News Article

You could soon get automatic compensation for broadband delays

Published 29 March 2017 by

Most of us rely on a speedy broadband connection for our day-to-day lives and we expect to get a smooth and uninterrupted service. That’s why when there’s any problems setting your broadband up, you’re likely to get more than a bit irritated.

Well, under new proposed plans from Ofcom, broadband customers could get automatic compensation if their provider doesn’t set up their service in time. This means they wouldn’t have to claim any money back for missed appointments – and this could help you if you’re left waiting to connect.

Read on to find out more about the proposals and what you can do now if you have issues with your broadband.

What are the proposals?

Under the Ofcom proposals, broadband and landline customers could get automatic compensation if they’re left waiting for their provider to connect their service. You could get this in the form of a direct cash payment or money off your bill.

If the proposals go through, you could get compensation whenever:

•  your landline or broadband provider takes too long to fix your connection if it goes down,

•  your new landline or broadband provider doesn’t connect you on the day they promised, or

•  a landline or broadband engineer doesn’t turn up for an appointment.

You could get £30 for every missed appointment by an engineer and if they want to cancel, they have to give you at least 24 hours’ notice.

You could also get £10 for every day your landline or broadband service isn’t working after the first two days and for new services that don’t start when they should, you could get £6 a day.

Ofcom will consult on the proposals until 5 June this year – you can have your input on its website. After this date, it will look at all of the plans and publish the changes in late 2017.

How does it work currently?

The new plans could help to streamline and standardise broadband compensation. Currently, broadband providers choose how much compensation to give you if you have any complaints. And you usually don’t get this automatically – you have to go through a claims process.

According to Ofcom, there are around 5.7 million cases each year where broadband or landline services go down for an unreasonable amount of time and there are delays to around one in eight landline and broadband installations – this affects more than 1.3 million people.

The data also shows that engineers miss about 250,000 appointments every year and one in four of these meant that people wasted a day off work staying at home.

If there are any problems with setting up your landline or broadband service or an engineer fails to turn up, check out your provider’s website. They should clearly lay out the compensation you can get in these situations – and how to go about getting it.

And if you’re still not happy with their decision, escalate your complaint to Ofcom or the communications Ombudsman. You’ll have to wait eight weeks after you first complain to do this.

Remember, the Ombudsman might not rule in your favour. If it backs your landline or broadband provider, you won’t get anything.

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