Switching broadband providers
Switching your broadband provider is like switching any other service or utility – it can potentially save you hundreds of euros on your annual bill.
Of course, like switching any other service provider in Ireland, switching your broadband provider can sometimes be a long and complex process.
The process is easier than it used to be, as the regulator will come down hard on uncooperative companies who could make switching a difficult process for consumers.
Although the process of switching your provider has become easier in recent years, there are still some important things you need to take into consideration when you’re switching broadband provider.
Why switch your 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 avail of:
- Cheaper packages
- Faster download speeds
- Larger download limits
- Better customer service
Before switching your provider
If you are thinking of moving from your current provider, it’s worth contacting them to let them know you’re considering a switch, and letting them know why.
A number of providers may attempt to pull out all the stops in order to retain your business. If you inform them that you are planning to leave, it could ultimately lead to a new offer at a reduced price.
However, remember that you’ll likely save even more by switching to a new provider, as many offer large discounts to new customers.
Finding a new broadband service
When you’re on the hunt for a new service there are a number of things you should look for and certain questions you should ask providers.
- What is the minimum contract period?
- What is the total monthly cost and are there any hidden charges or extra fees for exceeding your download limit.
- What download limit would suit you depending on your internet usage. Unlimited packages generally suit heavy users more, whereas this is unnecessary if you only want to check mails and use social media.
Compare the latest broadband packages.
How to switch broadband providers
Once you’ve found the right broadband provider for you, it’s time to make the switch and start enjoying cheaper bills.
Tips for switching broadband providers…
1. Have the correct information ready
When switching provider it’s unlikely that your phone service will be affected, but a loss of broadband service can sometimes occur temporarily during the switching process. You can reduce the chances of this happening by having the right information to hand when it comes to switching.
2. Universal Account Number (UAN)
If you are 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. It can be found on your phone bill and is an important requirement, in the process of switching your fixed line broadband service.
3. Cooling off period
If you suddenly realise that you don’t want the new service after all, don’t panic. Most broadband providers have a cancellation period in the contract, which means you can cancel the contract without incurring high cancellation fees.
The cancellation period usually lasts for 14 days, but check this with your provider before you sign anything. It is very important to be aware of all aspects of the contract to avoid any unwelcome surprises cropping up down the line.
Visit our broadband compare pages to see if you can get a better deal than the one you are already on.
Switching broadband provider - FAQs
A. 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.
B. Will I pay a fine/ penalty?
All 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.
C. Do I cancel my current provider before switching?
As above, 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.
D. 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.
E. 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.
F. 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.