TELEVISION AND BROADBAND provider Sky Ireland has been fined over €100,000 after it failed to inform some customers about their cooling-off rights.
The penalty was handed down following an investigation by communications watchdog Comreg into Sky Ireland’s practices.
The review found that between September 2015 and September 2018, Sky failed to provide 79,000 of its customers with a ‘durable’ copy of their contract.
The consumers affected were those who entered ‘distance contracts’ – deals agreed with customers over the phone and outside of a retail setting.
Under Irish regulations, consumers who enter into a ‘distance contract’ have a right to cancel it during a 14-day cooling-off period. Contracts issued to these consumers must include information on how to cancel the contract.
The regulator noted that some 41,000 of those customers were not afforded their right to a cooling-off period.
Due to the breach of regulations, Comreg issued a penalty of €117,000 to Sky Ireland. The company accepted that it breached the regulations and has paid the fine in full.
A spokeswoman for Sky Ireland told Fora that Sky interpreted the regulations in a different manner to Comreg because “no clear guidance had previously been provided”.
“Sky is disappointed with Comreg’s decision to impose a fine on Sky in circumstances where Sky was offering a benefit to customers in the form of reduced pricing.”
As part of its ruling, Comreg told Sky it must get in touch with each of its affected customers individually and provide them with confirmation of their contract.
Sky has also been ordered to tell those customers of their right to a cooling-off period of 14 days from receipt of the communication.
Customers must also be allowed to cancel their contract if they wish and the company must facilitate the process.
It will also be required to demonstrate to Comreg, through independent and audited documentary proof, that it has fully performed the required remedial actions.
Comreg said Sky has committed to implement the orders required by 14 September.