Landline or broadband problems

30 October 2013

Angry woman on phoneOfcom works to ensure everyone gets the very best from their communications.

Our role is to look at how issues affect UK consumers as a whole.

We cannot handle individual complaints.

However, we fully understand how frustrating it can be if it takes time to have a new telephone or broadband service installed in your home, or to have it repaired if a fault develops.

That's why we have established rules about how phone and broadband providers deal with your complaint.

If you are waiting for a new line, or to have broadband installed or a fault repaired, the phone company provider you have signed up with has responsibility for managing the process and keeping you informed.

Your provider may work with Openreach, the company that maintains the bulk of the UK's phone network. However, you only need to deal with your provider.

Your provider may guarantee that faults will be repaired within a certain period of time from the point at which you report them. You should check your contract for what standards apply.

You may also be entitled to some form of compensation and/or other forms of redress if your fault is not repaired in line with these standards. However, you'll need to check the specific fault repair and consumer redress policies of your provider. If in doubt, you should ask your provider for further information. 

If you are unhappy with the length of time the process is taking, this is what you should do:

  • Contact your provider's customer services department and explain the problem.
  • If this doesn't resolve the issue, make a formal complaint to your provider. You should find details of how to do this on the back of your bill, on their website or through their customer services.
  • Ask your provider about when they expect to resolve your problem and any compensation and/or other remedies provided in the meantime.
  • If your provider is unable to resolve your complaint about your installation or repair, you can take your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme after eight weeks, or sooner if a stalemate has been reached with your provider.

ADR checkerbuttonADR provides an independent and free service to domestic and small business customers. Acting as an independent middleman, an ADR scheme will examine a case from both sides and reach a decision it thinks is fair based on the information provided.

There are two ADR schemes – Ombudsman Services: Communications, and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS). All service providers must belong to one of the schemes.

Your provider will tell you which scheme it is a member of, or you can use our ADR checker.