- UK regulatory body Ofcom is introducing a new way to move mobile providers called “auto-switch”
- Under the new rules, consumers will be able to switch networks with a single free text message
- The rules will come into play in July 2019
Switching your network carrier can be an absolute nightmare what with all the different deals, new customer bonuses, and contractual small print to consider – and that’s before all of the “please stay with us” phone calls you have to grit your teeth through when calling your current carrier.
Thankfully, the process has been getting easier in recent years, with improvements to number porting and simpler ways of unlocking phones. Now, in the UK at least, swapping providers is about to get even easier thanks to a new system set to be implemented by the regulatory body, Ofcom.
Dubbed “auto-switch”, Ofcom’s new rules distill most of the arduous process into a single code that does everything for you. Said code comes directly from your current operator via an online form, a phone call, or even a quick free text message.
Once you have the code, all you need to do then is head over to whichever network you want to switch to, sign up, and provide them with the code. Think of it as a Porting Authorization Code (PAC code), but for your entire account.
Even better, once the code has been processed your old contract will terminate immediately, effectively ending any confusion or additional charges that might arise from the usual 30-day notice periods. The new system also lets you switch early by paying off your current contract when you originally request an auto-switch code.
If any of that has confused you (I was, if only because it sounds far too good to be true), Ofcom has provided a handy cartoon that shows the entire process in four simple steps which you can see below. As a result of the changes, Ofcom says it will be saving UK consumers around £10 million each year due to the ban on notice periods.
The sweeping changes will no doubt delight buyers, but Ofcom is fully aware that the new rules will put a lot of pressure on the current systems operators have in place. To help usher in the new age of easy-switching, Ofcom is setting a deadline of July 1st, 2019 so providers can make the necessary changes.
What do you think of the changes? Let us know in the comments.