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Frustrated Brits can dump mobile providers by text as of today

It's not me, it's you: 'Breaking up has never been easier'

Fed up mobile customers can finally dump their providers by text from today, under new rules from Blighty's comms regulator, Ofcom.

The body has also banned mobile providers from charging for notice periods running after the switch date, which it estimates will save consumers a total of £10m each year.

Currently, folk wanting to switch their mobile operator and keep their phone number have to call to request a "porting authorisation code" (PAC) from their existing provider.

But the new "text-to-switch" process is intended to simplify the process.

If a customer wants to switch and keep their existing phone number, they just text "PAC" to 65075, with their existing provider expected to respond by text within a minute. They will be sent their PAC which will be valid for 30 days.

The provider's reply must also include important information about any early termination charges or pay-as-you-go credit balances.

That code is then passed on to the new provider, which will arrange for the switch to complete within one working day.

Customers can also text "STAC" to 75075 to request a "service termination authorisation code" if they do not wish to keep their number.

Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's consumer group director, said: "Breaking up with your mobile provider has never been easier thanks to Ofcom's new rules. You won't need to have that awkward chat with your current provider to take advantage of the great deals available."

According to Ofcom research, 31 per cent of mobile switchers find it difficult to cancel their previous service.

Perhaps the regulator could next introduce "ghosting" operators to make things even easier - so consumers can cease all communication and payments as a way of breaking things off. ®

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