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Moving house? 10 tips to get online fast

Wednesday, September 27th 2017

So you’ve beaten the competition to find a nice new place, signed the contract and got a moving date. Now it’s time to do admin jobs like setting up phone and broadband at your new address.

Whether you're a first time buyer or taking the next rung on the ladder, it can take up to two weeks to set up a new service or transfer your existing provider, so don’t wait until you’ve moved in. Follow our tips to arrange broadband to commence at your new abode in lightning-fast time.

Step-by-step

1

Check availability at your new address

Find out which broadband services are available at your new address – and the average speeds you can expect – by using our postcode checker below. The results will tell you whether you can remain with your current provider or will have to switch to a different network.

Pay close attention to estimated speeds, because even if your current provider does cover your new postcode, speeds could be lower and you may benefit from switching to a faster service. Also consider whether you might want a phone and broadband deal, or even a triple or quad bundle with TV and a mobile SIM.

Check availability

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2

Compare the competition

If your existing provider doesn’t cover your new property or you’re using the move as an opportunity to switch, take some time to compare the services that do cover your new address.

Check out the cheapest broadband deals, but take note of set-up fees, the monthly cost and line rental, and also look out for services with free installation. Consider whether you want to bundle in broadband, phone and TV from the same provider, as it’s often cheaper than buying each service separately.

Compare broadband →

3

Review your contract as it stands

If your internet service provider (ISP) doesn’t cover your new postcode, moving your phone and broadband service gets a little tricky when you’re mid-way through a 12-month or 18-month contract.

If you’re currently on a fibre broadband service and fibre isn’t available at your new place, you may be able to downgrade to standard broadband to see out your contract. Otherwise, you’ll have to cancel, which usually carries an early termination charge.

4

Notify your current internet service provider

If you can remain with your current network and are happy to do so, it’s usually nice and easy to transfer it to your new address because providers like to move with their customers wherever possible. Just grab your account details, call up to inform an agent of your move date or arrange it online (see contact details below), and the provider will sort out everything else.

House moves tend to be arranged free of charge but there are a few exceptions; such as if a new phone needs to be installed or you switch or move again within 12 months.

5

Confirm new contract terms

If you’re keen to keep your phone number, tell the ISP as soon as you book your broadband move to avoid being automatically issued with a new one. Old numbers go into a quarantine of sorts before being reissued several months down the line and it’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to get it back.

While keeping your number is simply not an option with some broadband providers, others may allow it if your new place is within the same area code. Be sure to also check whether your existing contract will continue at the new address or you’ll have to start a new one, as this will affect your ability to switch in the future.

6

Understand speeds

If fibre optic broadband is on offer at your new address, consider whether your household will benefit from upgrading to a superfast fibre service or standard broadband is adequate.

Generally, the larger your household and the more time you all spend online, the faster connection you would need. If you’re not sure, our What broadband speed do I need? guide will help you decide.

7

Cancel and switch

Give your new provider as much notice as possible to ensure a quick set-up at your new address and avoid paying for an overlap of services between addresses. Providing you’re out of contract, you’ll be able to leave without charge. Standard cancellation terms are 30 days but set-up times vary between providers.

You don’t need to contact your old provider when you switch; just your new one. The only exception is Virgin Media, where you will have to contact both providers to complete the switching process.

8

Potential problems

If your provider doesn’t cover your new postcode, moving your phone and broadband service gets a little tricky when you’re mid-way through a 12-month or 18-month contract. You’ll have to cancel, which will inevitably carry an early termination charge.

You may have to buy yourself out of the contract by paying for the remaining months’ payments upfront, or pay a set monthly fee based on how many services you have and how long is left on your contract.

Moving out of a Virgin Media area

Existing Virgin Media customers don’t have the option to downgrade if moving outside of the provider’s fibre network area, since Virgin Media no longer offers a standard service.

Unfortunately, you’ll be liable to continue paying your contract at the old address or you'll be forced to cancel and pay Virgin Media’s early termination fees, which are based on how many services you have and how long is left on your contract.

9

Use your get-out clause

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways to escape a contract before the end without early exit charges. Firstly, since January 24th 2014, if you take out a phone or broadband contract and the price increases later, new Ofcom rules allow you to leave without penalty.

Secondly, if you’ve suffered very poor service from your internet service provider, you can claim that they have failed in their contractual obligations and may be able leave penalty-free as well.

This process can be slightly longer however, as you’ll need to complain in writing and wait up to eight weeks for a response, before taking it higher to Ombudsman Services or the Communications and Internet Service Adjudication Scheme (CISAS).

10

Short-term broadband solutions

If you’ve left it too late to set up broadband in time for your move date or hit some problems that have caused a delay, mobile broadband is a useful temporary solution. There are a few options to choose from – dongles, 3G and 4G tablet SIMs and Mi-Fi devices – that give access to the internet on flexible 30-day contracts or pay-as-you-go terms.

This can also offer a solution if you are looking for a broadband-only deal without line rental. Find out more about each one in our mobile broadband guide.

Provider contacts for moving home

Most ISPs require you to call up to arrange your home move, but some allow you to do so online. Make sure you have all the relevant information to hand, including your old and new addresses, current phone number and account details.

Contact for home move
BT 0800 100 400
EE 0844 079 8586
John Lewis 0800 022 3300
Plusnet 0800 432 0200
Primus Saver 0800 036 3839
Sky 0333 200 8000 or Arrange online
TalkTalk Arrange online
Virgin Media 150/option 5 from Virgin Media home phone or 0845 141 0111
SSE 0800 294 4720
Origin Broadband 0130 223 5060
BT
Contact for home move
0800 0857352
EE
Contact for home move
0844 873 8586
John Lewis
Contact for home move
0800 022 3300
Plusnet
Contact for home move
0800 432 0200
Primus Saver
Contact for home move
0800 036 3839
Sky
Contact for home move
0333 200 8000 or Arrange online
TalkTalk
Contact for home move
Virgin Media
Contact for home move
150/option 5 from Virgin Media home phone or 0845 141 0111
SSE
Contact for home move
0800 294 4720
Origin Broadband
Contact for home move
0130 223 5060

Notice periods and moving fees

Check the table below for the notice periods required by the main providers to move broadband between properties with minimum disruption, plus the charges that may apply.

Notice period Charge
BT ‘As soon as possible’ – at least two weeks Free unless you need a new line, when a connection charge up to £130 may apply
EE At least 20 days Free
John Lewis At least one week Free, but £65 of you leave or move again within 12 months. Connection fee may apply if a new phone line is required
Plusnet Two to three weeks Free if you start a new contract, or £65 to stay on the same contract. Connection fee may apply if a new phone line is required
Primus Saver At least one week Free unless you need a new phone line, when a £69 fee will apply. If your number has to change due to moving to a different area, a £35.85 fee will apply
Sky At least two weeks Free for standard installations
TalkTalk At least two weeks Free
Tesco At least two weeks Free
Virgin Media Six weeks Free
SSE Two weeks If there's an BT line active, you won't be charged. However if you need one installed you will be charged
Origin Broadband 30 days Free
BT
Notice Period
‘As soon as possible’ – at least two weeks
Charge
Free unless you need a new line, when a connection charge up to £130 may apply
EE
Notice Period
At least 20 days
Charge
Free
John Lewis
Notice Period
At least one week
Charge
Free, but £65 of you leave or move again within 12 months. Connection fee may apply if a new phone line is required
Plusnet
Notice Period
Two to three weeks
Charge
Free, but £65 if you leave within 12 months of moving. Connection fee may apply if a new phone line is required
Primus Saver
Notice Period
At least one week
Charge
Free unless you need a new phone line, when a £69 fee will apply. If your number has to change due to moving to a different area, a £35.85 fee will apply
Sky
Notice Period
At least two weeks
Charge
Free for standard installations
TalkTalk
Notice Period
At least two weeks
Charge
Free
Virgin Media
Notice Period
Six weeks
Charge
Free
SSE
Notice Period
Two weeks
Charge
If there's an BT line active, you won't be charged. However if you need on installed you will be charged
Origin Broadband
Notice Period
30 days
Charge
Free

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