My broadband service is often interrupted, what can I do?

If your broadband service is not what it should be, your provider may be in breach of contract, although you should be aware that continuous service isn’t guaranteed.

Getting the service you're promised

Whenever you have a contract with a service provider, you're entitled to get the service that you were promised and which you contracted for. 

You're also entitled to have that service provided with reasonable skill and care. If you don’t then your broadband service provider could be in breach of contract.

Whether or not your broadband provider has breached the contract, will depend on exactly why you're experiencing interruptions to your service, how frequently you experience these interruptions and how long you are without a connection.

Continuous service not guaranteed

Check the terms and conditions that apply to the broadband service you've contracted for because they'll almost certainly say that a continuous service is not guaranteed and there may be interruptions to it. 

But, there's a big difference between occasional short term losses of connection and the provider regularly failing to provide the service for days on end for no good reason. 

If this happens you can make a legitimate complaint. 

Ofcom action

Broadband providers BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk are affected by Ofcom's crackdown, which will applies to all ‘digital subscriber line’ (DSL) technology.

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

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

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

Is it your router? 

If you're experiencing regular interruptions to your broadband service then check that it's not due to factors outside your provider's control such as the router, the way you've set up your broadband or a problem with your phone line. 

Sometimes this won’t be apparent until someone checks, so you may need to get an engineer to take a look for you. 

If the interruptions turn out not to be down to your broadband provider, you'll probably be responsible for the engineer's call out charge.

Keep a diary of interruptions

Keep a diary of the interruptions to the service so that you can demonstrate to your provider the proportion of the service that was not received. 

You could ask your provider for a refund for the proportion of your monthly payment you didn't get as well as asking for the issues to be resolved.

See our step-by-step guide on how to complain about interruptions to your broadband service

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