Sky has pulled the plug on its door-to-door sales operation although it has refuted claims the move has been triggered by accusations of mis-selling practices.
The company’s team of 550 so-called “Sky Walkers” have been summoned to a series of meetings around the country to begin an official consultation on axing their jobs.
The satellite broadcaster brought its sales teams in-house three years ago, following customer complaints about doorstep sales by its contractors. But an investigation by The Guardian in May claimed its own reps were no better; they were encouraged to target the elderly and young unemployed parents because they were an “easy sell”.
Sky says the decision predates the complaints, and that it will now rely on online marketing and telesales to attract new customers, even though its telemarketing operation has locked horns with the Information Commissioner’s Office.
A Sky spokeswoman said: “We’ve been reviewing the way we sell our products to better suit customer demands. The way customers like to shop is changing, with online becoming more important. In addition, as well as new customers joining Sky, a significant part of our growth now comes from selling additional products to existing customers with whom we already have a relationship.
“As customers choose other ways to buy our products, door-to-door sales are becoming less viable and we’re proposing to withdraw from this activity. We’ll consult with employees before taking a final decision and will work to find alternative roles for those affected should the proposal go ahead.”
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