Ofcom boss Ed Richards has called on businesses to work with the regulator to make it simpler for consumers to change communications providers.
Speaking earlier this week, he expressed concern that difficulties with changing provider were preventing consumers from taking full advantage of the choice available.
This means consumers are failing to reap the rewards of living in one of the most competitive communications markets in the world.
In a speech to the Consumers and Citizens in the Communications Sector event, Mr Richards called on the industry “to transform switching; to remove the inconvenience, delays and uncertainty that currently can bedevil consumers when trying to change their provider”.
He also challenged providers to help deliver “a system that enables consumers to take advantage of the increasing competition and innovation available”.
The speech follows Ofcom’s announcement in August of new measures to help consumers change landline and broadband providers with greater ease.
Under the revised rules, the customer’s new provider will be solely responsible for managing the switching process, giving them a single point of contact in the event of problems.
The rules will also protect customers against being switched without their knowledge, a process known as ‘slamming’, with all providers required to a record of the customer’s consent to the switch.
Firms will also need to give customers better information on the implications of changing provider, such as early termination charges, so they can make informed decisions.