Switching broadband providers
Switching is quick and easy and could save you a bundle, so why not see if there’s a new deal that could suit you?
Why switch your broadband provider?
There are many different broadband providers available, with each one changing their offerings to make them more appealing. By switching your current provider you could enjoy:
- Cheaper packages
- Faster download speeds
- Larger download limits
- Better customer service
Broadband-only deal of the month
This plan from Virgin Media offers fibre broadband with speeds of up to 250Mbps.
It comes with:
- Unlimited broadband usage allowance
- The Virgin Media Hub, a new modem with an extra antenna for even better Wi-Fi.
Broadband and phone deal of the month
If you’d like to add your phone to your broadband plan, there are lots of broadband and phone bundles on the market.
One of the best broadband and phone deals is this bundle from eir which offers:
- Unlimited broadband with speeds up to 100Mb
- Unlimited calls to Irish landlines
Plus all eir broadband plans include the eir sport pack. So you’ll get eir sport 1 & 2, and FreeSports Channel absolutely free.
Triple-play deal of the month
Streaming services may be better than ever, but there are some great digital TV bundles up for grabs too.
If you add digital TV to your broadband and phone bundle you’ll get features like:
- Access to exclusive content
- Ability to pause, rewind & record live TV
- Access to content on the go
Sky is a popular choice and this plan could work well for you. It comes with:
- Unlimited broadband with average speeds of 75Mb
- 90 channels & access to the latest Sky Originals
- Includes Netflix & Sky Box Sets
- Unlimited off-peak calls to Irish landlines.
All Sky TV plans come with a Sky Q 1TB box where you can choose a range of add-ons like Sky Box Sets, Sky Kids and Sky HD.
Before switching your provider
Before you switch, contact your current provider to tell them you’re considering a change.
Some providers may try to pull out all the stops to keep you. If you tell them you’re planning to leave, it could lead to a new offer at a cheaper price.
Remember though, you could save even more by switching to a new provider, as many offer large discounts to new customers.
Top 5 tips for switching broadband provider
1. Know what you want
When you’re choosing a new broadband deal there are certain questions you should ask, for example:
- What is the minimum contract period?
- What broadband speed do you need?
- What is the total monthly cost?
- What download limit would suit your internet usage?
- Are there any hidden charges or extra fees for exceeding your download limit?
2. Have the correct information ready
When switching provider, it’s unlikely that your phone service will be affected, but a temporary loss of broadband service can sometimes occur during the switching process.
You can reduce the chances of this happening by having the right information to hand when you switch, for example your full address and bank details.
3. Know your Universal Account Number (UAN)
If you’re switching your broadband service which relies on a telephone line to access the internet, you’ll need your Universal Account Number (UAN).
This is an eight digit number which is used by telecom providers to identify phone lines - you can find it on your phone bill.
4. Remember the cooling off period
If you suddenly realise that you don’t want the new service after all, don’t panic.
Most broadband deals have a cancellation period, which means you can cancel the contract without incurring high fees.
The cancellation period usually lasts for 14 days, but check this before you sign anything. It is very important to be aware of all aspects of the contract to avoid any unwelcome surprises.
If you do have an issue, our guide to broadband consumer rights has all of the information you need on your entitlements and how to complain.
5. Don’t forget to cancel your current contract
Check with your current provider that you’re free to switch, and give the required notice so that you’re not charged after you’ve switched.
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Switching broadband provider - FAQs
Are there any hidden costs to switching?
There are no hidden costs - what you’ll pay is the monthly charge you see listed on Switcher.ie and any installation fees.
However, be sure to check what the cost of the package is after the discount period - if there is one - so you don’t get any nasty surprises.
You should also make sure you’re out of contract before deciding to switch, as if you are still in contract most providers will require you to pay an early termination charge.
Can I keep my phone number?
According to ComReg, it is possible to keep your landline number when moving to a new address, as long as the new location is serviced by the same telephone exchange.
Do I cancel with my current provider before switching?
You will need to give your provider the relevant notice in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties and arrange a date to close off your account.
How do I compare broadband?
With Switcher.ie’s broadband deal checker, you can easily find out the broadband deals available. The tool allows you to compare the plans across things like cost per month/year, broadband speed, providers and bundles. This makes is really easy to find the deal that best meets your needs.
I've decided on a new broadband provider/deal - what's next?
So, you’ve decided to switch, and submitted an application form for your new broadband product.
Soon, you’ll hear from your new provider, who’ll confirm your application and may ask you for some additional details to help to set up your account with them.
You are then responsible for cancelling your broadband account with your current provider when you decide to make a switch to a new provider. You will need to give your current broadband provider the relevant notice - as stated in your contract - in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties.
When you contact your current provider, you should also arrange a date to close off your account. Once the account is closed off, you can then cancel all Direct Debits to this provider.
You should also agree an installation date with your new provider, to ensure you avoid any interruption in broadband service.
What if I change my mind?
Once you sign up, you will have a 14-day cooling-off period, during which you can cancel without any penalty.
When should I cancel my Direct Debit?
After you decide to switch, you will need to give your broadband provider the relevant notice - as stated in your contract - in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties. When you do this, you should arrange a date to close off your account. Once the account is closed off, you can then cancel all Direct Debits to this provider.
Who cancels my current broadband account?
You are responsible for cancelling your broadband account with your current provider when you decide to make a switch to a new provider.
You will need to give your broadband provider the relevant notice - as stated in your contract - in order to ensure you can switch without any penalties. You should also agree an installation date with your new provider, to ensure you avoid any interruption in broadband service.
Will I lose service during the switch?
It’s unlikely that your phone service will be affected, but a temporary loss of broadband service can sometimes occur during the switching process.
This shouldn’t last for too long, but if you have critical times of the day where you need access to the internet, it might be a good idea to arrange your switchover for outside of these times.
Will I pay a fine/ penalty when I switch broadband?
Broadband providers charge an early termination fee if you cancel your broadband or phone during your contract’s minimum term. The exception to this would be if you have a contract-free broadband product.
If your minimum term is up, you will be able to switch without penalty. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that some providers require you to give them 30 days’ notice in order to cancel, so you will need to do this in order to ensure you’re not billed for the product after you’ve switched.