Problems changing provider

While millions of people successfully switch phone and broadband provider each year, we understand that not everyone enjoys a trouble-free switching experience.

If you're having problems switching your phone or broadband, here is some advice on what you need to do next.


(being switched from your provider to another without your knowledge or consent)

If you think you have been switched to a new provider without your knowledge or consent, contact your old provider and ask that they transfer your service back as soon as possible.

You should also contact the provider who has taken over your service and tell them you did not agree to the transfer.

Explain the circumstances and ask them to investigate this for you.

If this does not resolve your problem, follow the process at the bottom of this page.

Attempted slamming

If you think someone is attempting to switch you to a new provider without your knowledge or consent, ask your current provider to cancel the order.

This should be possible up to 24 hours before the transfer is due to take place. You should also tell the provider who is trying to take over your service that you wish to cancel.

If this does not resolve your problem, follow the process at the bottom of this page.

Tell Ofcom

Consumers play a vital role in helping us tackle slamming.

Although Ofcom can't investigate individual cases, your complaints about slamming/mis-selling can lead to us launching investigations and ultimately to us taking action.

Complain to Ofcom

Problem changing broadband provider

Ofcom wants all consumers to be confident that they can switch their broadband provider with the minimum of fuss.

When switching between broadband providers, your new provider will be best placed to provide you with accurate information and advice on the switching process you will need to follow. All providers are required to do this.

For help with your individual complaint, follow the process outlined below.

  • Contact your provider’s customer services department and explain your problem.
  • If this doesn’t resolve the issue, make a formal complaint to the company. You should find details of how to do this on the back of your bill, on their website or ask their customer services.
  • If your provider is unable to resolve your complaint, ask for a deadlock letter. This enables you to take your complaint to an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) scheme.
  • ADRs act as an independent middleman and will examine the case from both sides and reach a decision they think fair. If eight weeks have passed since you first formally complained you can contact the ADR directly.

There are two ADR schemes - Ombudsman Services: Communications, and the Communications and Internet Services Adjudication Scheme (CISAS).All service providers must belong to one of the schemes. Your provider will tell you which scheme it is a member of, or you can use our ADR checker.

If you are still unable to resolve the problem, complain to Ofcom.

Although we can’t investigate individual cases, your complaints can lead to us launching investigations and ultimately to us taking action.

Automatic compensation

From 1 April 2019 broadband and home phone customers will receive compensation from their service provider for delayed repairs, missed engineer appointments and delays with the start of a new service.

For more information on automatic compensation, see our guide.

Refused number porting

Under Ofcom rules, phone companies must allow customers to take their telephone number with them to a new provider when they switch. This is known as ‘number porting’.

If you think your provider is preventing or delaying you from porting your number, contact your new provider.

You may be asked to give them an Ofcom complaint reference number to trigger a short investigation. You can obtain this number by submitting a complaint via the Ofcom website.

An independent industry panel – which includes the Office of the Telecoms Adjudicator – will then assess your case, and can override your old provider to complete the porting of your number.


Phone companies must provide compensation if they block or delay you from porting your number when switching.

They must also explain clearly how you can claim this compensation. Ask your provider for details.

From 15 February 2020, broadband, phone and pay-TV customers must be told about their provider’s best deals when their initial contract is coming to an end, and every year after that if they remain out of contract.

For more information on these notifications, see our latest update.

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