Ofcom has introduced new rules intended to make it easier for subscribers to dump their mobile operator and jump ship to a rival.
The rules mean that subscribers can simply text their mobile operator for the PAC code, which subscribers need in order to port their existing number to a new operator.
Subscribers will just need to text the code "PAC" to 65075 and the PAC code should be sent back within a minute. The PAC code will be valid for 30 days and providers are obliged to inform subscribers of any early termination fees, or outstanding credit they might lose if they are on a pay-as-you-go contract. Switches should be made within a day.
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The rules mean that mobile subscribers will no longer have to endure long and tortuous arguments with call centre staff, incentivised with retention targets, in order to extract the PAC code. Subscribers can also request their PAC codes online without jumping through any unnecessary hoops, too. Again, the codes should be provided within a minute.
In addition, if subscribers want to dump their provider and mobile phone number, they can send the code word "STAC" to 75075, too. Hopefully, that won't be abused by pranksters terminating their friends' mobile phone contracts for a laugh. In addition, it's not clear what safeguards might be in place to prevent account hijacking.
Mobile phone subscribers that just want to find out when their contract term ends can text "INFO" to 85075 without kicking off the migration process.
"This new process is designed to be quick and easy, so you could request your PAC while looking for a new deal - for example, while on the phone to a new provider, or in store," according to Ofcom.
On top of this, Ofcom has also banned mobile providers from charging for notice periods that run after the switch date. The communications regulator believes this will save consumers a total of £10 million a year.
New rules from Ofcom require broadband, mobile phone and pay TV providers to notify residential and business customers when their deals are drawing to a close
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