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One-Touch Switching

One-Touch Switching

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One-touch switching is a switching regulation brought in by Ofcom, the regulator for UK communications industries. It’s designed to make changing broadband or home phone providers easy and hassle-free for the consumer. Crucially, it is about making the public aware of the options they have available and giving them back the power to make an informed choice.

According to Ofcom, open and transparent switching should motivate people to evaluate the supplier they currently have and decide if they’re right for them. This requirement would mean broadband and landline customers only need to contact their new provider when they switch, rather than needing to notify the old one too.

While the regulation was expected to be in place in April 2023, certain providers have been unable to implement it in time. Some suppliers, like Hyperoptic, have decided to do what they can to ensure the switching process is as easy and cost-effective as possible, with initiatives like Switch Now.

Below we delve into exactly what one-touch switching is, how it can revolutionise changing broadband providers, and what that means for you.

One-touch switching timeline

Currently, One-touch switch is planned to launch on 12 September 2024.

Discussions about a new and fairer way to change broadband and landline providers began in September 2019. Ofcom approached the industry to develop a switching process that would abide by new European consumer protection rules.

In late 2019, Ofcom began publicly consulting about introducing these new rules, and by February 2021, after reviewing various options, they confirmed their preferred approach would be one-touch switching. This was announced as their final decision publicly in September 2021.

The deadline to implement these changes was set for April 2023, giving companies involved enough time to make the significant changes required. The One Touch Switching Company (TOTSCo) was then established in June 2022 to help deliver the switching process.

While some broadband providers are yet to implement the new process, pushing back the industry-wide implementation date, some switching rules are now in place. These include requiring mobile providers to give better information to customers when they want to switch. For instance, telling them about the impact the change may have on other services they have with the provider in question.

The changes also make it easier to keep their phone number when they change mobile or landline providers. The new rules state that customers can request to retain their old number for free if the request takes place within a month after they cancel their old service.

What is one-touch switching for broadband and landline?

Ofcom’s research found that 41% of people were put off switching because it meant having to contact more than one provider. One-touch broadband switching solves this problem. With this regulation, switching broadband or landline providers is a matter of:

  • Contacting your new provider
  • Telling them you want to switch
  • Switching

Your new provider sorts out the rest.

It will encompass all broadband users, including those using cable and full fibre. For customers, this means that even switching between different technologies will be straightforward. It means one-touch switching would be available between Openreach and CityFibre providers or from Virgin Media’s cable network to Hyperoptic.

Once you have contacted your new provider, you’ll automatically receive any important switching information you need from your current provider, including any early termination charges and the final bill. You’ll then receive a new contract and be required to consent to the switch. Ideally, this switch will happen over one day and the old service will cease.

While the broadband industry struggles to keep up with the regulation outlined by Ofcom, Hyperoptic has already made changes to make switching more effortless for the consumer, with the Switch Now offer. This allows you to switch to Hyperoptic while still in contract with your previous provider.

However, it also gives you up to nine months of free service while you wait for your current contract to end. You’ll still need to contact your previous provider when the contract term ends, but because you’ll already be set up with Hyperoptic, it will only require a single phone call.

Why is one-touch switching important?

One-touch switch broadband is an important step in improving the customer’s broadband journey. This new regulation addresses the main complaints people had surrounding changing providers. These included:

  • Needing to contact both providers
  • The switching process is too time-consuming
  • Not wanting to listen to sales representatives attempting to persuade them to stay on

By making the process easier, customers can have more confidence when looking for better deals elsewhere, knowing that it will be easy to change if they find a good one.

Although one-touch switching hasn’t been implemented yet, multiple avenues are available for switching. To make it easier, we’ve outlined how to switch depending on your circumstances.

  • One-stop switch: This lets you switch providers by contacting only the new one, provided the new and current providers use the Openreach phone network. This includes BT, EE, TalkTalk and Sky, and means your new provider will arrange the transfer for you. You just need to wait for a confirmation letter from both telling you when it will proceed.
  • Switching between networks: This is the traditional route if you’re moving from, or to, a full fibre service that doesn’t currently use the Openreach network, such as Hyperoptic. Both providers must be contacted, but with Hyperoptic’s Switch Now, the process is much smoother.
  • Switching a bundle: This process may be the same as one of the above two unless your bundle includes a TV service. Your new provider can explain how this will impact the switch and provide any information you need regarding cancellations of the current service.
  • Early termination charges: Attempting to cancel your broadband or landline service before your minimum contract period is up can result in early termination charges. Switch Now is particularly useful in this scenario because it lets you see out your contract period, while benefiting from the new service for free, avoiding these charges completely.

It should be noted that Ofcom rules state that you can leave your current provider without any early termination charges if you haven’t received the speeds promised when you signed your contract.

One-touch broadband switching aims to make the entire switching process easier for consumers – an ethos Hyperoptic stands behind. With our competitive home broadband price plans and customer-focused switching process, you can be sure you’re getting the best deal. Avoid mid-contract price hikes, experience our hyperfast speeds while still in contract, and enjoy 24/7 gold-standard customer service – switch to Hyperoptic today.

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