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Why are Brits so reluctant to switch broadband supplier?
We’re more likely to change mortgages than internet, with 30% of us admitting to never switching in 2015. Whether it’s concerns over internet speed, phone charges, monthly costs or hefty exit fees, we seem to get cold feet.
But there’s huge savings to be made and Ofcom have made switching a lot easier.
You can use A Spokesman Said to find the best-value TV, phone and broadband deals in your area. So what are you waiting for?
How hard is it to switch broadband?
Switching broadband is, in a nutshell, very straightforward.
Previously, you needed to get hold of an MAC code and give it your new supplier.
But now all you need to do is enter your postcode, find a TV, broadband and phone package you want and sign up.
Your new provider will take care of everything.
Unless you’re switching to or from a provider with their own network, like Virgin Media – in which case you still need to contact your current provider.
What about my phone line?
Home broadband packages need an active BT landline to operate.
You can switch your BT line to your new provider’s landline service and get a bundle deal; some providers insist that you move both your phone and broadband.
If you plan on using your landline, however infrequently, check for any charges that may apply.
Companies lure customers in with cut-price broadband and then charge for landline calls – which have traditionally been free for years.
If you use your mobile, and don’t think you need a landline, have a look at cable and mobile broadband packages.
Cable – superfast broadband delivered through fibre-optic cables instead of BT phone lines
Mobile – runs on 3G and 4G mobile networks. Will often be more expensive but offers greater flexibility.
What if something goes wrong?
If your broadband switch goes wrong, you are protected under the 1979 Sales of Goods Act.
You’re entitled to switch broadband provider during your contracted period if the service is consistently poor or your provider raises prices unexpectedly.
Top Tip: Keep a paper trail. If you’re having difficulty switching from your old provider, keep a record of all phone calls and email exchanges.
You can make a complaint about your broadband provider using A Spokesman Said’s free tool.
What broadband is available?
The first thing to do is to check what packages are actually available in your area.
Nearly every UK household can now get ADSL broadband but your area, for example, might not have the right cables laid for fibre optic broadband.
Enter your postcode into A Spokesman Said’s free comparison tool to find out which deals are available in your region.
Will I have to pay to switch broadband?
This depends on the broadband deal you take out and your contract with your current provider.
If you’re within the minimum terms of your contract, costly exit fees may apply.
Upfront costs – usually around £50 – can include the installation of a new phone line or a new broadband modem.
What broadband package is right for me?
Once you know what packages are available, you need to work out which one is best for you.
A family of five will need a different broadband deal than someone living on their own.
Ask yourself how much you use the internet. Do you, for example, regularly download or stream films? Or do you just check your emails every now and then?
Once you know this, you can select a high or low usage limit that caters for your needs.
What is a heavy internet user?
Certain activities –gaming, file sharing, film streaming – use up a hell of a lot of bandwidth.
If this sounds like you, then it may be worth choosing a deal with superfast internet speeds.
If you have a family with lots of devices, your household usage will be fairly high.
Many of us always underestimate our internet usage. Two people sitting using the Wi-Fi on their phones counts towards your usage.
Will I be without internet while the switch takes place?
It’s unlikely you will be without internet for more than two hours at most.
Are there any hidden charges to watch out for?
Broadband providers often try to catch customers out with charges hidden in the contract’s T&Cs.
Watch out for unexpected costs for moving your home broadband service if you move house.
And, if a provider doesn’t require you to sign up for a minimum contract length, check the small print for any mention of cancellation fees.
Watch out for future price rises and line rental charges buried in the T&Cs.
This year BT hit customers with a 33% hike after hiding a £20 a month price rise and £18.99 line rental in the small print.
And be very wary of anyone that offers “free” broadband.
As we mentioned earlier, companies will make up the short fall by whacking up the cost of landline calls or line rental.
A Spokesman Said have teamed up with Simplify Digital to bring you the best Broadband, TV and Phone switching offers in the UK.
*20% of Simplifydigital customers received a minimum saving of £247 per year, and the top 10% saved on minimum £319. Data based on 690 Simplifydigital records between October 2015 - January 2016.