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What is a broadband cooling off period?

A cooling off period is the amount of time you have in which to cancel a new broadband service without penalty, after signing up to it. You can see cooling off periods for all major UK broadband providers in this handy guide and find out how to cancel your service before penalties kick in.

By on June 12, 2013 at 10:44 AM
What is a broadband cooling off period?

Wondering what a cooling off period is? If you've just signed up to a brand new broadband service, and you've changed your mind and wish to cancel, the cooling off period is the amount of time you have to cancel without incurring costs, before your minimum term contract begins.

When you take out a broadband service with an ISP, you'll usually be committing to stay with that ISP for what's known as a minimum term, in most cases this period lasts for either 12 or 18 months (you'll be able to see this info in your confirmation pack).

As consumers we have a right to cancel new contracts before the minimum term kicks in, so whether your circumstances have changed or you've spotted a better deal from a different ISP, the cooling off period is your chance to change your mind without paying any nasty early termination fees.

Looking for information on early termination fees?

How to make use of your cooling off period

  • Check below what the cooling off period is for your ISP, and make sure you're still within it
  • Some ISPs will allow you to cancel by calling the customer service department, while others will require you to write to a specific department and formally request cancellation
  • If the ISP had to pay an initial amount to get you connected, for example if they paid for your new phone line to be installed, or provided expensive equipment, you may have to pay a fee to cover their costs. This is not the same as an early termination fee
  • If you're no longer within your cooling off period and wish to cancel your service during your minimum term contract, please read our guide on avoiding early termination fees

ISP cooling off periods:

3 Mobile

Three cooling Off Period

Customers may cancel within 14 days of receiving the Mobile Dongle but must return the goods in an 'as new' condition. If the dongle is used for 3 consecutive days during this period, the customer is deemed to have waved his or hers cooling off period.


BT broadband cooling off period

You may cancel your agreement for the service before the service start date set out in the service terms. If you do so, BT will not charge you for the service.

You may cancel your order for any equipment we have provided to allow you to use the service or for any other equipment you have requested, up to 10 calendar days after BT deliver it. If you cancel any order for equipment within this period, you must return it (undamaged and in its original packaging), following the instructions on BT's website. BT will refund anything you have already paid for the equipment. There may be an equipment collection cost.

EE (Everything Everywhere)

EE Cooling Off Period

May cancel at any time prior to the Start Date

John Lewis broadband

John Lewis cooling off period

You can cancel without penalty before your service start date (set out in the service terms), by calling customer support on 0800 022 3300 on weekdays between 9am and 5:30pm.


Plusnet cooling Off Period

Customers may cancel at any time before the service start date.

  • For broadband, if line speed (after the initial 10 days) is lower than the estimate range quoted by Plusnet you may cancel within the first 90 days of the contract without paying an early termination fee. This is also subject to Plusnet making improvements where possible.
  • Fibre optic broadband customers may cancel at any time before the service start date but will be liable for costs relating to installation of any equipment for fibre services.
Post Office broadband

Post Office cooling off period

You may cancel Post Office Broadband by contacting customer Services any time up until 4p.m. on the working day before the Post Office Broadband service starts. "Working Day" is defined as any day other than a Saturday, Sunday or public holiday. The Post Office will refund any charges except for a new line provision.


Primus cooling Off Period

14 days from the date of the order - cancellations in this period must be done by email to


Sky cooling Off Period

Sky TV customers: there is a 28 day cooling off period after installation. Customer will still be liable for the cost of the service but not subject to an early termination fee.

Sky Phone and Broadband customers: customers may cancel within 10 working days of placing the order with no penalties.


TalkTalk Cooling Off Period

Customers may cancel within 10 days after the order date with no penalties, as stated in TalkTalk's code of practice:

  • Customers may cancel at any time up to 7 working days after receiving the terms and conditions for any service or up to but not including, the date TalkTalk's supply of that service to the customer commences. If sooner ("Trial Period") provided that the customer notifies TalkTalk in writing of such cancellation within the Trial Period.
  • Both the terms and conditions and code of practice agree that there are no penalties if the customer cancels the day before his or her 'go live' date.
Astra Connect satellite broadband (Europasat)

Astra Connect cooling off period

You may cancel without penalty during the first 14 days from the service start date.

Virgin Media

Virgin Media cooling off period

There is no expressed cooling off period in their terms and conditions. However, there is a 28 day money back guarantee. If customers are not satisfied they may cancel within 28 days of service activation and Virgin Media will refund the first month's cost and any installation charge. The customer will still be liable to pay for call charges, movies, pay-per-view Virgin TV on demand events, interactive services and games, additional/premium channels or any upgrades ordered after installation.

xln telecom

xln telecom cooling off period

You can cancel within 30 days from the Effective Date, if XLN agree that a competitor's tariff is cheaper overall and they cannot match it. If you cancel within 30 days from the service start date, you will not have to pay a cancellation fee, but there may be charges for additional services you received during the initial 30 day period.

If you are suffering from a bad broadband connection with poor speeds and would like to switch to a new providert, we can help. Give our Switching Support Experts a call and we'll advise you of the most cost-effective way to improve your internet service.