Four ways to cancel broadband contracts without paying cancellation fees

It’s common for people to switch broadband contracts when a competitor offers a good deal – this will naturally involve having to cancel the previous contract before starting a new one. However, many broadband companies try to prevent this by charging more to end the contract before it finishes. This means it’s essential that you know all about how to cancel the contract while avoiding these fees.

Does it cost money to leave a contract early?

When you enter any kind of contract, the understanding is that both sides get something out of the deal – a contract with a broadband firm is no exception. By signing their contract, you’re effectively promising to be a loyal customer until the deal runs out. To protect themselves against the possibility of you changing providers when there are still months of payments left, broadband companies generally charge a cancellation fee of their choosing.

Ways to avoid cancellation fees

There are four main ways to avoid having to pay a cancellation fee for your broadband:

1. Cooling-off period

Should you find a better deal within the first two weeks of signing up to a new broadband package, you can typically cancel the contract for free. If you signed up in person, however, you technically waive the right to this, but it can be worth asking for a goodwill gesture anyway. Even in this case, you’ll still have to pay for any portion of the service you’ve already used.

2. Ongoing problems with your broadband service

When you enter a broadband contract, the provider usually promises to give you a certain network speed and strength. If you believe their service isn’t meeting the terms set out in the policy, the first step is to use our online speed test to check the quality of your connection. If it’s below what you should be receiving, you can use this to gain a discount or perhaps even cancel the service without a fee if things don’t improve.

3. Wait until the contract expires

Though alternative deals come and go, sometimes the easiest way to avoid the cancellation fee is to wait until the contract naturally expires, at which point you can switch without hassle. This might be useful, as providers often save the best deals for new customers, so it could help to shop around for another supplier, where a good deal is almost a guarantee.

4. Make a valid complaint

If you’re generally frustrated with the service for any reason, such as slow speeds, it’s always helpful to make your voice heard. In doing so, you might be able to negotiate the end of a contract for free, but this isn’t always certain.

What if I want to switch for another reason?

If your price suddenly and unexpectedly changes, your provider must give you 30 days’ notice in which you can cancel the contract for free. Otherwise, if it’s just a case of wanting a better deal, and you have no other reason for cancelling, they can charge you a sum for each month left. Some companies also offer to ‘buy out’ your current contract, so you can start one with them right away. Overall, it’s definitely possible to switch your broadband without extra charges, but only if you take the right steps.