OFCOM announces automatic compensation for delays to phone and broadband fix

Brits set for £142m windfall as broadband firms are forced to pay automatic compensation

Broadband providers must automatically compensate customers for bad service under new Ofcom rules

If a phone or broadband connection goes down, and isn't "fully" fixed within two working days, for each subsequent day that the connection isn't functional, the customer will get £8.

Ofcom and most of the UK's major broadband providers have settled on a structure for automatic compensation payments for service problems.

Ofcom says that following its intervention, BT, Sky, Talk Talk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet - which collectively account for 90% of the market - have all agreed to the initiative, along with EE and Plusnet.

Now only one in seven customers experiencing these problems will be paid any compensation and it is typically paid at a lower rate.

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. Customers could receive GBP 25 per missed appointment if an engineer fails to turn up for a scheduled appointment or it is cancelled with less than 24 hours' notice.

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. "People will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service". It also said many business customers don't know compensation is already available - some 49 per cent do not secure refunds when service falls short.

Ofcom has calculated that under current compensation efforts, people receive an average of £3.69 per day for the loss of service and £2.39 per day for delayed installations.

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

Because launching the automatic compensation scheme "will be complex, and require significant changes to providers' billing systems", there will be a 15-month implementation period. "Ofcom will closely monitor the industry scheme, and review it one year after being implemented to ensure it's working for consumers".

Ofcom said that, overall, they expect compensation levels to increase around nine fold.

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