Although I receive the occasional junk mail offering from time to time the one I received from Satellite Direct UK Ltd got up my nose.
Here’s what they say:
We understand the initial manufacturer’s warranty on your digital satellite (Sky TV) system has now expired and unless you have already taken out extended cover this leaves you open to expensive call out charges and repair costs should anything go wrong!
Really? Gosh! I better empty my pockets of cash and send it to you then. After all, you are affiliated to Sky TV, right? How else would you know I had a Sky digital satellite system and you do mention ‘Sky TV’ 17 times in the main body of your letter and also on the envelope? Well no, not quite.
In miniscule micro-text at the bottom of the junk mail it says;
Satellite Direct UK Ltd and Satcover Ltd are independent companies from Sky and are not authorised or approved by Sky to sell extended service agreements.
I would imagine that’s got something to do with a court decision in December 2006 against a very similarly named company called Satellite Direct Ltd, if it isn’t indeed the same company.
From the Satellite Direct (not Satellite Direct UK ltd) case, the judge stated;
The Court concluded that the period from 2002 to the point when Satellite Direct gave undertakings in a parallel trading standards action involved “habitual or institutional passing off”, such that up to 80% of sales were immediately preceded by passing off.
It looks to me like Herbert Smith who represented Sky in the other court hearing may well have some more work coming his way.
I wonder how many people fall for this rubbish believing it to be a legitimate Sky company? Looks like I’m not the first person to bring this to the internet either, with people complaining they don’t even have a Sky system and others saying their elderly relatives were getting conned by telemarketers.
Genuine Sky Repair Protection Plan
Standard Sky box customers – a year’s protection from just £69
Sky+ customers – a year’s protection costs £99
Telephone Preference Service (TPS) – is the central opt out register on which you can record your preference not to receive unsolicited sales and marketing telephone calls
Mailing Preference Service – is a free service set up 20 years ago and funded by the direct mail industry to enable consumers to have their names and home addresses in the UK removed from or added to lists used by the industry.
Passing off essentially occurs where the reputation of party A is misappropriated by party B, such that party B misrepresents this reputation and damages the goodwill of party A.