Most broadband and landline customers will now get money back from their providers when things go wrong, without having to ask.
Only about one in seven broadband or landline customers inconvenienced by delayed repairs, installations or missed engineer appointments has received compensation from their provider, and only in small amounts, Ofcom said.
The largest broadband and landline providers have agreed to compensate customers when they experience these delays after an intervention by the media watchdog.
The Ofcom chief executive, Sharon White, said: “We think it’s unacceptable that people should be kept waiting for a new line, or a fault to be fixed.
“These new protections mean phone and broadband firms will want to avoid problems occurring in the first place. But if they fall short, customers must be treated fairly and given money back, without having to ask for it.”
BT, Sky, TalkTalk, Virgin Media and Zen Internet had already signed up to the scheme, Ofcom said, adding that Hyperoptic and Vodafone had also agreed to the new terms and would start paying compensation automatically later this year.
The companies that have signed up account for more than 95% of broadband and landline customers in the UK.
As well as consumers, it will benefit the many small and medium-sized enterprises who choose residential landline and broadband services.