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Tuesday, 23 April

No Fooling - Broadband & Telephone Fault Compensation Agreed

Vofafone will pay fault compensation

No it's not an April Fool's day prank on those that work at home or SMEs - broadband and landline customers will get money back from Monday April 1 when things go wrong, without having to fight for it.

Previously, only around one in seven broadband or home phone customers who suffered delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments received compensation from their provider. And even when they did, this was only in small amounts.

So, Ofcom has intervened to ensure fairness for customers, while also giving companies a strong incentive to avoid delays in the first place.

The UK’s largest broadband and home phone firms have agreed to compensate customers when they experience these delays, without the customer having to ask.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet had already signed up to the scheme. On April 1, Ofcom announced that Hyperoptic and Vodafone have also signed up and will start paying compensation automatically later this year.

Together, the firms that have committed to the scheme account for more than 95% of broadband and home phone customers in the UK.

EE has agreed to the new terms and expects to be able to start paying compensation automatically next year. Plusnet has also committed to the scheme.

 

SMEs

The new scheme could see customers benefit from a total of £142 million in payments – around nine times the amount they received before. As well as consumers, it will benefit the many small and medium-sized businesses who use residential landline and broadband services.

 

This is how it works:

Image

 

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.”

 

Directory enquiries

A price cap on directory enquiry services also came into force on 1 April 1.

Picture: With thanks to Vofafone, one of the broadband and landline operators that will compensate customers when things go wrong.

Article written by Cathryn Ellis

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