Broadband users set for automatic compensation for poor performance
11 November, 2017, 01:52 | Author: Pamela Mathis
Telecoms regulator Ofcom has forged an agreement with five firms, including BT, Sky and Virgin Media, to knock money off customers' bills.
It calculated the change would bolster levels of redress to customers - including many small businesses - by 900% because compensation was now only paid in about one in seven cases.
Ofcom's behind it all, saying it could lead to the ISPs paying out £142m in compensation payouts for missed appointments, slow repairs and messed up connections, when the scheme launches in 2019.
It said many people are not getting the standard of service they expect, and are not being adequately compensated for poor service.
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. Under this new scheme, these ISPs will automatically compensate customers when broadband or landline connections go down and aren't revived within two working days.
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Lindsay Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, 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".
In addition, if an engineer doesn't turn up to an appointment or cancels less than 24 hours before, then you will get £25 back.
Your new landline or broadband service is not up and running on the day promised. Ofcom understands Plusnet and EE have also indicated they will join the scheme.
Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband comparison and advice site Cable.co.uk, commented: "This should be viewed more as a way to force providers to spend money improving service-levels across the next 15 months (when these measures will finally be implemented) so these problems do not occur in the first place - to vastly increase the cost of their failure".
If a broadband or landline is not working on the day it was said to get fixed, providers will have to pay £5 a day.
"For all consumers to get what they're entitled to, it's vital that all providers play fair and sign up to this scheme". The others include: ensuring lower charges for vulnerable landline customers, better information on broadband speeds before entering a contract, detailed information to show customer how different providers perform and fining companies for poor behaviour.
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