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Asda Mobile extends number transfer deadline

Thursday, May 1st 2014 by Hannah Langston

Asda Mobile customers who wish to keep their phone number have been given an extra month to transfer it to the company’s new network, after many customers reported problems in completing the process.

Asda Mobile began transferring its services from the Vodafone network to EE’s network in October and completed the switchover yesterday (30 April).

Customers were told they would need to get a PAC code – required to transfer an existing mobile number over to a new network – from Asda before 30 April. Without a PAC code customers would lose their mobile number once they switched to the new network.

However, an Asda Mobile spokesperson told Cable.co.uk that customers now have until the end of May to request their PAC codes. Asda said customers will need to request a PAC before 25 May, because the process takes five days. Customers will not be able to transfer their old number after 31 May.

Asda Mobile extended its deadline after customers experienced problems requesting their PAC code through the telephone helpline. Cable.co.uk received more than 60 comments in the last week about the service.

Margaret Pritchard from Birkenhead has been trying to contact Asda to get her old number transferred for the past three weeks. “I have phoned six different numbers, all to no avail. It’s either no answer or when they do answer they keep you on hold for ages and then cut you off. Frustrated isn’t the word,” she commented.

Jayne Richardson from Cumbria has been with Asda Mobile for the last five years. After switching to the new EE network she experienced loss of coverage and decided to leave, but like others found it difficult to obtain a PAC code.

“I phoned for my PAC code but was put on hold for 40 minutes, before giving up. At the next attempt I got through to their customer services, and was told that when I moved over to EE my old number hadn’t been transferred properly so I couldn't have my PAC code and would need to speak to Asda Vodafone – cue being left on hold again.”

An Asda spokesperson said: “We know that over the past couple of days some customers have been having difficulties getting hold of their PAC number to switch from the old Asda Mobile network to the new one. We understand this has been frustrating and we apologise for the inconvenience this has caused people.

“We’ve done everything we can to put things right and have set up our own, in-house, customer service line to help customers through the options open to them and help them get set up on the new network.

“We would like to reassure all customers that they will not lose any credit or their number.”

Cable.co.uk first reported problems with the switchover in January. Customers posting on the site complained of long waiting times on the helpline, delays in numbers being transferred across and being unable to unlock phones.

At the time, an Asda spokesperson said there had been a few “technical anomalies”, which meant some customers “didn’t have an experience which meets our usual high standards.” The supermarket chain announced in March it had trebled the number of staff in its call centre and claimed 90% of calls would be answered within 20 seconds.

Ofcom told us it was monitoring the Asda Mobile migration to EE. In light of the recent porting difficulties, an Ofcom spokesperson said, “we have been in contact with Asda to get to the bottom of these latest issues and find out how it is addressing the problem to the satisfaction of its customers”.

Customers wishing to transfer their new number to the EE network can contact a dedicated Asda team on 0845 303 2732. Those who have credit remaining on the old network can call 0800 479 8707 to register their details on the Asda Mobile website.

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