Start Up Blog

The Foxtel hack

Posted in entrepreneurship by Steve Sammartino on February 9, 2012

I’ve been a vocal opponent (and customer) of Foxtel. A service that, as the web evolves is loosing its reason for being in my life. So I decided to disconnect my service and here is the interesting story of what happened.

I called the number and the options to choose from (1,2,3,4) for the appropriate issue. This surprisingly included ‘Press 4 to disconnect’. This was the first clue things aren’t right down at Foxtel. Any business that has this issue come up often enough to include it in the first 4 options of customer interaction has some issues.

So I click it and get put through to the ‘Customer Retention Center’ and they ask me why I want to disconnect. A few of the reasons I tell them include:

  • I’m sick of seeing better offers advertised to new customers. (Screw the existing ones hey!)
  • They have reduced the services and kept the price the same for my account.
  • I can’t get movies on demand (which I’m prepared to pay for) without signing up to a more expensive packaging (WTF, the tubes are already in my house?)

They apologise, tell me I’ve been a good customer for a few years, so they offer me a $30 discount per month. Which is 30% off what I’ve been paying. I retort with, ‘if I’m such a good customer why do you only try and keep me once I’ve already decided to leave you?’ Seems to me they have things back to front at Foxtel.

So I took the discount for now – I’m moving house in 2 months and it is all over for me and Foxtel then.

My advice to any Foxtel subscriber out there is to call up to disconnect and get the discount anyway and hack their already flawed proposition, before it gets hacked entirely by market forces.

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22 Responses

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  1. Ross Floate said, on February 14, 2012 at 12:17 pm

    Because I’ve lived in a series of homes with terrible connection/reception issues, I’ve been without terrestrial tv or cable for years. What I do have is an AppleTV, a US credit card, and access to a service that allows me to access NetFlix streaming via a proxy.

    I would never even consider cable/satellite TV any more. Look into it, Steve. It’ll change your couch-life.

    • Steve Sammartino said, on February 14, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      I’m on it Ross – A tip on how to get a US credit would serve me well via twitter DM.

      As soon as I move house it is goodbye Foxtel.
      Steve.

      • Greg said, on August 7, 2012 at 8:15 pm

        You don’t actually need a US credit card to register for Netflix. I was able to simply enter a US zipcode when I registered with no worries at all, and subscribed with Aussie credit card. :-) I have Netflix and use UnblockUS for my proxy server. Works flawlessly. Funnily enough, last week I received notification that there is class action against Netflix involving privacy issues, and there might be $30,000 in it for everyone involved.. now if only I had a US address still. lol.
        Also, I am about to subscribe to another service to trial, and I can’t understand why its only $19.95/month… Its Foxtel via my XBOX 360… seems to have all the channels I want, including the Olympics, movie channels etc,, stay tuned!!

  2. Nina said, on February 14, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    Great post. I need to call and disconnect too!

  3. April Neylan said, on February 15, 2012 at 8:55 am

    This is great, thanks for the tip! I phoned them yesterday and got some money off!!! :) :)

  4. Leon Sammartino said, on February 15, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    What great advice you give…..of course I gave it to you about 2 months ago, go read the comments on the last Foxtel posts you’ll see I wrote this:

    ‘Oh and if you are paying $100 a month for Foxtel you are getting ripped off, call them and tell them you are going to cancel, they will counter-offer and you’ll get it a lot cheaper.’

    See what happens when you listen to me.

  5. Steve Sammartino said, on February 16, 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Leon,

    Credit to you – I did take your advice, it was your idea and it worked a treat.

    Keep the good ideas coming…
    Steve.

  6. Mark said, on February 21, 2012 at 12:26 pm

    Works for Vodaphone mobile broadband too

    • Paul said, on February 21, 2012 at 5:50 pm

      Works for everything actually….find a web price on your next desired TV or component and wander down to Harvie Norman with a printout…..great Saturday fun

  7. [...] I recently read an insightful blog post entitled the ‘Foxtel Hack’ by Steve Sammartino about how he reduced the cost of his Foxtel in a few easy steps – playing [...]

  8. rneilduncan said, on April 8, 2012 at 4:15 pm

    This is great advice. I’m paying about $120 per month to Foxtel at the moment and we certainly don’t get our moneys worth. I will give them a call and see what I can get off the price.

  9. rneilduncan said, on April 8, 2012 at 4:16 pm

    This is great advice. I am paying around $120 per month to Foxtel and will definitely give them a call to try to geet a reduction. Thanks

  10. Sylvie said, on May 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Does this work with foxtel via telstra too?

  11. [...] I was true to my word and turned off Foxtel in my home. Instead I now have a Sony web enabled TV, and an Apple TV. Both of which do not have [...]

  12. Dom Williams said, on December 17, 2012 at 4:08 pm

    How would this work with foxtel via Telstra? And that I’m locked into a 24 month agreement?

    • Steve Sammartino said, on December 17, 2012 at 6:57 pm

      The same way – Just ring up the number Telstra provide regarding your Foxtel connection…. Follow the same process… and it should be Ok.

      Steve.

  13. someone said, on March 30, 2013 at 11:26 pm

    they sign u up for a NEW CONTRACT. dosnt work if u are in a contract

  14. Trevor said, on September 25, 2013 at 5:49 pm

    I have been watching the America’s Cup for the last week. Today wednesday i awork to watch the race 17 and 18 only to find indian cricket. Tomorrow is the final race scores 8 all. Foxtell decided not to show final, what a shit. I had to watch the wednesday race on youtube. why did i buy the sports package, to watch the sports which i payed for on youtube??????

  15. Cheese said, on May 16, 2014 at 4:47 pm

    I had foxtel call me up a few times after I decided to disconnect. The last offer was my $94 IQ sports+ package for $47. The fact that I was offered it at half price was good reason to quit as you said in your original blog… They offer nothing to the loyal customers (until they threaten to leave) only to the newbies. I will miss NRL and live UFC on tele but the way they operate is disgusting.

  16. Steve Sammartino said, on February 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Well it seems that those hacks / easy sport watching methods are arriving very quickly. The current AFL / NRL Optus situation is a classic case in point. Also, now tTesltra will sell AFL games to mobile for $5 a pop…. it will be much easier to cherry pick events – which is where the world is going. People hate packages and fixed systems so it is only a matter of time.
    Steve.

  17. Steve Sammartino said, on February 14, 2012 at 2:11 pm

    Does your employer know how ‘up shit creek’ their current strategy is – especially not allowing for ‘on demand’ ?

    Steve.


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