A home broadband connection is a non-negotiable for Australians these days. When your broadband service provider isn’t up to scratch, it can be a real thorn in your side.
If your connection speed is too slow, the customer service is terrible, or you’re just paying too much, then it’s time to look at switching broadband providers. Although it sounds like a hassle, it can actually be a simple process.
Before You Switch
Maybe you’ve seen an ad for cheaper internet, or a friend has recommended their provider. Before jumping straight over to that new provider, consider why you want to switch.
If it’s for price, take a few minutes to compare broadband plans so you can find a great deal. You may even want to reach out to your current provider to let them know you’re planning to leave. They may offer you a lower price to keep your business.
If it’s customer service or connection speed you’re after, check out online reviews to learn more about a company’s reputation. Remember that speed is often related to the type of connection available at your premises, so top speeds aren’t always possible.
Perhaps you’re looking for flexibility, which is important if you don’t want to be locked into a long term contract. Fortunately, many broadband providers offer reasonably priced month-to-month contracts.
Speaking of contracts, check your current one. There may be break fees associated with ending the contract before the term is over. This may dictate when you arrange to switch to a new provider.
Found the provider you’d like to go with? Great! It’s time to make the switch.
Step 1: Get in touch with your new provider
In many cases, you’ll be able to sign up for a new plan online in minutes. But if you have questions or concerns, you might want to talk to someone.
Most providers will have a customer service line you can call. Prefer to see someone in person? If you’re switching to a big-name plan with Telstra, Optus, or Vodafone, you can even go into your nearest store to setup your account.
Let your new broadband provider know if you’d like to keep your current landline phone number. They can usually route it over to the new service during the switch.
If you have an email address with your current provider, that may prove slightly more complicated. Check with your provider about their policy for email addresses.
You may get a grace period in which to migrate to a new email address. Alternatively, you may have the option of paying a subscription fee to keep the email address.
Step 2: Schedule the Switch
Step 1 and step 2 can sometimes happen simultaneously, if you’re switching between the same connection types and aren’t worried about break fees with your current provider.
The logistics of the switch will depend on a few factors:
- Your current connection type
- Your new connection type
- Your providers
- Your location
If you’re switching from ADSL to the NBN, for example, or you need to check your calendar before making arrangements, you’ll need to complete this step separately. Fortunately, many ADSL broadband providers can switch services with virtually no down time, so you shouldn’t have to worry about being without internet.
For people switching to mobile broadband internet, the change is almost instantaneous. It’s just like setting up a new mobile phone: follow the setup instructions for your mobile broadband device, it will connect to the data network, and you’re set to go.
If your switch requires new technology—for example, satellites or a new phone line—a technician may need to come out to the premises which can take a little longer.
Switching because you’re moving house? Try to arrange your new service to be switched on the day you move in.
Step 3: Cancel Your Old Plan
It’s a good idea to contact your current provider prior to the switch to let them know you’ll be leaving. You can organize to have the old plan cancelled on the day the new plan starts, or you can wait until the new plan is up and running before you cancel the old one.
Good news for people on the NBN—your old NBN plan may be cancelled automatically. If this is the case, it’s still smart to follow up with your old provider to avoid any misunderstandings that could lead to double billing.
Once your new plan is active and your old plan has been cancelled, the switching process is over. The next bill you receive should be from your new provider.
That’s it! Yes, switching broadband providers can really be that easy. If you’re not satisfied with your current service provider, there’s no reason to hang around. Start the process today by shopping for a new policy. If you find a better deal, jump on it—you could start saving money sooner than you thought.