Telecoms customers in the UK who experience poor landline or broadband service could be subject to automatic compensation under new proposals made by regulator Ofcom.

Providers may be forced to automatically issue a cash payment or credit the affected consumer’s bill in the event of disruption.

Circumstances that would be covered by the proposals would include delays in repairs to or availability of the service.

It would also include when an engineer fails to attend a scheduled appointment.

Ofcom suggested that the penalties could be set at £10 for every calendar day that a service is not repaired, £30 per missed appointment and £6 for each day that the start of a new service is delayed.

This would remove the complicated complaints procedures currently required, according to the regulator.

Ofcom figures suggest that up to an additional £185 million could be paid back to up to 2.6 consumers each year if the plans are put into place.

Currently, the regulator said, there are 5.7 million cases of consumers experiencing a loss of their landline or broadband service, 250,000 missed appointments and 1.3 million people experiencing delays in landline or broadband installations.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “When a customer’s landline or broadband goes wrong, that is frustrating enough without having to fight tooth and nail to get fair compensation from the provider.

“So we’re proposing new rules to force providers to pay money back to customers automatically, whenever repairs or installations don’t happen on time, or when people wait in for an engineer who doesn’t turn up.

“This would mean customers are properly compensated, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service.”

The consultation on the proposals will be open until 5 June 2017 with a decision statement made at the end of the year.

BT, Sky and Virgin Media have put forward draft proposals for a voluntary industry code of practice. However, Ofcom said that these proposals do not meet its concerns.

Ofcom has begun the year by handing out a series of major fines to UK providers.

In January, it fined EE £2.7 million for overcharging tens of thousands of customers in 2014 and 2015.

Earlier this week, Plusnet was handed a £880,000 fine for continuing to charge a group of customers after they had cancelled their contract.

More News

Iliad enters content game in France, finally launches Italian mobile business Iliad enters content game in France, finally launches Italian mobile business Iliad has acquired football rights in France and launched its opco in Italy as it looks to reboot after a disappointing set of financial results. More detail
Three UK appoints new CCO, CFO Three UK appoints new CCO, CFO The departure of Three UK's Chief Commercial Officer after just 18 months in the job has triggered a shake-up of the mobile operator's top team. More detail
TalkTalk to sell enterprise customer base to Daisy as it registers full-year loss TalkTalk to sell enterprise customer base to Daisy as it registers full-year loss TalkTalk has agreed to sell 80,000 business customers to rival Daisy Group in a £175 million deal. More detail
A1 Telekom Austria Group rebrand reaches Bulgaria A1 Telekom Austria Group rebrand reaches Bulgaria Bulgaria is the third A1 Telekom Austria Group opco to get rebranded as the telco looks to market itself as a provider of "advanced" IT, IoT, cloud and content services. More detail
Orange Business Services puts IoT to use on saving ships’ fuel costs Orange Business Services puts IoT to use on saving ships’ fuel costs Orange Business Services has expanded its work with Dobroflot by developing a customised IoT solution for the Russian fishing company. More detail
    

 

European Communications is now
Mobile Europe and European Communications

  

From June 2018, European Communications magazine 
has merged with its sister title Mobile Europe, into 
Mobile Europe and European Communications.

No more new content is being published on this site - 

for the latest news and features, please go to:
www.mobileeurope.co.uk 

 

@eurocomms