Why is the process changing?
In the past there were a number of different methods for
switching to a new broadband provider, which often left customers
confused about what they should be doing next. Many UK consumers
would be required to call their old provider for a specific code in
order to switch, a process which was both time consuming and off
putting for many potential customers.
Ofcom is now filtering switching down to just two simple
processes, with the "gaining" provider now put completely in
control of the move. Customers are no longer required to switch
with a MAC code from their old provider, and will only need to
contact them if they are moving to a completely different network
(a standard connection to Virgin Media cable for instance).
On top of this providers must now keep records of each consumers
intent to switch, protecting against "slamming" - where a customers
supplier is changed without any prior knowledge or consent.
Sharon white, Ofcom Chief Executive, said:
The new process puts the responsibility for the switching
process in the hands of the provider the customer is joining.
This will make a real difference for consumers, and will
encourage more people to take advantage of very strong competition
in the landline and broadband markets.
How do I start my broadband switch?
There are now just two simple processes for moving to a new
provider. Which one you should follow depends on the type of
broadband connection you are moving from and too. This will also
affect how long it will take for your new service to get up and
Gaining provider led process
This is by far the most common process and is as easy as telling
your new provider you're ready to make the switch, either by
ordering a package online or over the phone. In fact, when you
place an order with the free Simplifydigital switching support
service, we'll inform your new provider on your behalf so you won't
have to do anything further at all.
Both your new and old provider should then contact you by post
or email, with details of:
- the services which will be affected
- the services which are unaffected, and
- any early termination charges for the service your currently
The letters should also include further details of the switching
process, including a reasonable estimate of how long it will
Cease and re-provide process
This process is only applicable if you are switching to or from
a cable network, such as Virgin Media's superfast broadband
In this case you will need to contact your current provider to
cancel your contract, as well as your new provider to arrange for
the new service to be set up.
You can choose when each of these things happen, meaning you can
overlap your contracts for a continuous service or start the new
service once the old one has ended.
You will normally be contacted by your old supplier with
notification that your contract is ending, along with any early
termination charges that might be applicable. Your new provider
will also send you any information you need, including when your
new contract is due to start.
Do I need to change my phone line/line rental provider?
Depending on which supplier you move to or from, you may be
asked to switch to a new landline provider. The switch will take
place as part of the above processes, so there will be nothing
extra to do. It's worth making sure you happy with any new line
rental prices involved before you make the switch.
Will my TV service move too?
The process of switching your TV service may work slight
differently to your broadband and landline switch. For instance
Sky's Satellite TV service may require cancelling separately. Just
ask one of our advisors or your new provider for information on how
to make the switch as seamless as possible.
Will there be an exit fee?
Most broadband and home phone providers will require you to use
their service for a certain period of time before you can freely
switch. If you want to change providers before that time, then you
may have to pay an early termination charge.
If you think you may be still under contract, it's worth
checking with your current provider to find out just how much it
would be to switch. Costs for switching early are worked out
differently from supplier to supplier, however you should be
provided with a complete run down of the bill if you do decide to
make the switch.
Can I cancel my switch?
If you decide not to go ahead with your move, you'll have 14
calendar days to cancel your request to do so without
being charged. Just contact your new provider and let them as soon
Where can I get more information on the new switching
website offers help and advice about all aspects of switching
to a new provider. You can also speak to one of our experts, who'll
be able to guide you step by step, from selecting the right deal to
getting set up and installed as soon as possible.
Just call 0800 988 1458 to talk to our UK
based Switching Support service today.