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Citizens Advice responds to Ofcom consultation on automatic compensation for broadband customers

24 March 2017

Citizens Advice has today responded to proposals from telecoms regulator Ofcom that landline and broadband customers who suffer slow repairs or missed deadlines should receive automatic compensation from their provider.

Analysis of 1,000 broadband problems reported to Citizens Advice has revealed many people have to repeatedly negotiate with providers to get engineers out or receive any kind of financial compensation.

Further Citizens Advice research also found that people spend up to 218 million hours a year trying to solve problems with TV, phone and internet services.  The national charity’s Consumer Detriment survey found that more than half of consumers (55%) who had experienced a problem did not seek redress.

Chief Executive of Citizens Advice Gillian Guy said:

“A working broadband connection is an essential not a luxury.

“Automatic compensation has long existed in other markets such as energy and water, so this is welcome recognition from Ofcom that broadband internet is also a vital service.

“Problems with installation or repairs to broadband can be a nightmare for consumers. Not having access to the internet can mean people face a real challenge when going about everyday tasks like applying for jobs, shopping online, and even running their business.

“Citizens Advice has been calling for automatic compensation for broadband customers who experience delays to repairs or missed appointments. This would make it easier for people to get redress when they’re let down by poor service, without facing the added challenge of negotiating with their provider. It would also provide an incentive for broadband companies to improve their service, as in future failures would cost them money.”


Notes to editors

  1. The Citizens Advice service comprises a network of local Citizens Advice, all of which are independent charities, the Citizens Advice consumer service and national charity Citizens Advice. Together we help people resolve their money, legal and other problems by providing information and advice and by influencing policymakers. For more see the Citizens Advice website.
  2. The advice provided by the Citizens Advice service is free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to everyone regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
  3. To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice in England and Wales, visit
  4. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 03454 04 05 06 or 03454 04 05 05 for Welsh language speakers.
  5. Local Citizens Advice in England and Wales advised 2.5 million clients on 6.2 million problems in 2014/15. For full service statistics see our publication Advice trends.
  6. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 21,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.