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How to switch between Sky and TalkTalk

By Emma Lunn
Thursday, April 12th 2018

Are you sick of Sky or tired of TalkTalk? Switching between the two providers is relatively easy, so what are you waiting for? Here's all you need to know.

TalkTalk and Sky both use the Openreach network so, assuming you have a phone line installed, moving from one to the other is quite straightforward. This guide explains how to switch between Sky and TalkTalk, from finding the right deal to who to call to kick off the switching process, and how long it all takes.

Know which services you want to switch

Sky and TalkTalk both sell bundles which combine phone line rental, broadband and a TV service. Or you can just take a combined phone and broadband contract from either.

Picking a bundle can make life simple – you’ll get one monthly bill for all three services. Make sure you pick the right one though: will you really watch all those TV channels? Remember, if you want Sky Sports or Sky Cinema, this doesn’t mean you need to opt for Sky. TalkTalk lets you add channel packs such as Sky Sports or Sky Cinema for a month at a time.

Some people might want a TV service from one provider, and phone and broadband from another. This is where it gets a bit complicated. You can get Sky TV without Sky broadband, but you need TalkTalk broadband to get TalkTalk TV.

Either way, work out what you want to switch, what you want to keep, and what you can live without. Whether you’re switching from Sky to TalkTalk or vice versa, you’ll need to check whether their services are available in your area.

Compare and choose a new deal

There isn’t much difference between Sky and TalkTalk when it comes to broadband speeds. Both providers offer the same three speeds: 11Mbps, 36Mbps and 63Mbps.

Next, think about how long you want to commit for. Sky’s 11Mb standard broadband requires a 12-month commitment, but its fibre deals (36Mbps and 63Mbps) require you to sign up for 18 months. TalkTalk deals are usually for 18 months.

Many people opt for Sky due to its TV packages. All Sky TV customers get Sky Entertainment and you can then add on Sky Box Sets, Sky Cinema and Sky Sports.

TalkTalk bundle customers can choose between two different types of broadband and two different set-top boxes, resulting in four different options. Then there are 10 different 'Boosts' you can add: TV Select, Entertainment, Kids, Sky Cinema, Sky Sports, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema, Picturebox, BoxNation, Asian and BT Sport.

Whatever you’re after, finding the best deal is easiest when all the information you need is one place. Our comparison tools take out a lot of the click-work, meaning you can compare features, costs and contracts easily.

No need to speak to your old provider

There’s no need to have an awkward break-up conversation with either Sky or TalkTalk. Sky has a dedicated Switch Squad that will speak to TalkTalk to cancel your contract. A TalkTalk agent will also do your dirty work with Sky.

Switching between Sky and TalkTalk should be relatively straightforward as both use the Openreach network so either provider can take over your existing phone line rather than having to install a new one. The switching process should take about two weeks and once completed, you’ll receive a notification confirming the switch, along with your final bill.

Check your current contract

If you’re still within the minimum period of your Sky or TalkTalk contract, you’ll be charged cancellation fees if you leave; how much will depend on many months you have left on your contract when you cancel. Check your original paperwork or your online Sky or TalkTalk account if you’re not sure how long you’ve got left.

If you’re still within your minimum contract term and liable for cancellation fees, you’re unlikely to save money by switching. Any savings you make on package costs will probably be eaten up by cancellation fees.

However, Sky will credit your account with up to £100 if TalkTalk charges you termination fees. You’ll need to send a copy of your final TalkTalk bill to Sky to claim the money back.

Frequently asked questions

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Do I need to pay set-up fees?

In most cases, you’ll need to pay set-up fees when switching between Sky and TalkTalk. How much you pay will depend on the services you’re buying. TalkTalk doesn’t charge set-up fees if you just take phone and broadband but if you opt for TV you’ll probably have to pay for a set-top box. Most Sky deals come with set-up costs – these vary from deal to deal.

It’s worth keeping an eye out for special offers where some set-up fees are waived. Alternatively you can try to haggle over installation costs when you sign up.

How long will it take to switch?

Because both Sky and TalkTalk use the Openreach network, switching should be pretty easy and you should be set up with your new provider within about two weeks.

Will I face cancellation charges for leaving?

Cancellation charges are likely to apply if you switch providers when you’re still in your minimum contract term. The end date of your contract should be stated on your original paperwork from Sky or TalkTalk, or on your online account.

Can I keep my home phone number?

In theory, yes, but you’ll need to double check this with your new provider. Make sure you use either provider’s switching service rather than cancelling old services yourself as this may result in your number being lost.

Can I keep my Sky or TalkTalk email address?

If you have a Sky email address, you can still use it when you leave Sky but you’ll need to log in regularly to avoid it being closed down.

If you leave TalkTalk, your email account should stay active for 12 months. After this, you won't be able to manage your email using "My Account” anymore so you won’t be able to do things like changing your password.

It’s probably best to set up a web-based email address such as Gmail or Outlook as these aren’t linked to any particular broadband provider.

Do I have to give Sky or TalkTalk notice I am leaving?

Cancellation periods with Sky depend on the service. A minimum 31 days’ notice is required to cancel Sky TV while Sky Talk and Broadband require at least 14 days’ notice. Sky Q equipment remains the property of Sky and will need to be returned, but this doesn’t apply to previous Sky boxes. TalkTalk generally requires 30 days’ notice if you’re leaving. If you need to return your router or TV box, TalkTalk should send you the necessary packaging. If you don't send equipment back when requested, TalkTalk will add an equipment charge to your final bill.

Can I get Sky channels on TalkTalk?

Leaving Sky doesn’t mean you can’t access Sky TV channels any more. Most Sky TV channels are available through TalkTalk, including Sky One and Two, Sky Sports and Sky Cinema. Unfortunately, one of the most popular Sky channels, Sky Atlantic, is not available to TalkTalk customers.

Conclusion

Switching between Sky and TalkTalk should be pretty easy. Are you sure you want to switch though? Before you decide, it’s worth giving your current provider a call to see if it can offer you a deal which makes staying worthwhile. If not, it’s time to move on and not look back.

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