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You can switch your mobile network with a single text from 1 July, here's how

At the end of 2017, Ofcom announced major reforms to the way customers can switch between mobile networks in the UK. Now the date has finally arrived when networks have to implement the changes.

Originally, the UK’s communications regulator found some unnecessary difficulties in the process of switching providers when a contract is expired. Two in five people who switched their network revealed that they have experienced at least one major problem while doing so.

One of the biggest complaints was that, because a customer had to speak to their provider, they often faced unwanted attempts to persuade them to stay.

That lead to Ofcom enforcing a new “text-to-switch” system designed to eliminate the stress of changing mobile network providers, which must be adopted by networks by Monday 1 July 2019.

How to change your mobile network by text

From Monday, the following guidelines set by Ofcom will come into effect.

To switch provider and keep the same number, you will be able to simply text “PAC” to 65075 – a free number all providers recognise. In return, your current operator is obliged to send you a unique switching code.

 

If you want to switch but do not need to keep the phone number, just text “STAC” to 75075. You will then receive a service termination code in return.

In either case, the unique switching code will be valid for 30-days so you can request one even if you are still shopping for a new provider.

Once you do find a new network, just give them the PAC or STAC code when joining. The switch, Ofcom says, must be activated within one working day.

You should also still be able to cancel or switch your mobile network by phone or online. The same timeline rules above must apply, however.

Ofcom has also enforced a new information text service operators must offer. By texting “INFO” to 85075 you can find out whether if your contract has expired or not, or whether there are charges to pay to cancel your contract early.

Note, Ofcom has also banned charges for notice periods that run after the switch date.



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