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Internet technology continues to progress and new players are always setting foot in the market. The best plans you signed up for in the past may not be suitable for you today. But with extreme convincing efforts from retention agents topped with early cancellation fees, switching internet providers does feel like a tough row to hoe.

With that said, let’s add it is not as hard as it sounds. Don’t believe us? See for yourself! This practical guide will walk you through the process, as we talk about the factors which you must pay heed to.

What to Consider When Switching Internet Providers

Knowing the exact reason you want to switch your current provider will save you from incurring a cost and experiencing the inconvenience of making the move only to end up in a similar situation or even worse.

Some top considerations for switching ISPs include being unsatisfied with customer service, wishing for a more reasonably priced package, or looking for a faster internet service. You may also be more inclined to switch from one type of internet service to another, like opting for a cable connection in place of DSL. A less common reason to switch is availability—at times new providers start serving an area while a provider already operating in the market makes an exit.

While you probably have more than one reason, list down all of them and try to prioritize. This way you will be able to focus solely on the best available provider for your needs.

How to Cancel Your Existing Service

Most providers ask you to sign a contract—which means canceling can get complicated. That is why it is always advisable when you subscribe to a new internet provider, inquire about the cancellation process associated with the service.

While a few providers allow subscribers to cancel the service online, for most you’ll have to make call to the ISP’s customer service, and then make your case to the retention agent who’ll attempt to convince you otherwise. If you are already frustrated with an existing service and just want to cancel, this can become very aggravating to say the least so cancel via Live Chat or your online provider-related account if possible. 

Determine the Associated Service Cancellation Fee

If you are bound to a contract with your current internet provider, canceling your service before the end of the contract would imply having to deal with what is called an Early Termination Fee (ETF). This could certainly cost you a significant amount of money depending on how many months are left on the contract. And to be honest, at times the ETF amount is so significant, it may seem better to keep your current service active until the end of the contract. That is why it is always recommended you consider this aspect before canceling, especially if cost-saving is your primary reason for switching.

Also, remember, if you’re subscribed to a non-contractual internet plan at a promo price for 12 or 24 months as is often the case canceling the service before the end of the promotional term could make you incur a financial penalty.

Early Termination Fees for Top Internet Service Providers

Internet Provider Early Termination Fee For Which Plans?

AT&T

None

All internet-only plans

CenturyLink

None

All internet-only plans

Cox Communications

Up to $120 @ $10/mo.

All internet-only plans with a 12-month service agreement

Frontier

None

All internet-only plans

Optimum

None

All internet-only plans

Suddenlink

None

All internet-only plans

Spectrum

None

All internet-only plans

Xfinity

$10/mo. for the remaining months on the contract

1-year and 2-year contractual agreements

 

Other Things to Remember When Cancelling

When you finally get down to the process of canceling your internet service, there are a couple of other things as well which you must beware of:  

Find and Compare Internet Providers Near You

Once you figure out how much getting out of your current internet provider will cost you, start to explore all options available to you. And make sure you have a new internet plan in place in order to avoid long waits between canceling the current and activating the new service.

How to Find Internet Providers in Your Area

It is not necessary a plan which has grabbed your attention online is also offered in your area. So we recommend you save yourself from wasted time and effort, and enter your ZIP code here to get a list of ISPs offering services near you. Once you’ve a listing of ISP offerings in your neighborhood, you can shop around and shortlist providers and plans that best fit your needs. An additional tip: use an authentic internet speed test tool to check the speeds you are getting from your current provider this is necessary because it gives you an idea of what speed range you need to be looking at when you switch.

Comparing Internet Providers

When comparing providers do so on the bases of speed, monthly cost, up-front costs, reliability, and customer service—take your final pick depending on what matters the most to you. Here are some more tips to help you have a better experience this time around:

Will Your New Internet Provider Buy Out Your Contract?

If you are stuck in a contract with your current ISP as you look for a new provider, remember that some ISPs may cover your Early Termination Fee or compensate you for any other costs you must pay as a penalty for calling it off early with your previous ISP.

One of the most notable in terms of offering a Contract Buyout is Spectrum which offers up to $500 in compensation when you choose to switch to Spectrum services. Optimum and Suddenlink also bail you out by offering up to $100 for internet-only plans and if you bundle with video you can get up to $500. So always check with your new provider before signing on the dotted line.

Call your Current ISP

Now that you know about offerings from other providers in your area, and what exactly makes you unhappy about your current internet service, you are all set for that conversation with your retention  agent at your current ISP. This is important because the information you collect with the intent to switch providers can sometimes result in negotiating a better deal.

If you decide to switch anyways, better not ask for service cancellation unless you set up everything with your new provider.  

Order Your New Service

Now that you are all set to switch, it may be the right time to call your new provider and order the service. Don’t forget to schedule your service installation date at the time of the order.

How to Sign a New Contract

Before signing up for a new service contract, keep the following points in mind:

  • Read the fine print in the agreement thoroughly to avoid stressing about any add-ons or hidden fees later.
  • If you BYOD routinely, check whether or not the existing modem & router, or gateway device are compatible with your new provider—so you can save on the monthly rental fees.
  • Ask about any available incentives for switching. Just how some providers cover your Early Termination Fee, others offer deals designed specially to steal away customers from competitors.
  • Always make sure the promotional deals and introductory offers apply to the entire service agreement and not just the first monthly bill—in other words check the length of the promotional term.

Cancel Your Old Internet Service.

Once your new provider is all set install and activate your internet service, it is finally time to cancel the old one. You can either give a call to your provider, cancel online or pay a visit to a retail store, whichever option is available and convenient.

There You Are!

If you still have any confusion, call at 1-855-349-9328 and have experts help you switch to a better provider or check out offer availability in your area—they can answer your questions and give the best possible advice based on your needs and budget. So, Good luck!

FAQs

Is it easy to switch Internet providers?

If your current internet service does not include any early termination/cancellation fee, it may not be that difficult for you to switch internet providers.

How do I switch from one internet provider to another?

Switch your internet provider in a few simple steps:

  1. Understand your internet needs and know the exact reason you want to switch from your current provider.
  2. Determine associated cancellation fees.
  3. Find and compare ISPs in your area.
  4. Pick a provider-plan that matches your needs.
  5. Order your new service and schedule an installation date.
  6. Cancel your old internet service.

Do I need to cancel my broadband service before switching?

Yes, but if your current service has a minimum contract limit and you are still within that period, chances are you will have to pay an early termination fee. Just make sure any potential cancellation fee does not exceed the amount you wish to save by switching.

How long does it take to swap internet providers?

Well, it varies from one provider to another—some providers may take up to 6 weeks for installation, others may complete the process in 2 weeks after you place an order, and some others may take less than a week.