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Author Topic: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?  (Read 736 times)

Weaver

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I know I’m going to get flamed about this idea. Please be kind. It’s only for discussion. :)

What do you think? Good idea? ISPs have to give you a fraction of your bill back? And also maybe even multiply that by some k for the inconvenience, and for the cost of having to have redundancy (eg extra lines or 4G) to compensate for the unreliability.

Say your line is down 3 days, as mine is right now, that should be ( ( 3  * 12 / 365 ) * k * my_monthly_bill ) refunded. Suggestions as to what k might be?

To be fair to ISPs, Openreach and other carriers should all be required to pay the same kind of thing back to ISPs where it’s OR etc at fault not the ISP. I’d suggest however that in this case the repayment is (carrier’s monthly charge to CP * x ) where x = 2.0 say. The x here should be high so as to incentivise OR etc to really fix the network properly long-term not just patch it up so it keeps on failing again and again. A harsher suggestion would be to increase x by so much (tbs) for every additional fault on a given line within some time period, say one year. (What, a sliding window of one year? Rather than jan to jan? So look back 12 months from the time of each new fault. Would that make sense?) It would also push OR etc to get rid of copper. And a high x here would repay ISPs for having to deal with the fault caused by OR’s network and the cost of end-user tech support.

Self-interest clause, shamelessly: We need a mechanism for making sure that those users stuck with the worst lines do not find that CPs (or OR) do not simply refuse to take on customers because their lines look dodgy. These are already the most disadvantaged customers and are stuck with what they’ve got and don’t need to be disadvantaged further. Ofcom needs to make it a requirement of ISPs not to indulge in such discrimination without an overwhelming reason why they can’t take ‘difficult’ users on, such as ISPs: that only have limited geographic coverage, or only do one type of technology eg FTTP only, or who require that your area has so-and-so kit in the exchange; technological and practical reasons only, not financial ones.

I ask myself why am I paying AA for 3 days service on a line that isn’t working? It’s not an answer to say that it’s not AA’s fault on this occasion. Indeed it’s Openreach’s fault but I need to be recompensed regardless so this is why BT needs to pay AA. If you want to be ridiculously harsh you could say it’s still AA’s fault because they haven’t forced OR to permanently improve the reliability of the links long-term. But that’s nonsense because AA doesn’t have the clout to do that, not without some kind of new ‘remediation order’ deal from OfCom, where a CP could say to BT etc “this line or exchange or whatever component is crap, replace or upgrade it to make it good long term”.

Last month I had no internet via DSL at all for over a week in part due to AA’s fault so that should have been =( ~ £30 * some x ) refund in total over all lines (arithmetic is probably wrong). They wouldn’t like that much, having to pay that out, but charging money while not providing a service is not good.

With the high value of x=2.0 for example, for compensation payments from Openreach, carriers et al. to CPs, the idea then is that CPs should typically end up making a modest profit on an OR et al. carrier fault and this x needs to be high enough to ensure this. That would also discourage ISPs from discrimination against the customers with the worst lines. Perhaps such payments should be ( a0 + carrier_monthly_charge_to_CP * x ) instead, where a0 is some fixed number to represent the cost to CPs of providing customer tech support. The value should probably be modest but I have no idea what it should be. I don’t know about the variable carrier_monthly_charge_to_CP, what its value might be. More likely it needs another fixed multiplier y to be in there too to rescale the value of carrier_monthly_charge_to_CP.
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chenks

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2020, 07:19:39 PM »

unless i'm not understanding what you're suggesting then ISPs already have to offer automatic compensation for downtime as per ofcom regulations.
it's a set daily amount after x days from reporting the fault where it remains unresolved.
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Weaver

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #2 on: March 28, 2020, 07:31:19 PM »

I had no idea chenks. Thank you! Does anyone know what chenks’ x might be? I never was told anything about such by AA. You said it’s unrelated to the amount the ISP is charging you ? That doesn’t seem fair. Does it matter whose fault it is?

In the case detailed in an earlier thread where is was down for over a week because of kit destroyed by a lightning strike which AA delivered replacement hardware for but they could not get their new hardware working. So this was their fault but nothing to do with lines being down, so presumably the ofcom thing doesn’t apply unless it applies to all ISP-supplied services maybe and even hardware products too.

I wouldn’t dream of moaning at AA for money anyway. It’s just for discussion to see what people’s feelings are.
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chenks

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #3 on: March 28, 2020, 07:49:33 PM »

well for Virgin it's 2 days after the point of reporting the issue.
if it remained unresolved then (i think) it's £8 per day for a non-fixed fault, and £5 per day for a failed installation/missed appointment.
and it's an automated process, you don't need to ask for it, it gets automatically applied.

You said it’s unrelated to the amount the ISP is charging you ? That doesn’t seem fair. Does it matter whose fault it is?

where did i say that?
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Weaver

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #4 on: March 28, 2020, 07:51:54 PM »

Wow. Has anyone else seen their own ISPS mention this? Or are they all unsurprisingly hoping it remains a secret?
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chenks

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2020, 07:52:55 PM »

see https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/automatic-compensation-need-know

virgin have a page on their own website detailing it also.

maybe your ISP has chosen not to sign up to it though.
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Weaver

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2020, 07:59:41 PM »

Thank you for finding that  :)
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Browni

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #7 on: March 28, 2020, 09:49:32 PM »

Zen have documented theirs here.
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Weaver

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #8 on: March 28, 2020, 10:37:07 PM »

I couldn’t see ‘internet access link down’ as an item covered by Zen; maybe I’m just being stupid though. I’m half asleep just now.

I see the Ofcom thing is only a few ISPs then. It also suggests that business users are not covered, so even if AA were in the scheme, if they followed it exactly then it wouldn’t help me because I am an AA business user (depending on how AA define such things though). AA ought to do better than that level of provision if they were ever to sign up for it.

I can’t see why AA say would want to be in it when they can’t reclaim costs from OR or TalkTalk and all the problems are going to be the fault of those carriers anyway.
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Alex Atkin UK

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2020, 12:23:07 AM »

Didn't Ofcom mention the scheme is suspended during the outbreak (as faults in peoples homes can't be dealt with), or did I imagine that?
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2020, 12:25:04 AM »

I’m sure I saw something about compensation schemes being suspended during the crisis, but can’t find it now.  Not unreasonable imho.

How far would you take it?   Should I ask my PMI provider for a refund because they’ve given all their beds to the NHS?   Of course not.

Didn't Ofcom mention the scheme is suspended during the outbreak (as faults in peoples homes can't be dealt with), or did I imagine that?

Ah, not just me!
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j0hn

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2020, 04:45:32 AM »

https://www.ofcom.org.uk/phones-telecoms-and-internet/advice-for-consumers/costs-and-billing/automatic-compensation-need-know

Quote
Update 25 March 2020 – the coronavirus
This is an unprecedented time for our country, and keeping communications going across the UK has never been more important. Broadband and landline services will play a vital role as we all adapt the way we live and communicate in the wake of the coronavirus.

Given the unique circumstances presented by the coronavirus, Ofcom’s view is that it would be legitimate for providers not to pay automatic compensation just as if the civil emergencies exception in the Automatic Compensation Scheme applies. Where signatories do claim this exception applies, we expect them to clearly communicate the reasons why to their customers, and continue to act in their customers' best interests.
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chenks

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2020, 12:42:26 PM »

Virgin are still paying out, as i got an email about mine a couple of days ago when they cocked up my house move (which was last saturday and required an engineer visit on tuesday).
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CarlT

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2020, 01:00:07 PM »

The existing scheme is fine. Absolutely not to compensation for inconvenience / whatever. Get a business grade service with robust SLAs if you need that, don't bump up the price for the rest of us out of the box.
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sevenlayermuddle

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Re: Compensation from ISPs for downtime on internet access links?
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2020, 01:04:39 PM »

Personally I regard compulsory compensation schemes simply as insurance policies that I may not want or need, but that I am forced to pay for.
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