I spoke at great length with an employee of NowTV on Live Chat yesterday. This part of the transcript is important:
null (3/16/2020, 4:25:32 PM): So should I just get a refund via my credit card company? That will cost you more than £198 because they will add a chargeback fee. Is that the only thing I can do?
AISHWARYA (3/16/2020, 4:29:22 PM): I cannot help you with refund as per our refund policy however, as you mentioned that you gonna contact credit card company I would suggest you to contact them, they might help you with refund.
So that seems to be the official advice from NowTV, direct from one of their employees. Contact your credit card company, or the bank who issues your credit card, and tell them you want to start a Section 75 Chargeback.
What follows is some additional information, explaining the process of getting your refund:
Here's a link for Lloyds, which explains why you are within your rights to do it, and how to get things started. You'll need to find your own bank's contact details if you're not with Lloyds.
If you go onto live chat, NowTV will refuse to refund your payment, whatever you say. Don't think you'll talk them round eventually. You will not. So just ask them for a refund, keep them talking until you feel as if you have enough information to make your case against them, and save the transcript. To do that, click on their name in the chat box - you'll see an option to save the transcript as a text file.
You can use that as proof to your bank that you've tried to get a refund, and that NowTV are refusing to give one. Explain to the bank that you've paid for a 9-month sports pass and that there are currently no live sports (just old re-runs) on any of the channels. That's not what you paid for. It doesn't matter that it's not NowTV's fault the sports are cancelled or postponed. If you pay for something, anything, and you don't get it, the person who sold it to you is responsible for paying you back, and is legally obliged to do so, in law.
Example: if you paid for Netflix in advance and one day all the movies were removed from it, but Netflix said 'don't worry, you can watch them later in the year when they are rescheduled', you would be entitled to a refund. Nobody would doubt that. There is no difference in your claim from NowTV. You have paid £198 for expensive TV content - live sports for 9 months. Currently you have access to old darts matches, American horse racing and very little else. Nobody would have paid £198 knowing that that was all they were getting.
There will be no F1 until at least the end of May. Football, cricket... who knows? All other sports are cancelled or postponed. NowTV will try to say that because they are postponed they don't need to give you a refund - you can watch them when they are rescheduled. That is absolutely NOT the case. You paid for sports in March, April, May... right up until November. You won't be getting them at all in March, and probably not April or May either.
The Consumer Credit Act of 2015 gives you full legal rights to a refund. You don't even need to be in the 14-day cooling-off period, which only relates to people changing their minds. You're not changing your mind - you want the sport, there is no sport, so you are entitled to a refund.
Please don't spend too much time on Live Chat. You won't persuade them to refund you there. They are drones told to refuse you, whatever you say. Just use it to get that transcript and contact your bank for a chargeback. It's your only option.
As of today, 19 March 2020, the following has happened:
English football suspended until at least 30 April
3 more F1 races postponed - 7 in total. No racing until at least 5-7 June
The F1 pass is supposed to provide 9 months of sports - ALL sports - and there are currently no sports AT ALL. And yet NowTV will still not provide refunds.
NowTV, you are breaking the law by refusing to give refunds. Sort it out. You cannot hold onto people's money when this is happening. We paid for 9 months of sports. We are getting NOTHING. We are legally entitled to a refund.
Do the right thing.
(Not expecting that to happen)
For the first time since 1954, Monaco’s streets will not echo to the sound of F1 machinery after the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) announced the cancellation of this year’s Monaco Grand Prix.
It had earlier been announced that the race had been postponed, along with the Dutch and Spanish Grands Prix, but the ACM have since clarified that “with great sadness” the race will be cancelled.
The race, which this year was scheduled for 21-24 May, has been held every year since 1955, having begun in 1929. The Historic Monaco Grand Prix, which is held ahead of the F1 race, has also been cancelled.
In a statement the ACO said: “The current situation concerning the worldwide pandemic and its unknown path of evolution, the lack of understanding as to the impact on the FIA F1 World Championship 2020, the uncertainty with regards to the participation of the teams, the consequences with regards to the differing measures of confinement as taken by various governments worldwide, the multi-border restrictions for accessing the Principality of Monaco, the pressure on all implicated businesses, their dedicated staff who are unable to undertake the necessary installations, the availability of the indispensable workforce and volunteers (more than 1500) required for the success of the event means that the situation is no longer tenable.”
Just to emphasise this point, the Monaco race is CANCELLED, not simply postponed.
When you go onto Live Chat they will tell you you can't have a refund because the races have all been postponed, and that you can watch them when they are rescheduled. This is now 100% untrue. Monaco is off, cancelled, gone, never to return in 2020.
I have an email from NowTV, sent before I took up the £198 offer, which says this:
Get revved up for the new season of high-octane F1® action with the NOW TV Sky Sports F1® Season Ticket. Watch all 22 race weekends live, across 9 months for a one-off £198 payment* (worth £305.91).
I've underlined the key part. You paid for 22 races. Whatever happens now, you will not get 22 races. Everyone is therefore entitled to a full refund. If you'd already watch a live F1 race, maybe that would be wiggle room for NowTV, but there have been no races - nobody has seen one.
As before, Live Chat won't get you a refund. I checked again today. They are not authorised to refund you. Go to your credit card company and get a Section 75 Chargeback. You have an air-tight case for it now that there is certainty about this cancellation.
See my first post for more details.
This is what we are up against:
Devang (3/19/2020, 10:55:15 PM): We cannot refund customer when the pass is already active on the account.
null (3/19/2020, 10:55:33 PM): What do you mean 'the pass is already active'?
Devang (3/19/2020, 10:56:32 PM): When you purchased the pass gets active and it's mentioned in terms & condition that we cannot refund if the pass is activated.
Devang (3/19/2020, 10:56:46 PM): I'll not be able to process refund in this case.
null (3/19/2020, 10:56:56 PM): So when I paid for it, it was immediately made active? Is that correct?
Devang (3/19/2020, 10:57:19 PM): Yes.
null (3/19/2020, 10:57:51 PM): Well how could I have bought a pass without activating it? I didn't know the races would be cancelled when I bought it
Devang (3/19/2020, 10:58:08 PM): Yes that's correct, even we didn't knew about that.
null (3/19/2020, 10:58:59 PM): Then nobody would ever be able to get a refund because as soon as you pay you become ineligible for a refund - what kind of idiot system is that?
As I said: what kind of idiot system is that?
The following page is an excellent way to create a letter to send to your bank to get your refund:
It's on the Which? Consumer Rights web site. Fill in all the options and you'll be given a fully formed letter to send directly to your bank.
This is how mine turned out (personal details redacted), so if you don't want to use the Which? page, just copy this and add your own details - replace all the block capitals with your own information:
ADDRESS LINE 1
ADDRESS LINE 2
Dear Sir or Madam
On PURCHASE DATE, I bought a NowTV F1 Season Ticket for £198 from NowTV using my BANK NAME credit card.
I am claiming that NowTV is in breach of contract because I paid for 9 months of Formula 1 races.
The offer stated this: "Get revved up for the new season of high-octane F1® action with the NOW TV Sky Sports F1® Season Ticket. Watch all 22 race weekends live, across 9 months for a one-off £198 payment* (worth £305.91)."
The web site also says I can watch live sports on all the Sky Sports channels, for those 9 months.
Because of the COVID19 virus, all live sport is currently postponed until at least June (Formula 1) or late April (football). In addition, at least one race, Monaco, has been officially cancelled, and will not be rescheduled at all. I therefore will never be able to watch all 22 races, for which I paid. I have watched no live races at all. And meanwhile, I have access to no live sports of any kind.
NowTV's Live Chat people refuse to give refunds because, they say, races have been postponed, and I can watch them when they are rescheduled. But that is not what I paid for. Even if all the races were to be rescheduled at some point, I am not being provided with the full 9-month service for which I paid, which included ALL sports for the full 9 months.
They have breached the contract, are unable to give me what I paid for, and point blank refuse (on many occasions) to accept my legal right to a refund. All 'escalated' claims are either ignored or rejected.
I have tried unsuccessfully to resolve this dispute with the retailer. Under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, you are jointly and severally liable for any breaches committed by the retailer. I would now like to get my money back.
I would be grateful if you could respond within 14 days.
I have to say.... My impression of NowTV has gone from respectable to disgusting very fast over this.
Many cinema chains keep their box offices open for extra days (after closing doors) in order to process refunds and keep customers' trust.... Compare that to NowTV (Sky) who decide to lie to customers about their lawful consumer rights.
Outrageous. Illegal. Disgusting to the core. I will do everything that I can to discredit this company. I will become a human billboard against it if I have to.
On a live chat I was told the full name of a manager (I will not repeat his name here) and Googled him to find the parent company name, which is:
Firstsource Solutions Limited
Firstsource Solutions Limited is a provider of business process outsourcing services headquartered in Mumbai, India. It is owned by RP-Sanjiv Goenka Group. Firstsource provides business process management in the banking and financial services, customer services, telecom and media, and healthcare sectors. Its clients include financial services, telecommunications and healthcare companies. Firstsource has operations in India, US, UK, and the Philippines.
NowTV uses Firstsource Solutions Limited as tech support for all the complaints we've been giving them. One operator refused to confirm it, but I had more luck with this one:
null (3/20/2020, 10:11:55 PM): I need to speak to someone at First Source Solutions. Is that you?
Tushar (3/20/2020, 10:12:00 PM): Yes, that's right!
Tushar (3/20/2020, 10:12:25 PM): You are speaking to NOW TV advisor via live chat option at First Source Solutions.
I don't know if this information will be useful to anyone, but it does make it possible to find who are the people further up the hierarchy, and so contact them by other means - email, phone, etc.
It's official. It's now impossible to get a refund of your money because the whole of India is in lockdown for the next 21 days. Since the only way to ask for a refund from NowTV is via Live Chat, which is a direct connection to an Indian call centre, you have no way of doing it now.
As before, my advice is to start a Section 75 refund request with your bank. That is now the only option you have.