Broadband Providers Will Now Pay Daily Compensation When Internet Goes Down
You know the drill: your internet's down and you have to spend hours on the phone trying to get the problem fixed and your money back. Infuriating? Industry watchdogs agreed and, as of today, thousands of broadband and landline customers will be able to automatically get money back from their providers when things go wrong without having to lift a finger (or a phone to their ear).
Regulator Ofcom ruled that, as of Monday, April 1st, customers who experience repair delays, installations or missed engineer appointments will get stronger rights to refunds when things go wrong without having to spend time chasing them.
Ofcom stated that there are 7.2 million cases each year where broadband and landline customers suffer delayed repairs, installations or missed appointments.
But only one in seven households who experience those annoying issues actually receive a refund - and even then the amount is usually minimal.
The guidelines mean that all the UK's largest broadband and landline providers have agreed to compensate customers when they experience delays without them having to ask - because time is money, people.
The service-providing giants who have signed up account for more than 95% of broadband and landline customers in the UK and include BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet.
And Ofcom announced today that Hyperoptic and Vodafone have also agreed to the terms and will join the compensation scheme later this year.
The new scheme could see customers benefit from £142m in payments. That's nine times more than the amount they receive today.
Ofcom chief executive, Sharon White 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."
Ofcom have promised to monitor companies' compliance with the scheme and report on how it's working next year. If customers are not being treated fairly, it will step in and take action.
So how much should you expect if something goes wrong? Delayed repair following loss of service will be £8 for each calendar day that the service is not repaired, you'll receive £25 per missed appointment and £5 per calendar day if there's a delay in the start of a new service (including the missed start date).
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