Silent consent, as practiced by SKY

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Theft has now evolved into silent consent. This is how it happens. The customer is advised in a discreet manner that his/her silence will result in higher costs and will increase the revenues of the service provider that has sent out the notification. People usually overlook the letter and either fail to read it at all, or only read it distractedly. That is the point when silent consent to dip into the reader’s wallet comes into play. Silent consent, when perpetrated on large numbers of consumers, generates significant additional income for the company concerned, with virtually no additional costs.
SKY recently inserted a letter into the free magazine that it sends out to all its subscribers. However, not everyone even opens the magazine, which is sealed in a plastic pouch. And, even having ripped open the plastic pouch and paged through the magazine, not everyone bothers to read the letter. The letter is not enclosed in any envelope and appears to be simply another insert.
All those people that fail to say anything will be paying an additional 90 cents per month.


Dear Customer,

We hereby advise you that, with effect from this month, the existing SKY Magazine will be replaced by the new SKYlife Magazine.
This copy of SKYlife is included in the price of your subscription. With effect from March, you will be able to decide whether to continue receiving it at an additional cost of 0,90 Euro per month, which will be reflected on your monthly invoice, or whether to continue receiving only the SKY programme schedule summary at no additional cost to you, this by calling the toll-free number 800 835 005 or by filling in the applicable field in the Do-it-yourself section on the SKY.it website.

We thank you for your time and wish you “Good reading” with Skylife.
Cordially yours,
Angela Gemma, Customer Service Manager


I am not sure whether or not the law allows the imposition of any payment for services that have not been requested by means of silent consent. If it does, then it needs to be changed. Whoever uses this tactic of silent consent is acting improperly towards the customer.
SKY is making us pay an extra 90 cents per month for our silence. As far as SKY is concerned, we are not customers, but simply sheep waiting to be sheared. We should all cancel our subscriptions unless SKY changes its attitude towards us and shows a little more respect for the customer.

Posted by Beppe Grillo at 01:06 AM in | Comments (3)
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Well, Sky is owned by Rupert Murdoch. I doubt that ethical business practice ranked high in importance as he built up his worldwide media empire.

Posted by: Triggerhappy Media | February 14, 2008 04:16 AM


yup there is some scamming going on chez sky.

a few weeks ago i got a few phone calls from someone claiming to be a lawyer, threatening me if i didn't pay €200+ into some conto corrente. i have my receipts telling me i have paid up, and i didn't like this man's tone, after the second call i told him i didn't believe him, and after more threats about how this was going to cost me thousands of euros, he hung up and stopped calling.

then i got a letter with a sky letterhead saying because of this mysterious €200 being unpaid, they were not going to take responsibility for maintaing the set-top box any more, if it broke, it was mine (?), and i would have to pay for it to be fixed.

then a few days later it suddenly stopped working for a few hours.

i have similar experiences coming from liquigas and telecom, i suspect there is a whole lot of money paid by scared people, like scam last year i saw revealed that people were being hit up for road tax from years ago, and if they hadn't kept the receipt, they had to pay again. i got caught by this one, for a jeep that ended up in the junkyard 5 years before!
they tried this one again recently, but i ignored it this time, and never heard another word....Italy is over-run with unscrupulous scam artists, then has to put on a pretty face each year for the tourists.

e cosivia, from top to bottom...

beppe you are like a ray of light in this dark fog of corruption here, more power to you.

Posted by: michael | February 13, 2008 12:27 AM


Ciao Beppe - I'm pretty sure the scurrilous practice of silent consent is now illegal in the US. Shame on SKY for such a slimy tactic.

Posted by: Ruth Kelly | February 12, 2008 12:57 PM


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