Broadband providers making it hard for customers to switch, despite Ofcom rules

Broadband providers are still making it hard for customers to switch provider, despite regulator Ofcom bringing in new regulations a year ago.

Broadband providers are still making it hard for customers to switch provider, despite regulator Ofcom bringing in new regulations a year ago.

They are failing to supply customers with a migration authorisation code (MAC) in a timely fashion to enable them to switch, according to a survey of 1,500 broadband customers commissioned by price comparison site uSwitch.

A year ago, Ofcom introduced rules to make it easier for consumers to move between broadband companies. These included forcing companies to supply their customers with a MAC code within five working days of the request by a customer.

But the uSwitch research reveals that 40% of customers are not receiving their MAC within the compulsory five day period, and 15% reported that the MAC failed to materialise at all.

Less than half (46%) of switchers confirmed that they received a MAC code the first time they asked for it. A quarter had to chase their provider for their MAC code at least once.

An estimated 260,000 consumers a month switch their broadband provider.

Steve Weller, communications expert at uSwitch.com, said, "MAC codes not only enable customers to move to a new broadband service quickly and smoothly, but they ensure that bills from the old supplier stop.

"They are so vital that some companies actually refuse to sign new customers up if they do not have a code. Ofcom needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency and come down hard on providers failing to deliver a MAC code, including financial penalties."




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