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Switching Broadband or Phone – how to get the best deal

We always advocate looking around to see if you are still on the best deal whenever any of your services come up for the renewal – from car insurance, to energy, phones, mobiles, broadband and more.

This week we thought we’d take a look at the Broadband and Landline market, to see what you can get if you switch provider and what’s involved in switching. The most obvious benefits include faster speeds, a new router and save money to boot.

Firstly, make sure you’ve completed your minimum term with your current provider, as you don’t want to be hit with a heavy cancellation fee. If you are unsure, give them a call (they will probably want to keep your custom and may offer you’re a better deal). If your provider introduced a random price hike within the last 30 days, if you’re not receiving fast enough speeds or you believe your provider is otherwise in breach of contract, you may be entitled to cancel your contract without penalty.

You can use a range of online comparison services to see which providers offer broadband and landline services in your area. They will also compare the deals available.

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Think about what speed and data allowance you will need (if in doubt, ask your current provider what you are using each month or check your bills). Packages offering 24Mb and above are considered superfast and are ideal for big households or if you stream a lot of videos, play games online or download large files regularly.

Most broadband packages are unlimited, which means you can use what you need without hitting a cap. Unless you only use the internet for less than an hour a day and you don’t watch videos, stream music or podcasts or download images, don’t opt for a limited-download package.

Ensure that your phone calls are included in the package if you live in a talkative household. If you make a lot of calls at weekends or evenings, get an inclusive deal. Likewise, if you call overseas, find a package that includes this. The same goes for pay-TV. You could save money by bundling all these services together.

Make sure when you view the deals you are being offered that you include all the costs, including your monthly bill, set up fees and what you’ll pay once the initial offer runs out. Check how long you are signing up for and what the minimum term is / cancellation fees.

Finally, if you have an email account with your current broadband provider, ask what will happen to it when you switch. It may be deleted, so you will have to back up and transfer your emails to Gmail, Outlook or another ASAP. It’s probably better to use these services rather than the broadband services in case you wish to switch again, so you don’t have to keep switching your email.

When it comes to the actual switch, if you are switching between providers who use the Openreach telecoms network like BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk, then your new provider will arrange the whole transfer for you. You will be sent regular communications from your new and old providers confirming what is happening and when the transfer should take place. You can keep the same phone number when you switch, if you are staying in the same house or flat.

If you are switching to or from a cable network you will need to stop your service with your current provider and start a new one with your new provider. So you will need to contact both providers and they will tell you when they will cancel your old contract and start your new one. There may be a cross over or delay, so you will need to manage this with both providers. We recommend letting your current supplier know, once you’ve ordered your new package with your new provider, so that you know when your broadband is likely to go live.

It’s worth considering, which providers offer good service, and which have a poorer record.

Recent data released by the regulator Ofcom, showed TalkTalk came out worst as the most complained about provider for broadband and phone line services between October and December 2017. Complaints ranged from faults with the service to issues with its complaints handling process and problems with billing, prices and charges. BT took second place as worst Broadband provider and Plusnet was in second place for worst phone line (landline) provider.

As for mobile providers, BT topped the list for mobile phone complaints, followed by Vodafone. Tesco received the least complaints.

It was Sky who took the top spot for lowest number of complaints for Phone line and Broadband services.

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