How to cancel TalkTalk
By Aaron Howdle | Monday, February 4th 2019
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 offers maximum download speeds of 350Mbps. Almost all other providers offer maximum download speeds averaging 67Mbps.
Why the difference? There are 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.
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 12 or 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 depends on how much time is left in 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. 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 switch to another provider. Your new provider will take care of cancelling TalkTalk and all you need to do is pay your final bill.
There is one exception 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 cancelling TalkTalk without switching to a new provider, you will need to make a phone call or write a letter. To cancel by phone, ensure you have your account details to hand and call: 0345 172 0039.
If you are writing a cancellation letter, 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.
In addition to these details, TalkTalk requires one of the following to be included in your letter: the 3rd and 6th characters of your TalkTalk password, the last four digits of the bank account number or payment card you use to pay for your service, your TalkTalk account number or the personal security answer you provided when you set up your TalkTalk account.
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, 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.
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 can keep your TalkTalk broadband router as long as your contract has ended, but if you have YouView TV, you should return the set-top-box within 21 days. A quick call to TalkTalk will get you a postage-paid returns bag. If you don't send it back, TalkTalk will add a chunky 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 I receive low broadband speed?
The answer is, maybe. Your contract with TalkTalk, gives it a responsibility to provide the speed it promised you. If your speed is 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.