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How to Switch Mobile Service Operators Easily

By Edited Feb 15, 2016 0 0

A lot of people sign a contract with one mobile operator and then keep re-signing contracts with the same operator out of habit. But you've got plenty of choice on the UK market when it comes to mobile service providers, and it's not always the best plan to stick with the one that you have. There are all kinds of reasons why you might want to switch, as well as a few why you might not want to change. Today we're talking all about switching mobile operators, so you can decide whether it's right for you, as well as telling you how to do it simply and easily. So read on to find out all about switching providers, and why it might be a great savings plan...

Switch Operators for Better Mobile Tariffs...

There are so many operators that choosing between them can be overwhelming. But one of the benefits of having so many operators to choose from is that all that competition on the market means providers are forced to offer better mobile tariffs to encourage customers to sign contracts. The main reason to switch operators is to get cheaper mobile tariffs. Because companies want to encourage new customers, banking on the fact that once you've signed up you're going to stay with the company, many of the best deals are reserved for new clients. It's not unusual that a second contract with a provider will cost you more than your first contract did. You're totally within your rights to switch operators if you want to, and you might get a better deal, or better service, with someone else. A secondary reason for some people to change operators is that they just aren't getting good reception with their current operator and are looking to improve their service.

How to Switch Operators...

Changing operators is pretty easy. All you need to do is call your current operator's customer service line and tell them that you want to stop service at the end of your monthly billing cycle. They'll let you know when this is if you don't already know. You then go to the new company and sign up for a contract. It's that simple, and you don't have to give a reason for your switch.

Switching Operators and Keeping Your Number...

If you want to keep your current phone number, then things get a little more complicated. Before you cancel your current contract you'll have to call the operator's customer service line and request your PAC code. This is the number that identifies you as a customer. The operator must provide you with your PAC code within a reasonable time limit and for free. Once you have your PAC code you can cancel service. When you sign up with your new operator, you'll need to give them the code, and they'll make sure that you keep your number. It may take a little longer to switch service with your number, but most operators can do it by the next business day. Be aware of the fact that a PAC code only has a thirty day validity period, meaning that you'll have to complete the switch within that time frame. If you don't, you'll need to go back to the beginning and request another code.

You Might Not Have to Switch...

Whilst companies are eager to get new customers, they're not too excited about losing old ones. You may find that when you call your current operator's customer service line that you get offered a better deal to stay with the operator that you have. Customer service representatives actually have quite a bit of flexibility when it comes to offering special deals to customers that want to leave the operator. It isn't guaranteed that this will happen, though it does help if you're polite on the phone, but it's worth a try. If you're considering switching any way it's not going to hurt to ask if you can get a better deal. Remember that representatives are not required to offer you anything though.

Switching in the Middle of a Contract...

Technically, it is possible to switch operators when you're in the middle of a contract, but it's probably not going to be worth your while. Contracts generally contain non completion clauses, which will allow the operator to penalise you for not completing your contract. This penalty is generally a flat fee multiplied by the number of months that are left in your mobile contract. The fee varies by operator, but it's not going to be cheap. Also, if you have an incentive contract that came with a free mobile phone you'll find that you need to pay the remaining balance on the price of the phone on top of your penalty fee before you can stop service. Whether or not you choose to do this is really up to you, and depends a lot on how long there is left on your contract and what kind of deal you're getting from another operator. If there are more than six months left on your current contract you're almost certainly going to be better off staying with your current company for at least a few more months to try and bring the penalty payment down.

Other Considerations...

The time a switch takes will depend on whether or not you're taking your phone number with you. If you're not, then your new operator should begin service within an hour or so. If you are, it's probably going to be the next business day. Something that it is important to remember is the issue of billing. The month that you switch operators you're probably going to get two mobile phone bills. One will be for the last month of service from your old operator and may include any penalty payments. The other will be for your first month of service from your new operator. You'll need to count on the fact that you'll probably be paying a little more for mobile service that month than you usually do and manage your finances accordingly.

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