Switching broadband provider is about to become A LOT easier

Telecoms watchdog Ofcom is making a series of changes to the broadband market to make it easier for consumers to leave their provider if they are unhappy with the service they are receiving.

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Speaking at last week’s Which? Conference, Ofcom’s newly-appointed chief executive, Sharon White, said that while customer service levels had improved, more must be done to help consumers change provider or cancel contracts.

On the back of this, Ofcom is introducing new measures to better protect and empower consumers. This will include a strengthened Code of Practice on broadband speeds to ensure that if minimum broadband speeds are not met, customers have the right to leave their contract.

The regulator also wants to make the switching process easier for those wanting to change their broadband or mobile phone provider.

Here’s a summary of the main changes that are coming into action:

-Previously, if you wanted to opt out of your broadband contract you could only do so in the first three months. Now, if your broadband speed isn’t up to scratch, you’ll be able to cancel your package at any point in your contract, so long as your broadband provider has been given sufficient time to try and resolve the issue.

Broadband providers will need to provide consumers with details of the range of speed they can expect from their connection, including the minimum guaranteed access line speed (MGALS). This is the fastest speed for the slowest 10% of users on a similar service. If your broadband speed falls below this threshold you can cancel your contract without paying a penalty.

-From June 20, it will be much easier for customers to switch between landline and broadband providers who use the Openreach network (BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk).

-Ofcom will outline plans to make it easier for mobile phone users to switch providers next month.
The regulator is expecting providers to start putting into practice the code from October, with a final deadline of January.

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