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BT shares lower as regulator unveils automatic compensation plan

Currently, compensation is paid out in only about 15% of cases, it was reported
BT shares lower as regulator unveils automatic compensation plan
The move is likely to see Openreach bid to improve its service

Telecoms giant BT (LON:BT.A) saw shares ease on Friday as  regulator Ofcom unveiled a new compensation scheme for broadband and landline users.

At present, compensation is reportedly paid out in only about 15% of cases where providers have failed to meet obligations.

Ofcom's research showed that engineers fail to turn up to around 250,000 appointments a year and about 1.3 million (mln) people are affected by late installations.

The new scheme will make providers pay automatically for slow repairs, missed appointments and could result in customers receiving a total of £142mln a year in payouts.

Under the new rules, if repairs to service are delayed following an outage, customers will get £8 for every calendar day on which the service is not repaired, after two full working days.

They will also get £25 for an engineer missing an appointment or cancelling with less than 24 hours’ notice, and £5 for each calendar day without service after the day they were promised a provider would start that service.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s consumer group director, said it meant people would "get the money they deserve, while providers will want to work harder to improve their service".

Ofcom research shows that nine in 10 adults report using the internet every day.

BT, which runs Openreach, saw shares ease 0.90% to 246.75p on the day.

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