Sky has been found guilty of breaching consumer protection rules by not notifying certain customers that they have reached the end of their contract.
An investigation into Sky’s practices, which has been running since 2020, was closed by the regulator this week with Ofcom finding that Sky has contravened, and continues to contravene rules.
In February 2020, Ofcom introduced a requirement for broadband, mobile, home phone and pay TV companies to notify their residential and business customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end.
But Sky argued its standalone pay TV services didn’t fall within the scope of the rules and refused to notify those customers. This resulted in Ofcom triggering a formal investigation in December 2020.
Ofcom’s verdict means Sky must take all necessary steps to comply with its regulatory obligations to send end-of-contract notifications to customers. This must commence no later than nine months from now. In addition, Sky was told it must provide Ofcom with a progress report no later than four months from now on the steps it intends to take.
But it may not be the end of the matter:
Sky can choose to appeal. If this occurs, then the timeframes for commencing end-of-contract notifications for pay TV customers will be suspended, pending the outcome of a first instance decision of the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
Iain Hatton, features writer, RXTV