PAC Codes: Your Guide to Switching and Ditching
So you’ve decided to ditch your current mobile provider for nice shiny new one. The PAC code is your key to enjoying a brand new mobile provider, whilst keeping the same, well-accustomed phone number.
If you’re confused about how they work, don’t be. Just read our handy guide below.
What Is a PAC Code?
A PAC code (or Porting Authorisation Code) is a special series of numbers used to transfer a phone number from one mobile SIM card to another. Its required when you wish to sign up to a new network provider but want to keep the same phone number you always use for the convenience of your friends. Its supplied by your current provider and will need to be given to your new provider in order to move your number across.
A PAC code will only move your phone number to your new SIM card. It will not move your contacts, apps, or phone data – this you must do by yourself.
You also don’t need a PAC code if you are simply changing your tariff or switching your payment plan within that same provider.
How to Get Your PAC Code
To get your hands on a PAC code, you’ll need to tell your current service provider you’re leaving. Generally, your PAC code should be texted to you within two hours and is valid for 30 days afterwards.
Here’s how to get a PAC code on any of the following networks.
You can let EE know you’re leaving their network and request a PAC code at the same time, simply by calling their customer service number shown above (or 150 from your EE mobile phone).
There’s no charge for Pay Monthly customers, but Pay As You Go customers may be required to pay a small fee if their contract isn’t up yet. Leaving EE requires giving 30 days notice, and you will receive your PAC code within two hours.
Its also worth noting that you don’t need a PAC code if you are simply moving to EE, Orange or T-Mobile from any of these same networks.
You can get your Three PAC code by calling their customer services team or by calling 333 from your Three mobile phone. If you’re on a 12-month SIM or Pay Monthly plan, you may need to pay a fee if you wish to leave before the end of your contract.
When you first call, simply ask for your PAC code – do not cancel your account. This will mark the start of your 30 day notice period and allows your account to be transferred later on.
Vodafone customers can call the Vodafone number or call 191 from their mobile phone. The lines are open between 8am and 8pm. Alternatively you can also request a PAC via the online chat feature.
Your 30 day notice period will begin from when you tell Vodafone you’re leaving and request your PAC code. Whether you need to pay an early exit fee will depend on your type of contract. Just log onto your online Vodafone account to find out.
O2 will disconnect your account 30 days from when you let them know you’re leaving. Just call their customer service team on the number provided and they’ll supply you with your PAC code.
Your new provider will set a transfer date for your phone number and this is the day O2 will close your account. If you do not use the PAC, however, your account will remain active and you’ll continue to be billed.
You’ll receive a final bill 14 days after your disconnection date – this will show any usage outside your allowance and any services you might have paid for in advance.
Simply call Tesco Mobile Customer Care to request a PAC code for your mobile phone.
TalkTalk customers can call TalkTalk customer services to be supplied with a PAC code; however there may be charge if you’re still within your contract.
Your PAC code should arrive within two hours if specifically requested; however TalkTalk is legally obligated to give you one within two business days anyway if you’ve reached the end of your contract.
Transferring Your Number
To transfer your number to your new SIM card, simply give your new provider a call. You must have your PAC code and active SIM card from the new provider ready.
If you call before 5:30pm on any weekday, your new provider should be able to to transfer your number by the next working day. Some network providers, like EE, will even allow you to do this bit online.
Bear in mind that there is no porting at weekends or bank holidays, and if you don’t manage to use your PAC within the 30 day period, you’ll need to request another one from your old provider.