Broadband

Broadband cancellations and the cooling-off period explained

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Image Sarah Rigney
Staff Writer

When you place an order for a broadband package, by law you have the freedom to cancel the contract within 14 days without being penalised.

Broadband, phone and TV contracts usually require you to stay with your chosen provider for a set amount of time, known as the minimum term. These contracts tend to be 12 months long, and once this time has passed, you’re free to switch to a different supplier.

However, what happens if you want to switch before this period is up? 

In this guide, we explore how you can cancel your broadband contract and what fees you may incur. It is the fourth guide in our seven-part series on how to get the best value broadband deals

Discover the other useful articles in this series at the bottom of this guide. 

The right to change your mind

If you recently signed up for a new broadband deal online or over the phone, but have changed your mind for one reason or another, it’s possible to cancel your policy within 2 weeks without any negative repercussions.

This 14-day window during which you can cancel is known as the cooling-off period and it begins on the day you receive your contract from your service provider. The contract should outline clearly how you can cancel your contract should you change your mind. 

If you're not told about your 14-day cooling-off period, the duration of the cancellation period is then extended to 12 months. 

If you signed up in person

There are some exceptions when the cooling-off period does not apply. Often this cooling-off period only applies to consumers who enter into a broadband contract online or over the phone.

If you signed up for a new contract in person, either in a retail shop or by meeting a salesperson, this cooling-off period does not apply if the service is set to begin immediately. This means you waive the right to the cooling-off period.

Can I cancel my contract after the cooling-off period?

If you wish to cancel your contract after the initial 14-day cooling-off period has passed, you’ll be subject to a penalty fee.

This cancellation fee will vary depending on the supplier you’re with but usually you will have to either pay a set fee or the remaining balance of the contract term. It’s best to check your contract to find out exactly how much you’ll have to pay should you wish to cancel.

We recommend waiting until your contract has finished before looking to switch supplier, as then you’re no longer locked in and are free to switch without being penalised.

Can I cancel my broadband if my provider increases its prices?

If your broadband provider decides to make a change to your contract, or increase your subscription price, you will also have the option to leave the contract. 

You’ll be given 30 days' notice should you decide to cancel. You can withdraw from the contract without penalty or without having to pay any termination charges. 

The full details of this will be outlined in the terms and conditions of your policy.

When you decide to switch

Even if you’re out of contract and you decide to switch, you still need to give your current supplier adequate notice. Usually, you’re required to give your existing provider at least 30 days' notice that you're leaving. 

If switching to another broadband provider, we’d advise that you wait until your new service is up and running before cancelling your old service. This will ensure you don’t lose service, however, you will be charged for two concurring broadband connections during your first month.

Since most suppliers won’t accept a cancellation request through social media, we recommend you contact them by email or phone directly to cancel. It’s also a good idea to have your account number nearby, as your provider will ask you for this.

After notifying your provider, you’ll usually need to return any equipment within 30 days of your policy being cancelled. If you fail to return the equipment specified by your supplier, you may be liable to additional charges to cover the equipment. 

You can learn more about the switching process in this guide.

Find the right broadband deal for you

If you’re on the hunt for the right broadband deal to suit your needs, look no further. Here at bonkers.ie our comprehensive comparison service lets you compare deals and packages from all of Ireland’s main providers

Our service uses your exact address or Eircode to determine which providers have the best deals available in your area.

You can also take control of your other household bills on bonkers.ie. It’s easy to compare prices and deals for energy, banking products, mortgage rates, and insurance types

Feel the power of real savings with bonkers.ie.

Helpful broadband guides

If you found this guide helpful, why not check out our range of other broadband guides?

You can stay up-to-date with all the latest broadband, phone and TV news and advice by keeping an eye on our blogs and guides pages.

Get in touch

Do you have any questions about cancelling your broadband? If so, let us know. You can contact us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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