Mobile phone users who are reluctant to brave the process of changing to a new contract or network will find it far easier from 1 July when the new Text to Switch rules come into effect.
These will allow mobile customers to leave their existing network by sending a single text message, greatly simplifying the whole process.
There are currently at least 15% of mobile users who are out of contract and cumulatively paying £27.4m more than they should be every month – resulting in a total overspend of more than £325m a year. These customers will now be able to switch to a new and better deal almost instantly.
Two in five switchers have experienced difficulties in moving to a different network in the past. Some have struggled to take their existing number to their new handset; some have found it hard to navigate websites – while others have simply got too frustrated with automated phone services and being placed on hold by call centres.
With around 10m people planning to change phones this year alone, the simplified process will make an immediate difference to a large number of consumers.
It will also eliminate the potential for consumers to pay for two different services – their old and their new deals – at the same time. Networks will have to respond to a texted request for a cancellation code or a PAC code immediately, with these codes valid for 30 days. It is estimated that UK phone users double paying for mobile phone services costs £10m every year.
Richard Neudegg, Head of Regulation at uSwitch.com said, “Too many mobile phone customers experience difficulties when changing to a different network.
“It should be networks’ best interests to make switching as easy as possible. If the process is slow and cumbersome people will quickly become frustrated. But a slick and speedy service will boost consumer confidence and increase the likelihood they will switch, a win for consumers and the industry.
“Text to Switch should make things far more simple. People who are out of contract, for example, overpay by an average of £8.17 a month due to their monthly payment still including a handset element, even though the handset has already been paid off. They are essentially paying again for something they already own.
“The theoretical hassle of switching has now been reduced, and the potential savings for millions of customers should make this a no brainer. With end-of-contract notifications also set to arrive in early 2020, mobile users will now find it easier to change to the best deal for them, with Text to Switch making that process even simpler.”
Leave a Comment