Simplified switching saving mobile customers time and money, claims Ofcom

Smartphones, Telecoms

More mobile customers are switching – and collectively saving millions of pounds a year – following changes that make it quicker and easier to switch provider, claims Ofcom

Since the ‘text to switch’ process was introduced in 2019, people can change mobile provider by sending a free text. Customers are sent a code which they can give to their new provider, who must arrange for the switch to be completed within one working day.

Ofcom’s analysis found that 4.1 million mobile switches, where the customer kept their current number, were completed in the first 12 months after the reforms were introduced – an increase of 600,000 (15%) on the previous year. The number of such switches then further increased to 4.2 million in 2021.

The reforms also ensured that customers do not have to pay for their old service after switching, by banning post-switch notice periods. In addition, mobile providers are required to give their customers better information about the financial implications of switching, such as any charges to end a contract early.

Ofcom estimates that the savings made following the prohibition of notice period charges, as well as the reduction in time and effort spent switching, will deliver consumers a benefit of £130m over a 10-year period.

Chris Price
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