Switching mobile networks is about to get much simpler

Ofcom wants it to become easier for customers to switch mobile phone contracts

Ofcom wants it to become easier for customers to switch mobile phone contracts

Mobile customers will be able to switch networks by sending a free text message.

Ofcom said consumers and businesses now face a series of potential hurdles when attempting to change supplier - with 2.5 million affected by issues including "unwanted attempts to persuade you to stay".

The simple text messaging system looks to alleviate this pain and bypass the need to bounce between various departments of a telecoms provider when swapping networks. To help usher in the new age of easy-switching, Ofcom is setting a deadline of July 1st, 2019 so providers can make the necessary changes.

'Customers will control how much contact they have with their current mobile provider, preventing companies from delaying and frustrating the switching process'.

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Around two in five mobile switchers - or 2.5 million people - experience at least one major problem when switching, while seven in 10 encountered "at least some" difficulty, according to Ofcom.

The gaining-provider option would have meant consumers being able to leave all the finer details to their new network, saving on days of hassle and potentially stopping them from going through the hassle of switching.

Networks will be banned from charging customers for notice periods running after the switch date, forcing them to pay for both old and new contracts.

Well new reforms from Ofcom, set to come into effect in 18 months time, should change that monumental pain in the arse.

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The service is switched – This will happen within one working day (if you give your code to your provider before 5.30pm, you'll switch the next working day) and you'll be able to keep the same mobile number. The provider must supply the code immediately, as well as info on any outstanding charges, prepaid balance or termination charges. Think of it as a Porting Authorization Code (PAC code), but for your entire account.

The new system will require networks to start coordinating with the competition a bit better, and change their existing infrastructure to accommodate it.

Ofcom said that would stop customers paying for old and new services at the same time, saving them around £10m collectively per year.

The code received will be valid for 30 days, giving consumers the chance to see if their current provider can offer a better deal.

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