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Getting in touch with broadband bereavement teams

woman hands holding mobile phone

Settling the affairs of family and friends when they’ve passed away can be a stressful and difficult experience.

When you’re sorting accounts and bills and trying to make sense of finances, you'll want to be able to speak to the correct department and get the account closed quickly and without hassle.

Although not as glaringly obvious as getting the gas or electricity cut off when you're starting out sorting affairs for someone who's passed away, broadband is a common utility bill you’re likely to have to cancel.

Over the course of this page, we hope you find the useful information you need to let your family or friend’s broadband provider know of their passing. 

We’ll also investigate if there are any useful numbers for other life-changing circumstances, such as terminal illness. If you’re in a vulnerable position right now, there might be ways you can put plans in place to make it things easier in the future.

Cancelling broadband for bereavement: the key points

  • If you don’t feel able to speak to a bereavement team member, see if there’s a Live Chat option.
  • Some providers are very open to downgrading broadband packages if you’re suffering from a terminal illness.
  • If you don’t feel like you’re getting the service you deserve, and you’re out of contract - switch broadband providers!
  • No-contract broadband is available if you need to stay connected but need a more flexible arrangement.

If you're in a hurry, you can click on the internet service provider name below to quickly jump to the correct information:

How do I notify my broadband provider of a bereavement?

Many internet service providers (ISPs) have a dedicated team for bereavement. These contacts are handy as they’ll know exactly why you’ve called in advance. You won’t need to get too involved in explaining your situation.

Sadly, not all have made things so plain-sailing. If this is the case, and there’s no specific point of contact, we’ve listed the general customer service number as your first port of call.

Before getting in touch with anyone, try to find the following information:

  • The account holder’s full name
  • The account holder’s address
  • The account holder’s telephone number
  • The broadband account number

You might be asked to provide a photocopy or scan of a death certificate.

Will I have to pay anything if I cancel a broadband account due to death?

When you cancel a broadband account due to a death, you shouldn’t have to pay a penalty fee. Normally, when you cancel a broadband contract before its end date, the customer would be charged an early termination fee. This tends to be the price of a month’s bill for how many months are left on the contract.

The good news is, providers tend to close accounts as quickly as possible for bereavement reasons. However, there may be some actions you need to take to round things off. For example, you may be asked to return any equipment such as Wi-Fi routers or Wi-Fi Boosters. Normally, you’ll receive a prepaid envelope to be able to do this without much fuss.

If you previously set up a broadband account on a relative’s behalf, this may be treated slightly differently. In this instance, you’ll need to speak to your provider to discuss this.

For the most part, internet service providers should follow Ofcom’s guidance on how it should deal with bereavements. If you’re having trouble with the broadband provider, it may be worth mentioning you have read Ofcom’s guide on ‘treating vulnerable customers fairly’.

How do I notify my broadband provider if my friend or family has moved into a home or hospice?

This is less cut and dry than sorting out a bereavement. The chances are, you’ll need to have a more thorough discussion with your internet service provider and discuss your individual needs.

More commonly, you’ll have to apply for lasting power of attorney to make any changes to a customer’s account.

Read through our list below. Some providers have more helpful information on this than others and include this as part of their vulnerability policy.

Can I cancel my broadband if I have a terminal illness?

It’s a similar story here. Some broadband providers make it easier to have a conversation and discuss this topic than others. Check the list below to see if we’ve mentioned if your broadband provider has a dedicated critical illness support team you can chat with.

In these circumstances, it may be more important than ever to stay online rather than cut off your communication - especially if you have accessibility issues. However, it’s understandable if you want to downgrade your broadband plan, or need help with your billing. Your provider should be open to these discussions.

If you’re also receiving welfare benefits, you might also want to read our guide to social tariffs. Many providers offer cheaper broadband packages to those receiving benefits such as Disability Allowance, Universal Credit or Personal Independence Payment (PIP).

It can also be worth getting in touch with a charity who specialises in helping people with your particular illness. You may be able to get financial advice or assistance on how best to approach your provider.

Here are the best people to get in touch with, so you can settle your affairs quickly and easily…

BT Broadband bereavement and 'Here For You' policy

  • BT Bereavement Number: 0800 169 1663
  • Opening Hours: 8am-9pm Monday to Friday, 8am-8pm Saturday, 9am-6pm Sunday

If possible, have the latest bill to hand. BT doesn’t ask to see a copy of the death certificate.

You can also notify BT of a bereavement using a web form.

BT’s ‘Here For You’ webpage is a good place to start if you need more help. You can register your additional needs if you’re affected by any of the following:

  • Critical illness
  • Life events like unemployment and bereavement
  • Mental health conditions
  • Dementia and other cognitive conditions
  • Neurodiverse conditions
  • Speech or language impairments
  • Physical impairment
  • Any degree of sight loss
  • Hearing loss
  • Literacy and numeracy needs
  • Financial hardship

Vodafone broadband bereavement team number and terminal illness policy

  • Vodafone Bereavement Number: 0808 005 7450
  • Vodafone Critical Illness Number: 0808 005 7452
  • Opening Hours: 8am-10pm, or 8am-8pm on weekends

If you’d rather not speak to anybody, Vodafone makes it easy with a dedicated bereavement form or a terminal illness form. One received, you should receive communication within 10 days.

If you're reporting a death, you’ll need to be able to provide the death certificate registration number.

Vodafone will allow you to:

  • Close the account
  • Transfer a broadband contract to another account
  • Downgrade to a Pay As You Go contract
  • Move the account to another network

If you're reporting a terminal illness, you’ll have to provide a document of proof on headed paper that’s been signed by a medical professional. This must be dated within the last 6-12 months.

Sky Broadband vulnerable customers and bereavement team

  • Sky Bereavement Number: 0333 2020 912
  • Opening Hours: 8am-10pm, or 8am-8pm on weekends

Before calling to report a death, make sure you have a note of the account holder's name, the Sky account number, or the address of the property.

You'll have the option of either cancelling the Sky account or continuing the contract in another name.

Sky has a webpage full of information on how it supports vulnerable customers. If you've set up power of attorney, there’s also information on how you can notify Sky it needs to send billing and admin to your nominee.

How do I notify Virgin Media broadband of a death or critical illness?

  • Virgin Media Bereavement Number and Critical Illness Team: 0800 952 2302
  • Opening Hours: 8am-4.30pm Monday to Friday

You’ll need to download and complete a Bereavement Disconnect form. The next step is then to scan and email it back to Virgin Media at bereavement&[email protected], or send it by post to:

Virgin Media
PO Box 333
Matrix Court

You'll be contacted once the form has been received.

The same number can be used to report a critical illness. You’ll be able to call on someone else’s behalf if you’re a family member or friend, but you’ll need to have the details to hand. 

TalkTalk broadband bereavement team

  • TalkTalk Bereavement Number: 0345 172 0038 (or free from a TalkTalk phone)
  • Opening Hours: 9am-7pm Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm Saturdays

You'll need to make sure you have the account details and name of the account holder when you get through to the bereavement team.

Plusnet broadband bereavement support

Anyone can request a cancellation after a bereavement. However, if you’d like to transfer an account, the request will only be able to be made my members of the immediate family, or the nearest blood relative (this includes husband, wife, civil partner, son, daughter, brother, sister, mother and father).

You can find more information on Plusnet’s support with our customer service, contracts, problems and complaints page.

Hyperoptic customer support

Hyperoptic doesn’t have specific guidelines on how to submit death notification. However, you can contact its support team 24 hours a day, 7 days a week on 0333 332 1111. Alternatively, if you’d prefer to communicate in writing, you can email [email protected].

NOW Broadband bereavement support

Before you call, make sure you have the name and email address registered on the account, as well as the address and postcode. 

You'll also be able to transfer the account to another name if you want the broadband service to continue.

Shell Energy broadband bereavement and vulnerable customer support

Alternatively, you can email [email protected]. You’ll need to have the following information to hand:

  • Account holder’s name
  • Account number (if you can find a recent bill) or house number
  • Your relationship to the deceased
  • Your own contact information (email address or telephone number) and preferred contact method.

Shell Energy will then be able to close this broadband account. You also have the option to switch the service to a new account in your name.

Shell Energy has clear information in its ‘Broadband and Phone Vulnerable Customer Policy’. Customers suffering from illness who need assistance managing their bills can request a ‘Delegated Authority’ on their account. This means their nominated person can:

  • Receive the customer’s bill
  • Be notified when a bill hasn’t been paid
  • Pay the customer’s bill on their behalf

If a customer has a Power of Attorney who wants to act on their behalf, you can send a certified copy of the LPA certificate to:

Shell Energy Retail Ltd. 
Shell Energy House
Westwood Business Park
Westwood Way

Three broadband vulnerable customer and bereavement team

  • Three Broadband Bereavement Number: 0333 338 1001
  • Opening Hours: 8am-8pm Monday to Friday, 9am-6pm Weekends.

Three has a hub page for bereavement and major life event support. If you’d prefer not to speak to anyone, Live Chat or this Life Ledger form may be a better option.

To register a bereavement with Three, you'll need the following information to hand:

  • The account holder's account or mobile number
  • Their full name
  • Their date of birth
  • Their address
  • Death certificate number
  • Name of the Registrar
  • District where the death certificate was issued

Switching broadband providers for a better service

The ease at which you can sort these issues speaks a lot about a provider’s customer service. Being able to seek help for bereavement and illness should be just as important as the technical side of your broadband service. Unfortunately, some ISPs need to do more to make this process easier and clearer.

If you’re unhappy with how the broadband provider has handled your issue, your first port of call should be to ask them to confirm the contract end date. If you’re out of contract, you’re free to switch at any time.

Broadband Genie deals checker

If you still want to stay connected to the internet, you may find it useful to switch to a short-term contract for a quick solution. Rolling-monthly contracts (also known as 'no contract broadband') will give you the option to have a reliable broadband service whilst being able to cancel this without charge or fuss. Always try and opt for a package with unlimited data.

If you need a helping hand, you can see who fares best with customer service by looking at the results of this year’s Broadband Awards.

Financial and administrative help for bereavement and illness

There are a few services to help with bereavement administration. These include Life Ledger and Settld.

If you’re suffering from terminal illness, you can get much more help and advice from a charity such as Macmillan or Marie Curie

The National Bereavement Service offers practical and emotional assitance after a death.

Expert Summary

Many internet service providers (ISPs) have dedicated teams who can assist you with bereavement or terminal illness. Some may offer to close broadband accounts without question, others might ask for copies of death certificates or a letter from a medical professional. 

If you’re trying to sort the affairs of a friend or relative, but you can’t find their internet service provider listed above, it’s always worth calling its general customer service number. 

Even some of the bigger broadband providers simply ask you to start a conversation by calling a general customer service number. Broadband Genie has dedicated customer service pages for many ISPs

Before you make the call, it can be very helpful to gather as many account details as you can, including reference numbers. If you’re calling on someone else’s behalf, have an old bill handy if you can find one. You might be asked to confirm addresses, your relationship, and the address.

If you’re suffering from a critical illness, and you’d like to sort assistance from your next of kin in advance, tell your broadband provider you’d like to make arrangements for power of attorney. You may find you can send bills to a nominated person. This will give you peace of mind you’ll be able to stay connected, even if you’re unable to deal with any admin yourself. 

Meet the author:

Online Editor

Broadband Genie's Editor, Emma Davenport, has been contributing to the site since 2007. She has 20 years of experience writing articles, guides and tutorials on consumer technology for magazines and online.

Specialist subject: Broadband advice for vulnerable people

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