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Can poor broadband be compensated?

Figuring out how to get compensation for a poor broadband service, isn’t always as easy as it should be!

The guidelines listed below should help paint a better picture of the current regulations.

Can I claim compensation if my broadband goes down?

Contract binds broadband providers to deliver the service you agreed to pay for, with reasonable amount of skill and care. If there is a prolonged downtime and loss of internet connection, you could argue, would indicate a lack of skill and care.

Under the current regulations this doesn’t entitle you to automatic compensation, but most broadband providers should pay back the cost for lost services if pressed for it.

However, ISP’s have found ways round this as they technically might not be liable when your service goes down. Faults with third-party hardware of software, for example, won’t be covered by your contract.

To check if this is part of your contract please see the “Service level agreement” section of your contract. This will set out the specific services you are entitled to by law. A legal right to receive the service you paid for is covered by the Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982.

How to claim compensation

Contact your ISP when your broadband goes down explaining that you believe the outage is a breach of contract. Send them, in writing, the details of when the service went down and the duration If you made phone calls to your ISPs technical or customer support lines, you can also make a case for these being refunded if you can highlight them on an itemised bill.

Is broadband considered an essential utility?

Despite arguably being an essential utility, broadband does not have the same statutory compensation rules as electricity, gas or water. Lose any of these utilities and you’re entitled to automatic compensation.

This month the government published its Digital Economy Bill, which included several measures to improve mobile and broadband services. Crucially, the Bill also makes clear that customers have a legal right to broadband.

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