Three firms have been put into provisional liquidation for illegally selling satellite television warranties to consumers.
Digital Satellite Warranty Cover (DSWC), Satellite Services, and Nationwide Digital Satellite Warranty Services offered Sky customers a form of extended warranty.
The groups, which were all based in Kirkby, Liverpool, charged between £6.49 and £11.49 a month in exchange for unlimited call-outs covering all parts and labour costs.
But the warranties were a type of insurance, and none of the firms had ever been authorised by City watchdog the Financial Services Authority to sell insurance to consumers.
As a result, the regulator applied to the High Court to have the firms, which were run by Bernard Freeman and Michael Sullivan, put into provisional liquidation to prevent more of the warranties being sold.
The move has led to the warranties bought by consumers becoming invalid, however, Sky has written to all customers of the firms, offering them free support if they need a repair or service visit.
Although the unauthorised firms were entirely separate from Sky, the group said it did not want affected customers to be inconvenienced or left out of pocket as a result of their activities.
Sky will provide free service visits for the rest of their contract for people who paid for the service in advance, while it will provide free support until the end of December for customers who paid for the warranty on a monthly basis.
The FSA found that DSWC had made profits of around £10 million in the past 12 months and had nearly 200,000 customers, while Satellite had a turnover of £2.1 million this year.