UK mobile users get ready to "Text-to-Switch" networks

Tech Blog
July 3, 2019
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Ofcom has introduced the new rules that give UK mobile users the ability to "Text-to-Switch" their mobile network.

This is going to be revolutionary for mobile users across the country who often dread the lengthy and painstaking process of switching networks.

Not only will a simple text give UK mobile users the ability to switch networks, but also switch plans within their current network, avoiding those lengthy phone calls with your provider. But don't worry, you will also be provided with the option to keep or change your current mobile number too.

How will it work?

The customer will simply have to text 'STAC' to '75075', requesting either a cancellation code or a PAC code (porting authorisation code) and the networks will be required under law to reply to the customer within 1 minute. Once you have received your code, that specific code will be valid for up to 30 days.

Although "Text-to-Switch" will inevitably speed up the switching process, you have to take into account that early cancellation charges, outstanding handset costs and pay-as-you-go balances still stand. However, network providers are required to keep you informed about these aspects so that no nast bill shocks come your way, so you will simply be able to text 'INFO' to '85075' to find any of this information out before requesting a cancellation code.

Ofcom's Consumer Group Director, Lindsey Fussell, said:

"Breaking up with your mobile provider has never been easier thanks to Ofcom's new rules,"

"You won't need to have that awkward chat with your current provider to take advantage of the great deals available."

USwitch.com conducted some research and found that around 40% of mobile carriers who have tried to switch networks or plans have experience difficulties during the process. From being put on hold to not being able to keep their current number, it can be an extremely frustrating process.

Network providers across the country have been preparing for the introduction of "Text-to-Switch" for 18 months, with many being happy with the update.

Which? Head of Home Products and Services, said:

"Switching supplier should be a quick and easy process, with minimum disruption to the customer. But mobile customers are often put off by having to jump over hurdles to switch providers, even if they could get a better deal somewhere else,"

"The introduction of text-to-switch is a step in the right direction, and we welcome the ban on customers having to pay for old and new services at the same time. However, we are disappointed that the regulator hasn't taken steps to ensure that customers' new providers handle the switching process, as is the case in the energy market."

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