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!

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