In the past, switching your mobile network was a bit of a pain. It involved contacting your current network to cancel, who would then try and persuade you to stay, which often makes the process slower and more painful. But that’s all changed.
Here’s everything you need to know about text to switch, including how to do it.
Text to Switch all you to switch networks just by sending a text message.
It’s free, quick and easy. And, crucially, it means you’re in control of the whole process, not the networks. Which means you can switch to a new deal without having to phone someone up.
When you want to switch network, you just contact your current provider to request the relevant code, which you can now easily do by text message.
You don’t have to tell your network that you’re leaving or explain your reasons why. Better still, all mobile networks have to use the same short codes, so no matter which provider you're with, you just need the following numbers:
Text PAC to 65075 to get your code.
Your provider should then send you a text containing your PAC pretty much straight away. This message will also include any important information about any early contract termination charges, outstanding handset costs or pay-as-you-go credit balances.
All you need to do then is give the PAC to your new provider and they will arrange for the switch to be completed within one working day. You don’t need to do anything else.
Text STAC to 75075 to get your code.
Again, it's a really simple process. Once you've sent the text, you'll receive your STAC from your provider, along with any other relevant information about your final bill. All you need to do then is give the code to your new provider and they'll handle the rest.
Text INFO to 85075 to find out the information about your contract.
If you’re not sure whether you’re still in contract with your provider and if you would have to pay charges to end your contract early, you can find this out without requesting a switching code.
Once you've texted to request your PAC or STAC, you should get a reply instantly. Business contracts will receive a response within two working days.
Because the reply is so quick, you could send it while you’re in-store looking for a new handset, or while on the phone to a potential new network provider.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to use this PAC code or cancellation code as soon as you receive it. In fact, you don’t have to use it at all, so don’t feel pressured into signing a new deal.
Each code is valid for 30 days. When you sign up to a new network, you just pass the code onto them and they make all the necessary arrangements. You don’t need to do anything else.
The previous system put up too many hurdles in the way of the consumer. According to Ofcom research at the time, 38% (around two in five) of mobile switchers say they have experienced at least one major problem when switching provider – that’s around 2.5 million people. And a whopping seven in 10 have experienced at least some difficulty.
Major difficulties they experienced included contacting their current provider (which 11% complained about), cancelling their service (10%) and getting the necessary information from their current provider (9%).
The new system aims to remove these obstacles, making switching a seamless process.
It’s a lot quicker and simpler than the current process, and it means you don’t have to speak to your current network at all.
At the moment, speaking to your current network inevitably involves dealing with the retention department, those people whose job it is to persuade you to stay. While this can lead to some discounts and good deals, it can also hold up the whole process.
Under the new system, your switch will have to take effect in one working day. Though there are no rules banning your current network from calling you and trying to persuade you to stay.
It’ll also be cheaper. Under the new rules, mobile networks will be banned from charging notice periods running after the switch date. In other words, you won’t have to pay for your old and new services at the same time after you’ve switched. Ofcom estimates this will save customers £10 million a year.
It seems customers are in favour of text-to-switch. According to research agency Walnut, 42% of people would consider switching to a different mobile network, but this rises to 48% once they’ve had text-to-switch explained to them.
So could it be an incentive to switch? Quite possibly.
Text-to-switch should also be cheaper for mobile networks. According to Ofcom, it will cost an estimated £44 million over 10 years, compared to £87 million for a one-stop process. It’s hoped these savings will be passed on to the customers.
Text to Switch will make changing mobile phone providers quicker and easier than ever before. So it’s no surprise that industry experts have a lot to say on the subject.
Director of Sky Mobile, Sophia Ahmad, said: “The arrival of text-to-switch will make it easier for customers to move to a mobile provider that has the right offer to meet their needs.
“When we launched Sky Mobile our aim was to be the most flexible network, giving customers choice and savings every month. Our approach has proved to be very popular – we surpassed the 1 million customer mark in June, and we’re confident we’ll continue to see success now switching mobile networks is so much easier for customers.”
All mobile networks will have to publish and promote clear guidance to help customers follow the new process. Head to your network’s website for more information.
Keen to switch? Check out our best mobile deals.
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