Broadband firms have agreed to provide customers with automatic compensation if they miss appointments or fail to repair or install services on time.
The move follows an intervention by telecoms regulator Ofcom and will cover the 90% of UK landline and broadband customers who use BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet.
Customers whose faults aren’t repaired within 2 working days will get an automatic credit of £8 on their account for each subsequent day’s delay, while customers whose initial installation date is missed will receive £5 for each day they’re without service.
Those customers whose engineer appointment is missed or is cancelled with less than 24 hours notice will get a £25 credit.
Currently only around one in seven customers receive compensation for delays and missed appointments, and Ofcom says even then these are paid “only in small amounts”.
The new system will ensure all customers have a fixed entitlement, although firms are allowed up to 15 months to update billing and account systems and adopt the new rules.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “Waiting too long for your landline or broadband to be fixed is frustrating enough, without having to fight for compensation.
“So providers will have to pay money back automatically, whenever repairs or installations don’t happen on time, or an engineer doesn’t turn up.
“People will get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service.”