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The cost of moving your broadband

The Citizens advice service has warned that tens of thousands of broadband customers throughout
the UK are experiencing unnecessary ‘costly’ charges to change supplier.

The free and impartial advice service estimates that the average cost of ending a broadband contract
is £190, with some termination fees as high as £625.

It has been claimed that many broadband customers are confronted with charges after having
received poor standards of customer service from their existing internet provider.

In response to these claims, the broadband industry advised that all termination fees are always
made clear to the customer beforehand.

Gillian Guy, chief executive of Citizens Advice, said: “People are finding themselves held captive by
bad broadband services”.

The broadband industry has argued that because of the high initial cost of supplying an internet
connection, termination charges are unavoidable.

“The cancellation policies on contracts generally require the remaining subscriptions to be paid off,
and reflect actual costs,” said a spokesman for the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA).


In situations where people fail to pay the broadband termination fees they are being referred to a
debt collection agency, which has been deemed as unfair.

One broadband customer, Brian Ing, attempted to transfer his internet earlier this year after
receiving a poor service from his existing provider. The result of this was a £211 bill, which he was
unable to pay and subsequently passed onto a debt collection agency.

The demand was passed onto the Ombudsman and Citizens Advice, and the broadband provider
agreed to suspend the charges.

Fair and clear

Citizens Advice is requesting that cancellation fees are suspended by all internet providers, especially
if the customer has been experiencing persistent problems with their broadband service.

To date only one of the large providers has advised that it would be happy to comply with their

In the meantime, the communications regulator Ofcom, has offered the following points:

  • - All broadband customers must be given ‘clear, comprehensible, prominent and accurate’

  • - The termination fees must never be greater than the payments due for the remainder of the

  • - Internet providers are required to issue contracts for a maximum period of two years

  • - Customers can switch providers free of charge if their prices have increased unexpectedly,
    this has been in place since the beginning of 2014

Need financial advice?

If you have any personal finance questions, then please contact our financial advisers. You can get in
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