EE, Three, Vodafone and O2 customers offered important change to contracts in huge shake up

1 July 2019, 11:32 | Updated: 1 July 2019, 11:35

Changing contracts has just got a whole lot easier
Changing contracts has just got a whole lot easier. Picture: Getty Images
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

UK mobile users can now switch networks with a simple text.

It’s good news for tech fans, as it will now be a whole lot easier to change your mobile phone contract.

Currently, if you want to switch to a new provider it may be necessary to go through the long process of calling up your provider, being kept on hold for a while and then eventually cancelling your current deal.

But in an update coming into action today, mobile phone users can leave their existing network by sending a single text message.

The new Text to Switch rules from Ofcom will allow users to quickly switch plans or network provider, and let them keep their existing phone number as well.

You can now change your mobile phone provider quickly and easily
You can now change your mobile phone provider quickly and easily. Picture: Getty Images

So, how does it work? Well, if a customer wants to switch and keep their existing phone number, they just text ‘PAC’ to 65075 to begin the process.

Their carriers will be forced to respond within a minute, sending over a code which will be valid for 30 days.

The user then gives the code to their new provider, who will then arrange for the switch to be completed in one working day.

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If a mobile user wishes to change their number, they must text ‘STAC’ to 75075 to ask for a ‘service termination authorisation code’.

In another attempt to make the process more transparent, if anyone wants to find out whether they need to pay any early termination charges can text ‘INFO’ to 85075.

Every UK network and provider, including EE, Three, Vodafone and O2, will now have to offer this service.

They will have to let their customers know about any hidden costs, outstanding handset balances or pay-as-you-go credit.

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Ofcom has also banned providers from charging for notice periods running after the switch date which is set to save mobile customers £10m a year.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, explains: “Breaking up with your mobile provider has never been easier thanks to Ofcom’s new rules.

"You won’t need to have that awkward chat with your current provider to take advantage of the great deals available.”