Brits set for £142m windfall as broadband firms are forced to pay automatic compensation

Oliver Gill
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It could be as late as 2019 before the new rules are fully in force (Source: Getty)

Britain's broadband firms will automatically compensate customers for repair delays, missed appointments and problems starting a new service.

Set out by telecoms regulator Ofcom, the new rules will see Britons pocket an estimated £142m in redress – around nine times what they currently receive.

The regulator has agreed compensation levels with the main providers of the UK broadband and landline network: BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet.

Customers will receive £8 per calendar day for delays following a loss of service. If a provider fails to start a new service on time £5 per day will be paid and £25 must be handed over for every missed appointment by an engineer.

Read more: Vodafone to roll out Virgin Media-style broadband to 5m UK homes


However, there is a small catch.

Because launching the automatic compensation scheme "will be complex, and require significant changes to providers’ billing systems", there will be a 15-month implementation period.

This means money may not start flowing back to frustrated consumers until 2019.

(Source: Ofcom)

Ofcom consumer group director Lindsey Fussell said: “Waiting too long for your landline or broadband to be fixed is frustrating enough, without having to fight for compensation."

Alex Neill, a managing director of home services at consumer website Which added: “We are pleased that compensation for poor broadband is going to become automatic, as it is now such an essential part of all of our everyday lives."

Read more: Prove it or move it: Internet firms forced to reveal real broadband speeds

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