UK telecoms regulator Ofcom reckons it’s still too much of a hassle to switch broadband providers, which results in people paying more than they need to.
So today Ofcom is proposing a ‘one touch’ process which means you don’t have to interact with your existing ISP at all if you want shot of them. This is designed to completely remove the ability for providers to throw up bureaucratic obstacles or belatedly plead for you to stay once you’ve decided to move on.
Apparently 40% of people are still put off switching by the prospect of having to explain themselves to their provider and Ofcom thinks this won’t do. Under the news system a customer would automatically receive important information from their current provider as soon as they commit to a new one. This would include any early contract termination charges they may have to pay, and how the switch may affect other services the customer has with the company. Here’s a handy diagram.
“There are lots of different offers out there from a wide range of broadband and landline providers and we want to make it even easier for people to get a better deal or upgrade to a faster, more reliable service,” said Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom’s Networks and Communications Group Director. “We know some customers can be put off by the hassle of having to deal with more than one provider when trying to switch. So our proposals today aim to make the process as seamless as possible, for everyone.”
Ofcom is consulting on the proposals until 31 March 2021 and aims to publish its decision in the summer. This will allow plenty of time for some ISPs to moan and for Ofcom to ignore them. Assuming it does go ahead with the new regulations, they still won’t come into effect until the end of 2022.