Ofcom makes it easier to change mobile providers

Sending a text will be all in takes to switch mobile networks in 18 months time

Ofcom has announced major changes to the process, meaning that customers will be able to switch between operators simply by sending a text message.

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

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.

Vodafone, which has been slammed by Ofcom for poor customer service, saw its share price fall from 232.6p just after the markets opened to 231.3 by midday.

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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 organisation said that one of the biggest hurdles in changing provider is having to speak to your current provider, and facing unwanted attempts to persuade you to stay.

There will be two text numbers available industry wide - one for those wanting a porting authorisation code (PAC), which enables users to keep their existing mobile number, and one for those who don't want a new phone number. "Our changes will make it quicker and easier for mobile phone users to get a better deal", said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Consumer Group Director.

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The existing provider will respond immediately with one of two codes depending on if the customer wants to keep your number of not.

This will put an end to customers paying for old and new services at the same time, and will save Brits around £10million a year. "While it's disappointing Ofcom did not go further, this is still an improvement that will make it easier for more customers to get a better deal".

However, while providers won't be able to charge during the notice period, they can still levy other fees, such as early repayment charges if you cancel and switch mid-contract.

The gaining-provider option would have meant consumers being able to leave all the finer details to their new network, saving on days of hassle and potentially stopping them from going through the hassle of switching.

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