THERE is a list going around. You may have seen it. It's got the names of those businesses or businessmen who have sought to capitalise on the financial uncertainty brought about by the COVID-19 outbreak; with a growing swell of vocal critics insinuating that their antics will not be forgotten when normality – whatever that might look like three, six or even 12 months from now – returns.

On the flip side, other companies with a conscience (let's call them that for now since there may well be a kicker down the line) have sought to alleviate the financial burden or at least face reality. Sky, for example, have allowed customers to pause their Sky Sports subscription until normal service resumes and they are in a position to broadcast live sport again. Sky, and I can't believe I am saying this, deserve full credit for being ahead of the game in this. Ultimately, though, they are doing what you would expect in the circumstances.

Meanwhile, BT Sport have offered a similar but different option which is causing plenty of consternation among subscribers. At the time of writing – and in this current climate everything is subject to change in an instant – BT had still not offered a blanket solution to a problem which at best looks like egregious customer service and at worst a ruthless means of protecting income while serving up an incomplete product.

A statement on BT Sport's website as of Friday afternoon reads: “We understand that this is a difficult time for customers and if they wish to discuss their BT Sport contract or other options, would ask they give us a call. Alternatively customers on our new flexible TV package can pause their sport subscription and switch to a different pack should they wish.”

The website does not give any advice, however, for those not on the new flexible TV package. Furthermore, anecdotal evidence suggests customers are engaged in a futile exercise – with phones not answered at call centres, no easy method online for pausing their subscriptions and no coherent policy on what options are available – with some customers being allowed to cancel, others receiving half-price offers for two years and some being given a month's free subscription despite the Premier League announcing last week that there would be no resumption of football until April 30 at the earliest.

The BT Sport statement goes on to admit that high call volumes and staff shortages are part of the problem as the company seeks to adhere to government guidelines on Coronavirus.

All of which may be true but, unfortunately, it looks like a cloak of convenience and smacks of opportunism. Either way, it is a public relations disaster and one which people are unlikely to forget. Indeed, making the job easy would have bought goodwill and, in all probability, have brought customers back when football – with fans desperate for a resumption – returned.

Above all, it is always the lack of availability of a simple resolution that irks customers most, the more so when paying for a service that's not being provided and the onus was on BT Sport to provide the solution.

It prompted Labour MP, Carolyn Harris to say: “BT are without doubt a total disgrace. I'm appalled that in this time of national crisis they are totally heartless in their business practice. Whilst the rest of the country come together in a spirit of unit and survival, they use the situation to profit, whilst not fulfilling on their commitment.”

When the new financial reality emerges and people come to take stock of what they need and what they don't need, those companies who acted with compassion will be remembered and those who did not won't be forgotten.

It speaks to a wider issue, too. Football clubs may also find themselves in a similar pickle over season ticket money and membership, not to mention lost TV revenue. While that April 30 deadline for resumption has been set, speak to those inside the game and there is less confidence on a daily basis that it will be met.

Decisions taken by clubs can only be measured on a case-by-case basis. On Saturday, it was reported that Barcelona's millionaire footballers could end up having their wages supplemented by tax payers. This is the new world order we might be facing and it appears no better than the old one.

A steady increase in carbon dioxide emissions over China, as seen from satellite pictures, was greeted as a positive sign that Coronavirus was on the wane as people returned to work. There were images, too, of dolphins swimming in canals around Venice.

Cleaner air and clearer water was interpreted by some as the planet resetting itself. For others, the virus was invariably Mother Nature taking her revenge or some act of malevolence from a higher being in despair at our collective failings.

In reality, epidemiologists have been warning us of a global pandemic for years as public health services have been cut and the world has contracted as a result of cheaper air fares.

There have been warnings, too, from football economists about the relative health of clubs and how their reckless spending was unsustainable when the TV money dried up.

Already we are seeing financial scenarios unfolding that place English Championship clubs in serious jeopardy with Stoke City forecast to have burned any grant aid from the Football League within nine days.

When normality does return, the sport should view this as an opportunity to reset and take stock just as each and every one of us will have to do with our own budgets.

It will be a chance to realign, to reconsider old processes and, above all, to remember who acted with honour and who did not.