/ Technology

Win! Auto-compensation for bad broadband and landline service

Broadband compensation

The telecoms regulator Ofcom has announced today that it will introduce automatic compensation for broadband and landline customers. Is this good news for you?

Today we’ve welcomed a huge win for our broadband campaign as Ofcom has revealed plans for automatic compensation to be introduced across the broadband and landline market.

Currently, BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have signed up to this scheme. While these providers serve 90% of landline and broadband customers in the UK we want to see all providers signed up.

Auto-comp win

In recent years broadband has increasingly been seen as a third utility, and a vital one at that. People now value it just as much as energy or water. While expectations are rising, satisfaction is falling.

In our latest broadband customer satisfaction survey, only two providers achieved above the 70% satisfaction mark. And it would appear that the regulator would agree with this sentiment, it noted that that telecoms companies haven’t kept pace with customers’ needs when it comes down to the quality of service.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I will claim compensation when I believe I’m entitled to it. I submit for compensation for rail delays or problems on the tube, and I recently helped my parents claim compensation when their holiday was thrown into disarray in the British Airways IT meltdown.

There are, however, lots of people who don’t seek compensation when they deserve it. The process can be tedious and inaccessible and often people aren’t even aware what they are entitled to.

That’s why we have been campaigning for automatic compensation across a number of sectors, including the broadband and landline market. We believe that you’re let down by your provider, you should be adequately compensated without having to jump through hoops.

Well, Ofcom’s plans will see customers automatically compensated for slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations.

The automatic compensation will be a standard compensation amount across providers and come into effect in 15 months time. The regulator has outlined how this compensation scheme will work:

Getting better broadband

While today should be welcome news for those who are left frustrated by shoddy service from their broadband and landline provider, we need reassurance that all providers will play fair and sign up to this compensation scheme.

The regulator believes consumers will benefit from up to £142 million per year in automatic compensation payments, but fundamentally it’s important that this compensation acts as an incentive for providers improve their service levels and deliver genuinely better customer experience.

What do you make of today’s news? Is it a much needed boost for customer experience in the broadband market? Will it make lives easier for consumers to get the compensation they deserve and make providers smarten up on their customer service?


Brilliant News ‘ as i have have lost connection in the past for 11 days with BT and i never had no compensation ‘ even as from today my connection ain’t 100percent stable .

shame its not aimed at foretasted speeds isn’t it !

Our Broadband has been terrible since we moved in but we’ve been told that its like that for this area but there is nothing we can do, he advised us to call out broadband engineer but said theres little point. Talk talk haven’t exactly been helpful either, it took them nearly a week to get an engineer to test the line for us after continually being fobbed off by them and told that they’d look at it from their end, we are thinking of changing providers but dont see the point if the issue is the area

We were told by Sky and Talk Talk the problem was with our location relative to the local exchange and BT supply. Our speed was 1.7mbs. We changed to BT with a guaranteed 29 mbs. That is what we now have. My advice is check BT for your area.

I believe that TalkTalk have to rely on BT to put right faults, as they like most suppliers rent the lines from BT.

The lines are now Opereach, the exchanges are still BT.

When it comes to your broadband speed it all depends on how far out of town you are. If you have normal broadband (ADSL), then the further you are from the exchange, the slower the broadband will be. If you have a fibre service, then it’s the distance from the Openreach green cabinet serving your property that dictates the broadband speed. This is why Service providers advertise an “Upto” broadband speed….because every customer has a different length line, so will get a slightly different speed.

If you’re currently on ADSL, then you have to hope that Openreach will make provision for a Fibre service at some point.

Use this url to check what speeds you should get: https://www.dslchecker.bt.com/ – Check the VDSL section if you have full speed Fibre broadband (Upto 80mb), “ADSL2+” section if you’re on an “Upto 24mb service & “ADSL” if you’re on an upto 8mb service.

What I would like is not so big a margin when they promise a broadband speed and do not live up to it. The promised speed is often unobtainable.When they make a promised speed it should be obtainable regularly.

This is not a win at all . The providers will just move the costs from any compensation claims across to the consumer ,they will also make claiming akin to jumping through hoops . This is the U.K. just look how much insurance has risen over time since there have been more claims against the companies. The consumer never wins and never will until there is a fairer pricing system across the board for all services. Look at current broadband prices from different companies , all within a few pounds of each other , price fixing , poor service , lies about internet speed and consumers ripped off . Nothing changes in this country and this is just more false hopes for consumers.

10 November 2017

Spot on GA ! BT only guarantees 1/2 mb which is totally useless

Chris says:
10 November 2017

Great News!
We have had to put up with an appalling lack of service for years. We pay extortionate fees for a broadband speed less than 2.5Mbps, far slower than many third World countries!
Our line is constantly needing repaired for which I blame Openreach who always used to take ages to fix it until we changed from the Post Office to BT. It isn’t supposed to make any difference who your provider is, but it definitely does!
The engineers have failed to turn up for arranged appointments to fix our line several times, yet have the audacity to threaten to charge you if you are not at home when they turn up
Openreach is a total disgrace & BT are not far behind them!

david says:
10 November 2017

my broadband and I use the term loosely was down for 25 days, I received , wait for it 25 quid compensation , not even a months free rental, bt are a disgrace and I’m now with plusnet who are a bt subsidiary, same connection , same slow speed 4.72 and I live 70 yards from the main exchange for my town, cant get fibre as I stay in a block of flats, the whole service is a disgrace.

BT are Pathetic

When you run a speed check you need to use a computer connected to the router using an Ethernet cable to get an accurate reading. Checking via the routers WiFi will always result in a slower speed….no matter how far you are from the router.

You also need to keep the router turned on 24/7 & be aware of any noise on the telephone line. Noise can cause the broadband to lose connection, which in turn may result in a slower speed.

John Avery says:
10 November 2017

Well said GA

We sacked BT as we were so sick of being disconnected at random times despite our asking for engineers to come out. They agreed there was a fault but then sent the wrong engineer and then didn’t respond to our continued complaints when the fault wasn’t fixed.
We had to pay them, YES THEM, £100 to leave early our contract early and switch because we were so fed up. We still have a problem. We think it has to be the wires from the pole to our property as they are ancient. Will anyone come?
I doubt it.

Iain Anderson says:
10 November 2017

Compensation for a missed engineer visit should be the same as they charge us if we are not in ie £100+ . Offering us £25 is inadequate. We should also have compensation for intermittent slow broadband

What about those of us who get a very poor broadband speed? BT promised us that if we upgraded to BT Infinity we’d get at least 52mb. Our previous speed was 5mb, with BT Infinity it has now improved to a whole 9mb (on a good day) !!!! So they were not entirely honest with us and I feel it was mis-sold to us.

I’ve just gone through the ombudsman process with BT exactly because of issues that this compensation scheme should address. However, part of the problem I faced was with Openreach (which all broadband providers have to deal with) which the ombudsman has no influence over as they are not accountable to anyone. Will this scheme, albeit voluntary, include Openreach?

Speeds shoud be as advertised and paid for. I am still furious at being told my speed will of course drop at busy times… this was not on the box, and my payment does not decrease with my speeds. I also object to paying for the needed landline, and where previously I phoned for free, they now charge, sometimes as high as 50p a minute. We are simply money making machines for them.

Mike Cooke says:
10 November 2017

Maybe WE will fix their servers in Cardiff as when connected to there I get barely wired broadband yet alone fibre optic

Two working days needs amending …. that means if a problem occurs on Thursday or Friday it will be at least four days before they get penalised. We expect water and electricity to be repaired over the weekend so why not telecoms .. it’s also essential

When ever a fault is raised with Openreach by your provider, they will always give an “Estimated Time for Repair”. Unfortunately, if Openreach have a high work load in your area there’s a chance they may not repair the fault in time and it will roll over to the next day or sometimes the day after that. Only when Openreach have failed to meet 3 target times are Service Providers able to kick up a fuss.

I agree, Openreach should respond more quickly but it’s probably the amount of faults they have that stops them. If you don’t mind paying a small charge every month, you can ask your provider to change your Openreach Care Level to 4. This will get you a 6 hour target for clearing the fault, when logged at any time of day on any day of the year.

I think the highest problem is not getting the speeds being chardge for!
We should only be chardge accordingly.

I have been trying to get a workable speed broadband through BT for over 9 years now, still getting nowhere, currently 1.4 download and 0.8 upload speeds. My local MP has taken it up so has my councillor, hopefully I will get somewhere, but this will require an alternative provider to install the required fibre cable, so I’m not holding my breath

It may well be 8 years too late, Ted, but having struggled to get even a third of that for even longer I can confirm that there are routers out there specifically designed for longer lines that will provide better speeds. I had one that brought about a 100% improvement over the ISP provided router (giving me just half of your current speeds but wasn’t stable on a faulty line) and another that gave a very stable 50% improvement. I am sure the same could be effected for you too.

I cannot think of any other commodity or service for which we pay full price for half or even less of the commodity or service. Imagine having to pay for a full tank of petrol but receive only half the tank, paying for a pint in a half pint glass. Little wonder the providers are making money hand over fist.

Our main concern about our basic BT Broadband is that it is slow. It appears to correspond to their relentless requests for us to apply for a more expensive broadband service and it appears that the basic facility has deteriorated.

I have had Sky Broadband (as well as their TV & Landline) & it is brilliant – Good, Fast Speed & so far, 100% Reliable.

I previously had BT (Crap!) then Virgin (nearly as Crappy!) then Plusnet (The Worst) & finally Sky. Consistently high speed & no Breakdowns. Definitely Recommend them.

Geoff Gossage says:
10 November 2017

Great news,however. Broadband companies will want to keep their profits high, and therefore I cant help thinking that bills will rise to cover any compensation paid out for poor service.
THEY won’t want to lose out. I still don’t trust them.