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Ofcom: Sky may have broken service cancellation rules

Ofcom logoUK regulator Ofcom has said there are “reasonable grounds” to believe that Sky has broken rules governing the cancellation of broadband and phone contracts.

Ofcom says that Sky may have broken general condition 9.3 of the rules governing contracts and has issued a notification to the pay TV operators under section 96A of the 2003 Communications Act.

According to the regulator, Sky may have broken the rules that enable customers to switch to competitors such as BT, Virgin Media and TalkTalk between May and July 2015 by making the cancelation of its service too difficult.

Ofcom opened the investigation into Sky’s activities on August 6 on its own initiative.

Sky could potentially face a fine of up to 10% of its turnover related to the relevant services over the May-July period.

The broadcaster now has a month to make representations to the regulator ahead of a final ruling.

Ofcom separately said that it had decided not to take actions over a possible breach of general condition 22, which governs the termination of contracts within the mandatory cooling off period after signing up. However, the regulator said it would continue to monitor complaints about Sky’s behaviour.

In January, Sky extended the cancellation period for Sky Talk packages and allowed customers to keep other Sky services with existing discounts after a number of subscribers complained to Ofcom about the closure of a number of packages.

Ofcom has previously censured rival service providers for failing to handle complaints properly. In July the regulator fined EE £1 million for contravention of rules concerning complaints handling.

Tags: EE, Ofcom, Sky, UK