Ofcom – automatic compensation for landline and broadband customers
Landline and broadband customers who suffer slow repairs, or missed deadlines or appointments, should receive money back from their provider, without having to ask.
This is the proposal put forward by Ofcom which wants providers to pay automatic compensation – either a cash payment, or a credit on a bill – when, for example:
· their landline or broadband is not fixed quickly enough after it has stopped working;
· their new landline or broadband service is not up and running on the day promised;
· an engineer doesn’t arrive for an appointment as scheduled.
Ofcom estimates that the plans would mean up to 2.6 million additional landline and broadband customers could receive up to £185 million in new compensation payments each year.
The regulator’s analysis also suggests that each year:
· there are 5.7 million cases of consumers experiencing a loss of their landline or broadband service;
· engineers failed to turn up for around 250,000 appointments;
· around one in eight landline and broadband installations were delayed (12%), affecting more than 1.3 million people.
Ofcom is also proposing that all SMEs should benefit from clearer, more detailed information upfront about the service on offer – including whether they are entitled to compensation, and how much, when problems occur.
The proposals include a call for greater transparency which should help SMEs to compare the service quality and compensation arrangements for different contracts, and choose the one that best meets the needs of their business.
A consultation on the proposals is open until 5th June 2017 and Ofcom says it will publish a decision statement around the end of the year.