Text to Switch sees SIM only sales increase

text to switch sim only
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Sales of SIM Only tariffs have increased dramatically since the introduction of new rules that allow mobile customers to change networks with a text message.

The Text to Switch regulations came into force on 1 July, making the process of switching operators far simpler than what had often been a lengthy and convoluted process.

And consumers are taking advantage – with many opting to keep their existing handsets and take out a SIM Only deal.

Text to Switch

Figures from affiliate network Awin.com suggest a 57 per cent year-on-year increase in mobile market sales in the immediate aftermath of the new rules, with a 104 per cent rise in 12-month SIM-Only tariffs. There was also a boost for 30-day SIM Only deals as well, with orders up 25 per cent.

“Ofcom’s new legislation made it a lot easier for consumers to change their tariff, and the results show that it had the desired effect, with the sale of sim only deals seeing an uplift straight away,” said Dawn Quigg, Awin.com Client Services Director.

“It shows the number of people that were potentially holding back or unable to switch previously, who are now taking advantage of the changes.”

Under the rules, when a customer texts a request for a cancellation code or a PAC code (porting authorisation code), mobile carriers will have to respond within a minute, and the codes they send will be valid for 30 days. These codes will be short and all mobile providers are required to use the same codes.

In addition to sending customers codes, providers will also have to include important information about any early termination charges, outstanding handset costs or pay-as-you-go credit balances.

Anyone wishing to change their phone number will be abe to do so by texting ‘STAC’ to 75075 to request a ‘service termination authorisation code’.

Lastly, anyone unsure whether they are still ‘in contract’, and wanting to find out if they need to pay any early termination charges can text ‘INFO’ to 85075 to find out without requesting a switching code.

Steve McCaskill is TechRadar Pro's resident mobile industry expert, covering all aspects of the UK and global news, from operators to service providers and everything in between. He is a former editor of Silicon UK and journalist with over a decade's experience in the technology industry, writing about technology, in particular, telecoms, mobile and sports tech, sports, video games and media.