finance

How to get compensation for broadband outages as 15million suffer problems in the last year


MILLIONS of Brits have suffered broadband outages lasting three hours or more in the past year according to Uswitch.

Almost 15million have experienced the issues, which is three times higher than the year before.

The outages have been frustrating for anyone stuck at home over the past year

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The outages have been frustrating for anyone stuck at home over the past yearCredit: Getty

The average home was left without internet for more than two days in that time too.

Many of us have been forced to work from home over the past 12 months and relying on broadband is a must.

But it’s estimated the broadband issues cost the economy almost £5billion as the UK lost 16million working days in the last year to outages.

A whole host of platforms have experienced problems including PlayStation, Barclays, HSBC, Lloyds, as well as Channel 4 and ITV, leaving many fed-up with the chaos.

How to save on broadband and TV bills

HERE’S how to save money on your broadband and TV bills:

Audit your subscriptions

If you’ve got multiple subscriptions to various on-demand services, such as Amazon Prime, Netflix, and Sky consider whether you need them all.

Could you even just get by with Freeview, which couldn’t cost you anything extra each month for TV.

Also make sure you’re not paying for Netflix twice via Sky and directly.

Haggle for a discount

If you want to stay with your provider, check prices elsewhere to set a benchmark and then call its customer services and threaten to leave unless it price matches or lowers your bill.

Switch and save

If you don’t want to stay with your current provider check if you can cancel your contract penalty free and switch to a cheaper provider.

A comparison site, such as BroadbandChoices or Uswitch, will help you find the best deal for free.

Uswitch also said that more than a third of people turned to their mobile data when an outage struck.

In the meantime, Edinburgh is said to be the area worst hit for broadband outages losing nine million hours of broadband over the year

Despite the inconvenience, Uswitch said that only four in ten customers who experienced outages complained to their provider about the issue.

If you’ve frustratingly been left offline, we explain how you can claim compensation.

Can I get compensation for a broadband outage in my area?

Whilst you’re paying for your broadband service, you will be entitled to compensation for when it goes awry.

You’ll need to make sure you report the outage so your provider is aware of the problem, but then you will likely be entitled to compensation automatically.

Ernest Doku, broadband expert at Uswitch.com, said: “The first thing to do if you think you’re suffering an outage is to check whether it’s a problem with your router, which can often be fixed with a simple reset.

“If it’s clear that the issues are beyond your control, contact your provider and they will be able to inform you of any problems in your area and, hopefully, an estimated time for a resolution.

“If your connection goes down for more than two days you could be entitled to compensation of just over £8 a day.”

Before claiming compensation though, there are some steps that you can take to help mitigate problems and get your broadband back up and running quicker, such as tethering to your phone. 

What is automatic compensation?

The Automatic Compensation Scheme means broadband and landline customers get their money back from their provider when things go wrong.

But you don’t have to ask for it, and it should just be given to you automatically.

The scheme applies to problems reported from April 1 2019 – it was relaxed slightly over the pandemic but now it is fully up and running again.

If your broadband stops working, you simply have to report the fault to your provider to be in line for the compensation.

Also if your service doesn’t start when you expected it to, or if your engineer appointment is missed, your provider will pay you back automatically too.

You don’t need to take any action to receive the compensation and it will be sent as a credit on your bill no later than 30 days after the issue occurred.

If the service is not fixed after two full working days, you still won’t have to do anything as there are measures in place to send out the compensation.

You should be set to receive an initial £8.06 if the service is not fixed two full working days after you report it, and then £8.06 for each full day it’s still not fixed after that.

They will also pay £25 for each missed appointment, or for appointments cancelled with less than 24 hours’ notice, plus you’ll get £5 for each calendar day delay to the start of the new service.

Check if the firm you use is signed up to the scheme. It includes:

  • BT
  • EE
  • Hyperoptic
  • Sky and NOW Broadband
  • TalkTalk
  • Utility Warehouse
  • Virgin Media
  • Zen Internet

Can I save more by switching?

You don’t have to stay with your current provider once your contract is up.

You can check if you can cancel your contract without a penalty and switch to a cheaper provider, saving you hundreds and even thousands each year.

You also might be able to salvage some piece of mind if the provider you are with has experienced continuous issues over the past year.

Mr Doku said: “If you’re experiencing repeated issues or you’re not happy with your suppliers’ response, do a comparison online and see what alternatives are available in your area.”

Uswitch says you could save nearly £1,000 a year switching providers.

On broadband specifically, the tariff comparison experts claim you could save £177.57 on average per year.

It says that you could opt for Vodafone’s Superfast two Broadband and Phone Line at £275.40 per year over more expensive options.

The average out of contract costs for TalkTalk Fixed Price Unlimited Fibre 65 and Phone Line, Sky Superfast Broadband, Virgin Media M100 Ultrafast Fibre Broadband & Phone and BT Fibre two Broadband are £452.97 per year.

Virgin Media has warned that your WiFi could be ruined if we get anymore UK heatwaves as the high temperatures risk shutting down routers.

There’s a dangerous iPhone WiFi mistake that you won’t want to make that could get you hacked in seconds.

Plus, we reveal the best broadband providers in the UK and you can find out how to get great internet wherever you live.

Amazon, Twitter, Reddit, Spotify and HMRC websites go DOWN in huge internet outage





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