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forestzoe

Bit of a mess with SKy!

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A little bit of a complex one this but I am really hoping that someone can advise!

 

We are managers at a pub. We work for another company who hold the tenancy, deal with all of the utilities etc and organise the TV. Basically, we are responsible for the day to day running with no responsibilty or say so on finances, contracts etc We get paid for this (self employed basis), along with our accommodation as part of the deal.

 

We organise TV, broadband and 'phone for the private acommodation only.

 

As we are only managers, we have to abide by our gaffers decisions and rules or be out of a job and home.

 

We've had Sky for years in various pub jobs around the country and the varied private accommodations that go with that.

 

Our gaffer chooses to use an alternative supplier for the commercial areas and here the problems begin. A Sky inspector visited and saw a match being allegedly being screened (we were not aware of this until a week later when our domestic Sky TV service suddenly ceased without warning late one evening).

 

We rang Sky the following day and were initially told that we had telephoned them and cancelled it. As we had not, we told them this. Several people later we were told of the above and that it had been passed to the Business Compliance Team and that broadband and 'phone was going to also be disconnected on 3rd March, and that Sky had also cancelled our direct debit as we have broken terms of the contract by using a domestic card in a commercial setting (which we haven't).

 

At this point we were also told that the inspector had seen our viewing card number on the screen in the bar. This is 100% NOT the case as our cards have not moved out of the boxes and our gaffer, whatever our thoughts on the matter, has chosen to use an alternative provider. We have informed Sky that we do not deal with the commercial side, and that it is absolutely incorrect that the card # was on screen, and that we will refute this all the way. We've also informed them that we have a letter from our employer stating that we do not control the TV supplier and that if we refuse to show what we are instructed to that we will lose both our job and home. They are not interested.

 

The broadband and 'phone was eventually cut-off on 2nd March ( a day earlier than it was supposed to be) and we have now had various letters and calls from them, mostly asking why we have chosen to leave and asking if there is anything to do to keep us as we are longterm customers!!!!! Also 1 letter demanding payment of £97 outstanding (despite THEM ancelling the DD that fell due 2/3/15 and despite the fact that no adjustments have yet been credited to the account. The advisor early in the row told us that next month, when the computers caught up, credits would be applied to the account to reflect the fact there was no longer a service being supplied, confirmed that Sky had cancelled the DD and told us we didn't owe anything).

 

We this morning got a signed for letter from Acumen Investigation Services. It states

 

"One of our enforcement officers has attended the above premises and witnessed Sky Exclusive Programming being shown in commercial areas that are accessible to the public. "

 

Then the bumpf about the relevant legislation then it continues

 

"may result in a criminal conviction, fines of up to £5000 per offence, legal costs and forfeiture of your personal license. Our clients also have the right to take civil action against you. Previous civil actions have resulted in payments of up to £65000 being made.

 

Our client requires that you do one of the following within 14 days: 1. Enter into a pubs and clubs agreement which permits the broadcasting of [sky] in the commercial areas of your premises 2. In the event that you do not wish to continue to broadcast [sky] ...you are required to complete the enclosed cease and desist form and return it to us or 3. Return any and all Sky Domestic viewing cards being used to facilitate these broadcasts. (Sky's viewing cards remain the property of Sky at all times).

 

We will continue to monitor your premises and will also be sending an enforcement agent to speak with you about copyright theft. If we do not hear from you within 14 days we reserve the right to take further action without further notice to you"

 

The cease and desist form and various bits of bumpf including a Sky contract was pubs was enclosed.

 

Now we are a bit stuck here. At no point has our domestic Sky been used in the commercial area and we have no say in what the supplier is nor what is broadcast in the commercial area. We've lost all of our domestic Sky services.

 

If we refuse to broadcast what our gaffer says, we will be chucked out of our job, and our home with it, along with our kids. He is the one who controls the tenancy, finance, contracts etc and has told us to continue broadcasting, using equipment supplied by someone he has contracted, as it's him that Sky should go after, and it's his risk. He has given us a letter stating that it is him who controls it and that we will be terminated if we disobey direct orders. Sky simply aren't interested and have chosen to go after us instead.

 

We can't sign a commercial agreement as we do not have the authority (and doubt the gaffer will sign one, though the paperwork will be given to his agent on Monday), we are unable to sign the cease and desist notice (part of the wording is "not to assist any person to use any apparatus or device not authorised by [sky]") as we have to turn the TVs on daily and would obviously then breach this and we cannot return any Sky cards "being used to facilitate" as none have been! (Obviously we will return the Sky cards without this proviso, but are not going to at present as it then looks like we have used them commercially!)

 

Obviously doing none of the 3 leaves us open to prosecution, but equally we could be without a job and home if we disobey our gaffer. HELP!

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