Changing broadband provider

There is nothing to fear when changing broadband provider, and a little knowledge and understanding will put you in good stead for when you are ready to make that sometimes dreaded phone call to your existing broadband provider.

MoneySuperMarket.com has created this guide to arm you with the information you need to know when changing broadband provider.

Best fibre broadband deals
Virgin Media TalkTalk Plusnet BT Total Broadband
Big Connection 50Mb Superpowered Fibre no calls package Unlimited Fibre plus Evening and Weekend Calls Unlimited BT Infinity 2 with weekend calls
Monthly cost: £5 + £15.99 line rental
1st year cost: £272.88
Monthly cost: £5 + £14.35 line rental
1st year cost: £237.20
Monthly cost: £3.99 + £12.99 line rental
1st year cost: £275.75
Monthly cost: £20 + £13.32 line rental
1st year cost: £460.79
Speed up to 50 Mb Speed up to 38 Mb Speed up to 38 Mb Speed up to 76 Mb
£5 a month for 10m, then £15.50. £5 a month for 12m, then £13.50. £3.99 a month for 6m, then £14.99. £125 Sainsbury's card plus NEXT £40 voucher. £20 a month for 3m, then £26.
Go to deal
Go to deal
Go to deal
Or call to order
0333 123 6197
Go to deal

The decision: what should you look for in a broadband deal?   

Making the decision to move is only the first step in the process and it’s at this point that you’ll start thinking about choosing a new broadband provider and deal. However, it’s important at this stage to not just pick what appears to be the cheapest deal.

While price may be one of your main motivating factors in changing broadband provider, the level of service offered should be considered with many smaller broadband providers offering excellent 24 hour customer service.

In fact many smaller broadband providers consider their level of service as their unique selling point!

Are there costs involved in switching?

If you go direct, you might find that as a new customer you’ll have to fork out a number of upfront costs, including the installation of a phone line or a new broadband modem.

But hold on! By using MoneySuperMarket.com to find a new broadband provider you can compare contracts that offer free installation and a free modem in tow. You might also find that, being a new customer, you could benefit from lower monthly payments- a huge benefit of switching providers!

The comparison

The first thing you should do is enter is your postcode into the comparison tool as not all broadband providers cover every location in the UK. This will let you search for all the best deals available for your location.

Next, it’s important to decide on the package that you need, which is different for each individual user. If you live along and don’t use the internet much, you might want to opt for a low usage limit. On the other hand, you might be a hectic family of four needing an internet connection that’ll keep up with the demands of your household!

Ready to switch? Start comparing broadband deals today!

Most popular broadband deals
Virgin Media TalkTalk Plusnet BT Total Broadband
Big Connection 50Mb Superpowered Fibre no calls package Unlimited Fibre plus Evening and Weekend Calls Unlimited BT Infinity 2 with weekend calls
Monthly cost: £5 + £15.99 line rental
1st year cost: £272.88
Monthly cost: £5 + £14.35 line rental
1st year cost: £237.20
Monthly cost: £3.99 + £12.99 line rental
1st year cost: £275.75
Monthly cost: £20 + £13.32 line rental
1st year cost: £460.79
Speed up to 50 Mb Speed up to 38 Mb Speed up to 38 Mb Speed up to 76 Mb
£5 a month for 10m, then £15.50. £5 a month for 12m, then £13.50. £3.99 a month for 6m, then £14.99. £125 Sainsbury's card plus NEXT £40 voucher. £20 a month for 3m, then £26.
Go to deal
Go to deal
Go to deal
Or call to order
0333 123 6197
Go to deal

Asking for help: the broadband forum

Your search for the perfect broadband package can also be aided by visiting our broadband forum.

From here you can read customer reviews in our ‘near live’ forum where customers score their broadband providers in 5 key areas:

  • Customer service
  • Technical support
  • Speed
  • Reliability
  • Billing

You should also read customer reviews to get a realistic view of a broadband provider, from the package they’re offering, to their customer service team.

Ready to switch? Hoe to make the call

Knowing what to expect should take the stress out of making the call to your existing provider to inform them that you wish to part ways!

Your existing supplier will undoubtedly wish to keep your business and may use retention strategies such as offering you a cheaper deal. However, if you are unhappy with their past service then stick to your guns- after all you will never need to speak to them again!

During this call you should request your MAC code which you will need to give to your new broadband provider to allow them to make the switch from old to new.

What is the MAC code of conduct?

The Migration Authorisation Code (MAC) is a 10 to 15 digit/letter code that identifies your broadband connection.

The process of changing your broadband supplier is covered by the MAC code of conduct created by Ofcom which states that:

  • Your existing broadband provider must issue the code to you within 5 working days regardless of any dispute.
  • The MAC code is free but a cancellation fee may still apply.
  • If the MAC code is asked for more than once then a charge may apply.
  • Once issued the MAC code is valid for 30 days.
  • Once the MAC code is given to your new broadband provider that provider must try to complete the switch within 30 days.
  • The new supplier should issue an exact date when you will be connected to the new service.

Ask the MoneySuperMarket Expert

If you have a problem that you think cannot be resolved by the MAC scheme or the information in this guide, then MoneySuperMarket.com offers a unique service called 'Ask the Expert'. You can send a message to our expert who will try to answer your broadband queries as soon as possible (normally within 24hrs).

Best fibre broadband deals
Virgin Media TalkTalk Plusnet BT Total Broadband
Big Connection 50Mb Superpowered Fibre no calls package Unlimited Fibre plus Evening and Weekend Calls Unlimited BT Infinity 2 with weekend calls
Monthly cost: £5 + £15.99 line rental
1st year cost: £272.88
Monthly cost: £5 + £14.35 line rental
1st year cost: £237.20
Monthly cost: £3.99 + £12.99 line rental
1st year cost: £275.75
Monthly cost: £20 + £13.32 line rental
1st year cost: £460.79
Speed up to 50 Mb Speed up to 38 Mb Speed up to 38 Mb Speed up to 76 Mb
£5 a month for 10m, then £15.50. £5 a month for 12m, then £13.50. £3.99 a month for 6m, then £14.99. £125 Sainsbury's card plus NEXT £40 voucher. £20 a month for 3m, then £26.
Go to deal
Go to deal
Go to deal
Or call to order
0333 123 6197
Go to deal

The small print

While many of us generally skip the small print, you may find it useful to cast an eye over the following:

  • Contract period - Almost all broadband providers will require you to sign-up for a minimum period of time, typically 12 or 18 months. Certain broadband providers offer no minimum contract term but there may be a cancellation fee in the small print that could equate to the same cost as ending a contract earlier.
  • Cancellation policy - If you wish to end your contract early then check what costs you may incur. This could be a standard fee regardless of the number of months left on your contract or alternatively be the sum of the remaining monthly fees.
  • Hidden charges - Check the small print for hidden charges such as costs for moving your broadband service if you move home.

Your rights when switching providers

Should you find yourself in the unlikely situation where your existing service provider is making it difficult for you to change broadband provider then it is wise to know your rights.

The first thing you should do is keep a record of your telephone conversations including the date, time and name of who you speak to.

Whilst the MAC code of conduct ensures a swift timescale is adhered to, you may in other circumstances need to know your rights that are covered in the 1979 Sale of Goods Act.

This may allow you to cancel or change your broadband provider during your contracted period if the goods or service provided are not of a satisfactory quality, the goods or service is not as described or if they are not fit for the purpose advertised by the supplier.

Further advice and assistance can be sought from the following bodies:

  • Citizens Advice - A free service provided by the government with practical consumer advice on their website or via the phone; 08454 040506.
  • Which? Legal Service - Unlimited legal services for your household for £86 per year.
  • Ombudsman Services - If a dispute cannot be resolved between you and your broadband provider then the Ombudsman Services can listen impartially to both sides of the dispute and decide what action should be taken, if any.

Contact us

We are here to help you as much as we can.

We offer an impartial broadband advisory service over the phone about how to change provider that is open 9-6pm Monday-Friday (except bank holidays):

Call us on 0800 298 5770 (calls are charged at a local rate).

You can ask our broadband expert any question about the broadband market, best deals or how to resolve any problems you might have with changing provider. Ask the Expert is available any time and we normally respond to your questions within 24hrs.

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