British telecom regulator Ofcom announced that operators will provide automatic cash back to broadband and landline customers if they face slow repair, poor response to appointment and delay in installations, without claiming it.
UK’s broadband and land-phone customers are set for £142 million in payouts – around 9 times the current level as major telecoms providers such as BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet agree to Ofcom’s requirements for automatic redress.
BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet together serve around 90 percent of landline and broadband customers in the UK.
The introduction of automatic compensation will be for consumers’ painful experience from telecom operators.
The compensation will be £8 per day if the service is not repaired and restored after two working days for solving the issue of the customer. £25 is the compensation per missed appointments. £5 per day is the compensation for delay in starting a new service.
At present, operators pay compensation in around one in seven cases (15 percent) of landline or broadband customers suffering slow repairs, delayed installations or missed engineer appointments; and even then, only in small amounts.
Launching the first ever automatic compensation scheme for telecoms customers require significant changes to providers’ billing systems, online accounts and call centres. Ofcom said there will be a 15-month implementation period before it comes into effect to ensure smooth introduction.
“Pproviders will have to pay money back automatically, whenever repairs or installations don’t happen on time, or an engineer doesn’t turn up,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director.