The reason I am pleased about this article that provides information for British consumers about switching their fixed-line telephone or broadband Internet service provider is helping them understand what can be involved with any of these changeovers in a hilghly-competitive market.
For example, it stresses the importance of satisfying contractural obligations like seeing out any fixed-term plans or making sure that the last bills with the prior service provider are “squared off” completely.
As well, they mentioned about procedures that may be in place with you and your provider in order to protect you from being switched to different communications providers against your will, a practice known as “slamming”. This may involve a letter of confirmation that you sign and return or a passcode that you give to the customer representative of your previous and/ or new provider to authorise you change.
They covered different changeover scenarios such as moving between two retail providers using the same wholesale provider or different wholesale providers. This also included situations where the different wholesale providers use different backend “exchange-to-exchange” infrastructure. There is even the case of a setup where the handover involves totally different infrastructure like heading to a cable or fibre-based provider from an ADSL provider.
But some people do change their telephone or broadband provider when they change their home or business locations; and this usually is a simpler practice of “winding up” business with the previous provider and starting afresh with the current provider. If the move is within the same town and you retain your current phone number, it may be similar to changing service providers at your current address.
People in other countries that are heading towards highly-competitive telephone and broadband markets should have a look at the ThinkBroadband article so they can be aware of what happens when users are shifted between different providers.