How to switch to Sky from your current provider

Dan Howdle | May 25th, 2023

Sky logo

So you've seen the ads, and found yourself tempted. Sky's broadband packages are excellent, and its TV services simply can't be surpassed. But how do you go about switching from your current provider without the risk of incurring heavy fees or getting left in the lurch with a gap in service as the changeover happens?

The good news is that the process is generally pretty straightforward; but there are one or two pitfalls to look out for. We detail exactly what you need to do for a hassle-free switch to Sky.

Choose your new Sky package

If you haven't yet found a new deal from Sky, or just want to check you haven't missed anything, you can choose a package from the selection shown or click the button to browse all the available Sky packages. Once you've ordered your new package, Sky will help you through the switching process, and in most cases tell your existing provider about your intended departure.

The process of moving to Sky can vary slightly depending on which provider you are with at the moment – this is especially the case for Virgin customers moving to Sky – so we've outlined the process for each provider in detail below.

Choose a Sky package

Virgin Media logo

How to switch from Virgin Media

First of all, have a look at all the current Sky broadband and TV deals available in your area. Once you've chosen a deal, you can click on the button to go through to Sky's website and make your purchase. You will then need to contact Virgin Media since, unlike other providers, Virgin runs its own network, rather than using Openreach. This makes the transfer a little more complicated, and means that Sky will not contact Virgin Media directly to cancel on your behalf and manage the process itself.

Don't worry, though; there is no reason for you to be without broadband at all. Just make sure you tell Virgin Media the date your Sky service is due to start. Virgin will then keep your existing connection live until after your Sky service is up and running, so you will have both connections live at the same time during the changeover.

Will I have to pay a cancellation fee?

Once your contract with Virgin Media has come to an end, you can switch with 30 days' notice – this means you can cancel exactly one month before your initial 18-month contract ends. If you don’t wait until the end of your contract, Virgin will charge you early cancellation fees. The earlier you cancel, the greater the fees will be.

Unfortunately, even if you're having to cancel mid-contract due to moving home and Virgin Media services aren't available in your new area, you will be charged. On the upside, however, Sky will credit your account up to £100 to help cover cancellation fees if leave Virgin Media within your 18-month contract.

Will I have to return my equipment?

Yes, Virgin Media will send out pre-paid packaging so that you can return your router and set-top box – don't forget to include all the extras like WiFi pods and boosters (if you have them), the remote control and even power cables. In the case of some older items, such as the company's TiVo boxes or Hub 2 routers, it's OK to just get rid of them yourself, although Virgin will take them as well.

Can I keep my Virgin home phone number?

Yes you can, as long as you tell Sky you want to do this before you buy your package.

Can I keep my Virgin Media email?

Unfortunately, no. If you leave Virgin Media broadband, you'll lose your email service after 90 days. You'll need to make sure you save any contacts, emails and files you wish to keep before that happens.

Can I keep some of my Virgin Media services?

You can choose to keep Virgin Media broadband and take Sky TV, but you can’t keep Virgin Media TV and have Sky broadband. Plus, in virtually all cases you’ll get a much better deal by moving your broadband, TV and phone over to Sky all in one go.

What if I'm due a refund?

In some cases, where you've paid for services in advance, you may be due a refund when you leave. Virgin Media says it'll sort out repayment automatically, though it may take six weeks or more to arrive.

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BT logo

How to switch from BT

If you're getting a decent service from BT, the chances are that you'll be absolutely fine moving to Sky, as both providers use the same Openreach network. If you're moving to a new address, you can use our Sky availability checker to see exactly which services are available where you live.

Thanks to Ofcom, there's a very simple process for switching providers when they're using the same network. You won't even need to cancel your BT service yourself. Instead, as soon as you sign up, Sky will get in touch with BT and arrange everything for you. Both companies will contact you detailing the services that you're moving, the date of the switchover, and any cancellation charges that you may have to pay.

Will I have to pay a cancellation fee?

Yes, you will, unless your contract has come to an end. If it hasn't, you'll be liable for the charges for the remainder of the term. Happily, Sky offers to pay up to £100 of cancellation fees if you want to leave BT before your contract term is up.

What happens to my direct debit now I'm leaving BT?

If you pay by direct debit, BT will take your final payment the same way. If you pay by monthly payment plan, the company won't take any further payments from your account once your account has been closed, but will send you a final bill explaining how you can pay.

Will I have to return my equipment?

If you've come to the end of your contract, then the equipment is yours to do with as you like. You can, though, return it to BT for recycling and reuse.

Can I keep my BT phone number?

No problem at all: BT and Sky use the same network, so all you need to do is tell Sky customer services you want to keep the same number.

Can I keep some of my BT services?

You can cancel BT TV without needing to cancel your broadband and phone, but you can't keep BT TV without BT broadband. However, even if you're switching TV services, you needn't lose BT Sport, as it's offered as a separate package by Sky.

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TalkTalk logo

How to switch from TalkTalk

TalkTalk and Sky use the same network, so unless you're moving house you can be confident that your new service will be comparable in terms of speed. You can double check Sky availability using our comparison service.

As both providers use the Openreach network, once you have ordered your Sky package, Sky will then notify TalkTalk and arrange the rest for you.

Will I have to pay a cancellation fee?

If you're out of contract, the answer is no; otherwise, you'll be liable for charges right up to the end of the contract. Be careful, as this can add up to hundreds of pounds. However, all providers are now obliged to inform customers when their contract expires, plus, Sky will pay up to £100 of cancellation fees to anyone who wants to escape their contract early.

Can I keep my phone number?

No problem at all: just tell Sky that you’d like to do this as soon as you sign up.

Will I have to return my equipment?

TalkTalk will send packaging for you to return your equipment within 42 days. If you don’t, you may be liable for a fine.

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How to switch from other providers

As we've seen, where companies use the same Openreach network, you can be pretty confident that you can switch from one to another and maintain the same speed. If you’re moving house, you can check Sky availability in your area using our postcode checker, since you may find that the new ultrafast, full fibre services are not available at your new address yet.

Again, because most providers share the Openreach network, Sky will be able to manage the transfer: you won't need to speak to your old provider. Your old supplier will contact you, likely by email, to confirm the switch, and tell you about any cancellation charges you may have to pay.

If you're switching from a company that runs its own cable network, then you can't count on Sky to manage the process. Other than Virgin Media, these providers tend to be pretty small and niche. In this case, you'll need to go through the 'cease and re-provide' process, informing both suppliers yourself. It's important to coordinate the time and date of the switchover, to avoid losing service.

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