By Daniel Hunter

Ofcom has proposed a set of measures to make changing broadband and landline providers simpler and more reliable, while protecting consumers from being switched without their knowledge or consent.

Enabling consumers to switch providers easily is important to ensure they can choose the broadband or telephone service that best suits their needs.

But Ofcom’s research shows that consumers can face a number of problems when changing their service provider.

Ofcom analysis shows that one in five consumers switching their broadband lost their service for about a week.

Approximately 130,000 households have also faced problems with the wrong telephone line being taken over during the switching process or when moving house during a twelve month period.

Slamming

An estimated 520,000 households had their landline or broadband services ‘slammed’ (switched without their consent) in the last year.

Ofcom is now proposing a number of options to help consumers change supplier.

Ofcom’s preferred option is a process where the new provider would manage the switching process, including the transfer of services from the old provider.

To guard against slamming, the switch would be checked and verified by an independent third party.

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