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How to break up with your ISP and switch internet providers

Date Published:  February 13th, 2024Date Updated:  May 01, 2024

Table of Contents

  1. Signs it’s time to break up with your internet provider
  2. How to break up with your internet provider
  3. How to find a new provider
  4. Why consider EarthLink
  5. Conclusion


When it comes to relationships, not every match is meant to last forever. The same can be said about your relationship with your internet provider.

Whether you’re tired of your current service, looking for solutions that meet your evolving needs, or simply seeking a better connection, recognizing when it’s time to switch internet providers is crucial.

Signs it’s time to break up with your internet provider

Internet break ups don’t have to be complicated; we’re here to guide you through it. If these signs below seem all too familiar, it may be time for a change. If so, follow our steps for cancelling your service with your provider.

Constant slow speeds

Like a partner who’s always dragging their feet, an internet provider that can’t keep up with your speed needs is a big red flag. Slow speeds that disrupt your streaming, gaming, or work are clear signs it’s time to switch internet providers.

If this is your only issue with your current provider, keep in mind that there might be another cause of concern. Slow internet speeds can be the result of high data usage, constant streaming or gaming, improper or faulty equipment, throttling, data limits, and more. Make sure you check and troubleshoot why you may be experiencing slower speeds before you write off your provider for good.

Take a look at our guides on why your internet is slow and how to tell if your connection is being throttled to learn more.

Frequent downtime

An unreliable connection that frequently leaves you hanging is akin to a partner who’s never there when you need them. Downtime can mean anything from random dips in speed and service during peak traffic hours to complete outages for hours at a time.

Constant loss of internet service isn’t normal, and you shouldn’t settle for it. If you’re experiencing more downtime than uptime, it’s time to reconsider your relationship with your ISP.

Poor customer service

Feeling unheard or consistently frustrated with customer service interactions is a valid reason to end things. If you feel your provider is giving you the runaround, long wait times, rude representatives, or anything less than spectacular, it’s time to move on.

Internet may be a commodity at this point, but exceptional customer support should be non-negotiable.

Overpriced bills

Questioning the value you’re getting for your money each month? High internet bills without the high-speed payoff are a sure sign to start looking elsewhere.

If you notice you’re overpaying on your monthly bill compared to similar plans and speeds on the market, it may be time to shop for other options. If you tell your current provider that you plan to leave, they might lower your price. But if they don’t, be ready to move on.

Lack of perks

In any relationship, it’s the little things that count. If your current provider doesn’t offer perks like discounts, deals, or superior options, you’re missing out. Your internet provider should be

How to break up with your internet provider

Breaking up is never easy, but sometimes it’s necessary for your happiness and sanity. Here’s how to cancel internet service gracefully:

Check Your Contract: Be aware of any early termination fees or specific cancellation conditions. You might need to submit your cancelation to your provider in writing or return a loaned modem, router, or device in a certain timeframe.

Communicate: Contact your current provider to inform them of your decision. This is also a good time to inquire about any final bills or equipment returns.

Consider an upgrade: Sometimes, the threat of losing you is enough to turn things around. Be open and honest with your current provider about your experience, service, speeds, etc. They might be able to lower your bill or upgrade you to a plan that better suits your needs.

Do I need to cancel internet before switching?: To ensure continuous internet connection, it’s advisable to switch to a new provider before canceling your current internet service. That way, you won’t go days or weeks without your much needed internet access.

Say Sayonara: Now that you’ve examined your contract, thought about your options, gathered your equipment, and signed up with a new provider, it’s time to call it quits! Follow your provider’s step-by-step cancellation process and let them know you’re moving on.

Early Termination Fees (ETFs)

When you break up with your current provider, there’s typically a penalty or early termination fee if you leave before the end of your contract.

These dreaded break-up costs can be steep, but sometimes the cost is worth the freedom to switch internet providers for better service. Plus, many providers are now offering to pay your ETFs up to a certain amount if you switch to their internet service. Ask your new provider if they have any deals, gift cards, or stipends for the ETFs you might face for switching.

Be aware that failure to settle up your final bill or ETFs with your old provider might harm your credit. You don’t want these bills to head to collections, so make sure you pay them in full and keep them for your records for at least six months after your service ends.

How to find a new provider

Don’t rebound with the wrong provider. Take your time to shop around and find a plan that truly suits your needs. In the heat of frustration, you might settle for the quickest option, but don’t flee one bad relationship for another one!

Finding the right ISP for you

Look for reliability, customer service, and the perks you deserve. Ensure the new provider offers the speeds you need at a price that reflects true value. Be open and honest with your new potential provider about how you use the internet, what devices you have, and your expectations for internet. Keep in mind of limitations like contracts, ETFs, data caps, and more.

Research, compare, and don’t be afraid to ask questions. Know your internet habits and choose a provider that aligns with them. Also, narrow your search to find internet providers in your area; not every ISP is available in your neighborhood.

Make sure your new plan fits your needs in terms of speed, data, lifestyle, budget, living arrangement, and more. For more information about finding the right internet plan for you, check out our guide here.

Can I have 2 internet providers in the same house?

Two-timing your internet provider might not be a bad idea. If your new, potential ISP offers a trial period or no contracts, you can test it out before ending your old service.

Mixing types of connections – say fiber internet with wireless home internet or fixed wireless internet – might be the solution you need.

At EarthLink, we offer more than just high-speed internet. Our fiber, wireless home internet, and satellite options are designed to meet diverse needs, ensuring you’re always connected. With EarthLink Perks, no credit checks, and superior speeds, we’re committed to providing a service that’s as dependable as it is fast. Not only can switching to EarthLink save you money and time, but it can also connect you to what matters most!

Call 866-618-0264 and our experts will help connect you to the plan that you’ll love.


Remember, switching internet providers is about finding a service that meets your needs, supports your lifestyle, and values your satisfaction.

If you’re experiencing any of the signs mentioned, it might be time to break up with your current provider and start a new, happier chapter with a provider like EarthLink.

Maddy Hogan

Maddy Hogan

Maddy Hogan, a copywriter for EarthLink, is a New Englander by birth, raised in the South, and a Hoosier at heart. A graduate of Indiana University-Bloomington's Media School, she brings her unique voice and insights to publications like The Island Packet, The Cherokee Tribune, The Atlanta Business Chronicle, and The Marietta Daily Journal. When she's not writing, Maddy is passionate about traveling, art, reading, movies, well-timed memes, and her two kitties.

See all posts from Maddy Hogan.