Ofcom wants to make it easier for people to switch mobile operator

Regolare Commento Stampare

Additionally, around 2.5 million people who changed mobile providers said they encountered at least one major problem when switching.

After sending the free text message or doing the equivalent online, your current provider will be required to get back to you immediately with either your PAC code, or what's called a "cancellation code" if you're not fussed about keeping your number.

The code you receive will be valid for 30 days, and all you need to do is shoot this off to your new provider, which will be obliged to arrange the switch within one working day.

Mobile phone users will soon be able to switch providers more easily under new proposals published by Ofcom. That would mean one call to a new provider by the customer.

The text reply would include information relating to any early termination charges, outstanding handset costs, or pay-as-you-go credit balances.

Ofcom is today (April 19) proposing reforms to speed up the process of switching operators.

Ofcom's proposals mean that mobile customers would no longer have to speak to the provider they wish to leave - one of the major causes of difficulties for mobile switchers, according to Ofcom research.

Ofcom's previous switching plan the "one-stop" process, where the responsibility of the switch is placed upon the new mobile provider, will be superseded by "text-to-switch".

The body has also introduced a ban on charges after the switch date, which it says will save customers around £10m per year. Ofcom said its research suggested customers would also prefer the new planned system.

Latest figures published last year showed that there were an estimated 47 million mobile phone contracts in the United Kingdom, and approximately 5.9 million people had never switched provider at all, nor considered switching in the previous year.

"Our "text-to-switch" plans would give greater control to mobile customers about when and how they switch, and prevent losing providers from delaying and frustrating the switching process".

Ofcom said this will save United Kingdom mobile phone customers around GBP 10 million every year.