New changes have been made by OFCOM where mobile phone users will now able to switch service providers by sending a single text message – They had introduced this rule with the aim of making it easier for people to switch network provider.
In the past, you would have had to ring your existing phone provider in order to be able to change provider – however this also led to the company making the process frustrating by attempting to persuade the customer to stay instead. The watchdog believes that this is one of the main reasons which makes people reluctant to switch.
Recent studies by OFCOM has shown that around 2.5 million people experience at least one major problem when switching mobile phone provider, while 7 in 10 people encountered some difficulty in trying to make the switch.
These new rules will now allow customers to be in control with how much contact they have with their phone provider and should prevent service providers from delaying and making the process of switching difficult.
What is the ‘text to switch’ system?
Customers wanting to change provider will now only need to text their current provider for a cancellation code and pass it on to their new service provider.
Mobile phone providers in the UK will now be obliged to offer this new system to their customers and if they receive a text for a cancellation code – they will have to send the information immediately.
Once the customer has decided to leave, mobile phone providers are not allowed to charge for a notice period that runs after the switch date.
How does it work?
Customers will just need to text one of the short codes mentioned below depending on whether they would like to keep their current telephone or switch to a new one.
- Text ‘PAC’ to 65075 to keep your existing number and leave your contract.
- Text ‘STAC’ to 75075 to get a new mobile number and leave your contract.
- Text ‘INFO’ to 87075 to find out whether you are still in contract or not and whether you will have to pay exit charges.
Once customers have texted the relevant code, they should receive a response immediately via text which should also state any important charges that may be needed to be paid. The codes they receive are valid for 30 days and will need to be passed onto your new provider where they will make the switch within one working day – The old service will end on the same day, so there will be no notice period charges to pay.
How much could you save?
Customers will now have more freedom to be able to switch providers when they want to and stop any unnecessary charges from staying in outdated contracts or notice period charges.
uSwitch figures show that UK consumers could save roughly 10 million pounds a year by not having to pay for overlapping mobile phone services by switching from an old to a new provider.
Customers who are out of contract could save almost £100 per year of overpayments vs their current deal.
Do you still need to contact customer services?
With this simple ‘text to switch’ service, you no longer have to go through the lengthy customer service process to switch provider. Although, you are still able to ring up to switch if you would like to negotiate a better deal. If you still wouldn’t like to use the text message system to leave, the code requests will also work on your provider’s online services.
In order to make the switch, you still will need to get in contact with your new provider as they will need the PAC or STAC code.
You can also port non-geographic numbers
Have you considered porting your non-geographic numbers to get a better deal or improved service? Here at Planet Numbers you can benefit from our super-low running costs, powerful online management tools and our business focused customer service.
It’s not quite as simple as sending a text message, but the process is still really easy. All you need to do is complete a porting form (also known as a Letter of Authority – LOA) and print it on your business letterhead and mail it to us either as a PDF created on a digital version of your letterhead, or in the traditional post.
While we are transferring your numbers there’ll be no disruption to your service and your line will operate completely as normal.
Call us today, free on 08000 886 866 to find out about porting your business phone numbers to Planet Numbers.