Consumer helpdesk: Paying for TV I don’t want and can’t afford

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I am currently in a bit of a long-running dispute with my satellite television company. I have been given a new TV box, but I am now being charged for channels and services that I did not want or ask for. What is more, I’m not actually receiving these channels.

The result is that my monthly bill has nearly doubled and I simply can’t afford to pay this. I am on a very limited income and I am worried about the effect that not paying might have on my credit rating. I don’t want to be in arrears, but I also don’t want to be paying for a service I neither want nor get. I have contacted the company regarding this, and according to them the matter is under investigation. However, I am yet to hear back about the results of the investigation and in the mean time the bills keep coming.

What should I do?

JY, Troon.

A spokeswoman for Citizens Advice Scotland said: “It sounds like something has gone a bit wrong with your supplier, but it’s certainly not beyond fixing.

“The Scottish CAB Service would advise that you write to the consumer complaints department at the company to lodge a complaint.

“You should put down in writing as much detail as you can, including when you received the new box and any other correspondence you have had with the company. Set out what you would like them to do to address your complaint. This might be to remove the services you don’t want, remove any charges you have incurred for having these services and ensuring you only have the services and channels you want. You may wish to include a reasonable deadline by which you expect a reply. Between two weeks and a month is fairly standard. If you don’t manage to resolve the dispute by writing to them, you can call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 08454 04 05 06.”

• If you have a consumer issue that you would like tackling, contact Jane Bradley on 0131 620 8432 or e-mail jane.bradley@scotsman.com.