Mobile customers will in future be able to switch networks simply by sending a text message after telecoms regulator Ofcom unveiled a major overhaul of switching and number porting rules.
Instead of having to call their existing provider and enduring often unwanted efforts to persuade them to stay, customers will be able to just text their provider or visit their website to request a PAC number which they can give to their new network to bring their number across.
As well as the PAC, customers will be advised of any outstanding charges owed but will be protected from having to pay for both networks at the same time as Ofcom is banning firms from charging for notice periods running after the customer’s switch date.
The regulator estimates this will save customers around £10m in total each year.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said: “Too many people are put off by the hassle of switching mobile provider.
“Our changes will make it quicker and easier for mobile phone users to get a better deal.
“Customers will control how much contact they have with their current mobile provider, preventing companies from delaying and frustrating the switching process.”
Networks will be allowed an 18 month period to bring in the new system.