Compensation for bad internet service

Internet service providers could soon be forced to pay out around £185 million a year in compensation for slow repairs and missed appointments.
Under new proposals by telecoms watchdog Ofcom, landline and broadband customers would automatically receive money back from their provider without having to ask or go through a claims process.
Ofcom have said that customers could receive up to £185 million in compensation each year if their landline or broadband is not fixed quickly enough, is not working on the day it had been promised, or an engineer does not arrive at a scheduled appointment time.
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, whenever repairs or installations don't happen on time, or when people wait in for an engineer who doesn't turn up. This would mean customers are properly compensated, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service."
The amount of the compensation will be set by Ofcom and will reflect "the degree of harm suffered by the consumers".
Ofcom analysis suggests there are about 6 million cases of consumers losing their landline or broadband service every year, while engineers fail to turn up for around 250,000 appointments annually. In addition, around 1.3 million people are affected each year by delays in their landline and broadband installations, with one in eight installations being delayed.
Currently, compensation payments are given on an ad-hoc basis, with Ofcom saying only a minority of those suffering problems receive compensation. Financial compensation is paid in only 1.1 million cases, despite there being 7.2 million instances each year where landline or broadband customers suffer delays or missed appointments.
Research from business internet service provider Beaming found that British businesses lost £7 billion to internet outages in 2016, with over three quarters of businesses experiencing at least one connectivity failure.
The proposal would also benefit smaller businesses, According to Ofcom. "Our research found that 49% of SMEs were uncertain of their rights when providers fell short.”
Matt Hancock, the Minister for Digital and Culture said: “Too many people are suffering from poor customer service when things go wrong with their broadband and phone lines. These changes will help make sure people are not cut off from friends, family and work for days on end, and are properly compensated if problems aren’t fixed quickly enough.”

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