We’re often entering new contracts, from car insurance policies to regretful promises to our neighbours. But what about leaving contracts?
The marketplace is flooding with companies telling us we can have the cream of the crop when it comes to deals – not least with broadband. Plus, with the help of broadband comparison websites (like our kind selves), we’re now often advised to check whether switching our providers could save us money, which it often can.
No one wants to be stuck in a broadband contract that isn’t working for them. But is there a way to cancel your contract early? Are you irrevocably bound? Here we investigate, in order to help free you from the shackles of your poor broadband contract.
If you are looking to cancel early, there’s a heap of transparent and hidden costs you could face if you’re not careful. So put the kettle on, because you need to become intimately familiar with the small print of your contract.
Termination fees are the make or break of cancelling early. As with most contracts, you’ll be expected to pay off the remaining sum if want to leave before the payment period is over. Depending on how long you have left, this could rack up a bill in the hundreds. Once the maths has been done, often people will end up seeing out the end of their broadband contract through gritted teeth. However there are some ways around this, which we’ll talk about in a bit.
You may also be charged for any equipment you have that belongs to the company, such as a wireless router or a TV box. Many providers will want their equipment returned while others may add the cost to your final bill.
Furthermore, don’t forget that inconvenient extra paperwork that cancelling early demands of companies (we’re not so sure), so expect to be charged additional administration fees. Again, read the small print of your contract.
In some cases, your new provider may pay your exit fees, though if applicable this is usually done through a reimbursement scheme or through a deduction on your new contract’s monthly bill. So, you could still have to fork out a considerable upfront sum. Do also be aware that often providers won’t offer this in conjunction with sign-up offers and bargain broadband deals, so be sure to check.
We mentioned earlier that providers may change their broadband prices throughout your contract. However, they are obliged by law to let you know in writing and give you 30 days following notification to leave your contract completely free of charge. Keep a close eye on your bills as companies will change their prices more frequently than you might think. Remember, any modification in price means you can leave for free.
If you’re not getting the speeds you were promised when you signed up to your broadband deal, then you may be entitled to leave your contract early. This is simply because the provider has falsely advertised their service to you, the consumer. If you aren’t experiencing promised speeds due to a fault of any kind, then your provider must do everything it can to fix the fault and must compensate you in the interim. However, this can take a lot of time and may involve technicians coming out to do testing often at the most impractical times of day.
So now you’re clued up, the question is should you leave your broadband contact early? You can, and you might be able to for free, but it’s not guaranteed to be an easy process. Be sure you read your terms and conditions to avoid a hole in your pocket.