Broadband customers who are having internet problems are about to start getting refunds – without even having to ask.
At the moment, only about one in seven people who have internet or landline problems such as repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments are given any kind of compensation from the companies responsible, according to regulator Ofcom. Even if they do, the amounts are usually small.
But now customers will find themselves being given those refunds automatically, for any kind of broadband problems, Ofcom said.
For now, the regulation is only voluntary. The largest broadband and landline providers have all signed up, however, and Ofcom has suggested that further regulation could follow if this scheme is not successful.
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.”
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BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet had already signed up to the scheme, Ofcom said, adding that Hyperoptic and Vodafone had also agreed to the new terms, and will start paying compensation automatically later this year.
The firms that have signed up account for more than 95 per cent of broadband and landline customers in the UK.
As well as benefiting consumers, the scheme will help the many small and medium-sized enterprises that have residential landline and broadband services.
Additional reporting by Press Association
source : independent.co.uk