Sky TV has been warned by the Commerce Commission about potentially misleading customers after a complaint about a $1 upgrade marketing campaign.

The customer wanted to take advantage of a promotion offering existing subscribers an upgrade to a selected premium channel for $1 a month, with the $1 donated to the Starship Foundation.

The customer complained that after ringing the Sky customer service line to sign up for the deal, and being left waiting on hold for an extended period, he requested the upgrade via Sky's interactive voice recognition phone service.

However the customer found he was charged the standard $25 for the upgrade rather than the $1 promoted.


On investigation the Commerce Commission found another 2633 subscribers were also incorrectly charged.

"The commission believes this may have been a breach of the Fair Trading Act. We have decided to issue a warning to Sky in this instance as they have fully cooperated with our investigation and acted quickly to put the matter right,'' commission competition manager Greg Allan said.

When contacted by the Commission, Sky conducted its own investigation, which established that its interactive voice recognition phone service had not been updated with the correct pricing information.

Sky admitted its mistake and has credited the affected subscribers. Sky has also ensured it has donated the correct sum to Starship Foundation. In total they have credited affected customer $55,990.

In its warning letter, however, the Commission points out it will continue to monitor Sky's conduct and any future breaches of the Fair Trading Act might result in stronger action.

Only a court can decide if the Fair Trading Act has been breached. Courts can impose penalties for a breach of up to $200,000 for a company and up to $60,000 for an individual.