Mobile phone customers could soon be able to dump their network provider by text.Ofcom says people shouldn’t need to make a potentially long and uncomfortable phone call to their operator in order to switch networks, as they currently have to.
Research conducted by the regulator also shows that these calls can often be disrupted, causing further stress.
According to Ofcom, 38 percent of people trying to switch network providers has been hit by one major problem during the process.
These include temporarily losing service, issues with keeping a number and even difficulties with getting through to the mobile provider in the first place.
The proposed new system, which is called Auto Switch, should save consumers time and money.
All they would need to do is text their current provider, which would have to respond by texting back a cancellation code, or a PAC code for customers intending to keep their number, as well as relevant account information, such as early termination charges or credit.
Customers can then pass their code to their new provider.
Ofcom says the entire switching process could be completed within one working day.
The regulator would also ban operators from charging for notice periods after the date of the switch, meaning customers will be protected from having to pay for both their old and new package at the same time.
A consultation on the proposals will run until 30 June, before a final decision is made in autumn.
Ofcom had previously been exploring a system in which a customer’s new network would be responsible for conducting the switch.
However, those plans would have cost the industry £87 million over ten years, rather than the £44 million under the new proposals.