Can I switch broadband providers for free under contract?

by | Dec 29, 2020 | Broadband & Phone, Moving Guides, Services

Broadband contracts are often long-term deals lasting anything from nine months to two years. For that reason, it can be scary to commit to a certain package, as prices are bound to change and it is likely that you will miss out on a better deal. So can you switch broadband providers during your contract for free?

Is it possible?

It is very rare that you will be able to exit your broadband contract and switch providers for free. There are some circumstances where you will be free to leave an existing contract, but 99% of the time you will have to pay a fee. This will usually be a discounted rate for the remaining months of the contract, but the exact figures vary based on the provider so you may be required to pay the full price for each remaining month

How can I exit my broadband contract for free?

There are a few ways you may be able to leave your broadband contract for free. They are:

  • If your original broadband contract has ended
  • If service is not performing as expected
  • If you have been mis-sold a product
  • If prices rise mid-contract


1. Your contract has ended

If your original contract has ended, you will automatically be placed on a more-expensive contract, with the same package. This is called a rolling contract, and it is something you will be placed onto following the end of your initial contract period, as stated in the Ts & Cs of your contract. If you call your provider up a month in advance of your contract ending, you can renegotiate another deal or let them know you want to switch providers, and you will then not continue onto the rolling contract. You can exit a rolling contract for free, as it is simply a month-by-month, on-going agreement that has no long-term obligation.

2. Service is not performing as expected

Providers are now obligated to offer automatic compensation if broadband goes down for a period of time, and if it stays down or doesn’t perform at minimum guaranteed levels (providers are now required by law to provide a minimum broadband speed guarantee) then customers are allowed to exit for free.
Alternatively, you can keep using your broadband at a lower monthly price, however, that needs to be negotiated with your broadband provider.


3. You’ve been mis-sold a product

You will also be able to exit your broadband contract if you have been mis-sold the service. For instance, if you were promised free sports channels with your broadband and that’s something you are not receiving, you may have a right to exit the contract without incurring any fees. You will have to have definitive proof that you were promised one thing and are not being supplied with it.


4. Price rise

Finally, if prices rise during your contract period, you may be allowed to exit fee-free. This very much depends on the situation. Some providers will add to the contract that prices may rise in a certain period, which covers themselves and commits you to carry out the remainder of the contract or pay exit fees to leave early. Some contracts stipulate that prices must rise by a certain amount for a person to be able to leave them early.


I am moving house, can I switch broadband providers for free?

Unfortunately, you are not free to exit your broadband contract when moving house. Providing that all the infrastructure is in place at your new place, you can move your broadband package over when you move – if the right infrastructure isn’t there you may have to pay to get it set up. For some providers, if you have say a fibre package and fibre is not available at your new property, you will be able to leave for free. Others require you to still pay an exit fee, but it just depends on a provider-by-provider basis. Feel free to get in touch with us and we can advise you on your specific situation.


Is it worth paying exit fees to leave a broadband contract early?

Even though you may have to pay exit fees to leave a contract, it may still be worth going ahead and switching your broadband provider. Say you see a broadband deal that is vastly better in price and quality compared to what you are currently on, but you still have a couple of months left on your contract, it will be worth inquiring to see how much it will cost you to exit your contract. Some deals are only available for a limited amount of time, so snapping them up while you can might be a good option to ensure you don’t miss out, regardless of the exit fees. Some packages also come with reward cards. These are prepaid MasterCards that are accepted in most shops. They can be up to a value of £200, and you receive them simply for signing up with certain providers’ packages, so they go a long way to negating some of the cost of the termination fees. A reward card with a £200 credit will soften the blow if your broadband contract’s exit fees are high. So top tip, if you are thinking of switching broadband provider but you are still in contract, it is worth checking out what there is to offer as you have nothing to lose and may be pleasantly surprised!


Broadband providers who offer bill credit if you switch

Some providers may offer you a bill credit if you decide to switch to their service. One of these providers is Sky – they are willing to cover up to £100 if you switch your broadband and also up to £100 if you switch your TV provider. If you decide to switch your broadband, calls and line rental to Sky and your provider charges you for any monthly payments due after you leave, you can claim up to £100 Sky account credit (capped at the amount you are charged for those monthly payments (e.g. excluding outstanding call charges). To claim, you must have paid all charges in full and send them proof of your payment within 90 days of your Sky services being activated.


Find the best broadband packages now 

With our extensive network of UK providers, we have exclusive access to all the latest deals on the market – so you are guaranteed the best price available. To get all your utilities set up for your new home today, simply sign up for free here with your new postcode, or call us at 0800 3688 551.

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