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Broadband users set for automatic compensation for poor performance

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
10/11/2017
Frustrated broadband and landline customers are in line to receive £142m in automatic compensation payouts under a new Ofcom scheme.

Communications regulator, Ofcom, today announced that broadband and landline customers will get money back from providers when they experience poor service or performance without having to claim the money back.

It said many people are not getting the standard of service they expect, and are not being adequately compensated for poor service. It added that providers have been slow to keep up with users’ needs.

Customers experiencing slow repairs, missed appointments or delayed installations will be compensated automatically – money will be credited to their accounts.

However, not all providers have signed up for the scheme. So far, BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have agreed to introduce automatic compensation. Together they serve around 90% of broadband and landline customers in the UK. Ofcom understands Plusnet and EE have also indicated they will join the scheme.

Here’s how it will work and what compensation you will receive:

OfcomComp

Ofcom said launching the automatic compensation scheme “will be complex and require significant changes to providers’ billing systems, online accounts and call centres” so it is looking to implement it within 15 months.

Currently, compensation is paid out  in only around 15% of cases, including slow repairs, delayed installations or missed engineer appointments.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: “Waiting too long for your landline or broadband to be fixed is frustrating enough, without having to fight for compensation.

“So providers will have to pay money back automatically, whenever repairs or installations don’t happen on time, or an engineer doesn’t turn up. People will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service.”

Alex Neill, Which? managing director of home services, said: “We are pleased that compensation for poor broadband is going to become automatic, as it is now such an essential part of all of our everyday lives.

“For all consumers to get what they’re entitled to, it’s vital that all providers play fair and sign up to this scheme.”

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