A guide to switching mobile network: PACs, number transfer and ending your contract made easy

It’s now easier than ever to switch mobile network and keep your number. Here's all you need to know.

Honest Mobile
Wed Mar 03 2021

Did you know it’s now easier than ever to switch mobile network and keep your number? You can switch provider in less than a day and you don’t even need to speak to your current network.

About 10m people make the switch every year, so why are they doing it?

Why would I switch mobile network?

🧑‍💻 Service: Mobile networks don’t have a great reputation for having happy customers. It only takes a quick glance at Trustpilot to see how some of the big players are faring… Sometimes enough is enough and it’s time to change.

💰 Pricing: Lots of people pay for a handset at the same time as their SIM card and get a bundled deal. If you’ve finished paying off your phone, the chances are you could save money by switching provider.

🌍 Switching to green data: Have you switched to green energy? You can now switch to green data. We work with everyone in our supply chain to shift them to carbon neutral energy suppliers or, if we can’t, we offset twice as much carbon as your usage is creating. So for every phone call you make, movie you stream or selfie you upload, we’ll suck a little bit of carbon out the air.

Are smaller mobile networks reliable?

There are four main networks in the UK. They pay the government billions of pounds to license radio waves and build masts up and down the country. These are EE, O2, Three and Vodafone.

Everyone else – Tesco, Virgin, Honest – "piggyback" on these larger networks using their masts to power their own networks.

With Honest, you get the same speed as the main network we piggyback on (Three) but also benefit from our great customer service, having a green data plan and knowing you’re working with an ethical business which is a certified B Corporation.

Can I keep my mobile number when moving from one network to another?

Yes, you can!

How do I transfer my mobile number?

You can move your number to Honest in three simple steps.

1. Firstly, you’ll need a “PAC” from your current network

To get a PAC text “PAC” to 65075 (it’s free). You should have the code within 60 seconds and it will be three letters followed by six numbers e.g. ABC123456.

🚧  What’s a PAC? Good question! It stands for a ‘Porting Authorisation Code’ – it allows you to take your existing number with you when you change network and it also automatically cancels your current contract when you switch.

2. Enter your PAC into the Honest app and choose the day you’d like your number to transfer

It has to be a working weekday, and can normally take place the next day if you provide your transfer details before 5:30pm.

💡 Occasionally it can take a couple of hours for your number to switch over, so choose a day when you’re not expecting an important call and can survive without your phone for a couple of hours.

3. Wait for your old SIM to stop working and then insert your shiny new Honest SIM

On the day of your transfer, we’ll send you a reminder that it’s happening 🥳 

At some point during the day your old SIM will stop working and your new Honest SIM will kick in. It can sometimes take a couple of hours to switch, so please choose a day where using your mobile phone is not critical ⚠️

I want to join honest mobile, but I’d like a new number. Is that possible?

Absolutely! If you’d like to end your current contract without transferring your number to a new network you can use a STAC code, which you can get by texting STAC to 75075 (it’s free).

Then the process is exactly the same as above, but instead of transferring your old number, we’ll terminate it for you on the day you choose.

Otherwise, if you’re starting from scratch or just getting a new phone number we can provide you one of those too. It will work straight away and means you won’t get any pesky spam callers coming through.

How do I cancel my existing contract?

Good news, your new provider can do this for you without having to speak to your current network provider. When you use a PAC, your current contract will be cancelled the day that your number switches to your new network 👌

That means that they should issue you with a final bill which and be charged pro-rata for the days in your final month.

Will I have to pay?

You shouldn’t have to pay to leave your current provider if you’re outside the minimum commitment you made when you signed up. Often this is 30 days, sometimes it’s 12 months, other people go for 24. The EU (remember them?) tried to ban 36 month contracts as they weren’t very friendly to consumers but there are still a few lurking around.

Almost all our customers choose a 30 day plan for the flexibility it provides.

How do i know if I'm tied into a contract?

If you’re not sure if you’re tied into a minimum commitment period, text INFO to 85075 and your current provider will reply letting you know any charges you might incur if you leave their network for a different provider. It’s free, so no harm in checking.

Do I need to make sure my number switches on the final day of my current contract?

In short, no. Your current provider should issue you a refund for any excess money they’ve taken from you. There’s no other network we know apart from Honest that does this automatically though, so you might have to wait a couple of weeks or even chase them to get the money that’s rightfully yours back.

Will I get charged twice?

No, one of the great things about using your PAC code is that the same day one contract starts, the other ends so it gets rid of double charging.

Switch to Honest today

Switch to Honest in 3 simple steps:

  1. Download the Honest Mobile app

  2. Choose your plan and order your SIM

  3. When your SIM arrives, use the app to activate your SIM and transfer your number

Want to hear more from Honest?

Subscribe to our newsletter. (It’s fun, promise).