Ofcom plans to make switching mobile phone provider easier
The new rules would include putting the responsibility of switching entirely in the hands of the company to which the customer is moving.
This would mean the customer would no longer need to contact their current provider to switch.
The regulator is also considering simplifying the process for obtaining a code which allows a customer to keep their existing number.
To keep their number, the customer currently must contact their current provider for a ‘porting authorisation code’, or PAC, and take this to the provider they plan to join.
Ofcom is concerned that some operators make this process difficult, making it unnecessarily hard for consumers to switch.
Research by the regulator into arrangements for cancelling and terminating services found switching rates for mobile services have fallen from 9% to 6% between 2013 and 2014.
Sharon White, Ofcom Chief Executive, said: “Consumers should be able to switch their mobile providers with minimum hassle to take advantage of the best deals on the market.”
Last month, Ofcom made broadband switching simpler and smoother by introducing a ‘one touch’ process for millions of broadband customers of providers using the Openreach copper network – including BT, EE, Sky and TalkTalk.