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Britain’s telecoms watchdog has proposed automatic compensation for millions of broadband and landline customers who suffer from “poor service”.

Ofcom said on Friday that consumers who “suffer slow repairs, or missed deadlines or appointments, would receive money back from their provider, without having to ask”.

The plans would affect 2.6m people who between them could receive up to £185m in new compensation payments each year. Compensation would only apply to fixed broadband and landline customers.

Customers would be repaid through cash or on their credit bills when:

  • line or broadband is not fixed quickly enough after it has stopped working; or
  • their new landline or broadband service is not up and running on the day promised; or
  • an engineer doesn’t arrive for an appointment as scheduled

Ofcom said that providers BT, Sky and Virgin Media “have jointly put forward a draft proposal to introduce automatic compensation through a draft voluntary industry code of practice”.

“At this stage, we do not consider that this proposal sufficiently meets our concerns, when quality of service falls short,” it said.

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