Issues With Sky Plus

iOS and iPadOS
I am a Voiceover user and have the latest version of the Sky Plus app on my iPhone 4S and my Sky HD box is linked to my broadband router. I can access many of the facilities available, however, have issues with the following:- When I double tap the Search Button, with Voiceover running, nothing appears to happen. I would have thought that I would have been placed into a text box to enter a search or a channel number. When I bring up the list of channels, showing the next few programmes to be aired, I can read the first 5 or 6 of these, by using standard swipe gestures, however, the following channels are read out as "elipsis". I have to double tap on these to open them and find out what channel I am looking at. The Remote Button does not appear to do anything for me either. There was reference in Help to another button, which would explain some of the gestures to be used for Remote Control, however, Voiceover is not locating this. I have also read that, when the phone is acting as a Remote Control, you can just type in the number of the channel you wish to move to. I have not found where a keypad interface is displayed. Has anyone else managed to get Search and Remote buttons to work and, if so, how did you manage it? Also, does anyone have any tips for making best use of Sky Plus?



Submitted by steven carey on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Dear Charlie, Yes, I have experienced all the problems you describe and have now deleted Sky plus from my I phone 4s. I now use TV planner, which I find much better and more accessible, although it is a third party app and is not free. I have got really angry about the Sky apps because they all have vo accessability problems and I did contact Sky customer services with a letter explaining the problems I experience (Sky plus and Sky Go mostly) but it has been over three months now and nothing has happened and they are now ignoring me. I have found my experiences with Sky really concerning, especially as they appear to offer really good disability services, although for someone who pays Sky over £90 per month, I don't regard the service that I have got thus far as a blind person as an acceptable one. Kind regards, Steve.

Submitted by Isaac Hebert (not verified) on Wednesday, June 5, 2013

It is probably a bug in sky + not voiceover.

Submitted by Charlie on Thursday, June 6, 2013

Following my previous post, I wrote to Sky, regarding my issues with Sky Plus and got the following response. No time-scales for a fix. > Re: Use Of Sky Plus App on iPhone (KMM17686839I15977L0KM) Dear Mr Nicol > Thank you for contacting the Sky Help Centre. I can confirm that we are aware of the issue you have reported to us. Our support teams are currently working to resolve this issue as quickly as possible, however we are unable to provide a timescale for resolution. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience this may cause and thank you for your patience whilst we work to resolve the issue. I trust this information has been of help to you, however, should you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact our team on the above email address or by calling 08442 411 599 if you are in the UK or 0818719819 if calling from ROI between 8am and 11pm. > Kind regards Graeme Sky Help Centre > > > >Original Message Follows: ------------------------ > Hi, > > I am a blind person, using the latest version of your Sky Plus application on my iPhone 4S. My Sky HD box has the new Programme Guide and has been linked, via ethernet cable, to my broadband router. My phone is also accessing this wireless router. I am using Voiceover on my iPhone, as I have no sight to see the screen. > > Whilst many of the Sky Plus functions work for me, the following issues stand out:- > > 1. On each screen, I have a Search button, however, when I double tap on this, Voiceover says nothing and I would have expected that I would be placed into a text box, in order to enter a search or a channel number. The Search button appears to do nothing. > > 2. I also am told that there is a Remote button, but, when I tap this, again nothing happens and I get no feedback from Voiceover. I gather that the Remote function allows your phone to be used as a remote control and this would be extremely useful to me if it would work. I have read that another button is on-screen, which explains all gestures for using Remote Control, however, Voiceover does not detect this and I cannot access it. I have also read that, when Remote is active, you can just key in the number of the channel you wish to move to, however, how can I do this when there is no keypad displayed for me? > > 3. When looking at lists of channels, showing upcoming programmes, I can read the contents of the first 5 or 6 of these, by swiping left to right. All successive channels, however, merely say "ellipsis" and I have to tap on them in order to open details and find out what channel info I am looking at. > > Are the above known issues and, if so, what is being done to address them? Are there any tips and tricks which you could suggest, to enable me, a blind user of Voiceover, to get the best from your application? Are there further accessibility enhancements coming along and, if so, when might we expect these to be available? > > Many Thanks for your help with the above, >

Submitted by Diamond tears on Sunday, June 23, 2013

Hi there, I am wondering iff anyone has found the on demand section of the app to be accessible in any way. I tap on showcase, and box sets, and am able to find whatever is showing there; it is catchup I am particularly concerned about as when I double tap on the different options within the catchup screen, absolutely nothing happens! Has anyone else found the same problem with catchup? If not, is there a work around? This really is most frustrating, as it is this feature that is most important to me at the moment! many thanks for any advice or suggestions

Submitted by Muzobazz on Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Sadly, the On Demand section is not accessible. I've contacted Sky on several occasions only to be given the usual spiel. I got round it by finding the category or item I want using VoiceOver, placing my thumb on the outside left edge of my I phone exactly where the item I want is. Then I use triple click to disable VoiceOver, tap the screen next to my thumb, and enable VoiceOver again. If u selected horror for example, at each on-screen location 3 movies r listed. If u swipe right, VoiceOver will say button 3 times. The order of the buttons corresponds to the order in which VoiceOver lists the movies. For example; your 3movies r read out as follows: "JAWS" "SAW" "End Of Days". Your first button after swiping right would be JAWS, swipe right twice for SAW, or 3 times as the 3rd button would be End Of Days. Double tap the appropriate button and swipe left and right on the page that follows till VoiceOver says, "download to SkyPlus HD box?" Click that, and you're good to go. There really is no simpler way to explain what to do; sorry.

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Thursday, June 21, 2018

Hi. To see an update on Sky's response to my action against them re sky accessibility please see the forum "Has anybody in the UK tried the new Sky Q app?"

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Hi all. Apologies for the slow updates but this is a lengthy process which is not yet over. I'm going to copy a letter I've received from Sky's legal team but needless to say, I have a lot of questions. Please do not all start calling Sky customer services to ask for a refund of sky multiroom charges as I'm trying to clarify if and how sky intend to make blind customers aware of this etc. Please be aware in my grievance I haven't just focused on Sky Q as I too have been there for all of the other issues relating to other Sky services including Sky+. See letter below and more to follow soon. This is now being escalated to CISAS who have 20 day to consider my grievance and their decision and any recommendations that come from it are legally binding and Sky have said they will abide by them. I do not have to accept the decision of CISAS and can progress this to court if I feel it's. Disappointingly only one person off here offered any kind of input or help but I'm guessing those affected will be wanting their refunds.
Dear Mr. Holdstock
Reply to formal complaint of alleged indirect discrimination and failure to make a reasonable adjustment
We refer to letter of 27th May 2018 and further to your recent discussions with our Customer Priority Department. While we have taken full note and careful consideration of your comments, we do not intend in this letter to reply directly to all of your allegations against Sky, and its alleged failure to comply with its legal obligations to you. We understand that your core concern is to be involved with Sky’s continued development of features and services (in particular relating to Sky Q) to improve the quality of service Sky offers to its blind and partially sighted customers.
While we deny any discrimination in the Sky Q services we make available to blind people or any breaches of relevant Ofcom requirements, we acknowledge that there are opportunities to make certain aspects of our services even better and we are committed to doing so. In particular, we are making certain functionality of the Sky Q Multiscreen subscription available without additional charge for our blind customers, so that they may properly navigate a list of their Sky+ recordings via the Sky Q app. In addition, we will be providing greater awareness to our customers of the Voice Search and Voice Control button on the Sky Q remote control. By pressing down this button (which is on the top right of the remote control) customers can ask to be taken to specific programmes and/or Sky+ recordings they have made. While this is not a complete solution to the text to speak issue you identify, it does provide a mechanism to play content on the main screen, while we develop a comprehensive and fully integrated approach to meeting this challenge.
In addition to the measures set out above, we would like to invite you (at our expense) to visit our offices to give you the opportunity to meet the product teams to discuss your experience with them and share your insight on high quality, customer-focused, high tech solutions for our visually impaired customers.
We would also like to offer you a full refund of amounts paid by you to date for your Sky Q Multiscreen subscription.
Yours sincerely,
Rafat Rasul
Paralegal, TMT & Litigation

Submitted by Peter Holdstock on Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Just my reply to Sky's last letter. Happy to hear your thoughts.
Dear Mr Rasul

Thank you for your letter dated 12 July which despite my prior request for it to be sent by email as I am blind and therefore unable to read a printed letter, I actually only received an email copy on 17 July and when speaking to your colleagues on the Priority Customer team only yesterday, a number of them confirmed that they had spoken to your team and as of yesterday the letter hadn’t been sent. I clarify this only for the purposes of keeping a full timeline of events).

I will do my best to cover points made in your letter in order;
• “we do not intend in this letter to reply directly to all of your allegations against Sky,” – will I receive a further reply re my other issues or is there good reason why you are not able to address these?
• “We understand that your core concern is to be involved with Sky’s continued development of features and services (in particular relating to Sky Q) to improve the quality of service Sky offers to its blind and partially sighted customers.“ – This was not my core concern at all and my enthusiasm to be able to assist with addressing accessibility issues on the Sky platform was purely to support Sky as a typical blind user of the system and for me not to seem like someone criticising without showing a willingness to aid the changes needed.
• “In particular, we are making certain functionality of the Sky Q Multiscreen subscription available without additional charge for our blind customers, so that they may properly navigate a list of their Sky+ recordings via the Sky Q app.” – Genius idea, who came up with that? That would be my idea and for six months I asked for this and despite asking for it as a reasonable adjustment staff on both the Accessibility team and the Priority Customer team insisted that it would not be possible. Even when I attempted to make a complaint, an Accessibility team manager (Careon) replied on 8 May by email making it quite clear “this is Sky’s position on the matter” and giving me the impression that this position would not change. – This is the failure to make a reasonable adjustment. I acknowledge that it may not have been obvious for Sky to anticipate that such an adjustment would help, but once I requested this as an adjustment Sky cannot claim that it wasn’t reasonable for them to know this.
• “In addition, we will be providing greater awareness to our customers of the Voice Search and Voice Control button on the Sky Q remote control.” – I mentioned the issue of Voice Recognition and the problem of silent messages appearing on the screen which then stop Voice Recognition and other remote functions from working. I suggested a simple bleep to let the user know some kind of interaction is needed would be helpful. No mention of this and this could make Voice Recognition an unsuitable option for those completely blind and less technically minded.
• In regard to your invitation to come to your offices, meet the product teams etc, I would very much like to accept that offer and I look forward to hearing from someone to arrange this.
• In regard to a refund of my Sky Q Multiroom subscription, while I am grateful for this, I am disappointed that no offer of reasonable compensation for the significant stress, use of my time (literally tens of hours), the impact of offensive statements made by Sky employees directly relating to my request for a reasonable adjustment due to my disability such as “well you chose to have Sky and other services are available” and “Why would we give you Sky Multiroom for free when we wouldn’t do it for anyone else”. The latter statement came from a manager on the Accessibility team which I feel makes it even worse. Indeed, to make matters worse there was no reference to these allegations in your reply. Did anyone actually listen to the phone calls as I suggested? Do they still exist or has the length of time passed meant that they have been deleted?

Also, how does Sky intend to make blind customers aware of this offer and will the offer be backdated as you have for me?

I appreciate there are several points you may want to come back to clarify and so I’m open to still communicating and attempting to resolve this matter. However, in the meantime I will be escalating my case to CISAS as I feel they will be better placed to get to the bottom of some of my concerns and make an appropriate and independent judgement.

Given the lengthy nature of this process so far, I would kindly request a reply by email within seven days from my sending this email.

Kind regards