Customers could save £250 by switching mobile providers

uSwitch claims improvements are needed for customers to benefit from potential savings

Research by uSwitch has revealed it is too hard for mobile phone customers to switch provider, saying Ofcom needs to take action to make the process comparable to switching broadband provider.

According to the survey, Brits are wasting more than two million hours a year trying to get out of their current contract, despite more than 11 million people changing mobile network.

Only 10 per cent of those who responded to uSwitch's questionnaire said they have remained loyal to one network since they first signed up to a mobile contract, even though the comparison site said customers could save an average of 100 a year if they changed provider, with the website predicting one in ten people would save 250 per year.

However, uSwitch explained that the reason why so many customers resist changing network is because it's too hard to switch. While 24 per cent of respondents had successfully switched networks in the past year, only 23 per cent of them said they found the process easy.

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"An issue our research highlights is that in a market where the operator you're attempting to leave handles your switch, there is relatively little incentive for networks to make it easy," Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at uSwitch.com said.

"The broadband market has already started shifting towards a common-sense system where the provider you're moving to handles the switch, but there's still a way to go before all customers are protected."

He went on to explain that although Ofcom has taken the first few positive steps to make the process more straightforward, it needs to take urgent action to make it easier for mobile users to switch when they become unhappy with their current provider.

"Ofcom has launched a consultation that includes an option to change the mobile switching process to one where it's all handled by the new provider, but at the moment the old system still stands - and it's clearly costing people both time and money."

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