Many broadband customers remain loyal to providers and packages that do not offer them the best value for money. There are a number of reasons why people don’t change provider, but the main one is inertia.
Three steps to switching broadband
1. MAC codes
Not all broadband providers now require this, with some suppliers now able to switch you without a MAC code.
But if you do find you need one, your MAC code should be a 17-18 digit alphanumeric number. In order to switch broadband you first have to call your broadband provider and ask them for your MAC code.
Use our MAC codes and switching broadband page to find the number of your Internet Service Provider (ISP).
2. Check your postcode
Once you have your MAC code, enter your postcode into our postcode checker to see which packages are available in your area.
3. Compare packages
Find the ideal package for your needs and sign up online to your product of choice.
Note: If speed or poor customer service are the reasons for your dissatisfaction, do not be placated by the promises of sales people. These problems are unlikely to be resolved by merely switching package.
Tips for switching broadband
- Check your terms and conditions to see whether your contract has expired. If you have been with your broadband provider for longer than 24 months, the chances are that you are out of contract.
- Find out if you need a MAC Code. If you do call up and request it directly.
- Be firm. If you are sure you want to change ISP, don’t allow the sales person on the other end of the phone to talk you around.
- Make sure you do not cancel your contract when you receive your MAC code, as it may take two weeks before you are connected with your new broadband provider.
Most broadband contract lengths are either 12, 18 or 24 months in duration. If you are out of contract or not receiving an acceptable service, you are free to change ISP and find the deal that suits your needs.
I use my broadband provider's email service. What do I do about my account?
If you've been using an email address supplied by your old provider, you'll need to turn on 'autoforwarding' on the account you're not going to use any more and set up a new account to receive your email.
In the event that your provider is bought out and is closing its email service, you'll also have to notify your contacts of your change of address. The good news is that your old broadband supplier will usually give ample notice, during which time you'll still be able to log in to your account and pick up emails.
To avoid having to change your email address every time you change provider, we'd recommend you resolve to switch to an email service that's not linked to your broadband supplier. Pick from Gmail, Yahoo or Outlook. This will make switching much less hassle in future.
Reasons to switch
- Faster download speeds
- Better value for money
- Higher download allowances
- Improved customer service
Switching broadband terms
A MAC code (Migration Authorisation Code) can be issued by a broadband provider to help you switch to another supplier. When you sign up with your new broadband provider, your MAC code will have essential information they need to switch your broadband supply over to them (e.g. details of your phone exchange, type of line etc.)
It is your right to change broadband provider and, if you are out of contract, you should be able to get your MAC number from your provider within five days according to UK law.
Another spanner in the works of changing broadband provider is the hassle of getting MAC codes and having to deal with pushy salespeople who will make promises (that they often fail to honour) in order to make you stay. Make sure you stand firm.
Visit our switch broadband page to try and beat your current deal.