Economy

Broadband and landline users to get automatic compensation for poor service

Broadband and landline users to get automatic compensation for poor service”

The new rules mean that ISPs have to payout compensatory fees back to customers if repairs are prolonged or installation appointments missed.

Launching the first ever automatic compensation scheme for telecoms customers require significant changes to providers' billing systems, online accounts and call centres.

Ofcom says compensation is now only paid out for around one in seven broadband or landline problems, and at the moment customers who are given compensation only receive an average £3.69 a day for loss of service, and £2.39 a day for delayed installations.

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".

Ofcom says mobile customers aren't covered by the new automatic compensation scheme as they are less likely to lose service for more than 24 hours, and now receive more compensation than broadband and landline customers.

The scheme is the result of a review by Britain's industry watchdog Ofcom, which has said that many people are not receiving services to the standard they expect, or are failing to be adequately compensated when that service falls short.

A quarter of people who have had a missed appointment said they took a wasted day off work to wait at home for a broadband or phone line engineer who never showed up.

"The risk of a financial penalty should encourage providers to step up and quickly solve problems rather than letting them drag out", he said. "It's great news for broadband and landline customers. Hopefully we'll see a successful implementation over the next 15 months".

The ISPs now subscribed to the automatic compensation scheme represent around 90% of landline and broadband users in the United Kingdom, according to Ofcom.

Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband comparison and advice site Cable.co.uk, said that Ofcom's decision should be viewed as a way to "force providers to spend money improving service-levels across the next 15 months". Up to a third are thought eschew the higher prices of business-grade connectivity packages, according to Ofcom.

Automatic compensation is something providers have "agreed" to, insinuating the commitment is voluntary on their part.

And compensation will also be provided for delays when setting up a new phone or broadband connection.



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