Sunday, 21 January, 2018

Ofcom unveils new rules to help speed-up switching mobile phone providers

London. Media watchdog Ofcom who have received over 30,000 complaints over bullying and racism towards Shilpa Shetty on their Celebrit Ofcom hopes the new rules will make switching mobile providers much easier
Edmund Robinson | 20 December, 2017, 01:37

It says one of the biggest hurdles in changing provider is having to speak to your current provider, and facing unwanted attempts to stop you leaving.

The simple text messaging system looks to alleviate this pain and bypass the need to bounce between various departments of a telecoms provider when swapping networks.

Lindsey Fussel, consumer group director at Ofcom, said: "Too many people are put off by the hassle of switching mobile provider".

Communications regulator Ofcom has introduced new rules to help speed-up the process of switching from one mobile provider to another.

This is all good news for the mobile users, but it will require network operators to change their systems and processes for ending their services with departing customers and force different network providers to work together.

The industry will need to set up the new short codes for people to text and be able to send instant automated responses to switching requests, as well as new billing arrangements to end notice-period double payments.




Networks will be banned from charging customers for notice periods running after the switch date, forcing them to pay for both old and new contracts.

Now, in the United Kingdom at least, swapping providers is about to get even easier thanks to a new system set to be implemented by the regulatory body, Ofcom. The new rules are aimed at speeding up the switch process for consumers and businesses. Said code comes directly from your current operator via an online form, a phone call, or even a quick free text message.

The regulator estimates this will save customers around £10m in total each year. The provider must supply the code immediately, as well as info on any outstanding charges, prepaid balance or termination charges. The porting code will be valid for 30 days.

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. Under the new process, operators must provide customers immediately with a number porting code, port the number within one day and can not charge for any notice period.

A Vodafone spokesperson responded: "We agree that it should be simple for customers to select the service which best suits them and we are examining Ofcom's announcement".

"Proper provision also needs to be made for customers on 'bundled" packages, as well as those wanting to switch to forthcoming fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband services'.

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