Sky told to write to TV customers whose minimum subscription is up

·2 min read

Ofcom has ended a near two-year investigation into Sky’s handling of its customers with a slap on the wrist for the company.

The telecommunications regulator said companies have to let subscribers know when the minimum contract period has ended for their broadband, mobile, home phone and pay-TV services.

But Sky had not done this for its pay-TV customers, because it thought it was exempt.

“Sky considers that its pay-TV services do not fall within the definition of an ‘electronic communications service’,” Ofcom said on Friday.

“Sky therefore maintains that it has no obligation to notify its pay-TV customers when their minimum contract period is coming to an end.”

But the regulator had a different opinion, and told Sky to change its practices, but only in nine months from now.

“We have directed Sky to take all necessary steps to comply with its regulatory obligations to send end-of-contract notifications to customers of its relevant pay-TV services, starting no later than nine months from the date of this decision.

“In addition, Sky must provide Ofcom with a progress report no later than four months from the date of this decision on the steps it will take to ensure the remedy is fully implemented within the nine months given.”

The company was not fined or disciplined in any other way.

The issue is likely to end up before a judge. Sky has two months to appeal against Ofcom’s directive.

Around 3.5 million customers saw their Sky TV subscriptions lapse between February 2020 when the new rules were put in place, and last December.

Sky said: “We continue to believe Sky’s pay-TV service is not an electronic communication service under the legal definition in the Communications Act 2003, but we note the outcome of Ofcom’s investigation.

“We look forward to working with Ofcom to seek a legal review.”