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11 November 2017, 12:59 | Austin Hogan
Broadband providers must automatically compensate customers for bad service under new Ofcom rules
Anyone suffering from slow repairs, missed appointments, or delayed installations to their broadband or landline services will have their accounts credited without having to ask.
Broadband and landline users will be able to get money back from their providers when things go wrong without having to make a claim, under new rules laid out by communications watchdog Ofcom. Compensation will be paid at a rate of £8 per calendar day that the service is not repaired, after two full working days.
Despite introducing the new compensation charges, the amounts have dropped from original proposals.
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.
Major providers including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet, which account for roughly 90 per cent of the landline and broadband customers in the United Kingdom, have committed to the compensation policy which will see £8 handed back for each calendar day the service is not repaired, £25 compensated for a missed engineer appointment and £5 returned for each day a new service is delayed.
While Plusnet and EE have not formally signed up to the new policy, Ofcom said both have "indicated they'd like to join the scheme". We have always supported auto compensation because it's simply right that customers should be compensated when they don't get the service they pay for and when they experience disruption not of their own making, and they shouldn't have to fight for that compensation.
"Ofcom's Lindsey Fussell said: ".providers will have to pay money back automatically, whenever repairs or installations don't happen on time, or an engineer doesn't turn up.
Although Ofcom notes that implementing this automatic process is a fair undertaking for service providers, and therefore there will be a period of 15 months to allow everything to be put into place. If a provider fails to start a new service on time £5 per day will be paid and £25 must be handed over for every missed appointment by an engineer.
KitGuru Says: As more and more people rely on their internet connection for work, education and entertainment, ISPs need to work harder to ensure a consistently reliable service.
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