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How to cancel TalkTalk

By Aaron Howdle | Tuesday, June 15th 2021

Want to cancel your TalkTalk broadband, but worried about the hassle involved? Does the thought of 'that phone call' stress you out? Well, we've looked into the best way to leave TalkTalk with the minimum of fuss.

No broadband provider will want you to leave; they will try to keep you. But if you've had enough of TalkTalk, or if shiny new deals beckon you elsewhere, then you'll have to bite the bullet. Let's blast that escape hatch and hurl ourselves out.

First, choose a new provider

You can compare broadband packages with our broadband and TV package comparison tool, which will show you what's available in your area. Switching broadband should be easy, since most providers use the same network as TalkTalk. The exception is Virgin Media. Luckily its network is widely available too. You can check what you can get where you live with our postcode checker tool.

The fastest broadband speeds are found with Virgin Media, which now offers maximum download speeds of 1000Mbps with its Gig1 packages. Almost all other providers offer maximum download speeds averaging 67Mbps.

Why the difference? With the odd exception, there are essentially two types of broadband provider widely available in the UK. The first type is Virgin Media and the second type is all the others. This is because almost all other broadband providers use the Openreach network. Virgin Media alone has its own network. Other exceptions include gigabit providers such as Gigaclear and Hyperoptic who also operate their own small networks.

Choose a broadband deal

Check you're out of contract

If you are still in your TalkTalk contract, you may not be able to leave until it has ended. TalkTalk's broadband contracts are usually 18 months long. However, If you are adamant about leaving TalkTalk, you can pay an exit fee to leave early; the size of this fee varies according to the package you have, but works out at roughly a tenner for every month left on your contract.

According to TalkTalk's terms and conditions, this also applies if you are moving house, although you can take your TalkTalk services with you where possible.

If you do decide to leave before your contract is up, it’s worth knowing that several providers, including Sky, EE and BT, will cover the cost of your early termination fees if you join them, by crediting your new account.

So let's assume your contract has finished. Happy days, you can leave by switching broadband provider or giving TalkTalk 30 days' notice.

Who to call and what to say

The easiest way to leave TalkTalk is to just switch to another provider. Your new provider will take care of cancelling TalkTalk and all you need to do is pay your final bill. No need for any awkward phone call.

There are a couple of exceptions to this. If you want to switch to Virgin Media, and don't want to take your home telephone number with you, you will need to contact TalkTalk to cancel your services. If you are taking your home phone number with you, Virgin Media will handle the switch for you.

If you are in a full fibre area and want to switch to one of the new ultrafast services from BT, Vodafone, EE or Sky, you will also have to contact TalkTalk yourself.

If you are cancelling your broadband completely without switching to a new provider, you will need to make a phone call or write a letter to TalkTalk. If you need to cancel by phone, ensure you have your account details to hand and call: 0345 172 0046.

If you want to write a cancellation letter instead, avoid ambiguous language and be clear about your intention to cancel. TalkTalk asks for the following details to be included in your letter: your full name, your TalkTalk phone number, your signature, and your contact phone number or address.

After receiving your letter, TalkTalk will phone you. So it may be easier to simply call in the first place. If there is a reason you cannot deal with TalkTalk by phone, it's a good idea to mention this in your letter.

If you have YouView TV with TalkTalk, remember it requires a TalkTalk Broadband connection, so you will lose it when you cancel your broadband.

TalkTalk will want to keep you

Broadband providers don't often mention the offers they can whip out if you are about to leave. TalkTalk wants you to stay, so it might offer an upgrade or ongoing discount as an incentive if you decide to speak to them over the phone.

Maybe you've totally had it with TalkTalk? If so, then stick to your guns and walk away. But if you want to save on cost, or if you want to upgrade to fibre broadband, you might get a good deal by agreeing to stay. Just make sure you are happy to walk away if you start the cancellation process and TalkTalk doesn't offer you a better deal.

Frequently asked questions

Does any of the equipment need returning?

You must return all your TalkTalk equipment within 42 days of cancelling your service. A quick call to TalkTalk will get you a postage-paid returns bag. If you don't send it back, TalkTalk will add a £50 equipment charge to your final bill.

Can I leave if TalkTalk raises its prices?

Ordinarily, if a broadband provider raises its prices, you can leave within 30 days of being notified. However TalkTalk is one of the few providers who guarantee not to raise prices during your contract. So this particular escape route won't be available.

Can I leave if my broadband speed is slow?

The answer is, maybe. When you sign up with TalkTalk you will be informed of the speed you can expect to receive. If your speed turns out to be much lower than promised, TalkTalk might have to let you out of the contract. On the other hand, if you were warned about low speeds before signing up, then an early exit fee will apply if you leave before your contract is up.

If you are trying to leave TalkTalk this way, you should complain about your poor speed and keep TalkTalk informed if it doesn't not improve. This way you will have a solid case when you ask to leave.

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