Automatic compensation: What you need to know

04 May 2022

Our automatic compensation scheme means broadband and landline customers will get money back from their provider when things go wrong, without having to ask for it.

Is your provider signed up to the scheme?

The following firms are signed up to the scheme:

  • BT (joined 1 April 2019)
  • EE (joined 4 May 2021)
  • Hyperoptic (joined 28 October 2019)
  • Plusnet (including John Lewis Broadband) (joined 4 May 2022)
  • Sky (including NOW Broadband) (joined 1 April 2019)
  • TalkTalk (joined 1 April 2019)
  • Utility Warehouse (joined 17 February 2020)
  • Virgin Media (joined 1 April 2019)
  • Vodafone (joined 3 November 2021) (for customers on the Openreach network only).
  • Zen Internet (joined 1 April 2019)

When you will receive compensation

Firms that signed up to the scheme will provide compensation for delayed repairs following a loss of service, missed repairs or provision appointments, and delays to the start of a new service.

Problem

A landline or broadband customer would be entitled to compensation if…Amount of compensation
Delayed repair following loss of serviceTheir service has stopped working and it is not fully fixed after two full working days.£8.40 for each calendar day that the service is not repaired
Missed appointmentsAn engineer does not turn up for a scheduled appointment, or it is cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice.£26.24 per missed appointment
Delays with the start of a new serviceTheir provider promises to start a new service on a particular date, but fails to do so.£5.25 for each calendar day of delay, including the missed start date.

Compensation payments amounts increase annually in line with inflation. Payments will increase from 1 April each year based on Consumer Price Index (CPI) as of 31 October in the previous year. The payment increase will apply to any new service issues that occur from 1 April.

If your landline and broadband both lose service at the same time, you will only receive one compensation payment.

What you need to do to receive compensation

If your service doesn’t start on the agreed date, or if your engineer appointment is missed, your provider will pay compensation automatically – meaning you don’t need to take any action to receive the compensation.

If your broadband or landline service stops working, you will simply have to report the fault to your provider. If the service is not fixed after two full working days , you would not need to ask for compensation or contact your provider again, as your provider has systems in place that mean you will start receiving compensation automatically if the repair takes too long.

You will receive an initial £8.40 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £8.40 for each full day it is still not fixed after that.

What services are eligible for compensation payments

The scheme covers all residential fixed broadband and landline products.

When you should receive compensation

Compensation should be paid no later than:

  • 30 calendar days after a delayed start of a new service is resolved or the service is cancelled;
  • 30 calendar days after the loss of service is resolved or the service is terminated;
  • 30 calendar days after the date of the missed appointment.

How compensation will be paid

Unless you agree otherwise, compensation will be a credit on your bill. The credit will appear on your account within the timeframes above but may show on your bill at a later date.

Your provider can offer you 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.

When might a provider not pay automatic compensation under the scheme?

If the loss in service is caused by equipment or activity within your home, you are not entitled to compensation under the scheme.

Similarly, you won’t receive compensation if you breach your contract, if you caused the service failure or if you prevent it from being resolved – for example if you ask for a later engineer appointment than the one offered and delay repairs to the service.

Providers can put a cap on the amount of compensation they pay out. After 30 days of an automatic compensation payment occurring, they can serve a cease notice to let you know that automatic compensation payments would stop after a further 30 days.

After this, your provider needs to take reasonable steps to provide a suitable alternative service. If they are not able to give you a suitable alternative, you will still be entitled to automatic compensation under the scheme.

Where signatories do claim an exception to paying automatic compensation, we expect them to clearly communicate the reasons why to their customers, and continue to act in their customers' best interests. In addition, where signatories are not paying automatic compensation for legitimate reasons and customers are without service, customers should not be charged for a service they are not receiving.

What if you don't receive the compensation you believe you should?

If you don’t receive compensation you believe you’re entitled to under the scheme, raise it with your provider. Unresolved complaints can go through an Ofcom-approved alternative dispute resolution (ADR) service.

See the full code of practice for more detail.