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Ur dumped lol: Folk may be able to leave mobile contracts via text

It's not me, it's you. Ofcom proposes new switching regime

By Kat Hall, 19 May 2017

It's considered a cold way to end most relationships, but customers may soon be able to consciously uncouple from their mobile providers by simply sending a text.

Ofcom's "text-to-switch" proposals today are intended to make it quicker and easier to switch from one mobile network provider to another.

Under the plans, customers would simply send a free text message to the provider they wish to leave. They would then receive a text back, which includes a unique code to pass on to their new provider who will arrange the switch within one day.

The body has also introduced a ban on charges after the switch date, which it says will save customers around £10m per year.

Ofcom's proposals mean that mobile customers would no longer have to speak to the provider they wish to leave – one of the major causes of difficulties for mobile switchers, according to Ofcom research.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, said: "We want people and businesses to benefit from simpler, speedier mobile switching, making it easier for them to vote with their feet and take advantage of choice in the market.

"Our 'text-to-switch' plans would give greater control to mobile customers about when and how they switch, and prevent losing providers from delaying and frustrating the switching process."

Around 2.5 million people who changed mobile provider said they experienced at least one major problem when switching (38 per cent). These included difficulties contacting their current provider (11 per cent), cancelling their service (10 per cent), or keeping their phone number (10 per cent).

The body has released a consultation on today's proposals, which is open until 30 June. It will make a final decision in autumn this year. ®

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