Ofcom has announced new measures designed to improve the broadband and home phone switching process and empower UK consumers.
The media regulator is introducing a new regime, in a bid to help customers change providers with "greater ease, confidence and convenience".
"Not only do complex switching processes cause confusion, they also increase the perception that switching is difficult," Ofcom stated.
The body said this can dissuade people from switching to a new provider, which can prevent them from getting a better deal.
Ofcom noted that, historically, the existing service provider has had too much power, and can be incentivised to delay or disrupt the broadband transfer.
In a bid to resolve this issue, Ofcom has determined that consumers will follow a single switching process in future, where the new provider takes control of the transfer.
Under this ‘gaining provider-led’ process - which is already in use for most landline and broadband switches - consumers will no longer need to contact their existing provider to receive a code in order to switch.
Additional measures designed to prevent consumers losing their service during the changeover process, or being switched without their consent, have also been outlined by Ofcom.
Providers will now have to keep a record of every customer’s consent for any transfer, to protect them from being deliberately moved to a different operator without consent.
Broadband providers will also be required to mitigate against consumers having their lines switched accidentally during house-moves, by only placing an order to take over services at the new property once they have an exact address match.
Claudio Pollack, Consumer Group Director at the media regulator, said the announcement represents "an important milestone" in Ofcom’s work to improve the consumer experience when switching home phone and broadband provider.
“The move towards one clear and simple system led by the gaining provider will result in a switching process that works in consumers’ best interests," he stated.
"We will now be working on further measures to improve consumers’ experience of switching."