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Sky probed over whether it breached end-of-contract warning rules

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04/12/2020
Sky is being investigated by the telecoms watchdog over whether it breached rules requiring it to notify pay-TV customers that they’re coming to the end of their contract to stop them overpaying.

Earlier this year, telecoms regulator Ofcom introduced new rules requiring phone, broadband and pay-TV providers to warn customers when they’re coming up to the end of their contract.

This was to prevent them overpaying on their services as research found out-of-contract broadband customers could save an average £100 by going onto a new deal with their existing provider, while mobile users could save up to £150 switching to a best buy SIM deal.

However, a dispute on the interpretation of the rules has arisen between Sky and Ofcom.

Under the Ofcom rules, it states that these end-of-contract notifications must be sent to customers of all public electronic communications services, other than machine-to-machine transmission services.

Ofcom said that as Sky is a provider of pay-TV services transmitted by a satellite network, it provides an electronic communications service and must therefore comply with the rules.

But Sky maintains that its standalone pay-TV service does not fall under the definition of an electronic communications service and is therefore exempt from the notification rules.

Ofcom is therefore investigation Sky’s compliance with these rules for pay-TV customers and said it expects to provide an update by the end of January 2021.

A Sky spokesperson said: “We welcome Ofcom’s plans to review our position and are pleased to have the opportunity to clarify what has been a long running difference of views on interpretation of the law.

“Our customer service is industry leading, we speak to millions of customers every year and we are always on hand to support with billing and account questions. We give our customers an extensive range of options to help them manage their Sky services and bills, we make all advertised offers available to all of our customers, and we proactively send new tailored offers and ways to make savings each month.”

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