Ofcom has suggested that broadband subscribers should receive automatic compensation for missed engineer appointments and slow broadband repairs.
Users ought to be entitled to automatic compensation if their landline or broadband isn't fixed quickly enough after it has stopped working, suggest Ofcom, or if their new landline or broadband service is not up and running on the day promised or an engineer doesn't arrive for an appointment, as scheduled, or cancels with less than 24 hours' notice.
Ofcom says that broadband issues must be fixed within two working days, and is proposing £10 for every calendar day that a service isn't repaired. It's also suggesting £30 cashback for missed appointments, and £6 per day for a new connection that hasn't been installed on time.
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," said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director.
"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."
Ofcom says BT, Sky and Virgin Media have already put forward a draft counter-pitch which would introduce automatic compensation through a voluntary industry code of practice.
This proposal offered to pay a minimum of £3 a day for missed service activation and delays to repairs, half the amount of Ofcom's proposal, and 20 quid for a missed appointment.
The watchdog has already rejected the counter-pitch, saying: "At this stage, we do not consider that this proposal sufficiently meets our concerns, when quality of service falls short." Ofcom is now holding a consultation, which will run until June 5th."
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