You can now switch mobile-phone network by sending a text message, after new rules came into effect in early July. Telecoms regulator The Office of Communications in UK introduced the new method, called ‘text-to-switch’, to make switching mobile provider quicker and easier.
To begin the process, you first have to request a switching code from your current network (you can also ask for this online and over the phone).
If you want to keep your existing number, text PAC to 65075. Your network will then send you a PAC (Porting Authorisation Code).
If you don’t want to keep your number, text STAC to 75075. You’ll then receive a Service Termination Authorisation Code.
Requesting a code won’t end your current contract – that won’t happen until you pass on the code to your new network. Codes expire after 30 days if you’ve not used them.
As well as this code your existing network will send you details of any early termination fees, outstanding phone costs and credit balances.
Ofcom says switching by text means you won’t have to speak to an advisor from your network’s sales team, who might try to persuade you to stay.
However, your network may still contact you after you’ve received a code to urge you to stay. The regulator announced plans to simplify switching in 2017, giving networks 18 months to implement it. The mow also bans notice periods, which stops people paying for two contracts simultaneously.