Mobile users lose £176 a year by failing to switch

23 February 2017

A quarter of mobile phone users have never switched networks and are missing out on big savings, according to new research.

Price comparison service uSwitch says that one-in-four mobile users have always been with their current network, rising to 33% among over-55s.

But it estimates the average customer can save £176 a year by switching provider and that this consumer apathy is costing Brits a total of £5.8 billion a year.


While 44% of people state they are happy with their existing service, around 11% say they do not change because they feel the switching process is too complicated.

Almost half (48%) of those surveyed do not understand what a Porting Authorisation Code (PAC) is –this is the code used to transfer your mobile number to your new provider. In fact, one-in-ten people did not know that you could keep your number when switching at all.

Consumers say they would be much more likely to switch if their new provider controlled the whole switching process for them, as happens with current accounts. At present you must talk to both your new and old mobile phone company when you switch.

Ernest Doku, telecoms expert at, says: “No matter how tech-savvy the smartphone generation is becoming, the process of moving to another network can still be baffling and somewhat intimidating.

“Unless you can’t get a signal, for many it may feel this is simply not worth the effort - the upshot being they’re likely to just stick on their current plan, and miss out on potentially huge monetary savings or a better suited tariff.”

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