Switch plan for mobile phone agreements
Switching mobile phone companies should be made simpler, the regulator says, under strategies that mirror checking account swaps.
Ofcom's preferred option is for responsibility for the switch being placed entirely in the hands of the brand-new company.
That would suggest an end to the procedure of contacting the existing service provider in order to end the present agreement.
A final decision will be made in the fall.
There are an estimated 47 million mobile phone contracts in the UK, and around 5.9 million individuals have never switched carrier at all, nor considered changing in the past year.
Ofcom research recommends that, of those who have actually switched, some 38 % have been struck by one major problem throughout the procedure. One in 5 of them briefly lost their service, and one in 10 had problems calling their present provider or keeping their phone number.
The regulatory authority has actually laid out 2 options to enhance the procedure:.
Under the first proposition - its favored option - a customer would only need to handle the new supplier. Such a system is currently in place with broadband services through Openreach and in other industries, such as changing bank accounts.
Under the 2nd, the client would still need to be provided their PAC switching code from their old carrier, but clients could ask to receive it by text or online.
Sharon White, Ofcom chief executive, said: "It is unacceptable for people to be missing out on better mobile deals because they fear the hassle of switching, or are delayed having had a poor experience in the past.
"We want mobile customers to take advantage of speedier, simpler changing, making it much easier for them to vote with their feet and benefit from choice in the market.".
Dan Howdle, from switching company Cable.co.uk, said: "I am elated that Ofcom is lastly wanting to expose the complicated changing process for what it is - not merely a series of tiresome administrative hoops, however a set of sticking points designed to actively dissuade us from changing company.".
The regulator likewise wants clients to be provided the opportunity to postpone a switch to prevent double paying on both contracts throughout the handover process.
Consumers can already change without a penalty throughout a 30-day period after a carrier announces an unexpected rate increase.
The plans will now go to consultation before a final decision later in the year.
Consumers who haven't currently sorted out their pre-order of the brand-new Apple phone can still get their hands on the new handset, either straight from Apple, or from among the primary other merchants that will be stocking the device.
The new model will be offered on Virgin Media, O2, Vodafone, EE, Three and Giffgaff mobile phone networks, with each provider offering their most competitive tariffs.
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