How to cancel broadband contracts early

Sometimes circumstances change, and it’s inevitable that at one point or another you’ll be looking into cancelling your broadband contract early. The idea of cancellation fees, long phone calls and extra admin can all be off-putting, but it shouldn’t stop you finding the best deal. Read up on everything you need to know about your broadband cancellation rights below. Despite common perception, there are certain cases in which you can get away without any early exit fees. If you’re looking for a better broadband deal, then why not start by browsing deals with our comparison tool?

Moving house boxes

When does my broadband contract end?

New Ofcom rulings mean that broadband suppliers have to tell you when your contract is coming to an end. This is to make sure customers are less likely to let their contract maturity date pass without realising and end up on higher-priced non-fixed contracts. 

You can also call your supplier any time and ask for your end date as they are legally required to tell you.

Can I leave my broadband provider early?

The short answer is yes, you can change your broadband provider before the contract is up. The details of how this will work will depend on your contract length and provider. Your first step should always be to check your contract so you know exactly what you have signed up for as you may still be in a window of time where you can cancel for free.

What are my broadband cancellation rights?

The details of this will depend on your contract and provider. The first question that comes to mind for most people looking to switch providers is ‘will I be charged for changing my broadband provider early?’. Unfortunately, the answer in most cases is that there will be some sort of fee to pay. 

Broadband consumer rights – when do you have to pay?

For most users, some fees are inevitable when cancelling a broadband contract early. However, you might be able to get out without any fees or additional charges. If any of the following points apply, then you’re in luck.

Cancel broadband contract: poor service

If you’ve been experiencing faults with your broadband connection and the provider has failed to resolve it, you may be able to get out of your contract for free.

This is sometimes easier said than done, as faults may be hard to prove, and providers won’t help you. Make sure to keep track of issues as they come up and make phone calls so that everything is on record.

Your new provider is prepared to pay the fees

Some providers are happy to pay exit fees as an incentive for signing up. EE is prepared to pay up to £50 for new users, for example, which allows you to leave around a month or two early.

The monthly bill with your provider has gone up

Your provider has the right to increase the price of your monthly bill mid-contract. If this happens, they will notify you with a letter and in accordance with Ofcom regulations you are given 30 days to cancel without penalty.

However, you should check the small print of your contract before taking action, as some providers have added clauses to indicate that prices may rise. In this case, you will still face cancellation fees.

The minimum contract term has already expired

When looking at your contract, make sure to check the minimum contract term. These usually last 12, 18 or 24 months, and once this minimum term is up you’re free to leave with no penalties. In this scenario it’s a good idea to change as you’ll almost certainly find a better deal.

You’re still in the 14-day cooling-off period

If you’ve bought your package online, you’re given 14 days as a cooling-off period. Within this timeframe, you can choose to cancel a broadband contract with no penalties.

Switching broadband while in contract with BT

To cancel your BT broadband contract, you’ll have to call directly. BT tends to charge you for the remaining cost of your contract, and if you’re within 12 months of signing up then you may also have to pay off the BT Home Hub.

Cancelling a broadband contract early with Sky

With Sky, you’ll be subject to charges when cancelling your broadband subscription. The exact amount will vary according to how long is left on your contract. If you’re also signed up to Sky TV then you’ll have to pay exit fees for this as well. Sky requires 14 days notice for any cancellations.

Vodafone broadband cancellation 

All Vodafone contracts have a minimum 18-month contract term, so you’ll be faced with fees if cancelling before this period is up. The exact fees will depend on how many months are left in your contract and your specific broadband package. If you’re also a Vodafone mobile customer, then the fees are slightly reduced.

Cancel a broadband contract with EE

If you’re cancelling your EE contract within the minimum term, you’ll be required to pay fees. The remaining contract charges are calculated by adding together monthly charges, deducting VAT and then deducting 4% for early receipt of payment.

How do I cancel NOW TV broadband?

You’ll have to get in touch with NOW TV directly to organise leaving your contract. Early termination charges will apply before the end of the minimum term, which is usually 12 months with NOW TV. The exact charges will depend on your broadband plan and how much remains of the contract.

How to get out of a TalkTalk contract early

Talktalk charges customers early exit fees for broadband and TV alike. You’ll also be required to pay for any equipment that has been sent to you, such as the YouView box. Fees will depend on how many months remain on your contract, the details of which you can find here.

Cancel a broadband contract with Virgin Media

Like with all other broadband providers, Virgin Media will charge you exit fees if you plan on terminating early. For those also using Virgin Media TV, there will be exit fees for this too. Your cancellation fees change according to how many months are left on contract, so be sure to take a look at the documentation.

Switching broadband while in contract with Plusnet

Plusnet requires 14 days’ notice before any cancellation. You’ll have to pay early cancellation fees, which will be multiplied by the number of months that remain on your contract. Learn more about these charges here.

Is cancelling a broadband contract early a good idea?

It’s hard to give a definite answer, as this usually depends on your individual circumstances. Usually the reason for switching is because you’ve found a better deal, but sometimes the fees can offset this money saved. That’s why it’s sometimes best to avoid switching broadband while in contract.

Another option is to stay with your current provider but downgrade your broadband package. Read up on your current package to decide whether you really need everything that is offered, and consider a downgrade if not.

Another benefit of downgrading is that if you do decide to cancel in the end, then your fees will be reduced. For this reason, it’s strongly recommended to downgrade before cancelling your broadband contract.

Whatever happens, make sure to do some careful calculations before you make any final decisions. Your first step should be to read your contract carefully and to check whether you can cancel your broadband without any fees.

If you’re obliged to pay fees, then calculate the exact amount and compare this to the savings you would make with a new contract. Finally, consider downgrading your contract before cancellation to save on fees.