I have just finished a telephone call.

A charming-sounding lady called me. The phone indicated that she was calling from Derby and she told me that she was calling from Sky.

The call was not entirely unexpected, as I have recently informed them that I will no longer be taking their services once my contract expires at the end of April. I daresay that Sky has an entire team dedicated to getting customers to change their minds. Good for them, I say.

I have no problem with Sky TV, but I have come to the conclusion that we were not getting value for money from it. Essentially, we were watching channels that are free to air, with me occasionally watching some golf.

In effect, it came down to paying £70 a month for me to sometimes watch some golf.

Watching golf in the twenty first century is not something to be taken on lightly. Watching a round requires planning and organisation as well as the ability to watch the same adverts over and over again. Professional golf takes an age. We are talking 5 to 6 hours per round. A full day of golf coverage can quite literally be from dawn until dusk.

Frankly, I can’t be bothered anymore. Too many other things to do. During a day’s coverage, I can walk the dog twice, play a round of golf, write a blog post and eat three meals.

I digress. I was telling you about my phone call.

The call was to explain how any transactions (pay per view purchases etc) between now and the termination date would work, I was told.

The caller and I agreed that my name is Stuart Lennon. The fact that I had answered the phone with the words “Hello, Stuart Lennon speaking” was a pretty big clue, I thought.

The caller asked me to confirm my address.

Reluctantly, I did so.

Then she asked me for my password. I politely declined to do so. I did provide the rationale: “You called me.”

There may be some asking yourselves, “Why would Sky need to identify a customer to explain that with no contract, he couldn’t buy pay per view events?”

Well done! They don’t need to identify me for that. They need to identify me just in case the charming lady is able to convince me to change my mind, or to accept a reduced price.

I got the impression my caller was a little niggled. Nevertheless, she persisted.

“OK, will you give me your Mother’s maiden name?”


“If you google the telephone number that came up when I rang, you will see that it is a Sky number.”

Honestly. That is what she said. All of these warnings about phishing and passwords, all nonsense. All that one needs to do apparently is Google the caller’s number. Then be free and liberal with your personal data and even passwords. Hurrah!

I’m reasonably certain that it was Sky calling and not some criminal mastermind, but surely companies should not be phoning up their customers asking for personal data?

I suggested that if my caller was unable to continue the call without my mother’s maiden name or password, she might want to discontinue it.

We parted as friends, but I have the distinct impression that she was a little miffed.

I had a quick ten second trawl on Sky’s website.

I quote from their section on security;

“Identity theft/Fraud
A few simple rules could help you guard against criminals stealing your personal details.

The risks

•Phishing – being tricked into giving private information, such as bank details, user names and passwords”

Is it any wonder that people are confused about online and telephone data security, when there are massive multi-national companies being so incredibly stupid and half-witted?

Stupid, stupid, stupid Sky.