Automatic compensation to roll out for 90pc of broadband customers

Josh White WebFG News | 10 Nov, 2017 11:14 - Updated: 11:14 | | |

  • 249.70
  • 1.71%4.20
  • Max: 251.75
  • Min: 244.05
  • Volume: 26,148,650
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:20 22/11/17
  • 939.00
  • -1.00%-9.50
  • Max: 948.50
  • Min: 939.00
  • Volume: 2,352,610
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:18 22/11/17
  • 156.80
  • 2.42%3.70
  • Max: 158.00
  • Min: 153.40
  • Volume: 2,338,391
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:17 22/11/17
  • 30.64
  • 0.36%0.11
  • Max: 31.02
  • Min: 30.22
  • Volume: 456,066
  • MM 200 : n/a
23:26 22/11/17
  • 7,419.02
  • 0.10%7.68
  • Max: 7,460.91
  • Min: 7,410.38
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:20 22/11/17
  • 6,386.12
  • 0.12%7.49
  • Max: 6,391.16
  • Min: 6,371.74
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
23:26 22/11/17
  • 3,480.76
  • 0.33%11.45
  • Max: 3,492.14
  • Min: 3,464.21
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:20 22/11/17
  • 20,013.86
  • 0.35%69.88
  • Max: 20,059.37
  • Min: 19,943.89
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:20 22/11/17
  • 1,521.75
  • -0.24%-3.70
  • Max: 1,532.35
  • Min: 1,521.71
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:25 22/11/17
  • 7,268.89
  • 0.02%1.41
  • Max: 7,299.59
  • Min: 7,243.06
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:20 22/11/17
  • 2,906.42
  • 1.80%51.44
  • Max: 2,927.68
  • Min: 2,839.65
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:20 22/11/17
  • 4,127.98
  • 0.15%6.01
  • Max: 4,147.16
  • Min: 4,121.95
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:20 22/11/17
  • 4,076.76
  • 0.16%6.31
  • Max: 4,094.81
  • Min: 4,070.45
  • Volume: 0
  • MM 200 : n/a
17:30 22/11/17

Broadband and landline customers will get money back from their providers when things go wrong, without having to claim it, following an Ofcom review, the regulator has confirmed.

In an update on Friday, Ofcom said telecoms companies had not always kept pace with the increasing needs of customers when it comes to service quality, adding that many customers were not getting the standard they expect, or being adequately compensated when service falls short.

Earlier this year, Ofcom set out plans for people to be compensated automatically by providers for slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations, meaning credit on a customer’s account without the customer needing to ask.

As a result of those plans, BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet – who together serve around 90% of landline and broadband customers in the UK – have now agreed to introduce automatic compensation, which will reflect the harm consumers suffer when things go wrong.

For service that has stopped working and is not fully fixed after two full working days, customers could receive £8 for each calendar day that the service is not repaired.

If an engineer does not turn up for a scheduled appointment, or it is cancelled with less than 24 hours of notice, a customer could get £25 per missed appointment.

Finally, if a provider promises to start a new service on a particular date, but fails to do so, the customer could get £5 for each calendar day of the delay, including the missed start date.

At present, Ofcom says compensation is paid out in around 15% of cases of landline or broadband customers suffering slow repairs, delayed installations or missed engineer appointments; and even then, it was only in small amounts.

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

“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.

“People will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service.”

The regulator did say that launching the “first ever” automatic compensation scheme for telecoms customers would be complex, and required “significant changes” to providers’ billing systems, online accounts and call centres.

As a result, there would be a 15-month implementation period before it comes into effect to ensure a smooth introduction.

Consumers currently experiencing problems could find advice on Ofcom’s website on what to do if they were unhappy with the service they receive.

“We are pleased that compensation for poor broadband is going to become automatic, as it is now such an essential part of all of our everyday lives,” said Alex Neill, managing director of home services at consumer advice organisation Which?.

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

Ofcom said it will closely monitor the industry scheme, and review it one year after being implemented to ensure it was working for consumers.

More news

00:20 US close: Wall Street mixed ahead of Thanksgiving holiday

Wall Street finished mixed on Wednesday, following the record highs set the day before and amid lighter-than-usual trading volumes ahead of the Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday.

22 Nov Jefferies upgrades Kingfisher to 'buy', raises target price

Analysts at Jefferies upgraded home improvement products retailer Kingfisher (KGF) to 'buy' from its previous 'hold' rating on Wednesday, raising its target price from 310p to 400p along the way.

22 Nov Europe close: German stocks give back gains amid political impasse

Stocks ended the session modestly lower as traders waited for the release of the minutes of the US Federal Reserve's last rate-setting meeting in the evening and monitored the news-flow out of Germany, amid speculation that a 'grand coalition' between Germany's two main political parties, the centre-right CDU/CSU and the Socialist SPD, may yet be possible.

22 Nov Lebanon prime minister Hariri retracts resignation

Saad al-Hariri has revoked his resignation as Lebanon's prime minister, according to a local news report on Wednesday.

22 Nov Budget: Planning probe spooks builders, mixed reaction for stamp duty cut

A range of new housing policies were proposed by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Budget statement, including more funds for smaller housebuilder, a probe into potential holding of land by major housebuilders and a stamp duty cut for first-time buyers.

22 Nov US open: Shares hold ground ahead of FOMC minutes

Wall Street is holding its ground following the record highs set the day before, albeit amid lighter than usual trading volumes ahead of the Thanksgiving Holiday on Thursday, with investors looking to the release of the minutes of the most recent meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee.

22 Nov London close: Stocks higher on UK budget

Shares closed higher on Wednesday as investors sifted through corporate releases as well as the Autumn Budget.

22 Nov FTSE 250 movers: Qinetiq boosted by Berenberg note as Thomas Cook tanks

The FTSE 250 index was up around 0.50% on the day in which Chancellor Philip Hammond revealed his budget for the upcoming year.

22 Nov Higher margins offset declining sales volumes at Cambria

Motor dealer Cambria Automobiles managed to successfully grow profit and revenue throughout the financial year, as per-unit profits counteracted a slide in sales volumes.

22 Nov First production at Texas asset transforms Pantheon Resources into full-cycle energy and power business

Oil and gas exploration firm Pantheon Resources announced "another year of progress" in its full-year results on Wednesday, as it completed the transition from a pure-play exploration company to a full-cycle energy and power business.