Consumers will be able to switch mobile phone network simply by sending a text, the telecommunications regulator Ofcom has announced.
Under the new regulations, from 1st July 2019 consumers will be able to send a text to get the code required to keep their existing number when moving to a contract with a rival carrier.
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The code received will be valid for 30 days, giving consumers the chance to see if their current provider can offer a better deal.
Richard Neudegg, head of regulation at uSwitch, said: “It is encouraging to see Ofcom taking steps to make it easier for customers to take their mobile number between mobile providers.
“Our own research from earlier this year found that while one in five thought text-to-switch would make them more likely to switch provider, more than double would have been encouraged to change under a gaining-provider led process, the alternative system that Ofcom decided against.
"While it’s disappointing Ofcom did not go further, this is still an improvement that will make it easier for more customers to get a better deal.”
The gaining-provider option would have meant consumers being able to leave all the finer details to their new network, saving on days of hassle and potentially stopping them from going through the hassle of switching.
At the moment, users must call their network to ask for a PAC number, which allows them to keep their number. This must then be passed onto the new provider.
Research by uSwitch earlier this year found that failing to switch was costing consumers £5.8 billion a year.
Ofcom has found that two in five people who switch under the existing system suffered at least one problem during the process.
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