When setting up broadband or switching provider, you may be told that you have a 'tag' or a 'marker' on your ADSL line.
"Tags" are created when a broadband service is connected to the exchange. You can't have a broadband connection without a tag, but you also can't get a new broadband connection without the previous tag being removed.
In some cases the removal doesn't happen, meaning a new provider can't offer you broadband through that line. Fortunately, it is possible to remove these tags so you can get your broadband connection up and running.
What causes a tag?
As the broadband market has grown and become more competitive, more people have taken advantage of new, cheaper packages and switched provider - and some of people have ended up with tagged lines.
You can end up with a tag blocking your line when a previous ISP hasn't been fully removed from the line - either because the prior occupant didn't cancel their contract, or because the wholesaler didn't remove the ISP properly.
How do I get rid of it?
Ofcom has a page on its site detailing the actions that you should take if you have a tag on you line. It recommends that you contact your new provider, which should be best placed to provide accurate information and advice regarding the tag, and liaise with BT Openreach to get it removed within 11 days if necessary.
In some cases, the new broadband provider may need your help to contact your previous provider, or get rid of an incompatible service that's stopping the connection.
We recommend you keep a record of any calls, emails or letters when dealing with your provider. Preferably write or email the company (always detailing your name, address phone number and customer ID or account number). That way you will have proof that you have tried to resolve the issue with your GP if you need to contact Ofcom or another organisation for help.