Failing broadband companies should automatically compensate customers, says Ofcom

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Broadband and mobile customers should be paid compensation automatically if they suffer from poor service, an industry watchdog said today.

Telecoms regulator Ofcom said this would ensure that consumers “who have experienced the inconvenience of service quality problems do not have to encounter further hassle in order to receive compensation.”

Under current rules customers have to make a time consuming complaint and “prove” they have lost out before being entitled to any money back. Ofcom pointed out that “automatic compensation” systems are already in place in the electricity, gas and water industries.

The proposal is included in the regulator’s Strategic Review of Digital Communications report published today. 

Richard Lloyd, executive director of consumer group Which? said: “People now see telecoms as essential services, so we welcome proposals to raise standards across the industry, with faster, more reliable broadband and automatic compensation for consumers when things go wrong.”

Ofcom also said that Openreach, the BT company that runs the UK’s broadband networks, must be opened up to more competition.

BT chief executive Gavin Patterson said: “Customer expectations have increased dramatically in recent years and we are keen to work with Ofcom and industry to meet those expectations.” 

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February 26, 2016 |
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