Ofcom call for better broadband speed honesty


Most of us are broadband users and most of us have complained about broadband speed  have we not? Today (6th October 2017) Ofcom proposed to strengthen the current codes to improve speed estimates provided at the point of sale, after sale and in customer contracts and to enhance customers’ right to exit.




The proposals:

• Improve speed information at the point of sale and in contracts, by reflecting the slower speeds people can experience at ‘peak’ times; and by ensuring providers always give a minimum guaranteed speed before sale.
• Strengthen the right to exit if speeds fall below a guaranteed minimum level. Providers would have a limited time to improve speeds before they must let customers walk away penalty-free. For the first time, this right to exit would also apply to contracts that include phone and pay-TV services bought with broadband.
• Increase the number of customers who benefit from the Codes, by expanding their scope to apply to all broadband technologies.

Ofcom has a voluntary code of practice for residential and business broadband providers. This code requires companies to provide estimates of the speeds customers are likely to receive at the point of sale. It also ensures that customers are able to exit their contracts, without penalty, if their speed falls below a minimum level.

Sound good? Hmm not really when you consider that 1) Ofcom says “This does not guarantee compliance but we expect signatories to commit to honour the letter and spirit of the Code. We will monitor compliance with the Code using measures such as ongoing mystery shopping” and 2) only:

  • BT
  • Sky
  • Virgin Media
  • KC
  • EE
  • Talk Talk
  • Vodafone
  • Zen Internet

have signed up to the code and as a Virgin customer who has taken them to the Ombudsman 3 times and won all three times (on different issues) I don’t suppose many people have fared any better with this issue, but anyway I digress…

The consultation is 40 pages long. However, if you go to page 40 you will see the questions which it is asking. The big question should all this be compulsory? Not there. For crying out loud! Expecting telecom companies to be honest in their advertising is not going to be compulsory! The closing date for consultation is the 10th November 2017.

You can still complain though! (I would say that, but you can!)

How to complain about broadband speeds/service interruptions

For more on all things telecoms see All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers

And if you need more information on your consumer rights, advice, templates and general guidance and tips GET THE BOOK! How To Complain: The ESSENTIAL Consumer Guide to Getting REFUNDS, Redress and RESULTS!

All you need to know about complaining to telecom providers


Telecoms and Energy – the worst sectors. Dreadful. I get asked a lot about how best to complain in these sectors. I have therefore provided the links you might need below.

If you have taken out a line rental, broadband or mobile contract since 23 January 2014 under new Ofcom rules you can cancel their contract penalty-free if a provider ups its monthly prices mid-term and didn’t warn you about the rise when you signed up.

lap top on woman's knees phone in one hand

First and most importantly Why you should write not ‘phone to complain effectively Telecom providers seem to make it difficult for you to email but read this post as to why it is important to write not ring.

All you need to know when your phone/energy bill is wrong this was about the Vodafone fiasco with their billing system and provides advice about how to complain when your bill is wrong and provides other useful links.

How to complain about broadband speeds/service interruptions

Mis-sold a contract? How to get out of it 

How to end 3 problems with your mobile ‘phone (& get your money back)– Faulty phone, network coverage, mis sold contract

All you need to know about roaming charges – tips for before you go abroad and how to complain about charges

Vodafone fined £4.6m for breaches of consumer protection laws

EEnormous bills, Ofcom fine and how to complain about incorrect bills

Plusnet gets a “minus” – and a big fine – for incorrect billing billing ex customers

It’s payback time for broken broadband – Ofcom proposals for guaranteed payback on service breaches

Mobile phone companies called out for overcharging loyal customers and how to call them out on it and get redress

Tips for effective complaining

How to challenge terms & conditions (even those you’ve agreed)

Use ceoemail.com to find the email address of the company CEO and write to him or her particularly if the company doesn’t provide an email address for you to write to customer services!

See All you need to know to make a complaint about energy for similar on energy.


How to Complain: The Essential Consumer Guide to Getting Refunds, Redress and Results!  for more information advice, tips, consumer laws, rights, regulations, stories and template letters for complaining about the telecom and numerous other sectors.




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