Ofcom propose reforms to speed up process of switching mobile operators

Ofcom proposals to speed up switching of mobile operators - Office Phone Shop

New ‘text-to-switch’ plan aims to give greater control to mobile customers.

Ofcom claims around 38% of those who changed mobile provider (2.5 million people) said they had experienced at least one major problem when switching. This includes contacting their current provider (11%), cancelling their service (10%), or keeping their existing number (10%).

With Ofcom’s proposed new ‘text-to-switch’ plan, customers would be able to send their mobile provider a text message, free of charge, to let them know they wish to leave. The provider would then be required to send a text back within one working day.

This would include a porting authorisation code or ‘PAC’, for those wishing to keep their existing number and a cancellation code for those who don’t. The reply text should also include any information relating to early termination charges, outstanding handset costs, or pay-as-you-go credit balances. These codes would be valid for 30 days, allowing for a cool-off period for the customer.

“We want people and businesses to benefit from simpler, speedier mobile switching, making it easier for them to vote with their feet and take advantage of choice in the market,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director.

“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.”

A Three spokesperson told Mobile News:

“We are disappointed that Ofcom is not proposing a move to gaining provider led (GPL) switching. It is clear that having the gaining provider managing the switch will provide the greatest benefit to consumers and enable real ease of switching. Only under GPL can you ensure that the best deals are not kept for consumers who wish to leave their existing network.”

However, Carphone Warehouse marketing director Dean Kramer welcomes the proposals, according to research from the retailer “one in four people believe switching networks is too complicated”:

“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 consultation will be open until 30 June 2017, before Ofcom will publish the final decision in the autumn.

With a business mobile contract from Office Phone Shop, there is no need to change your existing number.

Office Phone Shop has a dedicated team of business telecoms solutions’ specialists, including business mobile telecommunications experts. With no fixed deals or contract obligations, we can offer you the best deals. We can also manage all your business telecommunications services together, saving you money and time by providing one easy-to-read bill and one point of contact.

Office Phone Shop can provide:

  • Latest handsets through leasing
  • SIM only deals
  • Tablets
  • Integrated billing with your fixed line service
  • Cheaper tariffs
  • 12 month or 24 month contract
  • SIM cards for mobile broadband (tablets etc)
  • Mobile Dongle (for laptop data use)
  • Mi-fi device (wifi through SIM card and dongle device)

To discuss our business mobile solutions call now on 01892 514687, or get in touch via email.