My attempts at cancelling Setanta Sports

Now that the hurling championship is in full swing with RTE and TV3 providing coverage, and with Rugby season over (bar tests which are not on Setanta anyway), I’ve no need for Setanta for the next while. So I went about cancelling it today.

First and foremost, they don’t provide a geographical number, just an 0818 “Universal Access” number (whose original intent was to be a standard “national” rate, but now most providers charge a premium for calls, most don’t bundle, and mobile operators smack on quite a profit). So I use Skype (to beat my Digiweb Metro rates and my o2 rates).

I call, get through to a pleasant lady who asks me for my account number (didn’t have viewing card number to hand), and 1st address line. She asks me for the first line of my address and then asks why I wish to cancel. Then she says “no problem” and transfers me to “Customer Loyalty”. Another lady there, without saying hello or introducing herself in anyway, asks me to confirm my full address. “Thank you – beep beep beep”; I get redirected to the I assume is the 1st option of the IVR main menu, which is to subscribe. After waiting to see if I’d any other options, I get the 3 beeps again and disconnected completely.

OK, not so bad, I retry again 2 more times. At different stages I get cut off with the beep-beep-beep (which sounds like it’s their phone system, rather than Skype/telco) and eventually disconnected. FAIL!

Off to fill in the online web form. I do so furnishing them with the required 30-day cancellation notice, my account number, and an instruction to contact me (since I can’t contact them) if they need any further details. I hit the submit button and am immediately redirected to the contact us page (which lists email address, etc.) and just a generic message mentioning to “click here” for a privacy policy, only it’s not linked/clickable! Nor is there any mention of whether my mail was sent or not!
Setanta Website snip

My last (well, before cancelling the direct debit, that is) is to try regular email, but then I received an email “Delivery Status Notification (Failure)” from Setanta. Sure enough, it’s my message that I submitted. Now here’s where it gets embarrassing for Setanta! The online form obviously sends a message with a from header of the email address submitted on the form (rather than an email address on their own domain like Given that their mail servers are configured to query SPF records (bravo Setanta!), and that the online form sends mail from the specified address (think “on behalf of”), the mail failed to send, because I have responsible SPF records set up on my domain. The reason given for the failure was “failed to meet SPF requirements” which I’d expect.

I have to forgive the online form ‘mail from’ header misgivings as the designers/coders probably don’t know who is responsible for the mail servers, let alone what SPF is. So I was just about to email them the same message (pointing to here) and see if that mode works, when I get another email. It’s a standard mail, “Your comments are very welcome and will be passed to the relevant department”.

Phone service: FAIL. IVR: FAIL. Online form feedback: FAIL. SPF querying on SMTP (in itself good) sending bounces (to potentially random addresses), but passing on the mail regardless: FAIL.

Setanta Sports: FAIL!

I had subscribed to the notion I’ll be back for Magners League in the Autumn, but I’m not so sure anymore!