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How to cancel BT broadband

By Yiannis Maos
Monday, February 26th 2018

Whatever your reason for wanting to cancel your BT broadband, there are a couple of things worth bearing in mind before you jump ship.

First, if you’re still in contract, then cancelling your service will cost you money, and second, it is easier to switch providers rather than cancel altogether - unless you no longer require a broadband service at all.

Before you cancel, choose a new broadband package

Check when your BT contract ends. Most contracts run for 12 or 18 months, but if you have changed your package since you signed up – by adding TV or upgrading broadband, for example – then BT will have re-started your contract and you may have longer left than you think. If you don't know, BT will be able to tell you.

If you want to cancel your broadband completely and have no intention to move to a new provider, you just need to call BT on 0800 783 1401, and give one month's notice.

If you want to switch to a new broadband provider, you need to choose a package first and your new provider will then arrange the switchover with BT – there is no need for you to contact BT at all. However, if you choose Virgin Media as your new provider, you will have to call BT yourself.

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You will be charged if you choose to leave mid-contract

Although you can leave BT mid-way though your contract, you will be charged an early termination fee. These fees can be expensive, especially if you want to leave your contract early on. How much you pay will depend on which services you signed up for. You may also be charged for any equipment BT has sent you.

If you're experiencing poor service you should contact BT

BT is obliged to provide you with a service that resembles what you signed up for. Few people receive the broadband speed that’s advertised, which is nothing new. However, if your actual speed is considerably slower than advertised you might be able to do something about it.

Talk to BT to find a resolution

If BT does not provide the product it promised, then it may be in breach of contract. Talking to BT may result in a favourable outcome, but if not, cancelling and going with another provider might be a better solution.

Talk to the Ombudsman Services for Communication

If you’ve spoken to BT and you’re still not happy, you can escalate your problem further. The Ombudsman Service: Communications. works as the Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) system for BT. The ombudsman’s office will work to adjudicate your disagreement and find a resolution.

Frequently asked questions

Will I be charged if I’m moving to an area not covered by BT?

If you’re moving house in the middle of your contract, and your new property has neither a BT standard broadband connection nor a fibre optic broadband service, you’ll still be charged the cancellation fee. One saving grace here is that you won’t be charged the cessation fee (which is £30). The cessation fee is sometimes waived if you are cancelling your broadband due to a bereavement or severe illness.

Do I have to pay if there’s an unexpected price rise?

If BT unexpectedly raises the price of your broadband deal while you’re mid-contract, you have a window of opportunity to cancel without penalty. BT is required to inform you of any changes made to your contract. You then have 30 days in which to leave that contract without incurring any cancellation fees.

This escape clause only applies if you’ve taken out your contract after 23 January 2014 and if there’s no notification of the price rise in your original contract.

Is there a cooling-off period with BT?

Yes. You have 14 days to change your mind about your services after you first subscribe. If you cancel your contract within this period you will not be charged any cancellation fees. It’s worth noting that it’s 14 calendar days, as opposed to working days.

How does BT calculate my cancellation charges?

Your cancellation charge is based on which services you want to cancel and how long you have left on your contract. Each service has a set cancellation charge. This charge is multiplied by how long you have left on your contract. You may also be charged a reduced rate for any equipment BT provided you with, such as the BT Home Hub router.

There is also a cessation charge of £30 to add on top, although this is waived if you’re cancelling because of a bereavement or serious illness.

Will I be charged if I’m out of my contract period?

If you cancel your contract after the minimum term has expired, you will only be charged the £30 cessation fee, not cancellation fees.

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