Switching from broadband providers will be simplified according to the rules set today by the industry regulator Ofcom, so that it is possible to switch on the same day.
Under the new rules, households only have to contact the provider they want to join to trigger the switch without speaking to their existing provider.
While this is already the case when switching between two providers who use BT’s Openreach network, customers who switch from Openreach to a cable provider such as Virgin Media can now also benefit from the new process.
Ofcom has asked all broadband providers to prepare for the new switch process by April 2023 and believes this will make the market more competitive.
Ofcom’s Lindsey Fussell said, “Household finances are tight right now, so switching broadband providers could help keep your bills down. We make it as easy as possible for you to break up with your broadband provider and take advantage of the offers. “
The Watchdog’s research previously showed that customers are being discouraged from switching providers because they don’t want the hassle that comes with it. Ofcom found that four in ten people didn’t want to contact more than one provider, while a similar number felt it would be too time-consuming to switch.
In addition, a quarter of customers said their previous provider tried to discourage them from switching – a practice made more difficult by the new rules.
BT responded to Ofcom’s announcement with the following statement: “We want to make it as easy as possible for consumers to switch broadband providers, regardless of which network they are on. We believe this process will do just that as customers only need to notify their new provider.
“We aim to get the new process up and running quickly and we urge all vendors to work collaboratively on it.
“We would like the new process to be extended to include switching from pay-TV providers, so that the benefits of a seamless switchover for those who use a ‘triple-play’ package of voice, broadband and pay-TV, not be undermined. “
How does the “one-touch” switchover work?
The process will work like this:
- a customer will contact a new provider and provide their details
- You will then automatically receive important information from your current provider about the fees for early contract termination and how the change may affect other services of the customer with the company
- If you are satisfied with continuing, the switch will begin immediately
- Vendors have to compensate customers if they go without service for more than a working day
- Ofcom also prohibits notice periods beyond the change date.
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