Sky the limit to debt collectors' efforts


A READER named Leo cancelled his Sky TV subscription recently by stopping his standing order to the company.

Weeks passed until last Monday when he got a letter from a company called Emerald Isle Collections. It had the headline: “DOOR STEP COLLECTION NOTICE – PLEASE READ CAREFULLY” and went on to say: “We intend to arrange a doorstep call by one of our representatives unless within seven days you respond to this letter and make specific repayment proposals which are acceptable to EIC.”

Sounds pretty serious, right? And certainly not the kind of letter that anyone would like to get. And how much do you think our reader owed Sky?

“The amount I am supposed to owe is only €23, since they cut me off immediately at the end of May this year when I cancelled my standing order to my bank as I was fed up with ‘repeats’,” he writes.

He says that “common sense would suggest that it would cost more to ‘threaten’ a pensioner, which I am, by sending a person or persons to my house for such a paltry sum of money”.

He is not wrong.

So, first we went to find out more about Emerald Isle Collection.

According to their website, they “are a local company focused on the recovery of bad debt within the Republic of Ireland. Our combination of office and field-based recoveries provides a professional and robust collection process, dedicated to maximising your return.”

Hmmm. Then we went to talk to the people at Sky. Specifically, we asked if they would like to explain to our readers why it is sending debt collectors to the homes of Irish pensioners over debts of as little as €23.

In response, we received the following statement: “Thank you for your query ... We have investigated and, while we are satisfied that our standard debt recovery process was followed, we are happy to bring the matter to a close in this instance by waiving the outstanding amount as a gesture of goodwill.”