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Delayed repairs to your broadband? You'll now get automatic compensation

Delayed repairs to your broadband? You'll now get automatic compensation

OFCOM HAS announced that telco providers and ISPs of fixed broadband and fixed-line telephony will be expected to offer automatic compensation when appointments get missed, repairs get botched or take ages, and installations are delayed while they mess about with the cabinet for six weeks. The UK is now introducing automatic compensation for certain cases of poor customer broadband services.

Under the new rules, if repairs to service are delayed following an outage, customer will get £8 for every calendar day on which the service is not repaired, after two full working days.

If an engineer schedules an appointment and doesn't turn up, or doesn't give at least 24 hours notice, customers will get £25 compensation for every missed appointment.

When combined, BT, TalkTalk, Sky, Virgin Media and Zen Internet cover around 90 percent of broadband and landline customers in the UK. Though Plusnet and EE have also indicated they will join the scheme in the future.

"The risk of a financial penalty should encourage providers to step up and quickly solve problems rather than letting them drag out", he said.

In addition to residential customers the new plans are also set to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as over a third choose to residential landline and broadband services. "So, there will be a 15-month implementation period before it comes into effect to ensure a smooth introduction", Ofcom said.

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.

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

"So providers will have to pay money back automatically, whenever repairs or installations dont happen on time, or an engineer doesnt turn up".

"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 providers fail to start a service on a promised date, customers could get GBP 5 for each calendar day of the delay.