Big players including BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet joined the non-compulsory scheme set up by Ofcom. It provides customers with varying levels of compensation when faults disrupt connectivity and regular broadband services.
According to a survey carried out by Ofcom, there are in excess of 7.2 million such cases each year. It says broadband or landline customers suffer missed appointments, and delayed repairs and installations, frequently. Only one in seven customers receiving compensation for these problems and inconveniences.
“New regulations cover delayed repairs, a loss of connection and repair teams failing to visit the premises when an appointment has been made.”
Following a consultation around broadband and landline services and the enforcement of formal regulations, many of the larger providers approached Ofcom independently with an offer to pay compensation to their customers in the event of problems.
This voluntary automatic compensation code of practice was released back in 2017. But each provider has a different process and compensation strategy, so many customers are still in the dark about what they can be compensated for and to what amount.
To help shed a bit more light, we’ve created a quick guide to broadband compensation to give you a good overview of the regulations and what you can expect back from your provider, should problems arise.
Who is eligible for compensation?
Both business and personal broadband users are eligible for compensation. Situations that the new voluntary regulations usually cover include delayed repairs, a loss of connection and repair teams failing to visit the home or business premises when an appointment has been made.
As long as your provider acknowledges that there is a fault with your broadband service, you will be eligible for compensation.
What can I expect to get back?
The levels of compensation you can expect to receive will vary from provider to provider. Members of the Openreach network including TalkTalk, Sky, Zen Internet and BT all offer a flat rate of compensation depending on the issue.
For instance, under the terms of their compensation agreement, failure of an engineer to attend a scheduled repair or if they cancel a repair within 24-hours, means customers are entitled to a compensation payment of £25. This is automatically credited to your account.
“Many business users are still unhappy that the agreements do not adequately cover their needs and that they fall short of offering appropriate compensation levels.”
In the event of the broadband service being interrupted, a compensation payment of £8 per day will be levied if the problem is not fully fixed after two full days. There is also a £5 payment should new services fail to start on their agreed date.
This may seem like fair levels of compensation for individual customers who do not rely on their broadband connection for work, But for those business customers and those that work from home requiring a strong, reliable connection to carry out their work, the small amounts pale in comparison to the revenue lost while they wait for the situation to be remedied.
As these are voluntary agreements, many have questioned why Ofcom has chosen not to implement formal regulations for automatic compensation for the rest of the broadband providers operating in the UK. Responding that they felt it would be the fastest way of getting compensation in the pockets of users with 95% of households covered, many business users are still unhappy that the voluntary agreements do not adequately cover their needs and that they fall short of offering appropriate compensation levels.
What happens if my provider fails to give me any compensation?
Many more broadband providers have taken steps towards joining the Ofcom voluntary regulations, with Hyperoptic and Vodafone scheduled to provide automatic compensation payments to their customers later in the year. EE is lagging behind its competitors and is hoping to roll out a new scheme in 2020. PlusNet is committing as well, although they have failed to provide a timescale.
“Providers not already offering automatic compensation leave themselves at risk of shedding business.”
If your broadband provider has not been detailed in this article, it is advised that you contact them directly to ask about their plans to join the automatic compensation scheme. If they are not already members, this offers customers who are unhappy with their service provider a way to end their contract without fear of any additional charges.
What if I want to switch providers?
Ofcom has stated that they will be keeping a close eye on the members already taking part in the automatic compensation scheme to ensure that any compensation credits or payments are paid quickly and that fair levels are upheld across the board.
The providers that have not already chosen to offer automatic compensation and are failing to provide their customers with a good service leave themselves at risk of shedding business – new Ofcom regulations allow customers to get out of their contract at any point should they be unhappy.
If this is the case for your business, AmviaSearch makes it easy to track down and compare the best broadband deals on offer.
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Using the business location and a few other details, AmviaSearch provides a crystal clear and easy to understand comparison of the best providers. So, there's absolutely no reason why your businesses should put up with poor connectivity and a lack of automatic compensation.