This is the County Broadband Code of Practice which conforms to the Code of Practice from Ofcom, the UK Telecommunications regulator.
County Broadband offers internet connectivity services to residential and small business customers. We provide these services to the best of our ability and are committed to offer service levels that are in line with those offered across our industry. As such we do take any concerns you may have about our services seriously. This Code of Practice outlines the support services available to our customers, and more specifically how you can contact County Broadband when you wish to raise a concern that requires a resolution.
All information is correct at the time of publication, and will be reviewed at least on an annual basis.
- The County Broadband Products & Services
- Our Obligations
- Repair and Maintenance
- Terminating Service
- Billing and Payment
- Customer Confidentiality
- Our Communication with you
- How to contact us
- Making a complaint
1. The County Broadband Products & Services
County Broadband offers a range of telecommunications services for both the residential and business user. Information about our residential and business services are available here.
2. Our Obligations
County Broadband has a number of obligations that are required by UK legislation. These obligations ensure our customers are provided with choice and consumer protection. County Broadband takes these obligations very seriously, as they ensure that the needs and demands of our customers are met and that we deliver a service which is second-to-none.
When we provide service to you, we promise to use all the reasonable skill and care of a competent Internet and Telecommunications Service Provider. The formal details of the general terms and conditions of our contractual relationship with you, our customer, can be found in our Terms and Conditions section.
3. Repair and Maintenance
In order to carry out corrective maintenance of our network (e.g. for repairs, planned maintenance or upgrades), we may need to suspend service or parts of the service temporarily. Before we do this, we will give you as much notice as possible and promise to restore service as soon as possible after any suspension.
Although we attempt to provide you with the best possible service, we cannot guarantee that the service will never be faulty. However, we will correct all reported faults as soon as is reasonably possible.
You will be responsible for the maintenance of your connection settings in your (wireless) router we will maintain the settings in the antenna. For possible future warranty claims, you will need to retain your router cardboard box if you purchased a router from us.
We offer a number of customer self-serve options, and we recommend that prior to reporting a service fault to us, all customers initially check the following:
- Knowledgebase - here you can find articles to help resolve problems
- Service Status - provides details of any known service-affecting issues
4. Terminating Service
Your contract with County Broadband can be terminated as set out in the "Termination of the Service by the Subscriber" section in our Terms and Conditions.
In summary this can be done:
- With more than 3 full working days’ notice prior to installation at which point there will be no charge for installation
- Within 3 full working days of the installation date at which point we will need to charge the installation fee
- Within a “cooling off” period of 14 days from the date of contract. You will be released from the contract and will not be obliged to pay the subscription fees but you will not receive any refund for the installation fees or any router costs.
- By giving 30 days’ notice once the initial contract has expired
Any party wishing to give notice to the other must do so in writing using the mechanisms set out in the "Cancellation Schedule" section in our Terms & Conditions.
In summary this is by sending the cancellation request by recorded delivery or by raising a ticket on our customer portal.
5. Billing and Payment
You must pay the charges for your selected service(s) that are set out in our Terms and Conditions.
When you register for the service, we will ask you to select a payment method and we will begin charging you for the service on the date that the service is activated. You are able to view any charges for which you are liable by logging into the secure County Broadband Customer Service & Support area of our website and clicking 'Billing', then 'My Invoices'. You will be notified via email of any new orders you place.
If you fail to make payment of charges when they are due, we may suspend or cancel your service, in part or in full until payment is received. If we need to cease your broadband because you have not paid and you then later decide to resume the service, there will be a re-activation and administration charge where applicable, for which you will be liable.
Services that we provide automatically renew for a further minimum period when the initial period terminates. In these circumstances, you should understand and agree that continuation of the service will incur the standard charges unless you notify us and cancellation charges may be incurred if such notification is not provided.
Services can be upgraded. When you do, a new minimum term will be applicable to the service. Services can be downgraded, but you will need to give us a full 1 month notice from your renewal date (i.e. if your monthly subscription date is the 17th and you request a downgrade, this will be active from the 17th two months later).
Most of our NGA packages have a data allowance. When the data allowance is used before the end of the monthly subscription period, the service will move to a slower speed of 512kbps. Customers can then either remain at the lower speed for the remainder of the period or purchase additional data. Any unused additional data will not be carried over to the next subscription period when the data allowance is reset.
Where we arrange for an engineer to visit your Premises for installation and activation of the service, or for resolution of a fault, you will be responsible for any costs incurred owing to any of the following:
- If the fault is determined by us to have been caused by you or any third party. We are not responsible for support to any computer equipment, software and cables that we did not supply.
- We are unable to gain access to your premises at the time agreed.
- If our or our contractor’s visit is cancelled by the subscriber after it has been requested and you have failed to give us 3 days notice of cancellation.
- You fail to identify a suitable termination point that does not incur excess installation costs and you then fail to accept the excess installation costs.
- Your reported a problem and following your request for an engineering visit, this problem cannot be confirmed.
We reserve the right to engage a third party debt collection agency in order to obtain any outstanding debt. Any additional charges generated as a result of this process will be borne by you.
6. Customer Confidentiality
We take the security of our websites and your data extremely seriously. As such we back up your data regularly and retain this as required for legal and regulatory compliance reasons. We have also implemented electronic and physical security mechanisms that ensure your data cannot be accessed by others. Please note that the choice of a secure password to our servers is your own and must be chosen to minimise the risk of access by others than yourself. We recommend unique passwords that are a minimum of 10 characters in length and contain capitals, lower case, numerals and other non-alphabetic characters. We will not be held liable for your own errors in choosing weak passwords or not to store these passwords securely.
7. Our Communication with you
County Broadband is committed to providing our customers the best value for money Internet and Telecommunications services. We achieve this by providing you with the tools to manage and self service your account online and by replacing costly or manual processes with automation and electronic communication e.g. if we need to tell you something or have an update on your order we'll inform you through the portal or by email instead of sending you a letter. In the event that we need to contact you about some urgent matter we may call you, which is why we recommend that you provide us with both your home phone and mobile number.
8. How to contact us
Should you have any queries regarding our range of services, or are experiencing difficulties with your County Broadband Internet access, you can contact us via our web-based Customer Portal.
Please note: we cannot reply to cancellation requests made by email. Please log a ticket in the Customer Service site or by posting this to us via recorded delivery.
Please note: we may sometimes monitor or record calls to or from our Customer Service Team. We may do this for training purposes, or to improve the quality of our customer support.
9. Making a complaint
Whilst we aim to deliver a high level of customer satisfaction, we acknowledge that from time-to-time problems do occur. We are committed to ensuring that every effort is made to resolve any difficulties quickly and to your satisfaction. If you do wish to make a complaint, please do so by logging a ticket in the Customer Portal and placing "Complaint" in the subject heading. You can also send your complaint by post to the Complaints, County Broadband Ltd, Old Bourchiers Hall, New Road, Aldham, COLCHESTER, CO6 3QU or by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. He/she will allocate your complaint to a dedicated customer service advisor who will own the complaint through to completion.
Our aim is to solve any problem to your complete satisfaction, and our customer service advisers will try to do this as quickly as possible, preferably during a phone call or ticket exchange. If we can't do this, we'll agree with you what we can do. We aim to respond to a letter within 14 calendar days and a ticket within 7 calendar days. We'll try to sort out your complaint on the spot, but whatever happens, we'll respond and keep you regularly updated if it's going to take a while to check into things. If our complaint adviser is unable to resolve your complaint, we'll escalate this to our Complaints Manager.
If you're still not happy having followed the process above, and we've sent you a 'deadlock' letter or 8 weeks have passed since you complained, you can refer your complaint to the Ombudsman Services independent dispute resolution organisation.
Ombudsman Services provide a free, independent service for customers who aren't satisfied with the final outcome of their complaints.
Ombudsman Services can't deal with complaints about commercial policy (e.g. our prices or broadband availability). Nor can it deal with complaints from businesses with more than 10 employees.
If you complain to Ombudsman Services, you must do so within 6 months of receiving your 'deadlock' letter. If we haven't sent you a 'deadlock' letter, you must contact Ombudsman Services within 12 months of making your complaint to us.
You can contact Ombudsman Services at:
Ombudsman Services: Communications
PO Box 730
Phone: 0330 440 1614
This Code of Practice was last updated 17th July 2014.