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GPL Switching - Update Feb 20

Action plan for INCA Member input on switching. Our industry needs to find a consensus on the new GPL switching process so it can be implemented by the end of the year. That is a very short time in which to build new systems and processes, implement and train your teams.

That’s the clear message from Ofcom. This is a regulatory requirement. Following months of detailed and intensive work in the ECWG convened by OTA2 at Ofcom’s request, two distinct recommendations were made to Ofcom: Option X and Option Y.

Now Ofcom has set a deadline of the end of February for the industry to prepare more detailed proposals for each Option so that Ofcom has the right information to make the right choice. OTA2 have issued a detailed brief and are helping the industry with this work. Now is the chance for you to give input to this work in support of your preferred Option.

In brief, the choice is between a two-stage and a single-stage process:

Option X “Two-stage”

Customer gets a switch code from their losing retailer and uses this to place the order with the gaining retailer.

Option Y “Single-stage”

Customer goes directly to the gaining retailer who will then make arrangements with the losing retailer on behalf of the customer.

  • Both Options will need a “hub” to exchange service information between gaining and losing retailer.
  • Both Options require the customer to be informed of Early Termination Charges and Switching Implications by the losing retailer.
  • Both Options have different opportunities for the Losing Retailer to communicate with the customer before the switch actually happens.

This is your chance to tell us your views so we can get behind your choice in further work with Ofcom and OTA2. There are further intensive meetings planned by OTA and INCA will be attending on behalf of its members. We’d also be happy to pass your details on to OTA2 and/or the Option Y group if you’d like to be directly involved.

The switching process will require you to implement changes to your current business processes by the end of this year. There will be associated costs. You need to be ready.

 There is also an Ofcom consultation which closes 3rd March. We are keen to reflect our Members’ views accurately in both work programmes. Time is short so don’t delay to give us your feedback.

If you’d like to discuss or would like further information, you can register for the Switching and Wholesale Special Interest Group here.

The next meeting of the SWSIG is Wed 26 February in Paddington.