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If you’ve been frustrated by the speed of your Broadband service you’ll be pleased to know that the rules have been changed so you can now cancel your contract under certain conditions.
Ofcom, the broadcasting and telecommunications regulator, has recently announced rules to help consumers cancel their contracts if their broadband speeds are too slow.
Previously it was very difficult to get out of a contract once the initial three month period had passed without being liable to pay a penalty fee. Under the new rules announced you will be able to cancel at any time under certain circumstances.
If you have ever tried to cancel a broadband service you know your chances of success are slim at best and you often find yourself going round in circles talking to the customer services department of your chosen provider.
The days of being happy with internet access of any kind are long gone and people now need a fast and reliable service for a variety of reasons from work to gaming to streaming films and television programmes.
Ofcom’s new chief, Sharon White, told a conference hosted by the consumers association Which:
“When Ofcom was established, access to a reliable internet connection and mobile phone was a ‘nice to have’. “Now it is essential to the functioning of the economy, to the way people work and live their lives.”
Now Ofcom wants users receiving the slowest speeds to be able to cancel their contracts with no penalties. The new rules will apply to service providers using digital subscriber line (DSL) technology.
This includes BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk, but not Virgin Media, which uses a cable-based system.
At the moment when a customer signs a contract the provider gives a range of speeds the user can expect, e.g. 20 to 40 megabits per second.
What is less well known is that there is a second measurement companies are less willing to share which is the minimum guaranteed access line speed (MGALS).
The new rules will allow customers who are receiving the slowest speeds in their price tier to cancel their contract at any time if their service fell below the MGALS for their home. Previously it had to be within the first 90 days.
You would have to give your service provider the opportunity to fix the problem which would hopefully solve the problem without the need to cancel.
The new rules will probably only benefit a small proportion of users but for those in rural locations or with a patchy service it could make all the difference.
There is also no guarantee that changing provider will solve the problem but the power has certainly moved slightly towards the consumer and away from the broadband companies.
If you need broadband for work but are struggling with your bills we can help. Hopefully it’s just a temporary situation and you can visit this page to find out more about our short term loans to help you get back on track. Remember to shop around to find the right service provider for you and if you don’t think you are receiving the service you paid for contact your provider.