More than a third of house movers 'experience delays in setting up internet connection'

The community fun day will take place on September 9.
The community fun day will take place on September 9.

Over a third of house movers experience delays in setting up their internet connection, according to a survey.

The Citizens Advice Bureau found that people moving into a new home were “often” left without broadband for weeks after the set-up date given by their provider.

Others reported having to wait at home for engineers on multiple occasions or being left with a slow or intermittent connection.

In addition, the charity found 15 per cent of house movers found their connection was unreliable when first installed, 11 per cent reported engineers had to make multiple visits and nine per cent had their engineer appointments rescheduled.

Among the cases reported to the charity, one woman did not have a broadband connection for three weeks even though she had paid £82 upfront for the installation and first month of fibre, and had called her provider repeatedly about the problem.

When she asked to cancel the contract she was told that as the 14 day cancellation period had passed she would have to pay an exit fee of more than £200.

People sought Citizens Advice help with 7,500 problems with their internet service providers and 3,500 problems with landline telephone services in the year to June.

The findings come after last month’s launch of the Government’s £400m Digital Infrastructure Investment Fund to boost investment in “full-fibre” broadband that can offer speeds of up to 1Gbps to households and businesses.

Citizens Advice is calling on regulator Ofcom to put in place the mandatory scheme it proposed earlier this year for automatically compensating people affected by delayed set ups or repairs to their broadband or landline.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “It is fundamentally unfair that in some cases customers are paying for a service they don’t receive for weeks or even months at a time after moving.

“Ofcom has rightly proposed a scheme that would automatically compensate customers who face delays or missed appointments, regardless of their provider - but this is now at risk of being watered down by a rival industry proposal that would be voluntary and lower the amount paid out by at least £52m.

“To hold providers to account for breaking promises to their customers, the regulator should move forward with its mandatory automatic compensation scheme."