More than a third of people who move home experience a delay in the set-up of their broadband, it has been found.
People moving into a new house are “often” left without a working internet connection for weeks after the set-up date specified by their provider, Citizens Advice discovered.
Others have faced waiting at home for engineers on multiple occasions or simply being left with a slow or intermittent connection.
Some 15% of house-movers found their broadband connection slow or unreliable initially, 11% requested multiple call-outs for engineers, and 9% had their engineer appointments rescheduled.
A stand-out case included a woman who did not have broadband for three weeks despite having paid £82 for installation and called up repeatedly about the problem.
Citizens Advice is now calling on regulator Ofcom to put in place the mandatory scheme it proposed earlier this year for automatically compensating people affected by delayed set ups or repairs to their broadband or landline.
Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: “It is fundamentally unfair that in some cases customers are paying for a service they don’t receive for weeks or even months at a time after moving.
“Ofcom has rightly proposed a scheme that would automatically compensate customers who face delays or missed appointments, regardless of their provider – but this is now at risk of being watered down by a rival industry proposal that would be voluntary and lower the amount paid out by at least £52 million.”
Ms Guy added that the scheme would “hold providers to account” for “breaking promises” to customers.
“This would make it clear to people what they are entitled to when they get poor service and put an end to customers having to negotiate how much they get back for their wasted time,” she said.
People sought Citizens Advice help with 7,500 problems with their internet service providers and 3,500 problems with landline telephone services in the year to June.