Moving home is a stressful enough experience as it is without adding the hassle of dealing with your phone, broadband and TV services. Broadband in particular can cause real headaches if you rely on it for work and find yourself without access for weeks after moving into a new property.
To help these things run smoother you’ll want to do some preparation and planning ahead of time, so here are a few tips for dealing with broadband, phone and TV services when moving home.
Checking services at your new property
There is no guarantee that a new home will have access to the same services so you may be forced to downgrade.
Fibre and cable broadband users will run into the most problems as these connections are far more limited in coverage than ADSL broadband. In turn this could impact TV as you may lose cable television or find that a slower connection is less capable at streaming video.
First approach your current provider and ask them to check. They’ll be able to confirm availability at the new address and advise you of alternatives. You may also want to find out what else is there by checking the local exchange. Just keep in mind that availability at an exchange does not necessarily mean a service is supplied to a particular property.
Of course it can go the other way and you might move from an area with limited choice to a location where there are multiple superfast broadband providers and, correspondingly, more options for TV and phone which you can see at Broadband Genie. So long as your existing service provider is available you should be able to upgrade with minimal expense or trouble, though be aware that significant changes to a package will mean signing up for another full term contract.
Should you stay or should you go?
It may seem like moving home is a perfect opportunity to duck out of a contract early, particularly if a provider is unable to supply the same service, however in many cases this will result in an early termination fee.
Even if you cannot get the exact same package it’s likely they’ll be able to offer something, and if it’s slower or worse value than the existing deal your options are limited to paying that fee or waiting for the contract to expire. Again, cable and fibre broadband users will come off worse here if the new location has not been upgraded with these services. For example, if you currently use Virgin Media cable and move to a non-cable area within your contract period you’ll be given the option of Virgin Media’s National Broadband, an ADSL product which is obviously a lot slower than cable and lacks the TV packages.
For TV and phone you’ll typically have little choice other than retaining an existing deal, moving to another package on the same provider, or stumping up that cancellation charge.
Consider whether it’s really worth sticking with your provider or if you’d prefer to pay up and be free to move onto a new service.
Transferring broadband, phone and TV
If you opt for a transfer of services the hope is that it will all happen on the moving day and you’ll be ready to get online as soon as you’re in the new property, but in order to make this happen there is a process to follow.
In all instances you must contact the provider(s) ahead of time and find out how much notice they require to process a transfer, if it’s left too late you’ll be facing delays. It’s also very important to ensure the existing occupier correctly cancels their service, otherwise the phone line could be blocked and freeing it up can be a lengthy procedure.
For broadband and phone from the same provider you should be able to just contact them within the appropriate time frame to supply the new address and moving date. Assuming there are no obstructions the process should happen with little further input required.
For separate providers, first contact the telephone company with the details of the new home, and make sure they give you a Linked Order Reference Number. Hand this reference to your broadband company and the two will be able to liaise to migrate service on the same day. If this is not done you’ll have to wait several weeks after the telephone line is active before broadband is up and running.
Transferring television may require very little effort. Cable TV users should contact their provider, if you get broadband too they’ll manage the whole thing though an engineer visit will be needed. Similarly, satellite TV may need a dish installation. Freeview should simply require you to plug in the box at your new address, but if you have a ‘YouView’ Freeview box as offered by BT or TalkTalk they will advise you if any further steps are required when transferring the broadband.
Whatever you do, be prepared for the possibility of additional costs. If a new phone line is needed or an engineer has to be called for repairs you’ll have to pay for this work. You might also discover that the new property has thick walls which block Wi-Fi signals, requiring equipment such as network extenders or powerline network adapters to achieve decent connectivity.
If you’re having work done on the new home anyway it could be a good opportunity to make some changes; phone line points could be moved into more convenient locations or upgraded to improve filtering and give better broadband speeds, and it’s becoming increasingly popular to have homes wired with network cables and sockets.