Communications regulator Ofcom has introduced new rules to help speed-up the process of switching from one mobile provider to another.
According to the regulator, two-in-five people who have switched to a new mobile network believe that they've experienced at least one issue when making the switch.
One of the biggest challenges is simply speaking to a current provider because they'll keep people hanging on the line in a bid to persuade them not to switch. Ofcom said it wants to change this for consumers.
Once the changes come into effect in 18 months, customers will be given full control of how they contact their existing provider. The new rules are aimed at speeding up the switch process for consumers and businesses.
As well as this, mobile networks will no longer be able to charge for notice periods after the switch date - meaning people won't have to cough up cash for old and new services at the same time.
Ofcom believes that this will save British customers £10 million per year. It said the rules mean there'll need to be increased "coordination" between mobile networks.
"For example, industry will need to set up the new short codes for people to text, and the means to send instant automated responses to switching requests, as well as new billing arrangements to end notice-period double payments," explained Ofcom.
"So there will be an 18-month implementation period before this comes into effect, meaning providers must comply by no later than 1 July 2019."
In the future, customers will just have to request a switching code, and they'll receive it by text or online means. The provider "must then arrange for the switch to complete within one working day".
Lindsey Fussell, Ofcom's Consumer Group director, said: "Too many people are put off by the hassle of switching mobile provider. Our changes will make it quicker and easier for mobile phone users to get a better deal.
"Customers will control how much contact they have with their current mobile provider, preventing companies from delaying and frustrating the switching process."
Three welcomed the deal, but had one complaint. "For more than a decade, Three has been encouraging Ofcom to do more to ensure that consumers can easily switch mobile phone provider and get the best deal," said a spokesperson.
"While we are pleased that there is now a simpler process, we believe that Ofcom's decision not to prevent "last ditch" deals means that the UK still lags behind its international peers in terms of consumer rights."
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