Frequently Asked Questions

Here you can find answers to some of the most common questions asked about John Lewis Broadband and our services.

Broadband

Switching to John Lewis Broadband

Broadband speeds

Download limits

Wireless explained

Internet security

Email virus protection

Webmail

Static IP address

Installation

Fibre broadband

Phone

Information for Waitrose and Greenbee customers

General information


Broadband

Switching to John Lewis Broadband

How do I switch to John Lewis Broadband?

Switching providers

Switching broadband providers may seem daunting, as you may be concerned about losing data or the email address that you have with your current provider.

When you order John Lewis Broadband, we'll let you know what's required to switch your service to us, and give you an idea of how long the process will take.

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What will happen to my service?

At this stage it's important that you don't tell your existing provider to cancel the service immediately. Most providers will automatically cancel your service once the migration to your new provider is completed. Please check with your current ISP that this is their practice.

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How do I sign up to John Lewis Broadband?

You have the option of either signing up over the phone, in store or online. We'll check your phone number and address as you're placing your order. We'll send you an email from us confirming your order. It will take us between 10 and 12 working days to switch your broadband service over to John Lewis Broadband, but you'll still have broadband through your current provider until we switch you over to our Broadband network.

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Can I avoid losing my email address?

Ask your provider whether you can keep your address if you switch from their service. Many providers offer you the opportunity to keep your email address for a small annual fee if you decide to leave (we do that at John Lewis Broadband too). Otherwise there are other larger providers such as Google and Hotmail that will provide you with an email address for free, and in this case you might be able to re-direct mail from your old email address to your new inbox.

We'll offer you a new email address, with Webmail access, when you sign up to John Lewis Broadband.

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What do I need to use a John Lewis Broadband and Phone Service?

In order to receive the John Lewis Broadband and Phone Service, you need:

If you don't have a phone line, or it's a cable phone line, we can install a new line for you. Alternatively, we can activate an existing non-cable line, if there's one in your property.

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What sort of computer will I need to connect to John Lewis Broadband?

If you have a Windows PC, it must be running Windows 2000, XP. Vista or Windows 7 and have a minimum of a Pentium 300MHz processor or equivalent.

If you have a Mac it must be an iMac G3, or Powerbook G3 or running OSX 10.1 or above.

Your computer must also have an available Ethernet port or suitable wireless card or built-in wireless networking.

It's possible to connect a computer that does not meet these specifications but our Technical Support team is only trained on the above configurations.

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Broadband speeds

Why might my speed be lower for the first 10 days of service?

Once your broadband is activated, tests will be run on your phone line. These find out the broadband speeds you've received in the last 10 days. From this, we'll determine the fastest stable speed that your phone line can support.

You'll see your speeds go up and down during this stabilisation period. You might even lose your broadband sync for a few seconds now and again if your line can't handle the speed. Don't worry, this is completely normal. After testing is complete, your speed may still vary from time to time, but this should be less noticeable than during the first 10 days of your service.

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Why might my download speed vary?

Although the connection speed will be set during the 10-day testing period, the actual speed at which you can download will vary because of a number of factors. Your speed may be limited by the capacity of the server that you're downloading from, or general congestion across the Internet. You may notice that the speed at which you can download is less than your connection speed if your phone exchange is busy, or has a lot of other broadband users connected to it.

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What speed can I expect from my broadband service?

Your broadband speed can be affected by many factors, and will also vary to help give you a stable connection. Your actual speeds can be affected by the quality of your telephone line, location and weather conditions, network congestion at your local exchange or the prioritisation process on our network. Please read this page in conjunction with the details of how we prioritise traffic on our network.

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Which products have rate limits?

No rate limits are applied to Unlimited Broadband. Rate limits do however apply to Standard broadband and Fibre broadband, in which case Peer-to-Peer and Usenet traffic would be slowed down to 2Mb/s maximum between 8pm and 10pm Sunday — Thursday.

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What is traffic prioritisation?

We use this to prioritise different types of traffic to your household. This helps us to provide you with the best possible service where you or your household is trying to carry out more online activities than your line can physically support at any one time. Your service remains unlimited and we don't limit your line speed, usage or downloads because of prioritisation.

For example, if one person in your household is on Skype and another is downloading some files, and these activities together are more than your line can support, bandwidth priority would be given to the person using Skype as this is the most time-sensitive application. The file download would continue, but with priority given to the Skype traffic, the application should continue to work without glitches or dropouts on the call, no matter how demanding the file downloading software is.

By prioritising traffic we help to ensure that all time sensitive traffic (such as video and audio streaming, internet calls, VPN and gaming) should not be adversely affected by more demanding applications like file downloading and software updates. This is particularly beneficial if you have a slower broadband connection, where making the most of the available capacity of your connection is important so you don't see videos buffering or experience drop outs when Internet calling.

It's important to understand that where you are carrying out activities of the same category (see below for details), no traffic prioritisation will take place. Traffic prioritisation will only be used where we are able to prioritise one type of activity above another. If only one application is running, no matter what its priority, it will run at full line speed.

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How does traffic prioritisation work?

We put every type of online activity into a category:

High Traffic in the highest priority queue
Medium Traffic which has lower priority than High, but is higher than Low
Low Traffic in the lowest priority queue

The table below sets out the different types of online activity and what category they are in. Please note that this also depends upon the type of broadband service you are signed up to.

Internet Activity Standard Unlimited Fibre
Browsing and email Medium Medium Medium
VoIP High High High
Gaming Medium High High
VPN Medium High Medium
FTP Low High Medium
Streaming Medium Medium Medium
Software updates Low Medium Low
Peer to Peer Low Medium Low
Other Low Medium Low
Browsing Viewing web pages with a web browser
Email Sending and receiving email with an email program such as Outlook or Mac Mail
VoIP Making phone calls over your broadband connection
Gaming Online gaming
VPN A secure way to connect to a network at another location, often used by home workers to access work systems. Includes VNC and Windows Remote Desktop. Network protocols such as SSH and Telnet also fall under the VPN category
FTP Using FTP to move files to or from servers
Streaming Playing continuous multimedia TV, movie or music files
Software updates file transfers from update servers e.g. Windows update / Apple update
Peer to peer Downloading from file sharing applications
Other Activities that do not fit into the above categories
Demos, games downloads and system updates from services such as PlayStation Network and Xbox LIVE fall under the Software updates category rather than Gaming

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What happens when the network is really busy?

Our broadband service is provided over a shared network. Bandwidth (the amount of data that can be transmitted on any one connection) is shared between everybody who's connected to the network.

We're constantly investing in our network, and so as customer numbers and usage grows, we increase the capacity of our network to make sure there's more than enough bandwidth for everyone.

In exceptional circumstances the network could become much busier than expected. This could be due to a major news event leading to a huge amount of online traffic, or in the rare case of network failure for example. In these situations, we would prioritise traffic on our network to help ensure that you get a great service no matter how busy it is.

Download limits

How do I choose my download limit?

When it comes to choosing a broadband package, there are a lot of alternatives, all of which offer particular download limits. With John Lewis Broadband we offer:

Standard broadband 20GB
Unlimited broadband No limit
Fibre broadband 100GB

We'll let you know if you're approaching your package's limit. Once you've reached it you can buy more gigabytes for £5.00 per 5GB.

It's important to understand which download limit will be right for you before you buy. See the table below for an explanation of how much you might use.

Choosing the right download limit

There are two factors you need to consider when choosing your broadband package:

If you download lots of music and video files and generally use the internet a great deal, you're likely to need a large download limit. Some internet service providers limit the amount you can transfer in peak times, but offer unlimited off-peak transfers (evenings and weekends).

Here's what 5GB lets you do
Total 5GB a month
General web browsing 125 hours a week
Sending/receiving photos (by email) 125 per week
Downloading MP3s 75 per week
Sending/receiving emails (no attachments) 1000 per week
Watching videos 75 minutes per week
Online gaming 5 hours per week

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Wireless explained

How does wireless work?

Wireless networking (also known as Wi-Fi) works in the same way as your cordless phone. It uses radio signals to transmit data from the different devices on your network.

To create a wireless network you need to have a wireless router. If you use the router we provide with your John Lewis Broadband service, you can create a wireless network in your home.

We offer a wireless router with both our broadband and fibre services.

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What are the advantages of a wireless network?

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What routers are provided?

We provide the Sagemcom 2704n with our broadband service, and the ZyXEL VMG8924 with our fibre service.

Both kits include one microfilter. Unless you have a double master socket, you'll need to install microfilters in every phone socket that's in use in your home (not just the one you connect your router to). Please see our master socket guide for more information.

Sagemcom 2704n

This offers 4 Ethernet ports for wired connections to PCs, Macs and games consoles, as well as Wi-Fi connections. A firewall and enhanced wireless security are also included.

Technical requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7; Mac OSX 10.1 or above

ZyXEL VMG8924

This offers 4 Ethernet ports for wired connections to PCs, Macs and games consoles, as well as Wi-Fi connections. A firewall and enhanced wireless security are also included.

Technical requirements: Windows 2000, XP, Vista, Windows 7; Mac OSX 10.1 or above

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Internet security

What internet security does John Lewis Broadband provide?

We understand the importance of internet security, and have a range of security functions designed to keep your family and your computer safe from internet threats.

For PC users we offer BullGuard, a simple and complete PC security package with antivirus, antispyware, firewall, spam filter and online backup protection. It's compatible with Windows 7, Windows Vista and Windows XP (SP2 minimum) and included with your broadband service.

To download BullGuard after you've signed up, log in to your Add ons page at My account.

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Email virus protection

How does John Lewis Broadband protect me from viruses?

You need to make sure you're protected from any malicious attacks on your computer. The majority of viruses are transmitted by email, so we employ state-of-the-art anti-virus technology to protect your emails. Any email sent to your John Lewis Broadband inbox containing a known virus is automatically deleted, and we'll then let you know who the contaminated email was from.

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Webmail

What is Webmail?

Webmail comes as part of the John Lewis Broadband package. It lets you send and receive emails from any internet connection, wherever you are in the world. Webmail also gives you access to useful features, such as an address book and a free spam filter. You can log into Webmail directly

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Static IP address

What is an IP address and why do I need one?

To connect to the internet your computer needs an IP address. This enables other computers online to find you and transmit the information you need to view websites. Without an IP address, you wouldn't be able to collect email or view web pages.

Each time you connect we will randomly assign your computer an IP address unless you request otherwise. This is known as a dynamic IP address.

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Why might I need a static IP address?

Some broadband customers may need a static IP address, i.e. the same one every time they connect. This could be needed if you wish to work remotely from a central office or if you play certain online games. If you're not sure whether you need a static IP address, you probably don't need one.

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How much does it cost to have a static IP address?

A static IP address from John Lewis Broadband costs a one-off fee of £5.00. If you need a static IP address, just login to My account and click on the Internet tab to add your static IP address

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Installation

Can I still get John Lewis Broadband and Phone if my phone line is through a cable service provider?

You won't be able to get John Lewis Broadband unless you have a non-cable phone line. To have a non-cable phone line installed, you can sign up for our John Lewis Phone service as a new line installation. We will then arrange for a line to be installed for you. Please note that an installation charge of £49.99 may be applicable. You will also require a standard landline phone in order to make and receive calls.

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I already have a broadband service with another provider. Can I change it over to John Lewis Broadband?

To change your current broadband service over to John Lewis Broadband follow these simple steps:

Sign up for John Lewis Broadband. It will take us between 10 and 12 working days to switch your broadband service over to John Lewis Broadband. You'll receive an email from us confirming your order. You will still have broadband through your current provider until we switch you over to our network.

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How will the handover from my current telephone supplier be arranged if I sign up?

Switching to John Lewis Phone is easy. Once you sign up, we'll contact your current supplier and arrange everything for you. Most providers send a letter, informing that they've received your request for the transfer of your service and including your final invoice. However, don't forget that you'll need to contact your bank to cancel any Direct Debits set up for your current supplier.

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Can the installation of broadband affect my home security systems?

The installation of broadband can affect security, burglar or health alarm systems that use your phone line. You should check the compatibility of such systems by referring to your supplier before ordering John Lewis Broadband.

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How long does it take to get Broadband and Phone?

This depends on your circumstances. We'll advise you when you place your order what the timescales are.

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Do I have to pay for a new line installation if I have been using BT as my phone provider?

If you have been using BT as your phone provider or if you have a white BT phone socket on your wall it is most likely that you can continue using it when you switch to John Lewis Phone. In this instance you will not need to pay for a new line installation and we can give you a new number if required.

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Can John Lewis help me if I don't have a BT line?

Yes, we can arrange to install a new phone line, or re-use an existing phone circuit in your property.

A new line installation in most cases involves an engineer visit and will cost you £49.99. We'll arrange everything for you and you don't need to contact any other provider.

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How do I know if I need a new line?

When you place your order, we'll ask for your address. We'll use these to determine whether you'll need a new phone line, or if we can transfer an existing phone service.

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Fibre broadband

How fibre works

1. Local telephone exchange

A modern network of fibre optic glass cabling runs from here, sending data at the speed of light. Unlike standard broadband your speed isn't affected by how long the cabling is. (Standard broadband sends electrical signals over copper telephone wires. The longer the copper cable is, the poorer the speed).

2. Green cabinet

The fibre optic cables run to the green cabinets you'll have seen on/near your street. Your nearest green cabinet should be a lot closer to you than your local telephone exchange.

3. Your home

A short copper cable then runs from your nearest green cabinet into your home. The distance the signal travels along is really short - meaning much faster speeds!

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What you need for fibre

Minimum PC specification
Minimum Mac specification

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Phone

Does John Lewis Phone include line rental?

Yes. With John Lewis Broadband and Phone, line rental is included in your monthly payment from £24.50 a month.

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What call features are included?

Our Home Phone services offer Voicemail Standard, 1471 and Caller Display free of charge. Optional call features can be added or amended at any time by visiting the Home Phone control panel.

Voicemail Standard
Caller Display
1471

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What optional call features can I choose from?

You can personalise your phone service by adding optional calling features. These features can be ordered at the time of sign up, or can be added or amended at any time via My account.

Voicemail Extra £3.00 a month
Anonymous Call Reject £4.00 a month

The following call features can form part of a bundle charged as follows; 1 call feature £3.00 a month, 2 or more call features £6.00 per month.

Call Waiting
Call Divert
Ring Back
Call Barring - Premium Rate
Call Barring Premium and International

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How do I keep myself secure over the phone?

Telephone Preference Service (TPS)

The Telephone Preference Service (TPS) helps you ensure your phone number is no longer available to organisations who may call you with offers and information which aren't of interest to you. It's unlawful to make unsolicited direct marketing calls to individuals who have registered their number with the TPS.

As a John Lewis Phone customer, we'll tell you how to register with the TPS.

Protect yourself from phone scams

Never give out your personal details over the phone if you can't verify the caller's identity. When calling your bank or financial institution, only dial the number from a trustworthy published source, such as the number printed on your bank statement or on the back of your credit card.

For security reasons, it's very unlikely that your bank will ever email you, and even less likely that they'll email you their telephone number; don't dial phone numbers given in emails purporting to be from your bank.

Please be aware that calls to 090 numbers can incur significant charges.

More information on premium rate numbers is available from PhonepayPlus. (Please note that we can't be responsible for the content of external websites.)

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What are the John Lewis Home Phone call-rates?

Our call charges offer great value for money.

All call charges are pence per minute and include VAT.

From 01/07/2015, the charge for calls to service numbers beginning 084, 087, 09 and 118 consists of a 9.58p per minute access charge from John Lewis Broadband, plus a service charge set by the company you called. For more information visit www.johnlewisbroadband.com/ukcalling

Inclusive call length: inclusive calls become chargeable after 60 minutes for UK numbers, 30 minutes for international. Simply re-dial to avoid call charges.

Prices, content and terms may change at any time during your contract. We'll tell you about important changes in advance, and if a change is detrimental you'll be able to end your contract without any fees.

01, 02 & 03 call rates
Daytime 7.50
Evening 7.50
Weekend 7.50
12.50p set up fee on non-inclusive calls
UK Mobiles
Network Daytime Evening
O2 12.50 7.50
T-Mobile 12.50 7.50
Orange 12.50 7.50
Vodafone 12.50 7.50
Three 12.50 7.50
12.50p set up fee. Weekend calls will be charged at the daytime or evening rate.

For full information, see our Home Phone call rates.

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Do I contact John Lewis Broadband if I have a fault with my phone line that requires an engineer's attention?

Yes. We'll book an engineer appointment for you if it's required. 90% of faults are fixed within 10 days of being reported, so we'll hopefully fix yours within this time.

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Can I keep my existing phone number?

Whenever possible we'll keep your current phone number. However, in some cases we can't transfer numbers. If you can't keep your number we'll let you know before you switch to us.

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Information for Waitrose and Greenbee customers

How do I upgrade to John Lewis Broadband and Phone?

If you want to switch to John Lewis Broadband and Phone from a Greenbee or Waitrose service you can sign up online. If you have a Greenbee.net or Waitrose.com email address and webspace, you'll be able to keep these.

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How do I access my Waitrose or Greenbee email or account?

Once you've transferred your service to John Lewis Broadband, you will continue to use the same email address as before to access your email. You can also use webmail to access your email.

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Why should I upgrade to John Lewis Broadband and Phone?

John Lewis Broadband offers the latest broadband packages from the John Lewis Partnership. We're able to offer standard broadband services up to 17Mb, Fibre broadband (where available) with increased usage limits compared to our Waitrose and Greenbee accounts.

Our Home Phone services also offer the choice of Evenings and Weekends or Anytime packages with different options to suit your lifestyle.

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What about my existing Greenbee Broadband account?

If you wish to switch from Greenbee Broadband to John Lewis Broadband and Phone you can do so by signing up online. You will be able to keep your Greenbee.net email address and your line rental will be included in your monthly bill.

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What about my existing Greenbee Phone account?

If you wish to switch from Greenbee Phone to John Lewis Broadband and Phone you can do so by signing up online. You will be able to keep your existing phone number.

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What about my existing Waitrose Account?

If Waitrose is currently your internet service provider but you want to move to John Lewis Broadband and Phone, you can sign up online. You'll be able to keep your Waitrose email address and you'll enter a new 12 month contract with John Lewis Broadband if you move to us. You'll also need to take out John Lewis Home Phone.

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Can I keep my Waitrose or Greenbee email address?

Yes, if you're moving from a Greenbee or Waitrose broadband account, you'll keep your Greenbee or Waitrose email address rather than getting a John Lewis Broadband email address.

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Can I upgrade from other Waitrose or Greenbee accounts?

If you have one of these services, then you need to sign up online.

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Can I upgrade to John Lewis Broadband without taking a John Lewis phone option?

No, you'll need to choose one of our excellent-value John Lewis Broadband and Phone packages. To upgrade, sign-up online.

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Can I upgrade to John Lewis Phone without taking a John Lewis Broadband service?

No, you'll need to choose one of our excellent-value John Lewis Broadband and Phone packages. To upgrade, sign-up online.

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Can I keep my Greenbee or Waitrose webspace?

Yes

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Can I still receive invoices by post?

No. As part of our ongoing commitment to minimising our impact on the environment we've introduced paperless billing. John Lewis Invoices are available in My account and can be downloaded and printed out, if you wish to retain a paper copy.

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Can I get a new John Lewis Broadband email address?

No. You'll keep your existing Greenbee or Waitrose email address.

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General information

How do I sign up?

You can sign-up online at any time or by calling us on 0800 022 3300.

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Is there a minimum contract length?

There's a 12 month minimum contract for John Lewis Broadband services.

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What happens to my Broadband and Phone service if I move house?

Our Customer support team will be happy to help you move your Broadband and Phone Service to a new address. Provided your new phone line is suitable for broadband, you can move John Lewis Broadband with you.

A John Lewis Broadband customer receives one free house move a year. For any additional moves there is an administration fee of £65.00 - even if you take the same number with you. This is the charge that is applied to us by BT to enable the broadband service on the new telephone line.

If you're moving, please let us know as early as possible by logging in to My account clicking on Moving home. Alternatively, call Customer support on 0800 022 3300 and we'll do our best to make your move as smooth as possible.

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What if I want to cancel my Broadband and Phone subscription?

Your John Lewis Broadband and Phone service has a 12 month service term. You may cancel any time you wish after the first 12 months, subject to one month's notice, without penalty. If you cancel within 12 months charges will be incurred - please refer to the Terms and Conditions for more information. To cancel your service, just call Customer support on 0800 022 3300 on weekdays between 9am and 5:30pm.

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How do I change my Direct Debit details?

To change your Direct Debit details, login to My account and select the My details link. Click on the Update payment details link to change your Direct Debit details.

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How can I get more help?

You can find lots of information in the support section of our site.

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Copyright © John Lewis Partnership 2001-2016

John Lewis Broadband is a trading name of John Lewis plc. John Lewis Broadband is provided by Plusnet plc. Registered office The Balance, 2 Pinfold Street, Sheffield, S1 2GU.

Company registration number 3279013. VAT No. 245 7193 48

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