Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Do I need to pay BT a reactivation fee when I switch?

I'm currently with TalkTalk for broadband and phone, but I want to switch, will I have to pay a reconnection fee? I've heard it's £125.

The simple answer is BT do in fact charge £125 to have a standard phone line reinstalled.

However, before that shocking price tag makes you faint away, it is important to remember that the vast majority of people moving broadband provider simply need their phone line reactivating, which ducks the £125 charge.

TalkTalk broadband often providing a full LLU service - so its own phone and broadband line via its own exchanges - whereas a provider like Plusnet offers a re-branded BT service, so to switch to them you would need a 'new' BT phone line.

Normal protocol for switching broadband supplier is to request a MAC code which is used to switch over to a new supplier. This is the case with shared LLU providers and those who use IP Stream/Data Stream.

Unfortunately, for Talk Talk customers they operate outside the BT network meaning the normal MAC code system doesn't apply for Talk Talk customers.

Switching from Full LLU to Shared LLU or IP Stream/ Data Stream

There are two ways of switching ISP all depending on if the ISP you are changing to operates under the new BT ordering system or not.

Under the new system you will need to choose the new broadband and home phone provider, these don't necessarily have to be the same provider otherwise known as a "simultaneous provide".

After making your decision you will need to contact one of your new providers to place a migration order from Full LLU, in this case Talk Talk. After this you will be sent a reference number which need to be passed on to the other new provider to ensure that the two orders are tied.

After this, the "letter facilitation process" will take place.

This is basically a fancy way of saying a letter will be sent out confirming the order and giving details of the switch.

This process unfortunately doesn't guarantee that both services will start on the same day meaning there may be a little wait before you can start surfing the net again.

If the new ISP operates under the old BT ordering system there is no migration process instead you will "cease and re-provide" when the existing provider is cancelled then gaining provider is installed.

Switching broadband providers from LLU to the BT network can be a bit complicated but you shouldn't have to pay the £125 pound reinstallation fee if you have a working line that needs activating.

Going back to BT

BT have said that so long as you have a dialling tone on your phone, it is likely that you won't have to pay a penny to get your line switched over to BT again.

If you don't have a dialing tone and BT need to send an engineer out to you to reconnect your master socket (main telephone socket) to the BT line it will cost £122.50.

Either way, you will have to start paying your line rental (we recommend paying this by Direct Debit and opting for paper-free billing to keep the price at £11.25, rather than £14 - which is an extra £1.50 for non-DD payment and £1.25 for a paper bill), cost of calls and any other services that you'll require from BT (such as caller ID, call blocking etc.)

BT also mentioned that anyone reconnecting will be subject to a credit check - which means you may be required to pay a deposit.

Also remember that BT will tie you in to a 12 month contract with them, so make sure you definitely want to pay your line rental to BT rather than one of the other broadband providers that offer line rental as part of the package.

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