Complain to Your TV Phone Broadband Provider
What is your reason for wanting to switch providers? If it is due to a problem with the services, you should contact your provider first. Complain about the issues you are experiencing with your TV, phone, broadband, or all of them. Give your provider a chance to investigate and fix things. You might receive better service without having to switch. If you think you pay too much for the standard of service they provide, then let them know. If you are threatening to leave, especially if you are close to the end of your contract, they might offer you an incentive to stay. This is ideal if your only problem is the price. If your contract changes from the one you initially agreed to, you can complain and request to terminate it without a penalty. For example, if they raise the price mid-contract and you are not willing to pay this. Or if your provider’s failures caused you to experience financial hardship or emotional distress, you could demand recompense. Try to resolve problems with your provider before committing to swapping to another one.
Check Your TV Phone Broadband Contract
The primary concern when you want to switch providers is the terms of your current contract. Usually, your provider locks you into a deal for a fixed term. If you want to cancel the contract, you must normally pay an early termination fee as well as any remaining bills you owe for all the services. Since you are likely to have to pay for however many months are left on your contract as a lump sum, this can be very expensive. Often these fees will apply even if you are swapping to a different contract with the same provider. Some termination fees for individual services can be smaller, but they generally range from £30 to over £100, depending on your contract. If you only have a few months left, it might be worth sticking it out to the end of the contract to avoid these fees. They can wipe out any savings from moving to a cheaper deal early, making the change financially ineffective. Log into your online account or call your provider to check the start and end dates of your contract. Is the contract 12, 18, or 24 months, and how long do you have left? How much would you have to pay if you left now? Would switching be worth it or should you wait? The only way to get out of a contract without penalties is if you change your mind during the cooling-off period of 14 days, if they hike up the prices mid-term, or if they automatically renew it for another term without your consent. You should also be conscious of the notice period they require you to give before you can leave (usually 30 days).
Compare TV Phone Broadband Provider Deals
Whether you are breaking out of your contract early or waiting until it finishes, you should start shopping around at least a month in advance. Comparison websites like MoneySupermarket and Compare the Market will be your best friends in this exercise. They will save you a lot of time searching, calculating, and comparing deals and providers individually. Select which services you are looking for, enter your postcode, and they will list the best deals currently available from all the major providers, including BT, Sky, Virgin, and more. You can adjust the filters to your needs. This could be a package deal for TV, phone, and broadband, just two of them, or just one. In some cases, it might be cheaper to get different services individually from different providers, but usually it tends to be better value and less hassle to simply go with one primary supplier. Remember to consider the needs of your household and how each package meets them. Do you rarely make phone calls but use the internet a lot? Do you need fast speeds for working or streaming media on your television? Factor in any upfront costs for installation, the monthly costs, and the length of the contract. Check the cancellation policies so you won’t be caught out again. You should research the provider’s customer feedback, too. You don’t want to join if the service quality is poor and there is no support!
Get Your New Provider to Set Everything Up
Once you decide on a deal, contact the provider to sign up. This could be through their website or by calling on the phone and discussing the new contract with an adviser. Up until 2015, when switching providers you would need a Migration Authorization Code from the old provider to give to the new one. However, this is no longer necessary. If your current contract is ending, you don’t even need to contact your old provider. The new provider will do all of the work for you and contact your old provider to sort out the transfer. Both providers will then contact you confirming the switching details and billing you for any applicable charges in this process. To avoid a nasty surprise, you might want to contact your old provider about the cancellation anyway to check how much you’ll have to pay. You should also make sure to return any hardware such as the old provider’s router if they request this. Switching will be much easier if it is between providers that both use the Openreach network. Otherwise, if it involves a provider using their own network, such as Virgin Media, you will have to contact them and organize the changeover by yourself instead.
Other Things to Remember When You Switch:
Your new provider should arrange a date for an engineer visit to set things up if this is necessary. If you make sure to time it right, you should only be without the services for a few hours on the switchover day. It generally takes 2-3 weeks to finalize a switch before the day that it actually happens. If you want to keep your landline number when you switch, you should request that they transfer it to the other provider when you instigate the switch. If you use your provider’s e-mail service, you should enquire about keeping your e-mail address. You should consider setting up auto-forwarding and creating an individual e-mail account with a free service such as Hotmail instead. If you are returning hardware to your old provider, they should send you packaging and postage labels to do so. Always return them securely by recorded delivery so you aren’t charged extra if they go missing. If they don’t require you to return anything, old set-top boxes and routers will not be active anymore, so you can sell or dispose of them as you see fit. Even after going through the whole process, you may still change your mind. You’ll have 14 days to cancel a switch.