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Guide to automatic broadband compensation

Compensation award

Having to deal with a broadband or home phone fault that's left you without service is frustrating. And don't get us started on having to deal with an engineer who hasn’t turned up for an appointment.

These are things that can affect your home life and cause problems. So, you’ll be pleased to learn that some broadband service providers are required to automatically compensate us when these hiccups happen. Anyone with a residential broadband service could be entitled to a payment. 

In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the automatic broadband and landline compensation scheme. We'll tackle the big questions such as when does broadband compensation begin, how does it pay, and how much could you receive?

Automatic broadband compensation: the key points

  • Automatic compensation is available to customers of BT, EE, Hyperoptic, Plusnet, Sky, NOW Broadband, TalkTalk, Utility Warehouse, Vodafone, Zen Internet, and Virgin Media.
  • Compensation is paid for delayed installations, delayed repairs, and missed engineer visits.
  • Compensation is paid as a bill credit, reducing the cost of your next broadband bill.

When did automatic compensation start?

The broadband automatic compensation scheme began in 2019. Ofcom, who are the UK’s communications regulator, is regularly reviewing it and may introduce changes to the way it works. 

Am I entitled to automatic compensation?

The Ofcom Automatic Compensation Scheme will pay out in the following circumstances:

Compensation amounts last checked April 2024
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's not fully fixed after two full working days. £9.76 for each calendar day that the service isn't repaired.
Missed appointments. An engineer doesn't turn up for a scheduled appointment, or it’s cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice. £30.49 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. £6.10 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 with one of the enrolled providers. It doesn’t matter which type of broadband you have. Both standard ADSL internet and fibre broadband customers will receive the same compensation.

Be aware, the term 'automatic' is slightly misleading. You'll need to start this process by reporting the fault whilst the issue is still active.

If your ISP isn’t one of the providers which have agreed to automatic compensation, you can still try to pursue a complaint to get compensation, but you won’t benefit from automatic payments.

  • What does ADSL mean?

    ADSL stands for ‘Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line’. It’s broadband technology that allows the transfer data across regular telephone lines. You can make calls at the same time as being connected to the internet.

    An ADSL line will, at minimum, allow for a broadband connection of up to 8Mb. These days, that’s pretty slow and won’t allow you to do much other than emailing or basic web searches.

    ADSL2+ is now available at nearly all exchanges across the UK with slightly faster data transfer rates of around 10-11Mb.

How will I receive the automatic compensation money?

The automatic compensation is provided as a bill credit. This means that however much you’re granted, it will be taken off your next bill.

Is my broadband provider offering automatic compensation?

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

Dynamic deal panel

Why am I not entitled to automatic compensation?

Automatic compensation will be paid for delays to repairs, delays to the activation of new broadband service, and missed engineer appointments.

The compensation applies when the internet service provider or network operator is responsible, but fails to fix the issue promptly. It can't be claimed if a fault is caused by something outside the control of the ISP or network.

This means you won’t be able to claim compensation for broadband, phone line or Wi-Fi faults caused by a third party, problems with a broadband router, or problems caused by software.

Can I get compensation for my mobile contract?

At this time, the automatic compensation scheme only applies to fixed-line broadband and landline customers. If you have a problem with a mobile phone or mobile broadband service, you should contact the provider.

Expert Summary

If you’ve had problems with your broadband, then you might be able to receive compensation. However, there are some limitations in place. If your problems were caused by a third party or are with your broadband router, then you won’t be entitled to any compensation.

But if the issue lies with the line and the repairs were delayed, or if an engineer missed an appointment, then you will be able to get some money back in the form of a bill credit. This means that your compensation will be given in the form of money off your next bill. You can also get some money if there’s a delay in the activation of your service.

If your provider isn’t signed up for this automatic compensation scheme, you can still pursue a complaint. You’ll just have to do so by contacting your provider. You should also contact your provider even if they are part of the scheme if these problems keep occurring, as you may be entitled to leave your contract without paying an early termination fee.

Meet the author:

Contributor

Matt has been working with Broadband Genie since 2009. A lifelong tech enthusiast, he has 20 years of experience writing about technology for print and online.


Specialist subject: The technicalities of broadband

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