Gadget Man - Episode 169 - Ofcom orders Phone Networks to Stop Locking Phones + Advice and Tips about Switching Networks

Gadget Man – Episode 169 – Ofcom orders Phone Networks to Stop Locking Phones + Advice and Tips about Switching Networks

In this episode, I chat to James Hazell on BBC Radio Suffolk about the ban on locking mobile phone handsets in the UK.

Mobile phone companies will be banned from selling ‘locked’ handsets, under a range of new rules from Ofcom that will make switching even simpler.

Some companies – including BT/EE, Tesco Mobile and Vodafone – still sell mobile phones that can’t be used on other networks unless they are unlocked. But this is a potentially complicated process which can also cost around £10. Ofcoms research shows that more than a third of people who decided against switching said this put them off.

Switching between mobile networks should now be simpler following Ofcom ruling
Switching between mobile networks should now be simpler following Ofcom ruling

Almost half of the customers who try to unlock their phone have difficulties doing so. For example, they might experience a long delay before getting the code they need to unlock their phone; the code might not work, or they could suffer a loss of service if they did not realise their phone was locked before they tried to switch.

So, following consultation, Ofcom has confirmed that mobile companies will be banned from selling locked phones. This will allow people to move to a different network with their existing handset, hassle-free. The new rules will come in from December 2021.

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