Broadband users in the United Kingdom to get automatic compensation for poor service


United Kingdom regulator Ofcom has confirmed that broadband and landline customers will now get automatic compensation from their providers for missed appointments, slow repairs and delayed installations without having to file a claim.

The regulator Ofcom has announced that householders who receive poor service from their telecoms provider are to get automic compensation.

It's worth stressing that for a delayed fix you'll begin to be paid compensation if it's not fixed after two working days (so Monday to Friday), but after this point you'll be owed £8 each calendar day, including weekends and bank holidays.

Horror stories of repeat visits because engineers "brought the wrong part", or customers spending weeks without internet despite making repeated hour-long phone calls to their new ISP should become a thing of the past.

Ofcom, the UK's communication regulator, revealed on Friday (10 November) that BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have agreed to the scheme.

Ofcom said that, overall, they expect compensation levels to increase around nine fold. Providers have a while to get to grips with what's expected of them, though.

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Ofcom's behind it all, saying it could lead to the ISPs paying out £142m in compensation payouts for missed appointments, slow repairs and messed up connections, when the scheme launches in 2019. A third of SMBs choose residential broadband services but only half knew if they were entitled to compensation. Gillian Guy, chief executive of the organisation, said Citizens Advice will be "looking closely" at Ofcom's full review of the scheme after 12 months to ensure it works for consumers.

The compensation will be paid to customers experiencing problems with their broadband and landlines that are not fixed within set time frames, as seen below.

"So providers will have to pay money back automatically, whenever repairs or installations dont happen on time, or an engineer doesnt turn up". If one of the included ISPs says that your broadband or landline will be connected on a specific day and misses that date, then you'll get £5 for each day you aren't connected, including the missed starting date.

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.

Ofcom says that the automatic compensation scheme is only one of a number of areas where it is working to protect telecoms customers.