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Ofcom’s automatic compensation scheme


Unexpected disruptions to the broadband or landline service you’ve paid for can be frustrating. And it’s only right that you receive compensation.

Ofgem’s automatic compensation scheme is designed to help you get money back from your provider in these situations, and without you having to ask for it.

About the Ofcom automatic compensation scheme

First introduced in April 2019, the Ofgem automatic landline and broadband compensation scheme is designed to compensate customers who experience any of the following from their provider:

  • Delay to repairs following a loss of service.
  • Missed appointments.
  • Delays with the start of a new broadband and/or landline connection.

The scheme is entirely voluntary, so not all customers will be eligible. However, most leading providers have opted-in.

Which providers are signed up to the scheme?

The following providers are signed up to the scheme:

Most of the above providers use the BT Openreach network to deliver your connection. However, Virgin Media and Hyperoptic broadband use their own, independent broadband network.

Zen Internet, meanwhile uses both the BT Openreach and CityFibre networks to deliver its services.

When am I entitled to compensation?

If you’re with one of the above-listed providers, you will be entitled to reimbursement for the following events:

  • Your broadband/landline has stopped working and it has not been fully fixed after two full working days.
  • If an engineer does not turn up for a scheduled appointment, or the appointment is cancelled by your provider/engineer with less than 24 hours’ notice.
  • Your provider has promised to start a new service on a particular date but has failed to do so.

How much will I receive?

Compensation payment amounts change on the 1st of April each year and are calculated in line with inflation, which is based on the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

How much you'll receive differs depending on the issue and how long its been ongoing, but providers signed up to the scheme will pay out the following base amounts for 2023:-

If you experience issues with both your broadband and landline at the same time, you will only receive compensation for one of these services.

How can I receive compensation?

Depending on the issue you've experienced, how you’ll receive compensation differs slightly.

Your engineer missed your appointment

You will automatically receive compensation from your provider without needing to take any action.

There is delayed activation of your broadband or landline service

You will automatically receive compensation from your provider without needing to take any action.

Repair is delayed after your broadband or landline stops working

If your existing broadband or landline service stops working, you simply need to report the problem to your provider. Then, if the service has not been fixed after two full working days, you will automatically receive compensation for each day the fault isn't fixed.

How and when will I be paid?

Any money you’re owed will be added as a credit to your account within 30 days of a missed appointment, activation of service, or fixing of the total loss of service fault.

You'll be paid no later than 30 calendar days after the issue has been acknowledged by your provider.

What if I don't receive compensation when it is due?

If you believe you are entitled to compensation but haven't received anything, the first step would be to raise the issue with your provider.

If you speak with your provider and you aren't satisfied with their response, or they refuse to pay any form of compensation, the next step would be to look at raising a formal complaint with your provider.

When is a provider excluded from paying out under the Ofcom automatic compensation scheme?

If your service goes down due to you your own actions (e.g., you damage your router), you are not entitled to claim compensation under the scheme.

You also won't be eligible if you caused the service failure, or you somehow prevent the issue from being resolved. For example, if you request to change your scheduled engineer appointment.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does it usually take to fix a service issue with my broadband or landline?

As a general rule of thumb, most faults to broadband and landline services are resolved within 48 hours.

How should I report a loss of service?

You should contact your provider as soon as you notice a fault with your service.

Can I report a fault on someone else's behalf?

Unfortunately, no. The bill payer will need to contact the provider directly to report a problem with their service.

What is a total loss of service?

A total loss of service is an unplanned outage to either your broadband or landline service.

Total loss of phone service occurs when:

- you are unable to make or receive calls

Total loss of broadband service occurs when:

- you can’t access the internet at all on any of your devices.

If a total loss of service is confirmed and is not fixed by 11:59pm on the second full day after you reported it, you will receive automatic compensation.

For example, if you report a fault at any time on Tuesday, you will be entitled to a payment if the fault is not fully fixed by 11:59pm on Thursday.

After the second working day, you will receive £9.33 for reach day that either your broadband or phone service is not fixed.

What is meant by a missed appointment?

For each broadband or landline appointment where the engineer does not attend on the date or timeslot agreed with you beforehand, you will be entitled to compensation.

Automatic compensation is not due in the following scenarios: -

  • If the date or time of your appointment is changed. Or your appointment is cancelled by your provider with more than 24 hours' notice.
  • You requested to change the time and/or date of your appointment on the day.
  • The engineer attends earlier than the confirmed timeslot, and you are able to provide access to your property at this time.

What is meant by delayed provision?

If your broadband or phone service is not activated by 11:59pm on the original date confirmed by your supplier in writing (e.g., email), you should be compensated £5.83 for each day it is not delivered. This includes the missed date of activation.

For example, if your service was meant to be activated on Monday, but it is delayed until Tuesday. you will be paid £5.83. If your service goes live the next day on Wednesday, you will receive another £5.83 for a total of £11.66 (£5.83 for the missed activation date and another £5.83 for the one day that you had to wait for your service to be activated).

Are there times when I would not be eligible for compensation?

Yes. There are some instances where you will not be eligible for automatic compensation. These include if:

  • the fault was caused by something on your property.
  • You either refused or cancelled an engineer appointment. Or, if an engineer turns up to your home at the agreed upon date and time of your appointment, but you are not home.
  • You have not experienced a total loss of either your broadband or landline service.

Can I cancel my contract and still receive compensation?

Yes. Even if you cancelled the broadband or landline service with a provider who is part of the scheme, as long as you meet the criteria mentioned above, you can still receive compensation.

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