back to article Ofcom: Make it easier for punters to switch ISPs

Broadband and landline customers could soon find it a lot simpler to ditch one telco in favour of another, after Ofcom published its proposals on cutting the hassle out of switching providers for punters in the UK. The communications watchdog said today that research showed that 520,000 households in Blighty in the past year had …

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Bronze badge

not gonna be any easier if you're tied in to a 24 month contract is it?

Perhaps the regulator should prevent this extortion instead.

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Anonymous Coward

You have a choice to sign up for 24 months or not - excercise it, don't whinge about taking one up - you agreed to it.

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Silver badge

Ofcom would be better served

looking into BT's insistence in an engineer callout to allegedly enable your line for ADSL. In the last two flat moves I have been stung for callout charges, and both times my broadband activated at 12.01 on my activation date, no engineer necessary. I find it hard to believe that it's not possible to end service with one provider and be ready to rock with a new one same day. Can you imagine if the gas or lecky companies thought they could get away with giving you an "activation date"?

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Silver badge
WTF?

When I switched away from BT it was pretty seamless

In both phone and broadband I had a maximum of a couple of hours with no service - probably less. I don't think the phone stopped working at all line rental magically transferred.

No "engineer" or anything.

So why does BT insist on it when nobody else does?

Even Virgin usually don't charge when they really do need to send a real person to drill actual holes in the walls and pull real wires.

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Well

Unless you switching from one IPStream provider to another IPstream provider there is work carried out in the exchange on the switch over day.

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Silver badge

It gets worse...

I'm getting an engineer visit to install a Type B Home Hub 3 to replace the type A one I currently have (which has 101 bugs).

I've tried telling them I don't need an engineer to install a silly little router, and that I program Cisco routers and firewalls for "fun" in the office, but no, I need to wait for their approved replacer of boxes (Kelly Communications) to come and do it for me.

Which means I have to sit in all morning or afternoon and hope he turns up... Unlike the one who was supposed to to the initial install last year.

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Megaphone

Yes please Ofcom

Having just experienced this switching issue I would ask Ofcom to hurry up and implement it. This is made even worse when the previous tenant is not locatable and you have tags on your line. Complete Rooster-up.

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Anonymous Coward

What would be better is if some sort of Transfer Lock is implemented with the existing provider, like how domain transfer locks work. Customer has to call up or select online that their account can be transferred before any transfer can go throu - problem solved no more slamming.

Providers should be notifying customers when a unsolicited cease (industry term for a notification from a new provider) is received well before the customer is due to leave.

However most customers are too dumb to realise what the letter is and take no notice until it's too late - and then complain about how their existing provider let them move without their consent (letters sent no response) cue tiny violin playing.

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Facepalm

Wah, wah, we don't want to be dumb pipes!

The sting is not in the transfer, it's in the 12 month lock-in and having to pay BT a connection fee even if you don't want to use BT.

What I'd like to see is rather than this artificial connect/disconnect - they simply leave a line open and when a contract is terminated the only number you can reach is the BT number. You move in, you call up, you ask them to reconnect and start billing and presto it's there - same with broadband. Then within a 24 hour period you can call up another telco of your choosing and it's switched within 24 hours. As with gas and electric, should be manageable to switch on a monthly basis.

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Anonymous Coward

I thought putting switches in the hands of the new provider is what enabled leccy/gas slamming?

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