Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Businesses left out in the cold following Ofcom broadband compensation review

Brits set for £142m windfall as broadband firms are forced to pay automatic compensation Broadband providers must automatically compensate customers for bad service under new Ofcom rules
Jo Caldwell | 11 November, 2017, 01:03

Specifically speaking, this new scheme applies to United Kingdom broadband and landline customers who experience slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations, as a result they will now be automatically credited on their account.

Although random internet outages are now not covered by the scheme, if broadband is down for more than two days, customers will get £8 per day that internet remains unavailable. Under its proposal, ISPs would be required to give customers automatic compensation for loss of connection, slow repairs and missed engineering appointments.

Broadband and landline customers with the biggest broadband providers, including BT, Sky and TalkTalk, will be compensated automatically when when service is disrupted and providers fail to resolve problems. Though Plusnet and EE have also indicated they will join the scheme in the future. We have always supported auto compensation because it's simply right that customers should be compensated when they don't get the service they pay for and when they experience disruption not of their own making, and they shouldn't have to fight for that compensation.

If you've recently suffered a botched broadband installation or endured a long, internetless wait for line repairs, this won't help much as it doesn't kick in until 2019.

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Every year Ofcom deals with 5.7 million complaints from customers who have had problems with landline or broadband services.

In addition, if an engineer doesn't turn up to an appointment or cancels less than 24 hours before, then you will get £25 back.

However, the plans won't come in for 15 months, due to the complexity of changing providers' billing systems, online accounts and call centres, said Ofcom. "People will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service".

But although the scheme has been cautiously welcomed, some social media commenters believe that the scheme doesn't go far enough and that the compensation levels don't reflect the actual out of pocket expense, let alone the inconvenience if, say, you've taken the day off work for an engineer. Once it is all in place, Ofcom will be keeping an eye on things to ensure it is working. It also said many business customers don't know compensation is already available - some 49 per cent do not secure refunds when service falls short.

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