Big broadband firms 'try to deny customers refunds

Broadband providers are attempting to avoid paying £52 million in compensation to customers for poor service, Citizens Advice has said (stock image) 

Broadband providers are attempting to avoid paying £52 million in compensation to customers for poor service, Citizens Advice has said (stock image) 

Broadband providers are attempting to avoid paying £52 million in compensation to customers for poor service, Citizens Advice has said.

Under Ofcom plans, households will automatically receive refunds for late installations, slow repairs and engineer no-shows.

But three of Britain’s biggest internet providers – BT, Virgin Media and Sky – are seeking to water down the proposals so customers get less money.

Citizens Advice last night accused the firms of trying to ‘short-change’ broadband users by seeking to replace the regulator’s plan for mandatory payments with a voluntary system.

Ofcom suggested in March that customers should receive £10 for each day they suffer a complete loss of connection, with £30 for cancelled engineer appointments, and £6 a day for delayed installations. 

The regulator estimated there were about 5.7 million cases of householders losing their landline or broadband service each year, with engineers failing to turn up for around 250,000 appointments annually.

About one in eight landline and broadband installations are delayed a year, affecting more than 1.3 million people.

Under Ofcom plans, households will automatically receive refunds for late installations, slow repairs and engineer no-shows 

Under Ofcom plans, households will automatically receive refunds for late installations, slow repairs and engineer no-shows 

However, in response to a consultation on the plans, the three companies have jointly asked Ofcom to reduce the compensation

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