Broadband Providers Will Pay Automatic Compensation For Service Faults

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OFCOM HAS announced that telco providers and ISPs of fixed broadband and fixed-line telephony will be expected to offer automatic compensation when appointments get missed, repairs get botched or take ages, and installations are delayed while they mess about with the cabinet for six weeks.

Britain's broadband firms will automatically compensate customers for fix delays, missed appointments and problems starting a new service.

Under the new rules, if repairs to service are delayed following an outage, customers will get £8 for every calendar day on which the service is not repaired, after two full working days.

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.

If an engineer misses their appointment to fix the issue, they will also have to give £25 in compensation.

Users connected through BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet - which Ofcom says is around 90 per cent of the United Kingdom population - are set to benefit, with Ofcom expecting Plusnet and EE to join as well.

But given the current amount of compensation paid is just £16 million a year, it should still be a real boost for broadband and home phone users.

Your new landline or broadband service is not up and running on the day promised. Despite the fact that many standard business contracts provide compensation for various only 49% of SME's did not know if they were entitled to compensation when service falls short.

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.

She added: "People will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service".

Ofcom says that setting up automatic compensation systems are complex, so ISPs have over a year grace period to comply.

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband comparison and advice site Cable.co.uk, commented: "This should be viewed more as a way to force providers to spend money improving service-levels across the next 15 months (when these measures will finally be implemented) so these problems do not occur in the first place - to vastly increase the cost of their failure".

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