Operator’s CEO has written to the Secretary of State, Maria Miller, to call on action to make it easier for customers to move to a different network and keep their number
Three CEO Dave Dyson has called on the Government to back plans to make it easier for customers to switch mobile networks at the end of their contracts without losing their number.
In the UK, consumers are forced to ask their current operator for permission to keep their mobile number when they leave to join an opposing network.
Three said research shows it discourages people from moving operators and getting the best deal. According to the Ofcom Consumer Experience Report 2011, only nine per cent switch operator each year.
A YouGov poll published today, which surveyed 2,064 adults, shows 78 per cent of people want to be able to choose a new operator and have them able to manage the changeover, as seen with services like electricity and gas.
Nearly two thirds (64 per cent) said they would be more likely to switch if their new provider automatically contacted their current network to complete the process.
Under the current system, they agreed operators make it difficult to leave by offering different deals and asking for customers to explain why they are leaving.
Three CEO, Dave Dyson said: “Easy switching for UK mobile consumers is long overdue. In Ireland Three, O2 and Vodafone customers enjoy no-hassle switching. It’s time UK customers were given the same rights to easily switch and keep their number when they want a better deal.
“Mobile consumers across Europe only have to contact their new operator, who will then manage the whole process for them.
“The same system is used in the gas, electricity and fixed-line telephone markets in the UK, and we believe UK mobile consumers should be able to enjoy the benefits of ‘winner-led’ switching.
“As YouGov’s figures show, consumers want a simple switching system that allows them to make a choice when their contract period ends, without having to be subjected to what is often a long and frustrating process.”