How to complain about interruptions to your broadband service

Are you experiencing regular interruptions to your broadband service? Our step-by-step guide will help you complain to your provider.

1 Contact the broadband provider

If your broadband is not achieving the speeds promised, your provider may be in breach of contract.

Write to your broadband provider and explain that you consider it to be in breach of contract as it's failing to provide the service it said it would. 

Send your provider a log of the interruptions to your service and if possible, the length of time each interruption lasted.

Give your broadband provider a reasonable opportunity to investigate your complaint and find a solution, say 14 days. 

Remember, it can be difficult to work out exactly why you're not getting the advertised service so be patient, and give your provider time to work out the problem. 

Ofcom action

The new Ofcom rules apply to both broadband and landline services from BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk, which all use the Openreach network.

This means cable providers, such as Virgin, aren't included.

These providers must give you the expected range of speeds or be forced to let you exit their contract penalty-free.

Ofcom will consider broadband complaints from customers who feel their service doesn't meet the standards initially promised.

In addition to these changes, anyone who wants to change broadband supplier now only has to notify the company they wish to move to. That supplier should then handle every aspect of the change.

2 Make a formal complaint

If you don't get a satisfactory solution from writing to your broadband provider, go through its formal complains procedure. 

Keep records of all verbal or written communication as this can help your case should you need to take it further.

If you're unhappy with your provider's reply, you can use our letter of deadlock

3 Alternative Dispute Resolution

All broadband providers have to sign up to an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) scheme. 

Your provider will either be signed up to a scheme operated by CISAS or Ombudsman Services: Communications.

If your broadband provider can’t or won’t help, after eight weeks you can take your complaint to the relevant ADR scheme.

Both schemes have a form that you must complete to start the process. This will enable you to set out your issue and outline the remedy you're looking for.

To find out more about complaining to an ombudsman, take a look at our guide

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