‘Divorce shouldn’t cause me such financial stress’

27 September 2019

Moneywise helps out a reader having problems with their Sky subscription


A few weeks ago, I began the process of divorcing my husband. He moved out just two weeks after upgrading the Sky broadband and TV service in my house to Sky Q. His details are on the account, which I can access as he gave me the password.

I don’t want to lose my previous Sky TV and broadband but I do not need Sky Q or want to pay the extra £80 a month for it. I asked the firm to return the account to my name (my husband took it over when he moved in) and downgrade it to the previous level, which was at around £70 a month – not the £150 Sky Q charge.

Sky said my husband would have to terminate the account, and I’d have to apply to open a new one in my own name with charges. It added he would have to honour his two-year contract if he terminated the account, which would mean paying thousands for nothing.

Sky won’t talk to me as I’m not the account holder, which seems ridiculous. Surely it’s a common problem with divorce or separation? Shouldn’t the company have a policy for this?


Of course Sky should have a policy for it as should all firms that may have to deal with the financial aftermath of a relationship breakdown. It should know that you’re in a distressing situation and should do all it can to ensure the smooth continuation of whatever service it offers with no extra charges – to either party.

I contacted Sky on your behalf – however, its reaction for a large company was woefully slow, adding to your distress as the time to pay another bill came around.

Eventually, it responded and, after some toing and froing, agreed to switch the account from your husband’s name to yours and allow you to adjust the package.

That means no penalty charge for him and no need for you to pay a fresh installation charge.

But you remain far from happy.

“Divorce is stressful enough but this horrendous experience has already significantly increased my stress levels,” you told me.

I agree, and call on all companies – but especially Sky – to put in place a proper plan to deal with separating couples to reduce the stress and financial problems.

To end on a more positive note you told me about the much better experience you had with Virgin Atlantic.

“When I provided the company with evidence of my divorce, it dropped all the charges to switch my pre-paid flights from my ex-husband’s name to a female friend who will now join me on a holiday that I will need much more than I thought when I first booked it!”

I would love to hear of other companies acting positively to help separating couples.  

Charges dropped to switch Sky services to reader’s name


Do you have a money question for our experts?

At Moneywise, we have a panel of top experts to help with your money and investing questions. If you have a tax issue that’s keeping you awake at night, a question about investing that you’ve always wondered but been too shy to ask, or even need a full money makeover for free, we’d love to hear from you.

If you have been treated unfairly by a firm send the details to Moneywise’s Fight for your Rights and we could take up the fight for you.

Email fightback@moneywise.co.uk

If you have a question about your investments or investing in general, put it to our Investment Doctor.

Email editor@moneywise.co.uk

If you have a question about your personal finances – anything from tax to state pensions, inheritance tax, property sales and more – write to our Ask the experts panel.

Email advice@moneywise.co.uk

Would you like a full money makeover? We will arrange a free one-to-one meeting for you with an FCA-regulated independent financial adviser worth over £2,000.

See Moneywise.co.uk/money-makeover for more details.

Add new comment