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UK government consults on faster switching for broadband customers

Posted by Sam Frances on Wednesday, May 25th, 2016 at 15:45

The UK government has launched a call for evidence (pdf), seeking views on a number of consumer protection issues, including how to speed up the process for switching between broadband providers.

Specifically, the consultation asks for views on how to implement a “7 day standard” for switching between ISPs.

The Culture Secretary, John Whittingdale, said:

We are more reliant on broadband and phone services than ever before. So we want it to be as easy as possible for consumers to spot the best deal for them, and switch providers quickly and easily if they want to. The measures we are introducing will help make sure consumers are better informed about the quality of these services and the switching process is much simpler. Also, in those cases when things don’t go right, automatic compensation will be paid out.

In announcing the consultation, the government also revealed a few more details about the forthcoming Digital Economy Bill. In particular, on the subject of “automatic compensation” for problems with broadband connections, the government said:

When things go wrong, consumers will also be automatically compensated by their telecommunications provider. This could include, for instance, when a telecoms package isn’t brought online on the day it was promised, is offline for a couple of days, or if the repair-person doesn’t turn up.

The consultation closes on the 23 June 2016.

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