Switching mobile network providers has been a pain for as long as you can probably remember. Notice periods are usually hidden in the fine print along with unexpected costs, and there are so many conditions that need to be met before you switch that could make you scrap the idea of switching and even unwillingly stay with your current mobile network.
But not anymore! Ofcom have rolled out new regulations that make the switching process a piece of cake. In fact, you don't even have to call up your network provider.
Here's How It Works
Let's say for example you're on a 24 month contract with EE, but half way through your contract you have found a better plan with O2 and you want to take advantage of that deal:
Switching With Your Number
Simply send a free text 'PAC' to 65075. Your current provider (EE) will reply within a minute with a text confirming your PAC (Porting Authorisation Code) and any remaining account balance or fees associated with early contract termination.
You then will need to provide the given PAC number to O2, and the switch will be completed within one working day.
Switching and Getting a New Number
There can be complicated reasons as to why you would want to change your number when switching network providers, nonetheless, the process in itself is an easy task. Simply text 'STAC' to 75075, and you will be given your service termination authorisation code. The rest of the process is the same: supply your new network provider with your STAC, then you can make the most of your new plan.
What If I Have Multiple Numbers Linked to My Account?
If you have a family plan and want to leave your current provider, you can carry out the process above to request your PAC or STAC. The only significant difference is that you have to request it via your current provider's app or on their website.
No More Notice-Period Charges
Ofcom have discovered that the UK's mobile customers find it extremely difficult to make the switch, and usually switching providers is associated with paying both your current and new provider at the same time. That's why Ofcom have made the decision to ban notice-period charges as of the 1st of July 2019:
With new regulations in effect, it is now easier than ever before to switch network providers. The stress of calling them up and telling them that you're leaving has been significantly reduced. Finally, the industry is moving to a unified straightforward service provision, and with end-of-contract notifications coming our way in the near future, dealing with mobile network providers should become hassle-free. Potential savings is an absolute no-brainer to switch, so if you saw that juicy deal a few days ago, why not to give it a go and use the money that you will save for some fun this summer?
Cover image: Robin Worrall on Unsplash