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Anonymous User
Not applicable

Ofcom should ban Automatic Renewals

Now TV you sneaky thieves,

I've only just noticed, after several months of you taking over £30 a month off me that you have  automatic renewal as a default. 

You can read the small print to me all you want but the truth is automatic renewals are clearly designed to passively steal money from people who might not be particularly attentive or are too busy to keep an eye on such things. I hate you for this and I'm reporting your practices to Ofcom.

I work in the broadcast tv industry and will be talking about your scumbag practices to my colleagues. You low-life money grubbing losers.


What really irks me is that you design this system knowing that you will benefit from people who forget to switch off the renewal. It's so cynical.


I want a complete refund on the months other than my first month of use. You might want to consider that you sent me no correspondence or invoices for each of the subsequent months.




@Anonymous User 


NowTV can’t win with you, can they? 😛


Would you have preferred to sign up for a year, maybe, and be locked in?

Or if you actually wanted the service, to have to manually renew it every month?


But instead, NowTV offer a flexible, leave any time, no-contract service, and all you have to do is to remember to cancel the ongoing pass. 

The one where it clearly states, repeatedly, in the same size type as the rest of the description, that this is an ongoing service that will renew unless you cancel it.


Which is, of course, exactly what the vast majority of NowTV customers want it to do.


So you only wanted it for a month.... that’s fine, you could have cancelled it on Day One, and still got that. But you didn’t cancel, and so NowTV erroneously assumed you wanted to carry on.


The way their deal is structured. The way deal after deal is structured, not just in broadcasting, but everywhere a flexible service is offered. Even Which?, that model of probity and customer champion, do it.


So you are probably at odds with the world generally here.


To your substantive points:-


NowTV don’t send out letters or invoices - keeps the admin down. But you can see your payment record under My Account/Bills & Payments.


And even if you have no idea the payments are ongoing, think you are done and dusted with NowTV and so never look at it, you can still see the monthly payments going out, clearly designated NowTV, on your bank statements.

Maybe you don’t check these, though? You should, and look for all surprises, not just NowTV ones.

You say you are in the broadcasting industry. Hopefully, you don’t work for a rival of Sky/NowTV, and so wouldn’t be open to the charge of havIng an ulterior motive for slagging them off?


But anyway, have you talked to your colleagues about this? What did they say, once they had stopped laughing?


Have you talked to Ofcom? What did they say? Did they agree to destroy NowTV’s business model purely because of your inattentiveness? Thought not.....


But anyway, NowTV wants no pressed men.
Under My Account/Passes & Vouchers, right at the bottom are the FAQs. The one you want is
‘I think I've been charged incorrectly. What should I do?’


Click that, fill in the form giving dates, etc. NowTV can check if the service has been unused since that first month, and consider you for a refund accordingly.




Set a Payment PIN on your account so that no-one but you can buy memberships on it. Check your bank accounts monthly for any other unexpected payments to Now. That way you can at least nip them in the bud, while you and Now figure out whose fault they are.
Anonymous User
Not applicable

Hey Roy,


When you say ‘keeping admin down’, I’m sure it wouldn’t be difficult for Now TV to send a monthly receipt.  The reason they don’t is that they don’t want me to remember about the monthly payments, as that would increase the chance of me cancelling them.


Also, NowTV call each month a ‘renewal’. It seems pretty crafty to me that someone would renew a contract without communicating with the other party. For a motive, see above.



Legend 5
Legend 5

@Anonymous User 

Depending on your payment method you can get email confirmations of what’s been charged.

From experience I’ve had monthly emails from subscriptions that I’ve set up using Google Play and PayPal. So I receive emails saying x and y has been charged for a streaming service.

The reason I stick with NOW is that it’s contract free. Only contract side of NOW is if you take out broadband and even then you can choose not to have the contract. 

FYI that I do not work for NOW, just a NOW customer trying to help
Anonymous User
Not applicable

... and regarding who I work for, I’m freelance, so because of Coronavirus I’m facing months with no income. So I could really do with having the £400 returned, unless you feel I deserved to be punished for forgetting, which is the vibe I’m getting from you.


Hi @Anonymous User 


I’m a freelancer too, down to one day a week at the moment. That’s because I didn’t read the small print in my new contract, which had a line added giving them ‘zero hours’ rights, which they didn’t tell me about and I didn’t spot. But I will have my revenge, in this gig or the next....

Sorry if you got the wrong vibe; my last paragraph tells you how to apply to get your £400 back, and NowTV generally do rectify genuine mistakes, even when it involves customers not reading, or not understanding, the terms and conditions.


But the vibe I got from you, and am still getting, is that you seem to think NowTV is some sort of honeytrap; it isn’t. Scamming customers is no sort of a business model, especially for a massive outfit like Sky; far more lucrative to offer a service and be paid for providing it, as most of its customers find.


NowTV is a careful balancing act by Sky; just tempting enough to rope in customers, like me, who will never buy Sky, but not tempting enough to cannibalise its own Sky subscription base.


One of the things that makes it tempting (aside from the content, of course) is the no-contract arrangement; but this is rather more complex than the Sky subscription model, especially as people go on and off it, so NowTV try to keep the admin to a minimum.


And indeed, I don’t get monthly invoices, or reminders, from Netflix or Amazon Prime either, streaming service providers who do, or can, work on the exact same month-to-month model, so NowTV are not alone here.

But wow, you are freelance, and £400 goes adrift (more than 13 months, at £30 a month), and you don’t even notice? I go over my business account, my personal account, and my credit card accounts every month, looking for anything I can charge to my company (not NowTV, alas), as well as anything that isn’t a payment, or even a receipt, that I am expecting to appear.

Set a Payment PIN on your account so that no-one but you can buy memberships on it. Check your bank accounts monthly for any other unexpected payments to Now. That way you can at least nip them in the bud, while you and Now figure out whose fault they are.
Anonymous User
Not applicable

No, I don’t trawl through my bank accounts every month, shame on me eh. I’m exactly the kind of candidate that motivates NowTV to not send out a monthly receipt.


and just because Netflix and Amazon also operate in the same way doesn’t excuse it.  Apple manage to send me a receipt each month for the 79p I spend on remote storage.


I don’t think NowTV as a company is a honey trap but they have a clear motive for not sending out monthly receipts, and that’s the detail that needs addressing.


I didn’t watch a single programme for 12 months on NowTV, they can see that but still won’t refund me. Yes, legally they’re in the clear, but it’s not cricket is it?

Expert 3

This makes no sense. Even if Ofcom has this sort of authority (they don't),  if mobile, phone, TV and broadband didn't automatically renew everyone would see their services suddenly cease every month.  Especially those who don't check their bank statements every now and again.

Anonymous User
Not applicable

It would be really easy for Now TV to send a monthly receipt, which would serve as a record and reminder of the renewing contract.   Tell me why you think they don’t do that

Anonymous User
Not applicable

Also, Ofcom can exert that kind of authority. Just two years ago Ofcom forced mobile phone companies to stop charging customers to keep their phone numbers when they leave a provider. It’s exactly the kind of detail they can change.