New rules which telecoms regulator Ofcom claims will make it simpler to switch phone and broadband providers have come into effect.
From this week, responsibility for cancelling existing contracts and ensuring the smooth transfer of all services becomes the responsibility of the new provider rather than the customer.
The change follows Ofcom research which suggested some consumers experienced difficulties and delays getting their existing provider to request to enact requested cancellations and changes.
To protect customers against services being switched with thteir content – a process known as ‘slamming’ – providers must also keep records of each order and both the new and old supplier must provide written confirmation of what’s happening.
If the consumer changes their mind they can cancel the switch.
The new rules apply to all providers who use the Openreach network, including BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk.
Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “The new process puts the responsibility for the switching process in the hands of the provider the customer is joining.
“This will make a real difference for consumers, and will encourage more people to take advantage of very strong competition in the landline and broadband markets.”