The digital regulator in the UK, Ofcom, has been doing a lot over the last couple of years to make broadband and mobile experiences a lot better. Today, the regulator has announced a big change that will allow you to move your phone number to a new provider a lot more easily. From Monday, customers will be able to text ‘PAC’ to 65075 and automatically receive their Porting Authorization Code (PAC) number to give to their new provider in order to port the number over.
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Consumer Group Director, said:
“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.”
Once you’ve sent the text to your current provider, the firm is obligated to respond within one minute with your PAC (which is valid for 30 days) and any information about termination charges of pay-as-you-go (PAYG) credit balances. With your PAC in hand, you can give it to your new supplier who must switch you to their network within one working day of the agreed date.
According to Ofcom, one in six people leaving their provider do not want to take their number with them, instead, they’d just rather quit their current service altogether, this can be done by texting ‘STAC’ to 75075. Another option introduced by Ofcom is ‘INFO’ to 85075 which will inform you if you'll have to pay charges to end your contract early; this option will not retrieve your PAC though. If you’ve got an online account, your provider must give you an option to find your PAC there too. Those with family mobile packages have to use this option when switching.
As part of the measures, Ofcom has announced that from Monday, providers will not be allowed to charge during notice periods that run after the switch date; this measure is expected to save UK mobile customers £10 million combined, each year.