The threat of leaving for a competitor is one-way mobile operators’ customers can achieve lower service prices. According to Eduarda Hekšová, director of the Czech consumer organization dTest, some mobile operators offer customers more favorable services when consumers notify them that they want to switch to a competitor. Hekšová also noted that loyalty could result in better prices, mainly if a consumer has been with the operator for an extended period or uses more services.
However, in contrast to the past, it is no longer automatic that a customer will receive a retention offer from their current operator when expressing an interest in switching to a competitor. Hekšová suggests that customers can negotiate for better prices even without intending to change operators, but they should be cautious when requesting to transfer their phone number.
“If you only want to get a better offer from your operator and are not decided to leave them, it is not appropriate to request the transfer of your phone number immediately,” Hekšová warned.
According to the law, the phone number transfer to a new operator occurs within three days of the request. However, Hekšová said that if a consumer requests a transfer on a date later than the legal three-day period, retention offers may still come. Still, the process cannot be stopped once the request has been submitted.
For consumers who genuinely wish to switch to a competitor, it is essential to verify the conditions under which they can leave, including whether there are any obligations to fulfill, such as a contract for a certain period or other commitments like a subsidized mobile phone that may require payment upon leaving the operator.
In a statement, Hekšová added, “It is always advisable to carefully read the contract terms and, in case of doubt, seek advice from a consumer organization or other legal advisors.”