Broken broadband? BT, Sky, Virgin Media forced to pay MORE compensation over internet issues

an engineer is pictured wiring a broadband router for a customer in their home

Broadband suppliers who have agreed to the terms of Ofcom's automatic compensation scheme will be forced to issue bigger payouts to customers struggling with missed appointments and repair delays

Aaron Brown

By Aaron Brown

Published: 21/05/2024

- 05:00

Ofcom has set new guidelines for automatic compensation payouts

  • Broadband suppliers forced to issue larger compensation payments
  • Ofcom has increased the rate in line with CPI measure of inflation

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If you're suffering with broadband connection issues, installation delays, or any number of other internet woes, there is at least onesilver lining — the amount of compensation you'll receive from some of the biggest telecoms in the UK, including BT Broadband, Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and Plusnet, has increased.

Industry regulator Ofcom sets the amount of compensation for its voluntary scheme. Broadband providers signed up for the scheme are forced to increase payouts to customers struggling with connectivity issues.

The revised compensation guidelines are as follows:

  • £9.76 per day for a delayed repair — was £9.33
  • £30.49 for a missed appointment — was £29.15
  • £6.10 per day for delayed start of service — was £5.83

If your Internet Service Provider, ISP, has signed up to Ofcom's voluntary compensation scheme, you'll automatically receive the above payments should any of the issues arise during your contract.

Ofcom increases compensation payouts based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI) measure of inflation as recorded in October 31 of the previous year. The irony is that Ofcom recommended banning all UK broadband providers from tying their mid-contract price rises to the rate of inflation earlier this year.

The review was triggered by skyrocketing inflation, which led several of the biggest broadband suppliers to increase prices by as much as 14.4% last year. That meant those paying £30 per month would need to find an extra £51 everyyear for their internet connection.

Under new rules enforced by Ofcom, mid-contract rises linked to nebulous figures, like CPI or RPI, have been effectively outlawed. Broadband companies will still be able to increase prices mid-contract, but the new rules will require them to tell customers precisely how much extra they'll need to spend.

Although the changes haven't been confirmed yet, several telecoms have already adopted the recommendations. Last month, BT confirmed how much it would add to customers' broadband and TV bills each yearunder the new rules. The changes apply to new and existing customers from March 31, 2025.

It's unclear how other UK broadband suppliers will calculate annual price rises.

Zen Internet CEO Richard Tang said it was “a shame” that Ofcom was required to step-in, rather than major internet providers realising it was “the right thing to do” to ditch such contracts.

It remains to be seen whether Ofcom will eliminate the CPI measure of inflation from its own calculations for the automatic compensation scheme if the new rules are approved for all broadband providers in the UK. Until then, these new rates should provide more cash to anyone suffering from internet woes.

The compensation will be issued automatically as credit on your next bill. Ofcom does allow internet firms to offer alternative forms of compensation of the same or higher value "as long they make you aware of how much you could receive in the form of a credit on your bill," the regulator has ruled.

If your landline and broadband both lose service at the same time, you will only receive one compensation payment. As you might expect, if the loss of broadband is found to have been caused by equipment or activity within your home — you won't be entitled to compensation under the Ofcom scheme.

Which broadband providers are signed up for the Ofcom automatic compensation scheme?

  • BT — Joined April 1, 2019
  • EE — Joined May 4, 2021
  • Hyperoptic — Joined October 28, 2019
  • Plusnet — Joined May 4, 2022
  • Sky — Joined April 1, 2019
  • NOW Broadband — Joined April 1, 2019
  • TalkTalk — Joined April 1, 2019
  • Utility Warehouse — Joined February 17, 2020
  • Virgin Media — Joined April 1, 2019
  • Vodafone — Joined November 3, 2021
  • Zen Internet — Joined April 1, 2019

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