Money Wellness
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calendar icon16 Apr 2024

Are you missing out on compensation for failed broadband in the UK?

Broadband customers who suffer service failures may be missing out on money they’re owed because they’re not aware of their rights to automatic compensation. This is a scheme from the regulator Ofcom that means broadband and landline customers will get money back from their provider when things go wrong, without having to ask for it.

How does automatic compensation work?

This scheme was launched in 2019 to handle widespread service failings. The idea was that customers let down by their internet service providers (ISPs)  could get suitable redress without having to make a claim.

 Under this scheme, customers should get set daily payments of up to £9.76 if an internet outage isn’t fixed after two days, or if an installation date is missed.

 Customers should also be paid £30.49 if an appointment is missed or cancelled at the last minute

 But according to campaigners as complaints rise, unclear rules are allowing companies to get out of paying up as well as customers lacking the information they need to challenge them.

 Consumer advice group Broadband Savvy states, “We’ve seen a 33% increase in requests for help this year, compared to 2023. There’s been numerous instances where the ombudsman has found in the ISP’s favour, despite it leaving the consumer offline for months for no good reason. And when it does uphold a customer complaint, it has no real power to force the provider to act, said founder Tom Paton.

 According to consumer rights expert Martyn James the voluntary code of practice be replaced by legally-binding regulations: “If the rules are open to interpretation, businesses can get out of paying,” he said. “Most customers will give up when turned down with a poor excuse, or offered a rubbish settlement, as they’ll take the ISP’s word for it.”

Ofcom has said that customers are encouraged to get in touch with problems to help it monitor compliance in the scheme.

 Find out more about the automatic compensation scheme.

Avatar of Lydia Bell-Jones

Lydia Bell-Jones

With a background in banking, Lydia has been writing professionally for over five years. She is passionate about helping people improve their personal finances and has a particular interest in the connection between money and mental health.

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