Saturday, 27 May, 2017

You'll soon be able to dump your mobile provider by text

You'll soon be able to dump your mobile provider by text You'll soon be able to dump your mobile provider by text
Kayla Schwartz | 19 May, 2017, 18:12

Under the plans, people and businesses would only need to send a free text message to the provider they wish to leave. United Kingdom mobile phone customers will save around £10m each year in total under this scheme, says Ofcom.

Operators will be banned from charging notice periods that run over the switch date, which can save mobile customers £10 million a year according to the regulatory body.

What are the new proposals?

The losing provider would immediately respond by text with either the relevant number transfer code (known as a porting authorisation code or "PAC"), or with a cancellation code for those who aren't intending to keep the same mobile number. I'm sure that many a HEXUS reader has wasted valuable time waiting on the phone, being passed from one department to another, when they have attempted to instigate a switch.

The telecoms watchdog has a package of reforms which aims to then ensure that customers receive a text back from the network they wish to leave which grants them a unique code to pass on to their desired provider who will then arrange to carry the switch over within one working day.

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"Our customers save an average of £152 when changing provider so we hope that the proposal is adopted by the industry, making it easier for everyone to get a better deal", Kramer added.

The text reply would include information relating to any early termination charges, outstanding handset costs, or pay-as-you-go credit balances. Customers would be able to follow this process whether they were taking their mobile number with them or not.

Ofcom consumer group director Lindsey Fussell said the proposals would make it easier for customers to "vote with their feet and take advantage of choice in the market" and "prevent losing providers from delaying and frustrating the switching process". A final decision is expected to be published in the Autumn.

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. That's 38 per cent of all the switches from previous year.

What are the current rules?

These included difficulties contacting their current provider (11%), cancelling their service (10%), or keeping their phone number (10%).

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