Changing your mobile provider can be a real chore. Whether it’s EE, O2, BT, or any of the other UK companies, the process is usually the same. First, you have to call them up and tell them your intentions, then be passed onto a team that will try its best to convince you to stay, usually by offering better deals.

In fact, such are the inducements on offer, we often advise people to take this route just to get the kind of contracts you won’t see advertised on the company’s site.

If you remain stolid in the face of such entreatments, you’ll still need to get a PAC code if you want to retain your number, all while dealing with the prospective new provider at the same time. It’s almost as if the system is trying to make it as difficult as possible for you to leave. Which, of course, we believe is the case.

Well, all that’s about to change thanks to the new text-to-switch service that accomplishes all of this via a single, free, text message. We show you how to make moving mobile providers easier by using text-to-switch.

How to use text-to-switch

How do I use text-to-switch and keep my number?

From Monday 1 July you will will be able to change suppliers in the UK and retain your current phone number simply by texting the number 65075 and including the message PAC.

If you do this then you’ll receive a message from your provider within a minute, including the PAC number (the code you need to give to your new provider) as well as any details of early-termination clauses or pay-as-you-go balances.

The PAC code is valid for 30-days and once given to the new supplier the process should be completed within one working day.

How do I get a new number?

For those wanting a fresh start, leaving behind a number that’s no longer needed, the process is just as easy. Simply text STAC to 75075 to request a Service Termination Authorisation Code. You’ll then receive a confirmation message from the provider, along with any relevant information about early-termination fees or outstanding balances.

This essentially terminates your contract, allowing you to move to a new supplier without ever talking to a customer service helpline.

Will I have to pay any charges if I switch phone providers?

So long as your contract is complete, usually after 24 months if a phone was part of the deal, then there should be no additional charges. Ofcom states that ‘we have banned mobile providers from charging for notice periods that run after the switch date’, which is good news as it avoids having to pay for both the old and new provider at the same time. 

If you’re unsure whether your contract has finished or not, Ofcom provides a free checking service. Text INFO to 85075 and you’ll be notified of the current status of your contract and any charges that might be due.

There you have it. A quick and easy way to switch between mobile providers. Of course, if you’re thinking of leaving then you’ll want to know what offers are around. So, be sure to read our Best phone network and Best phone deals guides.