Broadband giant criticised for overcharging customers

Telecoms giant BT has come under fire for overcharging customers to fix their faulty broadband lines, according to reports.

The news comes shortly after the campaign Fix Britain’s Internet called for a legal separation of BT from its infrastructure arm, Openreach – which has inspired more than 75,000 unhappy consumers to issue complaints to telecoms regulator Ofcom.

The Fix Britain’s Internet petition, which is backed by rival providers TalkTalk, Sky and Vodafone, claims that a legal separation would “improve the quality of service for customers, drive innovation and make the organisation more transparent”.

Both Sky and TalkTalk have also backed calls for BT to issue hefty repayments to broadband customers who have been ‘overcharged’ at times when engineers have been sent out to resolve faults on their network.

A TalkTalk spokesperson said: “Although not all engineering charges are passed on to consumers, a good proportion of this overpayment will have been borne by customers unnecessarily.

“To make matters worse, these services mostly affect non-BT customers. Most of the time, BT Retail uses completely different engineering services.”

However, both TalkTalk and Sky have also faced scrutiny fire themselves in recent weeks.

At the beginning of September, Ofcom statistics revealed that TalkTalk was the UK’s ‘most complained about’ broadband provider.

Furthermore, just last week, a year-long investigation into alleged customer service failings at Sky revealed significant evidence that the broadband provider had “failed to comply with regulations around its broadband and landline service provision”.

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Senior politician argues for improved broadband services

Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has spoken in favour of greater investment in high-speed broadband during a keynote speech this week.

The MP was addressing delegates at the Labour Party Conference, currently taking place in Liverpool.

Mr McDonnell argued the case for a National Investment Bank, which would plough £250billion into the country’s infrastructure, including broadband services.

Outlining his economic vision, he argued that the Government should take a more “interventionist” approach to business and championed investment in a “high-tech” economy.

In a recent article which preceded his conference speech, he said that Britain should aspire to having the best broadband connections in the world and said inspiration could be taken from successful roll-out schemes in both China and South Korea.

“At the heart of Britain’s economic issues is the failure to invest,” he said.

“Business investment remains lower than its pre-2008 peak, and, improbably, the Government plans to cut its own investment further.”

Frontier Voice and Data Ltd offers a large portfolio of business broadband services that optimise the capacity and speed available in any given area. We have been trading for more than 30 years and offering connectivity services since they first became commercially available in the UK. Our other services include telephone systems, business mobiles and Wi-Fi. For more information please contact Alison James today on +44 (0) 8000 92 62 32 or email her at alison.james@fvdata.co.uk