YOUR NEW BEST FRIEND Ofcom wants to make it easier for UK consumers to switch mobile phone provider, ideally by getting the operators to do all the work.
Ofcom explained that too many people face too many problems when going through a switch, such as having to contact their current provider for a PAC code, trying to keep their phone number and having to go without service during a switchover.
This is so bad that millions of mobile phone owners have never even attempted to switch provider, seeing it as more complicated and fiendish than the three trials at the end of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
However, Ofcom has now put forward proposals to end this madness. The regulator's favourite plan requires the operator you want to move to having to sort out all the nuisance in the background.
Ofcom put together a nice little graphic to show how this would work.
However, Ofcom has a back-up if Plan A doesn’t work. This involves our little red human-like figure having to do a tad more work. The image of this process is below.
The watchdog also wants to introduce a requirement that stops consumers losing signal during a switchover by ensuring that the old provider does not end service until they have confirmation the new operator is providing service.
Ofcom head honcho Sharon White said it was flippin’ ridiculous that people are put off switching because of how Escher-esque it could all become when it should be more of a paint-by-numbers job.
"It is unacceptable for people to be missing out on better mobile deals because they fear the hassle of switching, or are put off having had a poor experience in the past,” she said.
"We want mobile customers to benefit from speedier, simpler switching, making it easier for them to vote with their feet and take advantage of choice in the market."
Ofcom will consider responses to the proposals by 1 June and will issue a final decision by the end of the year. This means that any changes are unlikely until 2017.
Oh, by the way. Ofcom is also looking at whether similar changes need to be made with bundled services (landline, broadband, TV), especially when going between BT Openreach, Virgin Media’s cable network and Sky's satellite services. The initial proposals will be released in the summer. µ
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