Scottish Liberal Democrat spokesperson for Rural Economy and Connectivity welcomed the recent announcement from Ofcom that following a review, broadband and landline customers will now automatically get their money back when repairs or installations are delayed, or an engineer fails turn up.
The new automatic scheme will require an overhaul of the current billing system and so the scheme will have a 15-month implementation period. Around a third of Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) will benefit as they choose to use residential landline and broadband services.
BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet have agreed to introduce the automatic compensation scheme, with Plusnet EE also indicating they will join the scheme. The system will provide: £8 for each calendar day where a service is not repaired, £25 if an engineer does not turn up or if an appointment is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice and £5 for each calendar day where a provider misses the deadline for the start of a new service.
Mr Rumbles said: “I welcome this news. Broadband is the fourth utility and will now be treated as such. This should keep us all online.
“This will be a major benefit to SMEs across Scotland. It will be especially beneficial to SMEs in rural areas such as Aberdeenshire, where we struggle with broadband connectivity.
“I hope this change will make sure disrupted services are dealt with more quickly. I also hope the scheme will encourage providers to prevent disruption and delays in customer service.”
Notes to Editors
- Earlier this year, Parliament made Ofcom’s powers in this area clearer in the Digital Economy Act 2017.
- The new automatic compensation scheme will apply to fixed broadband and landline telephone services.