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Can I keep my email address if I change broadband provider?

Jaskiran Jutla
Friday, September 1st 2017

If you switch internet service providers you can lose access to your email account. However, some providers let you keep this service even if you decide to cancel your contract.

To avoid the hassle it may be worth setting up a generic email address from a web-based email provider like Gmail, Yahoo, Bing or Hotmail.

What happens to my email address when I cancel my broadband with...

    

BT

BT offers a service called Premium Mail, which is a separate email service that allows you to access your email mailbox if you have cancelled your BT broadband contract. It costs £1.60 per month (rising to £5.00 on 6 May 2016) and you will need to contact BT on 0808 100 6778 to set it up.

The alternative is to switch to a free web-based email account from a provider like Gmail or Hotmail. It's worth noting that BT will close any email account if it hasn’t been used for 150 days, thereby deleting all your emails and contacts. To avoid this, check your emails regularly.

EE

EE is one of the rare providers, along with Sky, that allows you to keep your email address for free if you cancel your home broadband service. This is a nice feature, but it's worth treating it with some caution as the policy could change. This would mean you have to pay extra or lose the account completely. We recommend switching to a free web-based email service to avoid such issues.

John Lewis

John Lewis is happy for you to continue to use your John Lewis email account if you switch broadband providers, but it will charge you "a small annual fee" for the privilege. To continue using the email account, you will need to contact John Lewis’s customer service and create a direct debit.

Plusnet

If you have a Plusnet email account, you can keep it if you switch broadband providers, but it will cost you. Plusnet will charge you £1.69 per month, which is exactly £1.69 more than a free web-based email account will cost you from a provider like Gmail or Hotmail.

However, if you do stick to using your Plusnet email, the £1.69 will be taken as a direct debit payment. If you decide to cancel your Plusnet email account, you’ll have to give the provider 14 days’ notice.

Post Office

If you cancel your Post Office home broadband contract, you won’t be able to access your email account at all. Make sure you back up any valuable emails and contacts before you switch providers.

Sky

Sky is one of the few providers that won’t charge you to keep your email account active. However, you will need to regularly log in to your account, as Sky may shut down accounts remain inactive for six months. However, we can't rule out the possibility of Sky changing this policy in the future, so it’s worth backing up any emails if you are leaving Sky.

TalkTalk

If you have a TalkTalk contract and are moving to a different provider you will not be able to keep your email account. TalkTalk does give you 30 days after cancellation, during which you will need to back any emails you want to keep, and transfer any contacts to your new email account. Once those 30 days are up, you won't be able to access your old account.

Virgin Media

As with most broadband providers, Virgin Media creates email accounts for its broadband customers, but will close down that email account if you switch to a different provider. In Virgin's case, the email will be kept be active for 90 days before it is deactivated. During this time, you can back up your emails and files, but once that time is up you will no longer be able to access your Virgin Media email account.

Zen broadband

Zen uses a system called Pop mailbox, which is a third party storage system that allows you to access emails even if you don’t have a Zen broadband contract. As with other broadband providers, Zen charges a fee for you to keep using your Zen email address, but it is worth considering using a free web-based email account in the long term. To cancel your email address you’ll need to give Zen 30 days' notice.

The best advice we can offer is...

Use a third-party email provider instead – there's little chance you'll ever lose your address

By setting up an account with a third-party email provider such as Yahoo, Bing, Gmail and others you can always access your emails regardless which provider you are with. These email services don’t depend on broadband providers.

If you are thinking of switching broadband providers, then you can compare different broadband deals.

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