What needs to be taken into account?

Check on your invoice how long your current contract is valid (when can you change, under what terms?).

  • Check what costs are invoiced in case of termination of the contract and ask for written confirmation of the information obtained orally.
  • An operator is not allowed to charge anything for the termination of a contract if:
    • your fixed-term contract expires;
    • your fixed-term contract has been valid for at least six months;
    • you have a permanent contract.

You are entitled to choose the moment when your contract expires (even immediately). If you do not indicate when your contract ends, the operator can force you to observe the periods of notice laid down in the general terms and conditions.

  • The cancellation charges must not exceed the subscription fee still due until the end of the sixth month following the commencement of the contract.
  • Attention: In case your operator has provided you with a free or bargain price piece of equipment and you have signed a fixed-term contract, your operator is allowed to demand compensation in accordance with the residual value of the appliance, even if you break the contract only after six months. The residual value of the equipment should be stated in a repayment table annexed to the contract. In that table the residual value of that equipment for each month of the fixed-term contract's duration should be stated.  Each month the same amount should be subtracted from the residual value of that equipment.

Example:

You have entered into a 12 month contract. When you signed the contract, you “bought” the appliance for € 1.

The repayment table annexed to the contract is shown below:

Month Residual value
 0 € 120
 1 € 110
 2 € 100
 3 € 90
 4 € 80
 5 € 70
 6 € 60
 7 € 50
 8 € 40
 9 € 30
 10 € 20
 11 € 10
 12 € 0

You decide to terminate the contract after 8 months.

The operator can demand a compensation of € 40.

  • Please check the technical terms of the new subscription (free modem or not, rented or bought, other technical installation with or without a technician's visit, free?).
  • Check whether the quality of the new subscription meets your needs: connection speed, bandwidth, downloadable data volume (limited or not).
  • Check whether the maximum speed announced by the operator applies to your address (in some places the maximum speed can never be reached because of the distance to the operator's network switch).
  • Verify whether the quality of service promised meets your needs (repair times in case of a failure; intrusion and virus protection, helpdesk, etc.).
  • Check whether the price, service and quality fulfil your needs. Visit the website www.besttariff.be
  • Inform your correspondents of your change of e-mail address.
  • (Note: If your address contains the domain name of the operator you leave, you can ask your previous service provider to maintain your old address for 18 months. The Internet providers have concluded an agreement in that sense.
  • Some information can be found in the new operator's general terms and conditions provided to you before you sign the contract and which can also be consulted on his website or which is available from the customer service.

How does the migration from one provider to another work?

You should contact the new provider, conclude the contract with him and then terminate the contract with the provider you leave. You can ask the operator you leave to have the contract expire at a specific date, for instance the day when your new contract takes effect.

If the address contains the domain name of the operator you leave, you can ask your previous service provider to maintain your old address for 18 months. The Internet providers have concluded an agreement in that sense.

Be careful: some operators require you to pay for each month that has begun; in the contracts a minimum duration of one year is often set from the signing or change of the contract.

In the contract documents (order form, invoices, contract, general terms and conditions, ...) binding you to your operator, you can find information about this.

Can you keep your e-mail address?

Yes, provided you have an e-mail address based on a domain name of your own (john@smith.be) or which is independent of your internet provider (gmail, yahoo, etc.). Those addresses can still be used with your new provider. 

Yes, for free during 18 months after your contract with your current provider has ended, if you ask this before the end of your current contract and if your e-mail address contains the domain name of your current provider (e.g. john.smith@currentprovider.be). The Internet providers have concluded an agreement in that sense.

Your current provider should mention once a year on your invoice the options available to you (access to your e-mail account or transfer to your new address or both) and how to make use of them:

  • you can keep the access to your e-mail account (receiving and sending mails from the old address and storage capacity);
  • you can ask for the mails to be forwarded to a new e-mail address.

You can use this 18 months' period to inform all your correspondents about the change of your e-mail address.

Can you keep your web space?

Yes, if the web space is independent of your current provider.

Yes, for free during 6 months after your contract with your current provider has ended, if you ask this before the end of your current contract and if that web space was made available by your current provider. The Internet providers have concluded an agreement in that sense. 

Your current provider should inform you exactly and indicate once a year on your bill how you can keep your web space. 

Will you have to change your equipment?

Sometimes Internet providers impose the use of a specific modem.

Operators often ask to return the equipment when the contract is terminated.

Is it possible to have an Internet connection with one operator and Internet TV services with another?

In practice Internet TV service providers offer these services as part of a bundled offer containing Internet access.

ISPA Code of conduct

Access to mail and Web space

Decision of the BIPT Council of 1 March 2011