Ofcom’s autumn deadline for announcing its plans for operator switching process reforms is “unlikely” to be met, according to information obtained by Mobile from an Ofcom Spokesperson.
The process, which began in July 2015 consulted operators, retailers, utilities providers, industry experts and the public to decide how changing mobile provider can be easier for consumers.
The brief on Ofcom’s website describes the process stating, “We’ll then consider all available evidence before publishing our final decision in autumn 2016.”
However, Mobile was informed that this final decision is now likely to be published in the new year.
The responses listed on the consultation include views by BT, Telefonica, Virgin Media, TalkTalk, Vodafone, Three, uSwitch, Sky, SSE, Which and EE.
EE, Vodafone and Telefonica UK are critical of the proposals while Three supported the move to simplify the switching process. Interestingly, BT and EE stand on opposite sides of the debate, with BT supporting process reforms.
There are two options put forward by Ofcom, the first is to allow customers to receive their PAC code, notice period details and outstanding charges via text message. The second is to make the network, which wins the customer’s contract responsible for sorting out the switch with the customer’s old provider – completely removing customer involvement from the process.
Ofcom says the changes would allow drive competition between networks, make quad-play service selling easier and could also reduce the logistical cost of switches. Critics say the existing process is fit for purpose, the changes are expense and that the changes could promote exploitative sales techniques.