It has been 18 LONG months in the making, but the day is finally here: text-to-switch is live.
The initiative, which was announced in December 2017 by Ofcom, will enable users to request their Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) with one simple text message.
The previous process necessitated a call to your current service provider and it has been suggested by recent research that the hassle of calling and dealing with aggressive retention techniques has dissuaded 33% of UK mobile phone users from switching.
While this is a very big step for the telecoms industry, it is only a partial solution. Compared to the energy space, where you can authorise your new supplier to deal with all matters relating to your switch, the telecoms industry has a way to go.
Of the new regulations, Billmonitor MD Klaus Henke said:
“This is great news for consumers, even if the process is still more complex than for other utilities like gas and electricity. Billmonitor has been lobbying Ofcom for nearly 10 years to change the PAC system and we will continue to lobby for further improvements to create a hassle-free switching process”
How does it work?
- Text "PAC" to 65075 if you would like to keep your existing number or text "STAC" to 75075 if you simply want to terminate the contract and the number.
- Your current provider is required to send you a response via text within one minute. Following this, you can send the PAC reference (valid for 30 days) to your new provider.
- Importantly, the reply from the provider must contain any relevant information about early contract cancellation charges, as well as any remaining balance on the account for Pay-As-You-Go customers.
- Once you have forwarded your PAC reference to your new provider, they are then required to ensure that the switch is completed within one working day.
- Finally, if you simply want to find out whether you are still “in-contract”, just text 'INFO' to 85075.
You can request your PAC / STAC / INFO reference as many times as you like and, if you choose not to switch, you won’t be penalised in any way.
Are there any problems with the new approach?
Some networks may require additional information such as your birth date and you still need to call your provider if you have more than one connection on the same contract. Billmonitor has tested the process with success for Vodafone, EE, O2 and Three, but there may well be issues that arise as we interrogate the process further. We encourage you to test it out with your own provider, even if you don’t plan on switching.
Considering which tariff is best for you?
You can access Billmonitor’s free-to-use and impartial bill anlaysis service here. Billmonitor will then email you details of the right contract with follow up monthly updates letting you know which deals are best for your usage profile.