A car crashed into the broadband cabinet at the end of my road a few weeks ago and since then my internet has been cutting out intermittently.
I am working from home so this has been frustrating. On one day, I had no internet at all as Openreach tried to fix the issue.
I am hoping it is now resolved but I am looking to get compensation as I have been without full internet usage for weeks. What can I do to get this?
Getting compensation for a faulty broadband connection has to come from the provider
Grace Gausden, This is Money, replies: Being without properly working internet for many is now like losing a vital utility, such as electricity or water, especially with the rise of home working.
On the days when the internet cut out multiple times, and one day when it didn’t work at all, you had to go to a family member’s home nearby to work.
We’ll point out here this was earlier in the month and you live in a Tier 1 coronavirus area.
You have been speaking to Openreach about the issue on and off for the last few weeks, hoping to get the issue resolved.
They have sent engineers several times to rectify the issue but work was unable to proceed due to ‘technical issues’.
Due to these technical issues, the damaged cabinet was left to be powered by batteries.
These were changed every few hours, but in that time, households nearby, including yours, experienced broadband dropouts as the batteries ran down.
Fortunately, your internet is now working and the issue has been resolved but you are looking for compensation for the time you spent without it.
You contacted Openreach directly about this but were told it would not be able to help and instead you would need to speak to your internet provider – despite the fact they had not been involved in the failure of the connection.
While this may seem strange, when looking for compensation, customers have to go through their internet supplier.
Openreach said that even though they are fixing an issue, they don’t provide compensation
The internet providers own the end-customer relationship and are responsible for communication with their customers and billing matters including compensation.
Openreach will only pay compensation to suppliers when it doesn’t meet agreed standards.
It is advised that anyone experiencing any problem with their broadband or home phone service should report it to their internet supplier in the first instance.
They will carry out checks to try to identify where the issue lies and if they think it needs further investigation by Openreach they will arrange for an engineer to visit and keep their customer up-to-date.
A spokesperson for Openreach replies: Openreach provides a wholesale service to over 600 service providers and those companies are responsible for communication with their customers, billing and compensation.
Openreach pays compensation to Service Providers when we don’t meet agreed standards, but we also have to observe and respect industry-agreed processes and protocols.
Anyone with ongoing issues should speak to their provider so that further investigations can take place.
Grace Gausden, This is Money, adds: Fortunately, you have since spoken to your internet provider which is giving you six months free internet by applying a monthly credit to your bill each month, leaving you with a total of £0 to pay.
For other households who have struggled with their internet connection, they can speak to their supplier for more information or to Ofcom.
The telecoms watchdog introduced a compensation scheme in April last year, which is what you managed to claim under.
Under this customers who haven’t had their service fixed after two full working days of a fault not being repaired will be compensated £8 for each day it is still ongoing.
If an engineer doesn’t turn up for a scheduled appointment or cancel with less than 24 hours’ notice, customers will receive £25 per missed appointment.
Similarly, if a provider promises to start a new service on a particular date but fails to do so, customers will receive £5 for each calendar day of delay, including the missed start date.
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 or 30 calendar days after the date of the missed appointment.
Unless you agree otherwise, compensation will be a credit on your bill.
However, 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.