There are many reasons for wanting to cancel your broadband contract, from poor customer service to slow speeds and poor reliability, or maybe you've just found a better broadband deal
elsewhere. This guide will tell you how to cancel a contract with each of the major providers in the UK, and whether there may be any fees involved.
Why would I want to cancel my broadband contract?
There is a whole plethora of reasons as to why you may want or need to terminate your broadband contract early. These can range from you being disappointed with the speed of your connection, to being dissatisfied with the customer service of your chosen provider or moving home and no longer needing your broadband contract.
Can I cancel my broadband contract early for free?
Probably not. There are few instances in which you may be entitled to cancel your contract without incurring a cancellation charge of some sort, but in most cases, you’ll be charged a fee. This is usually the cost of the remaining months on your contract, plus the cost of any equipment you’ve been given.
Your Rights: When You Can Cancel Your Broadband for Free
Provider has increased your bills
It’s quite common for broadband providers to hike your monthly fee mid-contract - usually around once every 12 months. They will give you prior warning of any increase to your monthly bill. Once you have received this notice, you are within your rights to cancel your service within 30 days without incurring any kind of penalty.
So, if you’re unhappy with the service you’re receiving, or you just fancy a better deal, this is the perfect opportunity to cut yourself loose without having to cough up a bit of cash for the privilege.
You are in your 2-week cooling off period
This one is fairly straightforward. If you purchase online, then you have 14 days as a ‘cooling off’ period. This means you can change your mind and cancel the contract without any fees within this time.
You have exceeded your minimum contract term
Once the minimum term for your contract has passed, you’re free to switch provider without incurring a fee of any sort. It’s highly recommended that you do, as staying loyal to a provider rarely pays off financially. You’re much likely to get a better deal by jumping ship to someone else.
Your new provider has offered to pay your exit fees
In some cases, you may find that your new provider will actually reimburse you for the cost of terminating a contract with your current provider. It’s usually not a lot though - maybe enough to leave a month or two early.
Provider has not resolved any issues (i.e. speed, connectivity, reliability)
According to Ofcom regulations, if your service provider has failed to correct a fault that has persisted for a period of time, you have the right to discontinue your service and switch to another provider.
It’s not a simple process though. It can often be hard to prove faults, and you won’t get much help from your provider either. You’ll need to keep a record of any issues and phone your provider each time. They will keep a record of your calls, which will help build your case.
If you still aren’t happy, you’ll need to contact either the Communications Ombudsman or the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS) to explain your situation to them.
How to Make a Complaint About Your Broadband Provider
Your provider is legally obliged to take complaints seriously. The first step is for you to contact your provider’s customer service, tell them exactly what the problem is and what you want done about it. Your provider must respond to your issue within 5 days and fix it within 10.
If you want to escalate your complaint, you will need to contact either he Communications Ombudsman or the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS). Your provider is required to be a member of one of the two, so who you contact will be dependent on this.
What are the processes for cancelling your contract with each provider?
The processes for cancelling your contract vary from one provider to the next. Here we’ve provided a brief summary of what you can expect to pay, and a link to the relevant information on the provider’s website.
You will almost certainly need to pay a cancellation charge if you want to leave BT early. That is, of course, unless one of the exemptions mentioned earlier apply to you.
Additional subscriptions and payments made in advance will also be factored in to the cancellation fee. That means you’ll also be liable to pay for cancelling your Sky TV (if you opted for that service).
A bit of maths is involved to calculate how much you’ll be charged. Your monthly charge (excluding VAT) and 4% for early payment, will then be multiplied by the number of remaining months on your contract. Find out more about the charges incurred by terminating an EE contract before the full term
It’s safe to assume that for all other providers you’ll be charged an early exit fee of some sort if you want to end your contract early. This is usually the cost of the remaining months left on the contract, plus the cost of any equipment. To find out specifically how much you’ll be charged, search your provider’s website or speak to a customer service representative.