Can I cancel my broadband contract early?
Can you cancel your broadband contract early?
The simple answer is yes.
Be aware that most providers enforce a minimum contract length and therefore there may be an early cancellation fee.
The cancellation fees vary among broadband providers.
You will be pleased to know that there are some scenarios were these cancellation fees can be avoided.
Cancelling my broadband contract without paying cancellation fees
There are four scenarios where you can cancel your broadband without incurring a cancellation or additional charges.
Cancelling within the 14 day cooling off period
If you are a new customer and are still within your 14 day cooling-off period, you will not incur any cancellation charges.
The cooling-off period is to allow you to change your mind for whatever reason.
My minimum contract period has ended
If you have been with your broadband provider for the full duration of your contract then you are free to leave when you wish.
Make sure you check what the price will be after the end of the contract as it is likely to increase so you’d better start searching for a new deal sharpish.
My broadband provider is increasing its prices
Your broadband provider must give you at least 30 days written notice (in accordance with Ofcom rules) if they are planning to increase their prices.
During this period, you have the right to cancel your broadband without any fees providing that:
a) You entered into a fix term contract with them after 23rd January 2014 and
b) The increase is above the rate of inflation
The is applicable to all broadband providers and is not voluntary. Contact your broadband provider and state the price increase as the reason you wish to cancel.
You can register a complaint with Ofcom if you have issues with your provider.
There is a catch though. You cannot avoid cancellation fees if price increases were written into your contract.
If you do not have a copy of your contract, contact your provider to cancel anyway and no doubt, they will be quick to inform you if this is the case.
I’m not getting the broadband speed I signed up for
A slow broadband connection may be grounds to cancel your contract without cancellation fees.
New Ofcom regulations put in place in March 2019 have made it simpler to cancel your broadband contract.
The regulation is known as Ofcom’s Voluntary Code of Practice on Broadband Speeds and states:
- When you purchase broadband, you should receive accurate information on the expected speed of your broadband.
- The advertised average speed should be during the busiest times of the day i.e. between 8-10pm for home users and between 12-2pm for business services. The average speed must be a speed that at 50% of their customers receive.
- Your broadband provider must list a minimum speed and you should have the right to cancel if your speed consistently falls below this speed.
Customers who are suffering from consistently slow, unstable or underperforming broadband can cancel without fees.
The Ofcom regulation states that if you do not receive the advertised speed you must contact your provider and allow 30 days for your provider to resolve the issue(s).
If the issue is not resolved in 30 days, they must allow you to terminate your contract with any penalties or fees.
At the time of writing, the following providers are bound by this code of Practice: BT, Sky, Virgin Media, KC, EE, Plusnet, Talk Talk, Vodafone and Zen Internet.
Other possible ways to leave your broadband provider without early exit fees
- Moving to a new area where you can’t get their service
Some Broadband providers may allow you to leave your contract early if you are moving to an area that does not have their services available. This will be at their discretion. In some cases, the new area may have their broadband service available but at a slow speed. There may be early exit fees if you chose not to take up their service in the new area
- Following a complaint
Your broadband provider may allow you to terminate your contract early without fees, following a complaint. You must make it clear to them that this is what you would like to do.
I’m being charged for cancelling by broadband
If you are not cancelling in any of the reasons mentioned in the above sections then you will be charged some form of cancellation or early exit fees.
At a minimum, you will have to pay for the remaining months left on your contract.
Some providers may also charge you for their hardware or expect you to return it to avoid additional charges.
Switching my broadband
If you are switching between two Openreach providers (Broadband where a BT line is required) all you need to do is order a new package.
The new broadband provider will take handle setting up, switching and cancellation of your existing broadband.
Openreach providers include Sky, BT, EE, TalkTalk, NOWTV, Plusnet, Vodafone, Onstream, Origin, Post Office, Shell Energy and SSE.
If you are moving to a non-openreach provider such as VirginMedia, Zen Kingston in Hull and Hyperoptic broadband, you will need to contact your existing provider to cancel the service.
How to cancel my broadband
The guide below, provide brief information on how to cancel your broadband package.
We have also provided a citation from the respective broadband providers’ terms and conditions.
You will find a link to the broadband providers cancellation page and contact details.
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