United Kingdom regulator Ofcom has confirmed that broadband and landline customers will now get automatic compensation from their providers for missed appointments, slow repairs and delayed installations without having to file a claim.
Broadband and home phone customers with the biggest telecoms providers will soon be automatically compensated for poor service or missed appointments, under a new scheme which is set to be up and running by early 2019.
Today, compensation is paid out in only around one in seven cases of consumers suffering from slow repairs, missed appointments or delayed installations - something Ofcom is keen to address.
Britain's broadband firms will automatically compensate customers for fix delays, missed appointments and problems starting a new service.
Lindsay Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, said: "Providers will have to pay money back automatically, whenever repairs or installations don't happen on time, or an engineer doesn't turn up". But by 2019, United Kingdom customers can expect timely fixes for the broadband ... or automatic money back in their accounts.
Dan Howdle, consumer telecoms analyst at broadband comparison and advice site Cable.co.uk, said that Ofcom's decision should be viewed as a way to "force providers to spend money improving service-levels across the next 15 months". "People will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service". Complaining about what may be seen as minor issues can be a lengthy process, with minimal reward. We have always supported auto compensation because it's simply right that customers should be compensated when they don't get the service they pay for and when they experience disruption not of their own making, and they shouldn't have to fight for that compensation.
However, while customers will welcome the introduction of this new scheme.
While the new broadband compensation package is only available to residential customers, Ofcom believes a third of all SMEs now use these kinds of services. Despite the fact that many standard business contracts provide compensation for various only 49% of SME's did not know if they were entitled to compensation when service falls short.
Set out by telecoms regulator Ofcom, the new rules will see Britons pocket an estimated £142m in redress - around nine times what they now receive.