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Guide to automatic broadband and landline compensation

>If you’ve ever been frustrated by a broadband or landline fault that left you without service, or an engineer who failed to turn up to an appointment, you’ll be pleased to learn that some providers will soon be required to automatically compensate us when problems occur.

Anyone with a residential broadband service could qualify for a payment. But when does broadband compensation begin, when and how does it pay out and how much could you receive? In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the forthcoming automatic broadband and landline compensation scheme.

When did automatic compensation start?

The broadband automatic compensation scheme began in 2019. Ofcom says it will be monitoring the progress and review it after a year to ensure it’s working as planned.

The compensation scheme is voluntary, however so far BT, Virgin Media, Sky, TalkTalk and Zen Internet have agreed to join, and together these providers account for around 90% of residential broadband customers in the UK.

Am I entitled to automatic compensation?

Automatic compensation will be paid under the following circumstances:

Problem A landline or broadband customer would be entitled to compensation if... Amount of compensation
Delayed repair following loss of service. Their service has stopped working and it is not fully fixed after two full working days. £8 for each calendar day that the service is not repaired.
Missed appointments. An engineer does not turn up for a scheduled appointment, or it is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice. £25 per missed appointment.
Delays with the start of a new service. Their provider promises to start a new service on a particular date, but fails to do so. £5 for each calendar day of delay, including the missed start date.

Compensation for an internet outage is available to anyone with a residential broadband contract, however, as mentioned above the scheme is a voluntary program.

If your ISP is not one of the providers which have agreed to automatic compensation you can still try to pursue a complaint to get compensation, but you will not benefit from automatic payments.

How will I receive the automatic compensation money?

You will get compensation as a credit to your broadband account, so the amount will be deducted from your next bill.

Is my provider offering automatic compensation?

The automatic compensation scheme is currently available to customers of the following providers:

Why am I not entitled to automatic compensation?

As detailed in the table above automatic compensation will be paid for delays to repairs, delays to the activation of a new broadband service, and missed engineer appointments.

The compensation applies when the ISP or network operator is responsible and fails to remedy the issue promptly. It cannot be claimed if a fault is caused by something outside the control of the ISP or network. This means you will not be able to claim compensation for faults caused by a third party, problems with a broadband router, or problems caused by software.

Can I get compensation from my mobile contract?

At this time the automatic compensation scheme only applies to fixed-line broadband and telephone services. If you have a problem with a mobile phone or mobile broadband service you should contact the provider and, if necessary, follow their complaint procedure to pursue a remedy.

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