Things to do before you cancel
Check your contract
BT Broadband contracts generally run for 24 months, known as a 'minimum term'. Leaving prior to the end of your minimum term will incur early termination charges. So make sure to check when you signed up before initiating the cancellation process.
In the event you’re moving home to an address where BT’s broadband services are unavailable, you should be allowed to cancel without any exit fees. However, as BT is still the largest broadband provider in the UK, this is unlikely to happen.
How to check
All broadband providers – including BT – are legally bound by Ofgem rules to contact its customers between 10 and 40 days of their broadband contract coming to an end.
BT also states on its website that it always notifies its customers when their contract is about to expire.
If you haven’t received a notification but think you might either, be nearing the end of your contract or be already out of contract, contact BT’s customer service department directly. In the event you are still in contract, ask what the costs would be to cancel early to help weigh up whether it’s worth the fee of cancelling.
How to work out your cancellation fees with BT
BT contracts usually run for 24 months, and the termination fee will be for every month remaining on your contract at the time of cancellation. 1% of this fee will be subtracted if you send your final payment early.
But depending on how long you have left on your contract, this fee can add up quickly, so unless your reason for cancellation is unavoidable, or the new deal you want to switch to is going to save you an incredible amount, it’s likely best to hold off on cancelling your agreement until as close to when your initial period is up.
In the event you’re moving home and BT does not have a service available at your new address, you will be able to leave without incurring any cancellation fees. However, because BT is the UK’s largest broadband provider, this is highly unlikely.
How can I avoid paying a cancellation fee with BT?
There are some instances where you can leave your BT broadband contract without having to pay an exit fee.
As mentioned above though, the easiest and most cost-effective way to ensure you leave your contract penalty-free is to wait until your minimum term is up. BT contracts are typically for 24 months, with a select few offered for 18, so, if you can wait until then you can switch without fees.
However, if you have just signed up for a BT broadband package, you will be given a 14-day cooling off period from the date your service goes live. This means that if you change your mind within this timeframe and no longer wish to continue your service with BT, you can cancel your contract and leave penalty-free.
In other cases, you might be able to leave your contract with BT early and without penalty if BT has raised the cost of your broadband mid-contract.
However, according to Ofcom, this will only be honoured if the price hike being implemented is higher than the annual rate of inflation, and you must leave within 30 days of being notified about sai price hike. Bear in mind however, that many providers, including BT, have annual price rises baked into the terms and conditions of their contract, and are allowed to do so in line with inflation. This should be stated clearly in your BT contract. You will also be notified of an annual price rise in advance.
Finally, you may be eligible to leave your contract withour penalty if you experience issues with your broadband and BT has failed to resolve this issue within one month.
Slow broadband and leaving penalty-free
If you’re experiencing slow broadband while with BT, you may be able to cancel your contract without a fee.
BT is part of Ofcom’s broadband speed code of practice – a voluntary option for broadband providers who primes customers that should customer’s internet speeds fall below the minimum speed that was promised that customer can cancel their contract early, no strings attached.
So, if you are experiencing problems with your broadband speed and BT cannot adequately resolve the problem within one month, you can leave penalty-free.
However, you will need to create a timeline of when and how often these slow speeds are experienced and report them as and when they happen to BT so they have an opportunity to resolve the issue.
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