Sky under investigation for potentially breaking rules for millions of pay TV customers
Broadcaster Sky is under investigation for potentially breaking the rules on millions of television contracts.
Ofcom today said it has launched a probe into the TV provider, over concerns it failed to issue end-of-contract notifications to pay-TV customers.
Following an investigation, Ofcom said that there are reasonable grounds to believe that Sky has broken the rules since March 26, 2020.
Under new laws introduced in February 2020, all broadband, phone and TV companies must now legally tell customers when their plans are expiring - and show them the best deals available.
The new guidelines were introduced to enable customers to take advantage of better choice in broadband, phone and TV, and get the best deals for their usage.
This could be by switching provider or agreeing a new deal with their existing one.
At the time, the regulator said it found more than 20million customers had passed their initial contract period - and were at risk of being hit by the so-called 'loyalty penalty'.
Under the new rules, telecoms and pay-TV companies must warn customers between 10 and 40 days before their contract comes to an end.
These alerts can be sent by text, email or letter and will include the contract end date, the price paid before this date, changes to the service and price paid at the end of this period and information about any notice period required to terminate the contract.
Ernest Doku, tech expert at Uswitch.com, said: “Sky and Ofcom have been at loggerheads for more than a year about whether pay TV services have to comply with rules regarding end-of-contract notifications.
“End-of-contract notifications are meant to put more power in the hands of consumers and help make informed decisions about whether their current plan is the best value for them.”
“After an investigation, Ofcom has provisionally found that pay TV is covered by these regulations, and that Sky may have been breaking the rules for a year by not providing customers with these notices.
“A final ruling won’t be made until the end of the summer, but the decision could affect thousands of consumers who use pay-TV services like Sky’s.
“In the meantime, don’t wait for an end-of-contract letter to drop through your front door if you know you are out of contract. Get online now and start researching what deals are available, even if they are with your current provider."