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New 'Text-to-Switch' rules make it easier to change network providers

New 'Text-to-Switch' rules make it easier to change network providers

As of July 1, Ofcom has brought into effect new rules that make it easier for mobile phone users to switch to a different network provider. The new 'text-to-switch' initiative aims to provide customers with a much smoother process, enabling them simply to send their existing provider a text message to notify them that they would like to switch.

How does 'Text-to-Switch' Work?

Under the new system, when a customer wants to switch while keeping their existing phone number, they need to text 'PAC' to 65075 to their current provider, who will immediately reply with their porting authorisation code, which is valid for 30 days, as well as with any information on early termination charges, any outstanding charges, and pay-as-you-go credit balances. The customer then sends the code to their new provider, who will arrange the switch within one working day.

If the customer doesn't want to keep the same phone number, then they can still go through the same problem-free process, only they text 'STAC' (service termination authorisation code) to 75075 instead. Customers who are unsure about whether they're still under contract and wish to find out if they'll have to pay early termination charges can text 'INFO' to 87075.

The telecommunications regulator hopes that the introduction of these new changes will help cut out a lot of the hassle that customers have had to go through when wanting to switch networks. After all, changing to a different provider should be straightforward, but that often has not been the case.

Before now, network providers have been able to make switching a deliberately arduous process by requiring their customers to give them a call first. This allowed the provider to attempt to persuade the customer to stay, trying every trick in the book to convince them even when they were likely to find a better deal elsewhere.

It's certainly a significant nuisance for most people; previous research by Ofcom found that seven in ten experienced some difficulty and that 2.5 million dealt with at least one major problem when trying to switch. What's more, as most phone users are aware of the infuriating, needlessly time-consuming experience that awaits them, many are often deterred from even attempting to change provider in the first place. That's why many are now ecstatic with the new rules.

One supporter of the change was the Jonathan Lenton of Ombudsman Services, who said, "We know from the complaints we see that, for too many people, switching mobile provider can be problematic and stressful." Lenton added that the changes should make it easy for all consumers to shop around for the best deal and increase switching rates.

Another welcomed change that Ofcom has introduced, as part of their Fairness for Customers commitments, is a ban on notice-period charges. A common headache that customers faced up until now was that if the notice period for their old contract ran on after the switch date, they were put in the maddening situation of having to pay two network companies at the same time. Preventing providers from charging for notice periods that run after the switch date, Ofcom states, should result in combined savings of £10 million – more fantastic news for consumers.

Time to switch to TUFFMultiNet?

There are plenty of reasons why someone may want to switch to a different network. For instance, those in the agricultural and construction industries are often dissatisfied with their coverage, experiencing weak signal all too frequently as their work takes them to remote places.

That's why we believe that the best choice of network for many farmers and builders may well be TUFFMultiNet. Inserting a TUFFMultiNet SIM card into your device will bring you the connectivity of three major networks: Three, EE, and O2. If the primary network, Three, is unavailable, then the phone will switch to one of the other two networks based on whichever has the strongest sequel in your current area. With TUFFMultiNet, farmers and builders are less likely to have their workday disrupted by the loss of signal.

With the mandatory lengthy phone call and notice period charges abolished, it should now be quicker and cheaper to change provider, so why not give TUFFMultiNet a go? Contact TUFF today if you'd like to find out more about why TUFFMultiNet could be perfect for you.