consumer group director Lindsey Fussell said the move would also prevent "companies from delaying and frustrating the switching process". "While it's disappointing Ofcom did not go further, this is still an improvement that will make it easier for more customers to get a better deal".
But networks will be barred from charging users for a notice period, meaning users should no longer pay for old and new services at the same time. This could cost network providers a bit in the short-term but Ofcom reckons there'll be long-term efficiency benefits for telecoms companies, which should mean consumer doesn't end up footing the bill in the form of hiked-up contract prices.
Now, in the United Kingdom at least, swapping providers is about to get even easier thanks to a new system set to be implemented by the regulatory body, Ofcom.
So if you want to haggle after the new rules come in, it may be worth ringing your current provider instead of texting it. The provider must supply the code immediately, as well as info on any outstanding charges, prepaid balance or termination charges.
Ofcom believes that this will save British customers £10 million per year.
When the customer is ready to switch, they give the code to their new provider, and the number is ported within one working day. The code will be valid for 30 days, Ofcom said.
"Our own research from earlier this year found that while one in five thought text-to-switch would make them more likely to switch provider, more than double would have been encouraged to change under a gaining-provider led process, the alternative system that Ofcom decided against".
This won't all happen overnight: mobile providers will have to update their systems and there needs to be a degree of coordination between companies in order to make the text messaging facility work properly.
Last month, Ofcom announced mobile and broadband customers will get their account automatically credited if they experience poor service.
The switching has to be completed within one business day for consumers for two working days for businesses.