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Ofcom drops Sky investigation but says some customers may be due refunds

Tuesday, August 8th 2017 by Phil Wilkinson-Jones

Ofcom has dropped a two-year investigation into Sky’s cancellation procedures and will not fine the company for breaching switching rules.

But the regulator is encouraging former Sky customers who had made written cancellation requests to contact the provider as they may be due a refund.

An investigation was opened in August 2015 following an increase in the number of consumer complaints made to Ofcom about Sky between 1 May and 31 July 2015.

In September 2016 Ofcom “provisionally determined” that Sky had breached rules making it easier for consumers to switch broadband providers during the period in question, opening up the possibility of a huge fine.

It said there were reasonable grounds to believe Sky’s conditions for cancelling a contract had put customers off switching to another provider.

But today, Ofcom said it has concluded the investigation and will take no enforcement action.

The regulator said the number of complaints about Sky’s cancellation procedures “reduced materially” following those three months in the middle of 2015 and have “remained at a low level for a considerable period of time”.

According to the most recent figures released by Ofcom, Sky is the least complained-about broadband provider in the UK, responsible for just eight complaints to Ofcom per 100,000 customers compared to BT’s 34 and an industry average of 21.

'Getting things right'

Ofcom pointed to a number of changes Sky has made to its customer service procedures, a number of which were underway before the investigation began.

These include training staff to recognise when customers want to leave and allowing them to do so without having a conversation about staying with Sky.

Sky has refunded a number of customers who made cancellation requests by letter or email between 1 May and 31 July 2015 and may not have had the correct notice period applied.

Ofcom says former Sky customers who made written cancellation requests and did not have their notice periods backdated to the date on which Sky received their letter should call the company on 0800 759 1703.

A Sky spokesperson said: “We are pleased Ofcom has decided to close this case dating from 2015.

“At Sky we are proud of our industry leading reputation for customer service as recognised by Ofcom. Getting things right for our customers will continue to be our number one priority.”

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