully-authorised profile page for the author / editor / actor / teacher.
James Spence Profile Page This is a brief profile page of the scientist / actor / editor / producer / keen film-maker.
Phil Young's Photography Site Phil is a prolific photographer and this site shows a small sample of his work.