Delayed repairs to your broadband? You'll now get automatic compensation

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It could be as late as 2019 before the new rules are fully in force

Communications regulator, Ofcom, today announced that broadband and landline customers will get money back from providers when they experience poor service or performance without having to claim the money back.

Now only one in seven customers experiencing these problems will be paid any compensation and it is typically paid at a lower rate. Now, it several major ISPs, including BT, Sky, Virgin Media and TalkTalk, have agreed to be part of this new scheme. Ofcom revealed that now only one in seven cases reported of broadband problems are compensated, usually in small amounts. If an engineer doesn't turn up for an appointment, or cancels less than 24 hours before they were due to show, that's £25 headed your way.

"The new code extends our customers' ability to hold us to account and get adequate compensation in the unlikely event that our services do not live up to the high standards we always strive to deliver". If a phone or broadband connection goes down, and isn't "fully" fixed within two working days, for each subsequent day that the connection isn't functional, the customer will get £8.

Problem: a delay to the start of a new service.

Waiting too long for your landline or broadband to be fixed is frustrating enough, without having to fight for compensation. But by 2019, United Kingdom customers can expect timely fixes for the broadband ... or automatic money back in their accounts.

The proposed compensation plan will also bring benefits to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) because many still choose to operate using residential landline and broadband services.

Rob Hilborn, head of strategy at broadband comparison site Broadband Genie, said: "Delayed repairs, missed appointments and slow setups can really put people out, possibly making them lose faith in their provider". If one of the included ISPs says that your broadband or landline will be connected on a specific day and misses that date, then you'll get £5 for each day you aren't connected, including the missed starting date. Though Plusnet and EE have also indicated they will join the scheme in the future. MD of Home Services, added: "For all consumers to get what they're entitled to, it's vital that all providers play fair and sign up to this scheme". Gillian Guy, chief executive of the organisation, said Citizens Advice will be "looking closely" at Ofcom's full review of the scheme after 12 months to ensure it works for consumers.

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