Most broadband and landline users to get automatic compensation from 2019

Customers would be entitled to £25 compensation very time an engineer misses an appointment

Following a consultation on the matter, the watchdog has announced that BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have agreed to pay their users compensation in the event of delays.

However, while customers will welcome the introduction of this new scheme.

Ofcom says mobile customers aren't covered by the new automatic compensation scheme as they are less likely to lose service for more than 24 hours, and now receive more compensation than broadband and landline customers.

A quarter of people who have had a missed appointment said they took a wasted day off work to wait at home for a broadband or phone line engineer who never showed up.

Ofcom and most of the UK's major broadband providers have settled on a structure for automatic compensation payments for service problems. If a phone or broadband connection goes down, and isn't "fully" fixed within two working days, for each subsequent day that the connection isn't functional, the customer will get £8. Refunds also only start applying after service has been down for 48 hours.

Waiting too long for your landline or broadband to be fixed is frustrating enough, without having to fight for compensation.

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For as game-changing as high-speed internet access was to the world, it continues to be a frustration for so many as broadband is the most unreliable of utilities.

The regulator on Friday said that automatic compensation will be handed out for slow repairs, missed appointments and delayed installations.

She said that under the new rules, "people will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service".

"For all consumers to get what they're entitled to, it's vital that all providers play fair and sign up to this scheme".

Cable consumer telecoms analyst Dan Howdle said: "This should be viewed more as a way to force providers to spend money improving service-levels across the next 15 months (when these measures will finally be implemented) so these problems do not occur in the first place - to vastly increase the cost of their failure". The regulator says it will monitor the scheme and review it a year after implementation to make sure it is working for customers otherwise it will step in. EE and Plusnet are expected to join at a later date.

In addition to residential customers the new plans are also set to benefit small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), as over a third choose to residential landline and broadband services.

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