This week the Guardian newspaper followed up on their report of a story alleging mis-selling of Sky Broadband packages by fraudulent door-to-door salesmen in the South of England. This has now caused Sky salesmen from other areas of the UK to come forward with further claims of poor and bad practice. One agent told the newspaper that staff failing to reach weekly sales targets were in his words "exited out" of the company whereas salespeople who had been the subject of retail complaints from harassed and misled consumers, were kept on because they were meeting or exceeding targets. It was claimed that one seller was practically screaming at a customer to talk to him because she wanted to shut the door on him and finish her evening meal.
The sky's the limit for some door to door sellers
Sales agents went to the Guardian offices this week to be interviewed regarding their claims and this surprising state of affairs. They are claiming that the pressure to reach their targets, from their managers, is so intense some are encouraged to target the elderly because they are thought to be an "easy sell". Others have claimed that some salesmen have no scruples at all in promising customers anything they want in order to get the sale.
The Head of Retail Sales at Sky has made the practice of mis-selling his number one priority, and the sales agents were sent a message from him inviting them to get in touch if they had any concerns about this alleged practice. Sales people who have tried and spoken with the Guardian, have said that the number or contact details given by Sky's Head of Retail Sales, wasn't contactable which still leaves a lot of unanswered questions.
Closing the door on those who carry out mis-selling
So far it has not been disclosed what action has been taken concerning the managers who allegedly are constantly calling and texting their sales team pushing them to the brink and apparently endorsing short cuts to sales that seem to border on immoral if not unlawful practice. Neither has it been stated what will happen to those staff who have apparently been lying to consumers about download limits and broadband speeds as well as, the Guardian claims, faking customer agreements.
Sky have clamped down in the past on improper sales practices of sales people using their own credit card details to pay for low value customer deposits in order to record a sale and I have no doubt that behind the scenes they are working hard to investigate these latest alarming reports. There are consumers who are very vulnerable and the thought of an all singing all dancing television, phone and broadband package at what would seem to be a reasonable cost, is a godsend. On top of this coming from a very reputable company such as Sky, many would not hesitate to open their door, as oppose to ignoring them and pretending not to be in, as is the case when other organisations come knocking.
It is to be hoped that this worrying report is quickly acted upon and any confirmed bad practice stamped out. In the meantime the only targets that should be aimed for are the ones involving reducing consumer complaints about mis-selling. If you have been the victim of malpractice around selling, whether it is Sky or any other company, then let us know - we're listening!