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How to switch broadband provider

By Jon Barrow

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How to switch broadband provider

If you're unhappy with your broadband provider then our simple tips will explain how you can switch to someone better.

Finding your perfect new package is only the first step towards switching – there's a process to follow if you want to change services with the minimum downtime.

Many people are put off by the thought of switching - but they shouldn't be. 81% of switchers in a Which? survey told us that they found it easy to do and many ended up with cheaper packages and faster speeds.

If you want to switch broadband provider then follow our simple steps to make it as smooth as possible:

Step 1: Check you can leave your current provider

Before starting any broadband switching process, check your current contract and make sure you've completed the minimum term. If you're unsure then give your provider a call to check. If you're still under contract, you could be hit with a heavy cancellation fee for leaving early.

If you're outside your minimum contract period, your broadband provider will be keen to keep your custom and may even offer you a cheaper broadband deal or another incentive to stay.

Step 2: Choose a new broadband deal

Use an online comparison service to check which providers offer broadband where you live and to compare the available deals. Choose a broadband package that offers the speed and data allowance you want and look for a line rental deal that offers the inclusive calls you need - for example free evening and weekend calls.

Make sure you choose a provider that won't disappoint - read our best broadband providers guide to see which companies have the most satisfied customers.

Once you've got a deal in mind, make sure you have all the details on exactly what you'll be signing up for – and for how long. If you're not given one, ask for a speed estimate for your address, as well as checking for any connection or router charges and the total monthly cost.

Step 3: Contact your chosen new provider

If you're switching between providers who use the Openreach telecoms network - such as BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk – then your new provider will arrange the whole transfer for you. They'll let your old provider know that you want to move and you'll then be sent notification letters (from your old and new providers) confirming what's happening and when the transfer should take place as well as setting out any early termination charges that you'll have to pay.

Step 4: Contact your existing provider (if required)

If you're switching to or from a cable network, you'll need to stop your service with your current provider and start a new one with a new provider (sometimes known as 'cease and re-provide').

In these circumstances you'll need to contact both your current provider to cancel your contract and your new provider to arrange your new broadband service. You'll then receive notification from the provider you are leaving that your contract is ending (and notification of any charges associated with this), and will be given a new contract from your new provider which will tell you when your contract is due to start.


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