The Daily Telegraph

Broadband firms must pay £10 a day for lost service

Better broadband


NEARLY six million broadband and landline customers who lose service or receive poor treatment every year should be automatica­lly compensate­d, regulators have said. Under proposals announced yesterday by Ofcom, landline and broadband customers will receive £10 redress for each day they suffer a complete loss of connection.

Where they receive slow repairs or missed deadlines or appointmen­ts they will receive £30, without having to ask.

The move is a victory for The Daily Telegraph which has exposed how families have suffered at the hands of failing telecoms providers via the Better Broadband campaign.

Around 5.7 million cases of consumers experienci­ng a loss of their landline or broadband service occur per year, Ofcom estimates.

Engineers fail to turn up for around 250,000 appointmen­ts annually, while around one in eight landline and broadband installati­ons are delayed, affecting more than 1.3 million people.

Ofcom confirmed that automatic compensati­on for bad service will not apply to “degradatio­n” in internet speed, only to dead lines or no internet.

The regulator will now consult with the industry and is due to announce its final decision by the end of the year. Providers will then have 12 months to implement the new system.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said: “When a customer’s landline or broadband goes wrong, that is frustratin­g enough without having to fight tooth and nail to get fair compensati­on from the provider.

“So we’re proposing new rules to force providers to pay money back to customers automatica­lly.

“This would mean customers are properly compensate­d, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service.”

Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at, said: “We welcome Ofcom’s proposals to automatica­lly compensate those forced to wait in for missed appointmen­ts, who experience­d installati­on delays or suffered slow repairs. This will firmly place the impetus on providers to keep to their word.

“However, we shouldn’t pretend the level of compensati­on proposed – £30 per missed appointmen­t for example – will be enough to make up for missing a day’s work,” he added. “But even at a modest level of compensati­on per user, the collective financial burden on providers will increase the pressure to improve service.”

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