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Ofcom: Broadband and landline customers to receive automatic refunds

Broadband and landline customers will get money back from their providers when things go wrong, without having to fight for it, from April 1, 2019.

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Five UK broadband and landline providers will be part of the scheme, which will see customers who experience delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments compensated without having to ask.

 

BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have joined Ofcom’s scheme, which is not compulsory.

 

Hyperoptic, Vodafone, EE and Plusnet have also committed to the plans and will start paying compensation automatically later this year.

 

Ofcom said the firms that have committed to the scheme account for more than 95 percent of broadband and home phone customers in the UK.

 

Previously, around one in seven broadband or home phone customers who suffered delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments received compensation from their provider.

 

Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, said: “We think it’s unacceptable that people should be kept waiting for a new line, or a fault to be fixed.

 

“These new protections mean phone and broadband firms will want to avoid problems occurring in the first place. But if they fall short, customers must be treated fairly and given money back, without having to ask for it.

 

“We welcome the companies’ commitment to this scheme, which acts as a strong incentive to improve service for customers.”

 

Ofcom added it would closely watch how companies comply with the scheme and will report next year on how it is working.

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