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Ofcom Increase Automatic Compensation Payments from UK ISPs

Friday, April 1st, 2022 (5:00 pm) - Score 2,424
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One of the few positives to come from the recent inflation surge is that Ofcom has just increased the payment amounts issued to consumers under their automatic compensation system, which requires some UK ISPs to compensate customers (cash or bill credits) for broadband connectivity mishaps and delivery delays.

The voluntary system, which first launched on 1st April 2019 (full summary here), was until today designed to compensate consumers by £8.06 per day for delayed repairs following a loss of broadband (assuming it isn’t fixed within 2 working days). Missed appointments can also attract compensation of £25.18 and a delay to the start of a new service would be £5.04 per day.

NOTE: The Consumer Prices Index rose by 4.2% in the 12 months to October 2021.

At present this is supported by most of the major ISPs including BT, Hyperoptic, Sky Broadband (inc. NOW Broadband), TalkTalk, Utility Warehouse, Virgin Media, Vodafone, EE and Zen Internet. However, the amount that ISPs are required to pay out typically increase from 1st April each year based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) as of 31st October in the previous year (even if the ISP’s own retail prices have reduced).

The good news for consumers is that Ofcom has just implemented this change, which means that – from today – broadband providers must now pay out £8.40 per day for delayed repairs, £26.24 for missed appointments and £5.25 per day for a delay to the start of a new service.

On the other hand, this will only discourage more ISPs from joining – especially smaller providers – given the high cost and technical requirements (new systems needed etc.) of supporting such a scheme. We should point that some of those self-excluded providers already have their own approaches to compensation.

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By Mark Jackson
Mark is a professional technology writer, IT consultant and computer engineer from Dorset (England), he also founded ISPreview in 1999 and enjoys analysing the latest telecoms and broadband developments. Find me on Twitter, , Facebook and Linkedin.
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12 Responses
  1. J says:

    This would be completely reasonable… if people actually paid £8.40/day for internet. Ofcom are setting a false value of the internet compared to what people actually pay.

    1. WibbledOff says:

      Your comment makes no sense as it’s unlikely that most people are going to be paying more than 200 pounds a month for Internet. Lol

    2. Anon says:

      @J I agree – I personally pay about £12

      @WibbledOff – I know right! I pay DOUBLE that but I have no idea if I get anything back above and beyond the 5 hour fix time.

    3. Lucian says:

      With many of us working from home, I welcome the increase.
      If my Internet goes down for the day my troubles will be far more than £8.

    4. CarlT says:

      It does seem crazy when most people are paying maybe £30 a month.

      It’s not great for providers given they probably don’t own the access network and issues probably aren’t their fault. A customer loses light there’s nothing other than reporting the fault to the network provider an ISP may do.

  2. J says:

    Exactly so why should someone get 8x daily compensation when they should just pay for a second diverse connection as a backup like 4g/5g

    1. Tech3475 says:

      @J

      The high fee is likely meant to in part incentivise quick repairs as well as compensation for any inconvenience caused.

      I’d also rather receive financial compensation as opposed to a 4G backup supplied by the ISP, since I’m in a very mixed area for mobile data and the ISP supplied option may not be good enough.

  3. Chris Sayers says:

    My view these payments are “Fines/Penalty Payments” direct to the customer, these fines focus the ISP to repair the fault in a timely manner.

    1. Mark Jackson says:

      The catch there is that often, particularly on Openreach’s network, the faults are not caused by the ISP itself. But these are all debates that were covered and occurred back in 2018/19.

    2. Iain says:

      Indeed Mark, but the obvious answer there is compensation from Openreach to the ISPs. (I can’t remember the details of the debate from 2018/2019, but this won’t be an original thought.)

    3. CarlT says:

      Ouch. Who installed and broke the Openreach service? That when they did the final drop and connected up the home?

  4. plunet says:

    I had a fault on my broadband just before Christmas, which wasn’t fixed until after the new year. To their credit Vodafone did pay me the delayed repair compensation without me asking for 9 days, I am not sure why it was 9 as the fault lasted for 12 days and in theory I might have been good for 11 days, but I assume the various bank holidays probably caused the clock to start late on the fault, but didn’t impact the number of fault days once the clock had started.

    I also received the payment despite me having 4G backup from Vodafone as part of my contract and me motoring through many 10s of G of their 4G data over the holiday period.

    I did think to read the OFCOM rules regarding compensation and did feed back to them that it wasn’t obvious from the wording of the rules did not make it explicit whether weekends and bank holidays counted for fault days, and if you remained connected via a backup 4G service if that would have any impact on compensation payments.

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