Reminder: game changing "Text to Switch" rule starts on Monday

It's about to get a whole lot easier for mobile phone users in the UK to change to a new contract or network when the new Text to Switch rules come into effect on Monday.

The process of changing mobile carriers or contracts has always been a bit of a hassle for consumers but with Text to Switch, mobile customers will now be able to leave their existing network by sending a single text message.

According to research from uSwitch, at least 15 percent of mobile users are out of contract which results in them paying £27.4m more than they should be every month, resulting in a total overspend of over £325m a year. However, come Monday, these customers will now be able to switch to a new and better deal almost instantly.

Of those who have tried to switch mobile carriers or plans, 40 percent have experienced difficulties while doing so. Some have struggled to take their existing number to a new handset, some have found it hard to navigate telecom websites and others have become increasingly frustrated with automated phone services after being placed on hold by call centers.

Text to Switch

When a customer texts a request for a a cancellation code or a PAC code (porting authorization code), mobile carriers will have to respond immediately and the codes they send will be valid for 30 days. These codes will be short and all mobile providers are required to use the same codes.

In addition to sending customers codes, providers will also have to include important information about any early termination charges, outstanding handset costs or pay-as-you-go credit balances.

Head of regulation at uSwitch, Richard Neudegg provided further insight on the new rules, saying:

“Too many mobile phone customers experience difficulties when changing to a different network. It should be networks’ best interests to make switching as easy as possible. If the process is slow and cumbersome people will quickly become frustrated. But a slick and speedy service will boost consumer confidence and increase the likelihood they will switch – a win for consumers and the industry. The theoretical hassle of switching has now been reduced, and the potential savings for millions of customers should make this a no-brainer.

Networks have had 18 months to prepare for the implementation of Text to Switch, so it is likely that they will be prepared for the influx of cancellation requests they will receive on Monday.

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