Switching broadband provider - frequently asked questions
The easiest money you’ll ever earn is the money that you’ve saved as they say. And one of the simplest ways to save some cash is to regularly change your broadband and TV provider. So we’re going to take a look at some of the most common questions we get asked about the process so that you can switch and save without fear!
The way the industry works
Broadband providers are just like every other business really in that they usually keep their best deals for brand new customers by offering them heavily discounted broadband and TV for up to a year at a time.
But all good things must come to an end. And what happens then? You’re bumped on to the provider's “standard price”, which basically means their top price, with no discount applied.
However by regularly switching provider you can keep the discounts rolling and potentially save hundreds on your bills each year.
1. Will I be penalised if I switch broadband provider?
It depends entirely on whether or not you’re still in contract. Most contacts last a minimum of 12 months but some can last up to two years.
If you’re out of contract then you’re free to shop around for the best deals and switch as you please.
However, if you're still in contract, you may have to pay a penalty fee for breaking your contract and this will vary from provider to provider. However most providers will make you pay the outstanding balance, which is what you would have paid had you finished your contract normally.
So it’s usually best to just wait until your contract runs out.
2. Do I need to give my current supplier notice that I'm leaving?
Usually you need to give your existing provider at least 30 days’ notice that you’re leaving. This usually has to be done by email or by contacting them by phone.
Have your account number to hand as this is one of the first things you’ll be asked for.
Note that most suppliers won’t accept a cancellation request through social media.
Below are the cancellation numbers for the main broadband and TV providers:
Virgin Media 1908
Sky 0818 719 819
3. Do I need to cancel my existing service before switching?
When you’re switching broadband and/or TV provider you’ll need to let your existing provider know that you’re leaving as your new provider or bonkers.ie can’t do this for you.
In order to guarantee continuity of service, it’s recommended that you do this AFTER your new service is fully up and running. This does mean you may end up being double charged for the first month but the longer-term savings will make it worthwhile.
4. Is there a risk I could get cut off during the switching process?
During the switchover process, you may experience a short period of disruption. This will be the time between closing off your account with your existing provider and opening up your new one. In some cases this can take a couple of days or longer.
If you want to be 100% sure you don’t lose access to your Wi-Fi, it’s recommended that you only cancel your current service after your new one is fully up and running.
5. Do I need to return my equipment when I switch?
If you change provider you’ll usually need to return all broadband and TV equipment within 30 days of the cancellation date. Your old provider will send you a letter or email once your service has been cancelled with details on how to return your equipment.
Please ensure you include all cables, power adapters and home plug extenders and anything else you may be asked to return.
6. How do I switch broadband provider?
- Check you’re out of contract with your existing provider.
- Visit the broadband comparison service on bonkers.ie.
- Type in your address or eircode to see the deals available in your area. You can filter by broadband speed or price.
- Choose the deal that works best for you and sign up to your new supplier.
- Cancel the service with your old supplier. Remember that you need to give them at least 30 days’ notice.
- Return any old equipment that you have.
Alternatively, you can just call bonkers.ie on (01) 256 0500 and one of our customer service agents can talk you through the best deals and offers and sign you up over the phone.
7. What happens after I switch provider?
After you’ve signed up with your new supplier they’ll contact you by phone or email to confirm your order. They may also carry out some checks on your line to verify the services available at your address.
Your new provider will also discuss installation and delivery options for your new Wi-Fi and/or TV equipment. Some providers will charge an installation fee if you need help getting your new service up and running.
Remember, after you switch, you’ll need to let your existing provider know that you want to cancel your service with them.
8. How often should I switch providers?
The general rule of thumb is to switch providers every year or so to make sure you’re always getting the best deal available.
That being said, some providers will offer retention deals to customers to keep them sweet for an extra year or two, but these tend not to be as competitive as the deals a new customer will be offered.
9. How much will I save by switching?
The amount you’ll save by switching depends on your existing plan and the offers that are available at the time of switching.
If you’re switching just broadband you could save from €150 to €250 over the course of a year. But if you’re switching broadband and TV you could be looking at savings in the region of €350 to €500, if not more.
10. Is it better to switch to a bundled deal or is it cheaper to get my broadband and TV from separate providers?
Bundling tends to be cheaper, particularly if you include a mobile package, but this isn’t always the case. Also, some bundled deals could see you paying for things like landline minutes which you may never actually use.
So, as always, do your research and shop around.
11. Can I change my mind?
If you change your mind after completing an application for a new provider, a cancellation or cooling-off period of 14 days applies during which you can cancel without incurring any penalties. This consumer right is enshrined under EU law and applies to all providers.
If you do cancel, it is a good idea to follow up in writing or by email so that it can be verified later if needed.