MOBILE users will be able to leave their provider by sending a simple, free text message from today.
It should speed up the current process where you have to request a code known as a “Porting Authorisation Code (PAC)” from your existing provider to keep your number when you switch.
Mobile users can now enjoy a quicker and easier process when switching mobile companyGetty – Contributor
The problem with this is that often your provider will try and persuade you not to leave.
Recent research from telecoms regulator Ofcom found that 31 per cent of mobile switchers found it difficult to cancel their service.
But the new text-to-switch process should make it quicker and easier for people to leave their mobile company as the whole process involves just one text message.
If you want to keep your number, customers text ‘PAC’ to 65075. Their existing provider will text back within a minute and send them their PAC number.
How does text-to-switch work?
THE new process makes it quicker and easier to leave your mobile company by giving you control over how much contact with your existing provider. This is how it works.
Text ‘PAC’ to 65075 – and keep your mobile number
Text ‘PAC’ to 65075 to start the process
The existing provider will text back within a minute and send the PAC number which will be valid for 30 days
The provider’s reply must also include information about any early termination charges or pay-as-you-go balances
The customer then gives the PAC number to their new provider
The new provider must arrange for the switch to complete within one working day
Text ‘STAC’ to 75075 – and get a new mobile number
Most people want to keep their number when they switch but one in six do not
Text ‘STAC’ to 75075 to get a service termination authorisation code
The rest of the process is the same as above
Text ‘INFO’ to 85075 – and find out more
If you are unsure about whether you will have to pay early termination charges text ‘INFO’ to 85075
You will only receive this information
This code will then be valid for 30 days for users to give to their new provider, which must then arrange the switch to complete within one day.
Customers will also receive information about any early termination charges or pay-as-you-go credit balances in this first text message.
If you don’t want to keep your mobile number – and Ofcom says around one in six do not – then you need to text STAC to 75075.
Your existing provider will then text back within a minute and send the STAC number.
You then give this to the new provider and this company must arrange the switch and a new number within one day.
But that’s not all. A ban on notice-period charges also kicks in today, which Ofcom says will save UK mobile users a collective £10million per year.
This means if you’re out of contract but still subject to a 30-day notice period, you won’t have to pay out that 30-notice period if you switch within that time.
It is different if you are still in contract though as here you will still have to pay any early termination charges that apply.
Three in ten mobile users report finding it difficult to avoid paying old and new mobile companies at the same time.
Natalie Hitchins from Which?, says text-to-switch is “a step in the right direction” but warns that it should be the new provider that’s responsible for the switching process.
She said: “We welcome the ban on customers having to pay for old and new services at the same time.
“But we are disappointed that the regulator hasn’t taken steps to ensure that customers’ new providers handle the switching process, as is the case in the energy market.”
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We highlighted that EE is set to hike prices for out-of-contract calls and texts for millions of customers.
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