With searches for ‘broadband price increases’ up +519% in the last 12 months and rising broadband prices due this April, many people may have questions about their current broadband contracts such as, how they can get out of their existing contract or if they can switch providers mid-contract to avoid higher costs?
For those who are concerned about the expected broadband increases, we talked to Liam Walker, broadband expert at Comparethemarket, about top tips around switching providers and hacks to get out of your current deal, should your broadband provider be underperforming.
1. Can you switch mid-contract?
You can switch your broadband provider whenever you like. But if you’re still within your contract, you’ll likely have to pay an early exit charge. This could be quite high, so be sure to check and make sure the cancellation fees are worth it and are less than the amount you could save by switching.
2. Don’t accept slow speeds
Under Ofcom rules, if your broadband speed falls below the minimum you were promised when you signed up to the service, you shouldn’t have to pay a penalty to leave your broadband contract early. With that being said, you do need to contact your provider first and give them the chance to fix the problem. Don’t forget to check your provider’s minimum-speed guarantee terms and conditions too.
3. Find out your broadband speed
Broadband speeds will vary, depending on your broadband package and the type of broadband you have. Knowing how fast your broadband is, and whether it’s too slow for your needs, will give you a good idea of what to look for in a new contract and also show you whether you’re getting the speed you were promised. You can check your speeds by downloading a Wi-Fi speed checker app directly to your phone.
4. Word of mouth
To help you choose the right provider, read independent reviews of their services. Ofcom publishes research showing customer satisfaction with broadband providers – not just in terms of speed, but also how happy customers are with value for money and overall service.
5. How long does it take to switch broadband?
It usually takes about two weeks to switch broadband providers, although, it may take longer if you need any installation or engineering work done.
6. Check your area and broadband type
If you’re looking to switch ahead of price increases this April, it’s important to consider that if you’re switching between completely different types of broadband – for example, moving from cable broadband to fibre optic (or vice versa) – you won’t be able to directly switch your old service type to the new one automatically. You’ll need to cancel your contract with your existing provider and start an entirely new one with the new provider which may take some time.
One thing to bear in mind when switching is that not all broadband packages are available everywhere – some areas don’t have cable broadband and some providers don’t operate nationwide. Use Comparethemarket’s broadband postcode checker to see what’s available where you live.
For more information on what to do if you’re looking at switching providers visit: https://www.comparethemarket.