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

19 May 2017

Ofcom said its research suggested customers would also prefer the new planned system.

You won't even need to even talk to anyone.

Under new plans by Ofcom, mobile phone users will be able to switch operators by sending a text to the provider they want to leave.

And it gets better. there's no waiting round either.

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What are the new proposals?

In fact, Ofcom with ban mobile networks from charging any kind of notice period fee after you've chose to switch. This means customers would no longer have to pay for a double subscription - for their old and new service- for any length of time.

The watchdog has estimated this will save Brits around £10m each year.

The body has released a consultation on today's proposals, which is open until 30 June.

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A final decision will be made in the autumn.

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. In the same breathe, they'll also notify you of any early exit fees and outstanding device costs you may be on the hook for, or remind you of your remaining credit balance if you're on pay-as-you-go. The new mechanism will be called "Auto-Switch".

At present, anyone who wishes to switch to a different mobile provider must contact their current supplier to tell them they are leaving. Customers would be able to follow this process whether they were taking their mobile number with them or not. The idea is said to be both much cheaper and preferable to implementing a new provider lead switching process (costed at £87 million).

Regulators had previously been working on plans to place the burden of switching onto the mobile firm customers were switching to under "one-stop" switching process.

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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.