Ask LH: Can I Complain To The ACCC About Foxtel?

Dear Lifehacker, I was subscribed to both Showtime and Movie Network for eight years. I wish to make a complaint to the ACCC (or other organisation) regarding the cut in service without a reduction in charges. To this end, is it possible to get a full list of the channels that were in the old Showtime & Movie Network packages? To complain, I believe I will need formal evidence of the old and new packages. Any advice? Thanks, Frustrated With Foxtel.

Dear FWF,

In short, no, you can't complain to the ACCC, if only because the relevant group for complaints of that type would logically be your local state's consumer affairs department, and that's presuming you've already contacted Foxtel in the first place. We've previously covered off the changes Foxtel made to its Movie packages at the start of the year, as well as looking at the considerations relating to cancelling your contract.

Cancelling your contract doesn't sound like what you want to do. Foxtel would have presented you with a contract when you signed up for the service, and there would almost undoubtedly be clauses relating to changing channel provisions within there; indeed, that would be exactly why Foxtel announced the movie channel changes a month before it actually made the changes, so a complaint is likely to have very little bargaining power.

Your one bit of bargaining strength here is that after eight years, unless you signed up for a fresh deal, you're rather solidly out of contract. So what I'd strongly suggest is contacting Foxtel about your concerns. The single best power you've got is the money in your pocket and the threat of not continuing to give it to Foxtel on a monthly basis. It doesn't necessarily mean that Foxtel will bow to your every whim, but it's your best bet for a better deal.

One final thought that strikes me, however: if you can't actually recall everything that was in the old package, what exactly are you losing that's worth keeping?

Cheers Lifehacker

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Comments

    Can we complain about their "customer service" then?
    Seriously the shittest thing ever.

    And what if the service is unavailable at any time? Surely that breaches their part of the contract?

    FYI, when you cancel the service, they'll put you on hold, then say they've spoken to their manager and offer you a better deal. If you cancel then, a few days later they'll call back and offer you a better deal. I cancelled completely, but at least you know how they can bargain.

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