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Ofcom heralds ‘text-to-switch’ for mobile phone users

From July 2019, it will be easier to switch mobile phone network thanks to new rules from the regulator

From July 2019, it will be easier to switch mobile phone network thanks to new rules from the regulator

Anelda Knoesen
From the Money team
minute read
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Posted 26 NOVEMBER 2019

Text your network provider to get your switching code

The new switching regime was unveiled by Ofcom, the market regulator, in 2017. Text-to-switch means customers who want to switch mobile phone network will be able to request a switching code from their provider by text, which will be valid for 30 days. They pass this on to their new provider, facilitating the switch.

Ofcom will also ban network providers from charging customers for any remaining months on their contract after they’ve cancelled.

This will help prevent customers paying for old and new contracts at the same time – a big deterrent to switching, which can be a great way to get a better deal. Ofcom says the new switching service could save UK mobile customers £10m each year.

Customers may still have to pay a cancellation charge and any outstanding handset costs.

What are mobile phone network providers going to do?

Providers such as O2, EE and Vodafone have already started rolling out the service, but all mobile network providers will have to comply from 1 July 2019.

How will this improve the switching process?

The current, often time-consuming process usually requires customers to phone their provider, who’ll often try to persuade them to stay. Ofcom says the new switching service will make things quicker and simpler for customers and prevent companies from delaying the switching process.

Holly Niblett

Head of Digital
Compare the Market

“The new switching service will make changing network providers quicker and simpler. Ofcom is eliminating the difficulties customers are facing so they can switch without companies causing delays.”

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