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Ofcom compensation rules go live for broadband and landline customers

From today, broadband and landline customers in the United Kingdom will be able to get compensation from providers more easily when things go wrong, without the need to fight for it. If your landline or broadband service suffers due to delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments, today’s changes will see you get fair compensation without even having to ask.

According to the regulator, Ofcom, several companies including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media, Hyperoptic, Vodafone, and Zen Internet have already signed up to the scheme. Ofcom says that Hyperoptic and Vodafone only signed up to the scheme yesterday and will, therefore, begin automatic payouts later in the year.

Image via Ofcom

Ofcom has set out how much compensation customers will get based on the situation. For example, if the service has stopped working and is not fully fixed after 48 hours then customers will receive £8 for each calendar day that the service is not repaired. If an engineer misses an appointment or cancels with less than a day’s notice, the customer is eligible for £25 per missed appointment. Finally, if the provider delays the start of a new service, customers will receive £5 for each missed day, including the start date.

Commenting on the new rules, Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said:

“We think it’s unacceptable that people should be kept waiting for a new line, or a fault to be fixed. These new protections mean phone and broadband firms will want to avoid problems occurring in the first place. But if they fall short, customers must be treated fairly and given money back, without having to ask for it. We welcome the companies’ commitment to this scheme, which acts as a strong incentive to improve service for customers.”

Over the next year, Ofcom will watch how well companies comply with the scheme and follow up with a report next year explaining how well, or not, the scheme is working. Ofcom said that if customers aren’t being treated fairly then it’ll step in.

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