Ofcom wants to make it easier to switch mobile provider

Friday 19 May 2017 | 13:57 CET | News

UK regulator Ofcom said it has proposed a package of reforms to make it quicker and easier to switch from one mobile phone provider to another, and that it has opened a consultation on the issue, set to run til the end of June. Under the plans, people and businesses would only need to send a free text message to the provider they wish to leave. They would then receive a unique code by return text to pass on to their new provider, which would in turn arrange the switch within one working day. Customers would no longer have to speak to the provider they wish to leave.

Under the proposed rules, mobile providers would also be banned from charging for notice periods running after the switch date. This means customers would no longer have to pay for a double subscription - for their old and new service- for any length of time. Ofcom said this will save UK mobile phone customers around GBP 10 million every year.

Around 2.5 million people who changed mobile provider told Ofcom they had experienced at least one major problem when switching (38%). These included difficulties contacting their current provider (11%), cancelling their service (10%), or keeping their phone number (10%).

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