Mobile users can switch providers via text under Ofcom reforms
Mobile users can switch providers via text under Ofcom reforms
Ofcom hopes the new rules will make switching mobile providers much easier
20 December, 2017, 01:38
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, said: 'Too many people are put off by the hassle of switching mobile provider.
"While it's disappointing Ofcom did not go further, this is still an improvement that will make it easier for more customers to get a better deal", Neudegg added.
The change is due to come in by July 2019, and Ofcom said it should mean fewer people are "put off by the hassle of switching mobile phone provider".
Around two in five mobile switchers - or 2.5 million people - experience at least one major problem when switching, while seven in 10 encountered "at least some" difficulty, according to Ofcom.
"So there will be an 18-month implementation period before this comes into effect, meaning providers must comply by no later than 1 July 2019". The new rules will save consumers around £10m annually, Ofcom suggested. Said code comes directly from your current operator via an online form, a phone call, or even a quick free text message.
A user will be able to text one code or the other to their current provider and receive either a porting authorisation code (PAC), needed for porting the number to another network, or a cancellation code for those who don't require their current number any longer.
The unique switching code will be valid for 30 days.
The new procedure doesn't invalidate obligations such as early termination charges, outstanding handset costs or pay-as-you-go credit balances, which must be included in the response text from the current operator.
If you have already scanned through the diagram above you will notice another welcome change; the end of paying for old and new services at the same time - AKA the notice period. Passing on the code to their new provider will switch their service within one working day, with no notice period charges.
Ofcom today announced a major reform with regard to the way people leave one mobile telecoms company and (optionally) begin with another.
Mobile providers will also have to publish and promote "clear guidance" to help customers follow the new process and make informed switching decisions.
"Proper provision also needs to be made for customers on "bundled" packages, as well as those wanting to switch to forthcoming fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services".
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