vacancies advertise contact news tip The Vault
facebook rss twitter

Ofcom UK explains One Touch broadband switching process

by Mark Tyson on 5 February 2021, 13:11

Tags: Ofcom

Quick Link: HEXUS.net/qaep55

Add to My Vault: x

Please log in to view Printer Friendly Layout

After a rule change in 2015, broadband customers in the UK already have in place a quite simple and straightforward method of switching providers. The process can be instigated by the customer simply contacting the new supplier and leaving it to them. However, since the new rules came into place it has been noted that there are a number of significant speed bumps in the process that it would be good to address.

In consumer research Ofcom found that many people were still put off regularly switching broadband providers due to the following factors:

  • Switching between providers using different networks or technologies still required customer contact with both entities. Without such coordination there could be a sizable overlap or gap between old and new services coming online. It was found that 40 per cent of people were put off by this potential hassle.
  • Similarly, 40 per cent of people thought switching broadband suppliers would be too time-consuming.
  • Lastly 25 per cent of respondents told Ofcom that the existing provider tried to persuade them to stay, and such debate wasn't wanted by consumers.

Last October Ofcom sketched out its plans to fix the above sources of consumer and ISP friction. Yesterday it provided a clearer explanation of its preferred 'One Touch Switching' plans and an alternative 'Code to Switch' system.

Ofcom's favoured One Touch process is shown in the outline diagram above. You will still get important info from your existing provider before you give your consent to switch and the change is actually scheduled.

An alternative switching method has also been put forward by Ofcom, and it appears to be a slightly longer process requiring the customer to get a code from their current provider – at the same time important info will be shared by the existing provider about termination, charges, etc - and passing the code to the new provider. This sounds a bit like the text-based mobile contract switching using a PAC (porting authorisation code). One hopes Ofcom has learned from earlier PAC supply shenanigans from mobile service providers if they go down this route.

Ofcom has started consulting on the proposals shown above. It will take providers time to significantly change systems and processes so whatever the outcome they are going to have until December 2022 to get ready for the new switching process.



HEXUS Forums :: 6 Comments

Login with Forum Account

Don't have an account? Register today!
My mother ( just TV and phone ) and my friend ( internet ) just had their old provider ( on fiber of course ) get taken over by another company, and so they had to decide on a new provider.

As i recall there was about 8 different companies to choose from, so on behalf of my mother i changed her TV provider, and her phone too as she was on a flat rate deal and with the amount she use the phone more expensive than a regular pay by the minute deal.

My friend while he also had TV via fiber he ditched that ( well many sane people do as TV in general just make you more stupid )
So he was left with internet, and here the new provider bummed, first of all they did not send him a new router before the last minute and only as he called them, and when he was supposed to be switched over at February 1 at 00:15 in the night / morning, well nothing happened so he plugged old gear in and old provider was still there, until 4 in the morning.
New provider only got their ass in gear later in the day after my M8 called them again, but that was then 12 hours or so too late.

Changing provider i think dont cost a fee her, and normally not even a establishment fee even if the fiber or whatever ate not at your door, it should but usually the companies void that fee.
Changing your phone provider, well yes they do try and keep you, which if it is just price / service are okay, some times they will match the price /service you want to change to, so thats a win if you otherwise are okay with your old provider.
Otherwise you just leave, normally the new company take care of everything like moving your number over in case you want to keep the same number ASO,,,,,, also cost free as i recall.

Really you should challenge these guys and the likes of insurance and banks at least every years or so,,,,,, you have no contract as such with these people so they bloody well give you what you want or you leave.
Myself i just cut 1/3 of the price on my car insurance just changing company.

Most times it can all be settled by a simple phone call, or online.
So get on with it !
An alternative switching method has also been put forward by Ofcom, and it appears to be a slightly longer process requiring the customer to get a code from their current provider – at the same time important info will be shared by the existing provider about termination, charges, etc - and passing the code to the new provider.

Sounds like that is a much more complicated option than the current process? What would be far more useful is Ofcom making the provider state when the minimum contract term is coming to an end, closer to the time of that. That way more people may be inclined to switch providers.
Iota
Sounds like that is a much more complicated option than the current process? What would be far more useful is Ofcom making the provider state when the minimum contract term is coming to an end, closer to the time of that. That way more people may be inclined to switch providers.

Agreed. I have also had times where I need one contract to have started before the other one ends and don't want delays of “we need a code” etc etc. It's time to respond to their consultation I guess! The only time this is useful is for BT line ADSL where you want a direct swap from ISP1 to ISP2 on the same day with minimal break of service. If I'm swapping from ADSL to FTTP fibre I want to know the fibre is up and running before killing the ADSL, (and so that I can compare quality of service between the two side-by-side)
Gentle Viking;1338941
New provider only got their ass in gear later in the day after my M8 called them again, but that was then 12 hours or so too late.

Whilst it’s easy to appreciate how that company could have done better and also shouldn’t have needed your friend to call them to do simple things, 12hrs without an Internet service is hardly the end of the world. Also I think we need to consider that this is a consumer level product, not an enterprise one. The money you’re paying for internet isn’t a huge amount so while you should expect good service, expecting a service level that guarantees uninterrupted service when switching is… a bit unreasonable?

Anyone who is dependent on internet access to the extent of sorely missing it for 12hrs will almost certainly have another means of access - like a smartphone they could tether to plug the gap in the meantime. So as things go, it’s not a huge issue is it?
No my M8 also slept thru most of it, but my friend are OCD & ADHD, and like me old school, so we expect to a high degree people to honor their words, or at the very least call and say “ hey something messed up” as we both fully acknowledge things can go wrong.
We are also both very avid about honoring our words, you will not hear either of us say ( in the heat of the moment ) “ ill kill you” for example, and then not do it.
We have both said “ i will FU up every time i see you for the rest of my life” to someone, and we have also honored those words, or rather my friend have as he is the only guy that subsequent ran into the guy.
But i will honor those words if i saw the guy, even if those words was uttered way back when we was Fcked up people, and now decades later we are no longer like that.

If it was not so damn inconvenient i would carry a gauntlet all the time, and slap people with it when they have insulted me, and so call them out for a duel.
As my friend say i am born at least 500 years too late, and at least 2000 KM too far north due to my like of hot weather.