Preparing to swap broadband providers

Preparing to swap broadband providers

Thursday, 1 November, 2018

The greatest sanction any consumer can impose against a service provider is to withdraw their custom.

Given our reliance on broadband nowadays, that’s a big statement of dissatisfaction.

Nonetheless, millions of people throughout the UK made that very statement last year, with the help of independent websites like BroadbandDeals.co.uk.

We can advise you on the best deals in your area, though we can’t guarantee a seamless transition.

The process quickly becomes frustrating and potentially traumatic if things go wrong, but advanced planning should help you to swap broadband providers with minimal fuss.

Ensure you’re free to swap broadband providers

If you have less than 30 days left on your existing broadband contract, there are no restrictions on going elsewhere.

Otherwise, it might require special dispensation to leave a contract – for instance, if the provider has repeatedly failed to resolve faults or deliver a reasonable service.

Switching provider mid-contract without prior permission could incur a heavy cancellation fee, or even necessitate paying for services you’re no longer receiving.

Choose which deal to move onto

Before telling your existing broadband provider where to go, choose its replacement with care.

Firstly, select the deal on this website which best suits your household’s requirements in terms of contract length, line speed, data provision and call packages.

(It’s almost inevitable you’ll have to take out line rental as well as broadband services, even though house phones have become an anachronism).

Get in touch with your prospective provider, and confirm they can deliver the advertised service to your address.

While you’re on the phone or chatting through a web form, check they will handle the technicalities of switching on your behalf – they almost certainly will.

Your old provider might phone to confirm the legitimacy of a request to transfer services away from them, so be prepared to answer any 0800/0345 numbers for a few days.

Contact your existing provider

This is often the fun part – informing your current provider you’ve found a better deal elsewhere, and no longer require their services.

Be prepared to reject counter-offers to stay, and establish a date when the new service will supplant the old one.

For instance, if your phone number is being transferred to the new provider, this requires additional coordination between both companies.

Occasionally, engineers or builders may have damaged a line not currently in use, so there could be hiccups when switching between cable and Openreach-based services.

On the upside, it might be possible to run services concurrently for a week or so, providing a safety net if any issues arise on installation day.

Openreach-to-Openreach switchovers are usually handled offsite at the local telephone exchange, so an engineer’s appointment may not be necessary.

Prepare for a temporary outage

It’s good housekeeping to invest in a mobile broadband device like a dongle or MiFi router, just in case the service interruption lasts for more than a few hours.

These are readily available on the high street, usually with a pre-loaded quantity of data and the ability to purchase extra gigabytes of connectivity using a credit/debit card.

Mobile dongles run on conventional 4G mobile networks, so ensure connectivity in your local area is decent before signing up with a particular operator.

You wouldn’t rely on these for Netflix streaming, but they’re ideal for maintaining basic connectivity – sending emails, conducting online banking, and so forth.

Dongles should remain functional for years, so they’re ideal for storing in a drawer in case of emergencies, outages, house moves or other exceptional situations.

Neil Cumins author picture

By:

Neil is an expert tech writer. He's written hundred's of Guides to all things broadband!

News What's the story?

Keep up with the latest developments in UK broadband.

UK 5G network goes live – are you up to speed?

Here's everything you need to know about the new mobile broadband network.

UK 5G network goes live – are you up to speed? Read more

TalkTalk offers exclusive £80 reward to new fibre customers

The huge bonus is available to anyone signing up for a 'Faster Fibre' bundle through BroadbandDeals.co.uk

Read more

TikTok ‘gifts’ empty kids piggy banks

Children are most vulnerable to 'influencer' donation pleas

Read more

Netflix ruins 90’s cartoon, enrages internet

The streaming giant came in for criticism for 'straightwashing' Japanese cult classic anime.

Read more

Porn-block pushed back by clerical errors

Further delays to the child-protection measure, with the process mocked as an 'utter shambles'.

Read more

How to watch Wimbledon online for free

How to make sure you don't miss out on the action from your favourite sports stars.

How to watch Wimbledon online for free Read more

Fast fines for ISPs could end the “Loyalty Penalty”

But could the proposed measures mean worse deals for those who shop around?

Read more

Boris Johnson mocks full-fibre roll-out plans

The likely next PM boasts plans to beat current targets by 8 years, but is it all just hot air?

Read more

Broadband and phone companies to put Fairness first

Telecoms providers commit to raising standards.

Read more

UK to get legal right to decent and affordable broadband

New legislation will ensure minimum speeds for every UK household.

Read more

GDPR – One year on

The landmark legislation gave people the ‘right to know’ when their data had been hacked.

Read more

Help Learn with us

Make the most of the internet with our broadband library.

Why Ofcom’s USO is more than pie in the sky

Why Ofcom’s USO is more than pie in the sky Read more

Protecting your small business against cyber attacks

Read more

Could 5G end fixed-line home broadband?

Read more

How broadband availability varies across the UK

Read more

Which social media platforms should I be on?

Read more

Will you get online on holiday?

Stay connected during your get-away.

Read more

Make the most of your broadband overnight

Make the most of your broadband overnight Read more

The main causes of slow internet connections

Slow broadband can be more than just an irritant - but what causes it, and what can we do to fight back?

Read more

Do you need to ramp up your broadband controls?

Read more

The different types of home computer

Read more

Will we all need gigabit broadband one day?

Read more
Back To Top