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Fed up with poor customer service? Think about switching provider

Published: 18 May 2022
Last updated: 16 March 2023

We’ve published our latest research into the customer service offered by the major home phone, mobile and broadband providers – and it’s a mixed picture depending on which provider you use.

We found that, overall, customer satisfaction is high. But there’s concern around call-waiting times and how providers handle complaints.

We’ve called on providers to focus on improving customer service, but in the meantime there are steps you can take as a customer if you feel you’re not getting the service you deserve.

One of these is simply to switch provider.

It's never been simpler to switch. You can switch mobile network with a simple text message, and leave your broadband contract if you're not getting the speeds you were promised when you signed up with certain providers.

Switching mobile phone provider

We’ve made it quicker and easier to leave your current mobile provider. Ofcom rules mean you can switch mobile provider by sending a simple, free text message to your current provider.

The ‘text-to-switch’ process gives you more control over how much contact you have with your current provider.

It’s important to remember that if you’re still in contract with your provider, you might have to pay charges to end your contract early. If you’re not sure whether that’s the case, text ‘INFO’ to 85075 to find this out without requesting a switching code.

Switching broadband provider

The process to switch your broadband provider depends on who you’re switching to, and what kind of broadband connection you currently have.

The first thing to do is contact the provider you wish to switch to, and they will be able to explain the process you need to follow.

Under our broadband speeds code of practice, if you want to leave your current provider because you’re not getting the speeds you were promised when you entered into the contract, you can leave without being penalised – so long as your provider is signed up to the code.

However, bear in mind that if you want to change provider before the end of your minimum contract period, you might have to pay early termination charges (unless you're not getting the speeds you were promised). Check with your current provider whether you will need to pay any charges when you switch.

If your current broadband service runs on the Openreach phone network, and you’re switching to another provider that also uses this network, you can follow a ‘one-stop’ switching process. (Companies that use the Openreach network include BT, EE, Sky, TalkTalk and Vodafone.)

Under this process, you don’t need to contact your current provider at all. Instead, your new provider can arrange the transfer for you.

Switching home phone provider

There’s a range of home phone service providers to choose from, and you can either get a standalone service or can choose one that comes as part of a bundled deal alongside other services such as TV, broadband and mobile.

Again, bear in mind that some providers require a minimum service period or contract term before you can switch. If you want to change provider earlier than that then you may have to pay early termination charges.

Our guide explains what you need to do if you want to switch your landline to a new provider.

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