Cell phone customers will have the ability to swap operators by sending a textual content to the supplier they wish to depart, underneath plans drawn up by the regulator.
Ofcom stated prospects might keep away from an ungainly and lengthy name to their operator and as a substitute ship a textual content. In flip, they are going to be despatched switching codes.
The proposal means Ofcom’s beforehand most well-liked possibility – a extra easy one-stage course of – is being dropped.
That system was dearer and will have raised payments, it stated.
The change of most well-liked plan marks a victory for cellular operators who would have confronted greater prices underneath the choice system. Ofcom stated its analysis urged prospects would additionally desire the brand new deliberate system.
At current, anybody who needs to modify to a unique cellular supplier should contact their present provider to inform them they’re leaving.
Ofcom analysis means that, of those that have switched, some 38% have been hit by one main drawback throughout the course of. One in 5 of them quickly misplaced their service, whereas one in 10 had difficulties contacting their present provider or conserving their telephone quantity.
Beneath earlier plans, Ofcom wished accountability for the swap being positioned totally within the fingers of the brand new supplier. That will imply one name to a brand new supplier by the client.
The regulator has now concluded that such a system could be twice as costly as its newly-preferred possibility of texting to modify.
They’d textual content, then obtain a textual content again, which features a distinctive code to cross on to their new supplier who might organize the swap inside one working day. Prospects would have the ability to comply with this course of whether or not they have been taking their cellular quantity with them or not.
Beneath the proposed guidelines, cellular suppliers could be banned from charging for discover durations working after the swap date. That will imply prospects would now not must pay for his or her previous and new service on the identical time after they’ve switched.
A last determination will likely be made within the autumn.
Newest figures printed final 12 months confirmed that there have been an estimated 47 million cell phone contracts within the UK, and roughly 5.9 million folks had by no means switched supplier in any respect, nor thought-about switching within the earlier 12 months.