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Ofcom's demand for telecoms providers to automatically compensate customers in the event of poor service has been hailed by Andrews and Arnold (AAISP).

Last week, the watchdog said broadband and landline customers must be compensated if a fault is not repaired, an engineer fails to turn up for a scheduled appointment or if a new broadband or landline service is not working on the day it was promised.

Responding to the news, AAISP said this is "good news for consumers generally".

Speaking to ISPreview.co.uk, Managing Director Adrian Kennard said: "As a small ISP, we are relieved at this approach, as the original proposals contained a number of areas of serious concern. 

"[It] should hopefully mean that Openreach and back-haul carriers that we use put in place systems to pay automatic compensation."

Mr Kennard pointed out that while Ofcom has not insisted on this, if it does happen then AAISP will be able to pass on any compensation it receives automatically to its customers as well.

This, he stated, means that while AAISP is not part of the scheme, its customers should benefit from automatic compensation "in most cases".

Mr Kennard went on to note that since the industry has 15 months to prepare for the scheme starting, it should use this time to "actually improve services so as to avoid having to pay compensation".

"Obviously this will benefit all ISPs and their customers, not just those in the scheme," he added.

Under the new system, consumers will receive £8 for each day that a fault is not repaired and £25 compensation if an engineer does not turn up for a scheduled appointment.

Providers must also pay £5 a day if a broadband or landline service is not working on the day it was promised.

BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet, who collectively serve about 90 per cent of the UK's landline and broadband customers, have all signed up to the agreement, while EE and Plusnet are expected to do so at a later date.

Source: ISPreview.co.uk

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