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7 Things To Think About Before You Switch Broadband

Internet connection is, these days, a limb that we feel lost without. We use the internet for more or less everything; it’s as essential to our day-to-day lives as electricity or hot water. If it wasn’t for the internet, you wouldn’t be reading this article!

Something that’s so necessary to the way we live – now more than ever – really has to work as hard for you as it can. If you feel like you could do better from your broadband, but are on the fence about switching, then maybe this guide could help you make up your mind.

You could save money

This is the biggie, isn’t it? Why switch if it’s not going to leave more money in your pocket? Broadband deals tend to come with a fixed price for a set amount of time. Once that time is up, putting the price up is fair game, and so most providers will do it. If they’re going to, though, they have to tell you what the price will change to once the fixed period ends.

If you’ve been with your current provider for ages, chances are what you pay has gone up a few times, and you could stand to save a fair chunk by switching to a new provider. Even if you’re a seasoned switcher, you could still save a fair whack by switching again, as long as you’re out of contract with your current provider. If you try to leave before the end of your contract, then you’ll probably have to pay an early exit fee that might outweigh your saving.

You can get better customer service

There’s a lot to be said for good customer service, isn’t there? It’s not just about having somebody friendly and helpful on the end of a phone when things go wrong – although that’s nice to have, too. It’s about the everyday running of your service: bills that are collected when you expect, and for the amount you expected, a reliable connection that doesn’t go up and down, fast then slow, on then off, and if things do go wrong, quick fixes and fair options.

If you feel like you’ve drawn the short straw on any of these things with your current provider, then by switching away, you can get your broadband from someone who has a better track record of offering good service and stop lining the pockets of someone who’s messed you about. Of course, if it’s going to cost you more, then you’ll have to decide whether a better experience is worth sacrificing a saving for…

There’s more choice than you think

If you live out in the sticks, you might have found that in the past you had a pretty limited choice of broadband suppliers, and stuck with one because, well, there wasn’t anyone else. But, change is afoot! If your broadband uses the Openreach network, then you should have your pick of any company that uses that network. This includes BT, Sky, EE, TalkTalk, Vodafone, and more, and they all have very competitive deals with good prices to offer. Providers like Virgin, who use a different network, are always expanding the areas they serve, too, so you might have more choice and better packages to pick from than you think!

Banish buffering and download limits

Internet use has changed a lot over the last few years – we’ve gone from occasional web browsers to streaming bingers and online gamers. Watching movies and TV shows, gaming online, and all our usual browsing takes some serious internet oomph, especially if whole house-loads of us are all online at once.

Nobody wants to have their movie buffer at a crucial moment because their speeds are sub-par, or only spend an hour on the Xbox or Playstation to avoid draining through your download limit. So, if your broadband package is struggling to keep up with your needs, then switching to a package with higher speeds and unlimited downloads could be a good decision.

Some providers have really upped the ante, with guaranteed minimum speeds and fancy routers that enable you to prioritise certain devices and control it from your online account to make sure your Netflix fix doesn’t get interrupted by somebody settling in for a COD marathon…

You can keep the same email address… for a fee

If your email address is linked to your broadband provider, you might think that switching supplier is a whole world of pain for you. But, it needn’t be. More and more providers are offering “mail-only” packages to allow you to keep the same email address after you switch broadband providers. Some providers offer this for free, but most charge a small monthly fee for it. If your current provider is one of the ones who charges a fee, this could eat up any saving you’re getting from switching, so watch out for that.

Being able to keep your email address isn’t guaranteed, though – some providers will still delete your inbox either straight away when you switch, or after a period of time. To avoid any chance of losing your email address, we recommend setting up an email account with a free web-based service like Gmail or Outlook (formerly Hotmail), and gradually transitioning over to them as your main email address instead of relying on addresses linked to your broadband supplier.

You can keep your landline number

Even though most of us rely on our mobiles these days, landline and broadband packages tend to get bundled up together. Switching one usually means switching both. But, as long as you know your landline’s number, you should be able to keep it when you switch provider. This is handy if family and friends have your landline number for emergencies, as you won’t need to update them!

It’s worth checking that you can keep the same number before you switch, though – sometimes it may not be possible, and you don’t want any surprises.

You don’t need to tell your current provider you’re switching

When you pick a new broadband provider to switch to, in a lot of cases, you don’t even need to tell your current provider that you’re leaving them. Your new provider will take care of everything for you, and your switch should happen without any disruption to your service. The only things you should notice if your new supplier handles your switch is that you get a couple of letters through the post – one from your old provider confirming that your service from them is ending, and one from your new provider to let you know that your contract is up and running.

The exception to this is if you’re moving to or from a company that isn’t using the Openreach network. Remember, we mentioned them earlier: it’s the likes of BT, EE and Plusnet. If you’re switching to or from one of these from a service that uses another network, like Virgin, you’ll still need to make a call to let your old provider know you’re switching away.

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