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Ofcom Cuts PAC Code Transfers to One Working Day

Gordon Kelly


Ofcom Cuts PAC Code Transfers to One Working Day

If you've ever tried switching network provider (and I suspect that's the majority), then I suspect you'll have encountered the unimaginable horror of trying to get your mobile phone number transferred. Well fear no longer...

On the same day at it announced sweeping cuts to Mobile Termination Rates Ofcom has further gone up in our estimation by enforcing a 'one working day' time limit on providers to get this task done.

"Our research shows that over 70 per cent of consumers want to keep their mobile number when they switch providers," said Ofcom CEO Ed Richards. "Reducing the time it takes to transfer a mobile number to one working day, and enabling consumers to obtain a PAC quickly, means consumers will be able to switch provider more easily without the costs or inconvenience of changing their number."

Ofcom took just six weeks to come to this conclusion (trust me that's fast, investigations can take years). At present the way PACs (Porting Authorisation Codes) are issued varies considerably between providers and many even insist on sending them out by post just to try and stall the process.

The new ruling comes into effect in "the first half of 2011". So if you signed a new mobile contract in recent months know it'll be a snap to get out of come the end. Furthermore, knowing this could well land you a rather nice renegotiation deal...


Ofcom Official Statement


April 1, 2010, 10:34 pm

good move.

though what needs changing is the carriers' tactics when you call them up to ask for you PAC, eg transfering you through to the 'PAC' dept. often involves an unusually long wait on hold.

a few months ago i phoned up 3 UK to ask for a PAC code for a PAYG phone i had with them. after eventually getting through to the correct person, i was asked why i wanted to leave 3. i told them reception was poor in my house, to which the C/S agent replied "your reception will improve if you go onto a contract deal with ourselves"

i nearly fell over!

after forcing him to discuss this claim with his manager, he eventually had to apologize, telling me that he had been mistaken.

there must be dozens of underhand tactics the carriers use to keep hold of customers.


April 1, 2010, 11:23 pm

I had a similar experiance with orange got passed to 3 different people each made an enthusiastic effort to try and make me stay, I then had to wait almost a week for the code to be delivered through snail mail.

whereas on the flip side when I wanted the code from asda mobile it took all of 30 seconds to give me the code straight after I confirmed the security details right then and there


April 1, 2010, 11:42 pm

If they could cut down the length of mobile contract as well...


April 2, 2010, 12:53 am

The truly irritating farce is what you have to do if you want to keep the same number but take advantage of a new contract deal on the *same* network. T-mobile forced me to port my number over to free orange PAYG sim, only to then have to port it back to my new t mobile account! & the really, really annoying bit was that t-mobile screwed up the porting back process. It took them 2 weeks to sort it...


April 2, 2010, 8:36 pm

Could the fact that there's an election shortly and the quango needs to justify its existence as the Politicians look for scapegoats/sacrificial lambs by making popularist announcements?

Also note these are 'consultation' proposals!

The fact of the matter is Ofcom is TEN years too late. Mobile charges etc should NOW be on par with landlines. After all how is it that the same telecoms can offer international calls for as little as 2 pence a minute? Simple, because Ofcom's bureaucretins are living in dopey land.

Just take a look at what is happening with the digital and HD tv: Ofcom's own data shows that 90% of UK households had digital tv in 2008 and while the remaining in the main are waiting for the analogue signal to be turned off before they go digital!! So why not just turn off the analogue transmission NOW? Freeing up bandwidth for HD tv or whatever AND saving the &#8220hard up&#8221 terrestrial tv companies money on the electricity bill etc, and the environment in the process.

Oh, the announcement back in September 2009 for a compulsory Code of Conduct for telecoms was nothing more than adopting compulsorily the existing voluntary code of conduct. Which means that the telecoms can still continue getting away with their bad behaviour as before.

Other quangos like the OFT/Trading Standards/Consumer Direct are no different as demonstrated by Consumer Focus' super-complaint to OFT on the £3 billion ISA interest rate fiddle by the banks. So who are the pirates?


April 2, 2010, 8:49 pm

Oh, forgot to say the obvious: Just as it is 'good time' for Ofcom to make such pronouncements it is ALSO a good time to write to you MP (Find it here: http://www.parliament.uk/direc... and don't be fobbed off) AND the relevant Select Committee) ( http://www.parliament.uk/busin... ) and not just here at TR. This is how corporations like the telecoms lobby them.


April 3, 2010, 7:36 am

I was thinking exactly the same thing Enigma - Ofcom scrambles to justify its existence before a Conservative government gives them the chop, in a BBC Three-does-Question-Time level of last ditch desperation. But hey, as long as they're actually doing this and the MTR thing, the motivation isn't too important. And if we're honest, the only reason the Tories can't stand Ofcom is because they don't explode at every single outraged letter sent in from Middle England about the number of F words spoken a half-eleven at night.

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