Ofcom wants provider changes to take 2 hours

August 13, 2009

Ofcom wants provider changes to take 2 hours
Mobile phone users will not have to arrange to switch their phone number to another provider if a new Ofcom proposal is accepted.

Those in charge of the recommendation stated that this may reduce the time it takes users to switch their providers and numbers from two days down to just two hours.

The reform comes following a study that showed over a third of people in the UK have switched mobile providers over the last two years.

However, the process is not as easy as it may sound since the UK is the only mobile market in Europe that requires consumers to call their old provider and ask for the PAC code, so that the number may be moved to a new network.

Since mobiles are now one of the main ways that people stay in touch, both in business and their personal lives, keeping the same number is a crucial part of changing networks.

In fact, a new study by Ofcom showed that 71% of all mobile users felt keeping their same number was the most important component they considered when changing networks.

However, the current structure in which a consumer must call their provider to get the code allows the networks to push customers around in an attempt to get them to stay.

A mystery shopper study by Ofcom showed that 25% of the shoppers felt networks were too ‘insistent and pushy’ while trying to obtain the code, and an additional 7% were not allowed the PAC code in an attempt to force the consumers to stay.

The European commission recently proposed that the process should be able to be completed in a day by the year 2011, but Ofcom said that it could be quicker if customers were not forced to get the PAC on their own.


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