Sky could soon be forced to let customers know about better TV deals when their current contract comes to an end. This dramatic change is being sought by Ofcom, which wants the satellite television company to adhere to the new rules introduced last year. Currently, all broadband and telecommunications companies must notify their users when their current contract expires. Although Sky is announcing these changes to its broadband customers, it doesn’t feel that it needs to do the same with its TV users.
Sky, now owned by US giant Comcast, firmly believes it didn’t do anything wrong. The satellite television company does not believe that its standalone pay-TV services fall under the definition of an electronic communications service and claims that it is not required to comply with the new rules.
Ofcom disagrees, however, as the telecommunications regulator is currently in the final stages of an investigation into whether or not Sky TV is breaking the rules.
In an update to its website, Ofcom says, “It has been found that there is reason to believe that Sky has and continues to violate GC C1.10 of the March 26, 2020 Terms and Conditions.”
“We have provisionally determined that Sky, as a provider of pay-TV services that are transmitted over a satellite distribution network, provides an electronic communication service. We are therefore provisionally of the opinion that Sky is a regulated provider within the meaning of GC C1.10 and is required to meet this condition in relation to its pay-TV services. “
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Ofcom says it will make a decision later in the year, but if Sky is forced to follow the new rules, it could mean customers will receive more warnings before their deals run out and give them time to re-price to negotiate.
All you have to do is take a quick look at the Sky website to see what savings can be made.
For example, you can now buy Sky TV with Sports for just £ 41 a month which is a steal. However, at the end of the 18 month contract this amount is £ 63 per month or £ 264 per year.
It is these price hikes that Ofcom would like to make consumers aware of.
In response to Ofcom’s latest update, a Sky spokesperson said, “We are excited to have the opportunity to clarify what have long been different views on the interpretation of the law. We cannot comment any further until Ofcom has announced its final decision. “
We’ll have to wait for the final outcome, but Ernest Doku, tech expert at Uswitch.com, says the decision could affect thousands of consumers who use pay-TV services like Sky’s.
“Sky and Ofcom have been in a dispute for more than a year over whether pay-TV services must comply with the rules for notifications at the end of the contract,” said Doku.
“End of contract notifications are designed to empower consumers to make informed decisions about whether their current plan is the best value for them.”