At Tsohost, we would never charge you a fee to move away. We like to keep customers by offering excellent service, not by enforcing penalties. However, some providers will charge you a fee to either change the tag on a UK domain or to unlock a GTLD domain and provide the EPP key to enable transfer to another provider.
What is a reasonable fee?
In our opinion, a reasonable fee for this is £10. If they are charging you more than £10 then, in our opinion, this is excessive.
Can it be avoided?
If your domain ends .uk, you can go directly to Nominet, the UK domain registrar, and force a tag change from there. Our tag is UKWEBHOSTING. They will charge you £10 + VAT but you can transfer as many domains as you like for that £10. Plus you have the satisfaction of not paying the provider you are moving from.
If it's a GTLD, it is somewhat more tricky but possible, in many cases you may have your domains registered with a reseller and it's then possible to contact the ICANN Registrar behind them.
ICANN Registrars are required to provide Registrants with ability to retrieve their auth / EPP code and facilitate transfers away, there are some limited cases where they are permitted to refuse such requests but in most cases it's possible to overcome these.
If you're having difficulties moving your domains to Tsohost feel free to get in touch and our domain experts can usually help find the best way to help you move your domains to us.