How to transfer your phone number from one mobile network to another: a step-by-step guide to using a PAC Code.

  • BT Mobile
  • EE
  • giffgaff
  • iD Mobile
  • O2
  • Sky Mobile
  • Tesco Mobile
  • Three
  • Virgin Mobile
  • Vodafone

In the UK, it’s a straightforward process to transfer your phone number from one mobile network to another. This makes it easy to change mobile networks whilst keeping the same phone number as before. It ensures that you won’t miss incoming phone calls and text messages, and means you can avoid the hassle of having to update your phone number at different places.

To move your phone number from one network to another, you’ll use something called a PAC Code (or a Porting Authorisation Code). It should take no longer than one working day to transfer your phone number with a PAC Code and it will always be free to do so.

Step-By-Step Instructions: Transferring Your Phone Number

For a step-by-step guide on how to transfer your phone number, please select your current mobile network followed by the mobile network you’re planning to join:

PAC Code Finder
Find out how to move your phone number

Your current mobile network:

Your new mobile network:

Through the rest of this article, we’ll discuss the process for transferring your phone number in a bit more detail. We’ll show you how to obtain your PAC Code and then how to use the PAC Code at your new network. We’ll also discuss the time limits on using a PAC Code and your legal entitlements to it as per Ofcom regulations. Finally, we’ll look at some special cases (e.g. transferring a phone number within the same mobile network or transferring a phone number that’s on Pay As You Go).

What is a PAC Code?

In the UK, PAC Codes (or Porting Authorisation Codes) are used to transfer your phone number from one mobile network to another. There are three simple steps to moving your phone number:

  1. Start by getting a PAC Code from your current network. See the contact details below for information on how to request your PAC Code. It’s always free to obtain a PAC Code and you should normally be given it within one minute of your request.
  2. Order your new phone or SIM card. You should order your new phone or SIM card from your new mobile network. You’ll initially be given a temporary phone number so you can make sure everything’s working correctly (e.g. both with your handset and coverage).
  3. Give the PAC Code to your new mobile network. Once you’ve made sure you’re happy with your new mobile network, give the PAC Code to them and they’ll use it to transfer your phone number over. You can submit your PAC Code either through an online form or over the phone.

For step-by-step instructions on how to use a PAC Code, please select your current mobile network followed by the mobile network you’re planning to join:

PAC Code Instructions

Your current mobile network:

Your new mobile network:

A STAC Code (or a Service Termination Authorisation Code) can be requested instead of a PAC Code if you don’t want to keep your phone number when moving to another mobile network. You can also use the form above to get a STAC Code from your network.

Note: PAC Codes are sometimes confused with PUK Codes (Personal Unblocking Key Codes). The two codes serve a very different purpose. A PUK code is required if your handset becomes blocked (e.g. if you were to accidentally enter your PIN number incorrectly three times). When moving mobile networks, be sure to ask for a PAC Code rather than a PUK Code.

Getting a PAC Code

The first step in transferring your phone number is getting a PAC Code from your current mobile network. A PAC Code is nine-digits long and allows you to move your phone number onto a different mobile network. A PAC Code contains three letters followed by six numbers (e.g. ABC 123 456).

You can normally get a PAC Code instantly from your mobile network, either through their website or by sending a text message as follows:

How to Get a PAC Code
BT MobileLog in to the My BT website and go to Mobile > Thinking of leaving BT
or text PAC to 65075 to get a BT PAC Code by SMS text message (see other options)
EELog in to the My EE website and go to Menu > Account settings > Leave EE
or text PAC to 65075 to get a EE PAC Code by SMS text message (see other options)
giffgaffLog in to the My giffgaff website and go to My profiles & settings > Get a giffgaff PAC Code
or text PAC to 65075 to get a giffgaff PAC Code by SMS text message (see other options)
O2Log in to the My O2 website and go to My details > Thinking of switching from O2?
or text PAC to 65075 to get a O2 PAC Code by SMS text message (see other options)
Sky MobileLog in to your Sky Account and go to My Account > Mobile > My Number
or text PAC followed by your date of birth (in DDMMYYYY format) to 65075 (see other options)
ThreeLog in to your My3 Account to get your Three PAC Code
or text PAC followed by your date of birth (in DDMMYY format) to 65075 (see other options)
Virgin MobileLog in to your Virgin Mobile Account to get your Virgin PAC Code
or text PAC followed by your date of birth (in DD/MM/YYYY format) to 65075 (see other options)
VodafoneLog in to the My Vodafone website and go to Account settings > Mobile switching
or text PAC to 65075 to get a Vodafone PAC Code by SMS text message (see other options)

If you’re requesting a PAC Code either online or by text message, your mobile network is legally obliged to give it to you within 60 seconds of your request.

You can also get a PAC Code by calling your mobile network. In this case, you should expect it to take a little bit longer as your mobile network will try to persuade you to stay with them. It’s almost certainly more hassle to get your PAC Code this way, but it does give you an added opportunity to negotiate or to haggle on your current deal.

Once issued, your PAC Code will be valid for 30 days. You should write it down, keeping it somewhere safe and secure (treat it like a password as anyone with the PAC Code can initiate a phone number transfer). There’s no need to separately cancel the plan on your current mobile network. This will be done automatically for you once the PAC Code has been used.

If any early exit fees apply to your contract, you should be told what these are when you request your PAC Code. Alternatively, you can text INFO to 85075 to find out what the early exit fees are on your contract.

Using your PAC Code

After getting a PAC Code from your old network, the next step is ordering your new phone or SIM card from your new mobile network. Please select the mobile network you’re planning to join:

Please select the network you're moving to:





Other Popular Networks: BT Mobile, giffgaff, iD Mobile, Plusnet Mobile, Smarty, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, VOXI

When your new phone or SIM card arrives, it will initially have a temporary phone number assigned to it. This will allow you to spend a little bit of time to make sure everything is working correctly (e.g. both with the handset and with the coverage in your area).

Once you’re happy to move your phone number over, you should give the PAC Code to your new mobile network. After you do this, it will normally not be possible to cancel or reverse the phone number transfer. For this reason, we’d always recommend using your PAC Code only once you’ve had the chance to make sure everything’s working on your new mobile network and handset.

How To Submit Your PAC Code

You can provide a PAC Code to your new mobile network as follows:

Contact Details for Providing a PAC Code
BT MobileGive your PAC Code to BT (
or call 150 from your BT handset / 0800 800 150 from another phone. See full contact details.
EEGive your PAC Code to EE (
or call 150 from your EE handset / 07953 966 250 from another phone. See full contact details.
giffgaffGive your PAC Code to giffgaff (
The PAC Code must be submitted to giffgaff online.
O2Give your PAC Code to O2 (
or call 202 from your O2 Pay Monthly handset, 4445 from your O2 Pay As You Go handset
from another phone: 0344 8090202 (Pay Monthly), 0344 8090222 PAYG). See full contact details.
Sky MobileGive your PAC Code to Sky (
or call 03300 412 524 from your Sky handset / 03300 412 524 from another phone. See full contact details.
ThreeGive your PAC Code to Three (
or call 333 from your Three handset / 0333 338 1001 from another phone. See full contact details.
Virgin MobileCall 789 from your Virgin handset
or 0345 6000 789 from another phone. See full contact details.
VodafoneGive your PAC Code to Vodafone (
or call 191 from your Vodafone handset / 03333 040 191 from another phone. See full contact details.

We wouldn’t recommend using your PAC Code if there’s a chance you’ll want to cancel your new contract or return your new handset. This is because there will be added complications if your phone number has already been transferred to the new mobile network.

How Long Does It Take?

Once you’ve given the PAC Code to your new mobile network, your phone number transfer will normally be scheduled for the next working day. If you submit your PAC Code fairly late on in the day, it’s possible you’ll need to wait one additional working day. The daily cut-off time for submitting a PAC Code for next-day transfer is between 3pm and 5.30pm depending on your mobile network.

Phone number transfers can only take place on a UK working day. They don’t take place over the weekend or on English bank holidays. Assuming no bank holidays, the following table shows when you can expect your phone number transfer to take place:

Day of Submitting PAC Code* Day of Number Transfer
Saturday Tuesday
Tuesday Wednesday
Wednesday Thursday
Thursday Friday
Friday Monday

* You’ll need to submit the PAC Code before the daily cut-off time (3pm to 5.30pm depending on your network). If the PAC Code is submitted after the daily cut-off time, you’ll need to wait an additional working day for the transfer to take place.

You’ll need to be in the UK on the day of the phone number transfer.

What Happens On Transfer Day?

You’ll continue getting coverage from your old network until the transfer completes.

Whilst you’re waiting for the phone number transfer to take place, incoming phone calls and text messages on your number will continue going to your old mobile network.

On the day of your phone number transfer, your new mobile network will take control of your phone number. Simultaneously, your old mobile network will release that number and your old account on that network will automatically be closed.

When the transfer happens, you’ll momentarily lose coverage on both of the networks. You’ll need to restart your handset for the coverage to come back and for the phone number transfer process to complete. After a restart, incoming phone calls and messages should then be routed to your new mobile network.

Throughout the whole process, there should be little or no loss of service. This is because you’ll continue receiving coverage on your old network until the transfer actually happens and the new mobile network takes over.

Expiry of PAC Codes

Your PAC Code will expire 30 days after issue. If you don’t use your PAC Code within the 30-day window, nothing will happen and the account at your old mobile network will stay open as before. Normally, we’d recommend using your PAC Code within 26 days of it being issued (this allows a bit of time for the transfer to actually happen).

If your PAC Code has already expired, you can request a new one by following the instructions above.

Other Considerations

Instant Messaging Apps

If you’re using an instant messaging app (e.g. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger or Snapchat), your temporary phone number may continue to show even after you’ve used your PAC Code. To fix this, you should use the ‘number change’ feature that’s built in to your messaging application:

iMessage & FaceTime on iPhone

If you’re using an iPhone, you may experience problems with iMessage and FaceTime after transferring your phone number with a PAC Code.

If you’re moving your phone number to a new iPhone, you might see your temporary phone number continuing to show in iMessage and FaceTime. To resolve this, you’ll first need to disable iMessage and FaceTime (you can do this by going to Settings > Messages > iMessage and Settings > FaceTime on your iPhone). After doing this, go to Settings > Phone > My Number and enter your correct phone number there (this should be the phone number that you want to keep). You should then restart your iPhone, after which you can re-enable iMessage and FaceTime.

If you’re moving your phone number from an iPhone to a non-Apple device (e.g. Android), you may find that you stop receiving messages from people with an iPhone. To fix this, you’ll need to de-register your old iPhone from iMessage and FaceTime. If you still have access to your old iPhone, go to Settings > Messages > iMessage and switch it off. You should also go to Settings > FaceTime to turn FaceTime off. If you no longer have access to your iPhone, you can de-register iMessage through the Apple website.

Your Legal Entitlement to a PAC Code

Ofcom: UK's regulator of telecom servicesAs per Ofcom regulations, you’re legally entitled to transfer your mobile number to another network. The right is enshrined within clause 18 of Ofcom’s General Conditions (Ofcom is the UK’s regulator for telecommunication services).

According to the General Conditions, you must be given a PAC Code free of charge within 60 seconds of your request. The PAC Code must be issued to you in the same way that you request it. For instance, if you request your PAC Code online, it should also be given to you online.

There are only a couple of reasons why your network can refuse a request for a PAC Code:

  • Failed security check. You’ll often need to prove your identity when requesting a PAC Code. If you aren’t able to adequately prove your identity, your mobile network reserves the right not to issue a PAC Code. This is to stop people from “stealing” your phone number.
  • A PAC Code has already been issued. Once a PAC Code has been issued, it’s valid for 30 days. Until the previous PAC Code expires, your mobile network will be unable to issue you with a new one.
  • Your account has already been closed. A PAC Code can only be issued if the account is still open and if the phone number still belongs to you. If you’ve already closed your account with a mobile network, the phone number may have already been forfeited and returned to the network. As it isn’t possible to recover a phone number once it’s been returned to the network, you should always keep your account open until the PAC Code is used. If you’re a Pay As You Go customer, you should also be aware of your mobile network’s minimum activity requirements.

If your mobile network refuses to provide you with a PAC Code, they must inform you of the reasons why. Unpaid debt cannot be used as a reason not to issue you with a PAC Code. Similarly, being stuck within the minimum term of your contract cannot be used as a reason not to issue you with a PAC Code. However, you might be charged an early termination fee on your final bill if you were to choose to end your contract early.

Special Cases

Transferring Within The Same Network

A PAC Code is only used when transferring your phone number between two different mobile networks. If you’re staying on the same mobile network but changing to a different plan, it isn’t necessary to go through the PAC Code process. Instead, simply call the customer services department of your current network and request a phone number transfer inside of the network. You’ll need to provide details of both of your accounts.

Please select your network and tariff type:





Other Popular Networks: BT Mobile, giffgaff, iD Mobile, Plusnet Mobile, Smarty, Sky Mobile, Tesco Mobile, Virgin Mobile, VOXI

If you simply need to change the size of your SIM card, see our guide to getting a replacement Micro SIM or Nano SIM. The process for changing the size of your SIM card is even easier and normally won’t require a call to customer services.

Transferring a Pay As You Go Number

Top Up Logo
You can’t transfer Pay As You Go credit.

You should follow the normal PAC Code process when transferring a phone number that’s on Pay As You Go.

One extra thing that’s important to be aware of is you can’t transfer Pay As You Go credit from one mobile network to another. Therefore, any unused credit remaining on your old account will automatically be forfeited on the day of your phone number transfer. For this reason, it’s normally a good idea to use up your credit before the date of the phone number transfer.

If you have a large amount of money remaining on your account, consider donating it to charity rather than spending it frivolously. You can donate money via text message to Cancer Research, the Red Cross and Save the Children. The minimum donation is typically around £3. You can also check directly with your favourite charity to see whether they’re able to accept donations by text message. There are some further ideas here on how to best use up your Pay As You Go credit.

Transferring to a SIM Only Deal

A SIM-only deal is an airtime-only contract where you get a new SIM card for your existing, unlocked smartphone.

Compared to traditional mobile contracts, a SIM-only deal will give you much lower rates. You can normally expect to save around £200 or more each year with a SIM-only deal. For more information, see our full guide to SIM Only deals.

Select your SIM Only mobile network:

For SIM-only deals, the process of transferring your phone number is exactly the same. As an extra step, however, you should take care to make sure your handset is unlocked. If your handset is currently locked to a network, you’ll need to unlock it before you can use it on another network. For more information, see our in-depth guides to unlocking an iPhone and unlocking a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

Cancelling & Ending Your Contract

If you’re using a PAC Code to transfer your phone number to another network, the account on your old mobile network will be closed automatically once your phone number transfer is complete.

If you simply want to end your contract without keeping your phone number, you can request something called a STAC Code (a Service Termination Authorisation Code). This can be requested online in the same way as you request a PAC Code, or by texting STAC to 75075. Your STAC Code can then be given to your new network and used in the same way as you’d use a PAC Code.

Alternatively, you can also call your mobile network to follow the standard disconnection procedure. On some Pay Monthly plans, a 30-day notice period will apply for standard disconnections. If so, you can sidestep these charges by using a STAC Code as the 30-day notice period doesn’t apply for this process. You can order a free SIM card from any Pay As You Go network, for the purposes of using your PAC Code or STAC Code.

Other Things To Know

There are several other things worth knowing about a PAC Code:

  • It’s impossible to swap the phone number on two accounts. When porting your phone number in to a mobile network, the original number assigned to you by that mobile network will be lost. It isn’t possible to swap the phone number between two accounts or two mobile networks.
  • You can’t transfer a phone number that has already been lost. For instance, if you’ve already cancelled your contract, or if your phone number has expired due to inactivity on Pay As You Go. In both of the cases, the phone number will have already been lost and can therefore no longer be transferred elsewhere.

  • You can transfer ownership of a phone number using a PAC Code. When using a PAC Code, there is no check with regards to the account holder’s name on your old and new accounts. You can therefore transfer a phone number to somebody else’s account (e.g. giving it to a friend or family member). Please be aware of the possible privacy implications when choosing to do this, as someone else may now have access to your incoming phone calls and text messages.
  • Businesses can transfer up to 25 numbers using a PAC Code. Small businesses can use a PAC Code to transfer up to 25 phone numbers from one mobile network to another. Larger businesses wanting to transfer more than 25 phone numbers should contact their mobile network.
  • A different system exists for transferring landline phone numbers. PAC Codes can only be used to transfer mobile phone numbers in the UK (these are UK phone numbers beginning with 07). If you wish to transfer a landline phone number (beginning with 01 or 02), you should contact your landline phone provider to find out how to do this (e.g. BT, TalkTalk, Sky or Virgin).

More Information

For a step-by-step guide that takes you through the process of transferring a mobile number, please use our PAC Code Finder.

Your Comments 1,799 so far

We'd love to hear your thoughts and any questions you may have. So far, we've received 1799 comments from readers. You can add your own comment here.

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe the website should work but number transfers will only take place on English working days. Are you having problems accessing the site at the weekend?

  • Hi Ken,
    Still got 6 month left from my contract with Three, however I’ve decided to leave and 3 days ago I requested to 85075 to find out the exact amount I will be charged and it was 318.86 GBP.
    Today when I request it again, after just 2 days, the bill was 371.23GBP. I used the phone in the same way, based on my monthly allowance, no extra charges. Do you have any ideas what for!?

    Best regards

  • Terry Dumbrell said:

    I have used a mobile number with BT for a long while – I want to keep the same number of course – I have renewed a contract with for my Mobile so how can I keep my number – all they are telling me is get a PAC code from your old supplier – well through EE – BT – are my old supplier –

    • Hi Terry,
      This wasn’t quite clear from your message, but are you simply upgrading from one BT Mobile plan to another? If so, they should move the phone number for you onto the new SIM card.

    • Hi SR,
      You’re absolutely right! However, lots of people decide to call it a PAC Code for clarity as this makes it super clear what we’re referring to. You are absolutely right in saying however it should technically just be called a PAC or a Porting Authorisation Code.

  • What happens where you’ve got more than one device on your contract please ? Do you have to phone EE to obtain the PAC codes in this instance ? Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Susie,
      I think it should still be possible to get a PAC Code from your EE account area. However, if you’re unable to do that, you can contact EE Customer Services on 150.
      Hope this helps,

  • John Henderson said:

    Hi, have texted virgin mobile twice to request my pac code with no response, what action can I take to make them respond

  • Hi, I have tried texting several times now using the format shown and each time it says it can’t send the message. Is this Virgin deliberately blocking transfer!

  • I did this and as usual nothing goes smooth.
    The PAC code issued does not give the same number i have been using there is a digit missing at the beginning and nobody is telling me why

  • Caroline Dwyer said:

    My current giffgaff sim has died and so I cannot text, phone or email giffgaff to ask for my PAC number, please can you help and advise me. Thank you.

    • Hi Caroline,
      If you log in to the giffgaff website, it should be possible to get a replacement SIM card or to request your PAC Code there.
      Hope this helps,

  • can I retrieve a ported number back from a new service provider, without cancelling the plan, instead to use the newly offered number they provided with the new plan

    • Hi Paula,
      I’m not quite sure I fully understand the question – are you trying to cancel the port of your number? If so, it may be possible to do this if your mobile network is yet to action it. However, if your phone number has already ported, the account on your old mobile network will close and it won’t be possible to reverse the transfer.

  • I blocked my phone and was told to get my puk code from O2 , when entered number it still says blocked. You only get 3 times to enter correct code, what should I do? Just carry on and enter pac code next?
    It’s driving me crazy! 🤯😬

    • Hi Jan,
      A PAC Code is totally different from a PUK code so I wouldn’t recommend entering this instead! I’d recommend getting in touch with O2 again to see if they’re able to re-issue you with the correct PUK Code.

  • Split with my girl,had a phone under her name,contract finished now,going over to gif gaff and want to keep my old number,but can’t get the PAC number because I don’t have details of the acount. What other ways can I get it??

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. You should be able to obtain a PAC Code by texting PAC to 65075. If this doesn’t work, it might be possible to access it through your online account login. Alternatively, if neither option works, it may be necessary to get the account owner to obtain it for you.
      Hope this helps,

  • I am using Lebara germany account. And my number along with 0 is 12 digits long. The form at “Lebara Mobile Website” is validating my number as wrong. What should I do?

  • Daniel Flaherty said:

    Thanks for explaining everything so clear.
    However I am concerned about what happens to all my contacts in my phone now as I don’t know if they are stored in the phone memory or on sim card.

    Can you please advise me.

    Many thanks.

    Daniel Flaherty.

    • Hi Daniel,
      Thanks for your comment. The contacts will be stored on your phone rather than on the SIM card. Therefore, you can change the SIM without losing access to your phone book.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for your comment. Has your old account been closed? If so, it’s likely the voicemail message will now have been deleted. However, you can contact your old network to see whether it might still be possible to access this.

    • Hi Fiona,
      The phone number will move to the SIM card on your new network. You’ll then need to place the SIM card from your new mobile network in your phone to use it.
      Hope this helps,

      • Fiona McCague replied:

        Thanks Ken. The reason I asked is that I was told it would transfer around 4pm on Friday. I believe that THREE who I am transferring to will not be able to complete the transfer until Tuesday if it is sent on a Friday.

  • julio degoycoechea said:

    hi there!
    this is my dilema….while trying to adapt and old SIM card to fit in a new smartphone, I have ruined the card, I need a new SIM card at this point but with the old phone number on it…what do have to do…where can I have this new SIM card…the old one was from a network in Argentina called “Claro”…

    • Hi Julio,
      Thanks for your comment. You’ll need to contact your mobile network (so Claro in this case) to ask for a replacement SIM card. They should be able to arrange a replacement for you, with the same phone number and plan as before.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi there,
      Could you let me know which link from EE is broken? I’ve had a quick look and I think it works correctly for me, though would love to fix this if there is a broken link somewhere.

    • Hi there,
      There is no minimum amount of time you need to have spent on a mobile network before you’re able to request a new PAC Code and port your phone number to another network.

  • What a wealth of information on your site! Thank you very much for all the hard work you put into it.
    Due to inactivity my EE number has been blocked (and the credit lost). When I called them I was told that there is a grace period of 30 days in which I can recover the number by activating a new sim from their store and then contacting their MNT team to reactivate the old number. This period will expire mid December and I was wondering whether instead of activating a new sim with EE I could request a pac code from them not to lose the number completely and go elsewhere. Thanks for any advice on this.

    • Hi Pips,
      Thank you for the kind words! That’s a good question – though unfortunately, I don’t have a very good answer to it. Typically, in order to get a PAC Code, you’ll need a SIM card that’s still active on the network. The argument here from EE might be that your SIM card is no longer active on their network, and the 30 day grace period they’re giving you is up to their own accord on an already inactive SIM. The best way to find out, I’m afraid, would be asking EE Customer Services if they’re able to do this for you.

  • Extremely useful and well-written article – thanks Ken!

    I was wondering if you can in theory do the following, if you switch to a new network and change your mind after a few days? Request PAC from network A and port to network B. After a few days, decide to go back to A (hence request another PAC, this time from B).

    So, can you make a PAC request fairly soon after you have just moved onto a network, or does a certain time have to elapse before that’s allowed?

    • Hi Joe,
      Thanks, and a very good question! No, there’s no time limit or any need to wait before you’re able to request a new PAC Code. So if you like, you could request a PAC Code on the same day you join a network. This loophole is sometimes used to people to access new customer deals (they simply port out to another network, and then back in to the original network as a new customer).
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello

    When porting takes place, does the old network provider transfers personal details to the new network provider or it is just a number transfer without passing personal information.


  • Lisa Williams said:

    Hi I just finished my contract from ee and would like to go tesco and I don’t know where to begin as my old phone is saying no signal how can I send my number over

  • I’ve transferred my virgin number to three and awaiting confirmation, can I still use my phone with the temporary three number on my new sim until the transfer comes through. Thanks

    • Hi Monica,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can use your temporary phone number from Three in the mean time whilst you wait for the number transfer to complete 🙂

  • Ken
    Can the o2 sim card work on any 2g,3G, and 4g smart phone and non smart phone
    As I read that this classic 123 SIM card payg can only work with 2g phones

    • Hi Jade,
      Thanks for your comment. You should only lose coverage momentarily. What happens is you’ll find that coverage disappears on your old SIM card/handset. You should then restart your phone with the SIM card from the new network and it will have the original phone number assigned to it.
      Hope this helps,

  • Plusnet don’t obey the Ofcom’s directive. They don’t even let you send the text message to the short message to obtain the PAC code.

  • Hi so I recently lost my vectone Sim card and have unfortunately decided to switch carriers to Giffgaff however by me losing my VectoneSim card it has unfortunately meant that I have a different number however I would like to go back to my Giffgaff number if I am able to get my PAC code I have been calling numerous times a week and I have been put on hold which has led to me waiting for hours on end with no reply . If it doesn’t trouble you can I please get a reply ASAP and can I get my vectone pac code

    • Hi Naima,
      Thanks for your comment. Are you able to request a PAC Code from the Vectone Mobile website? This might offer a potential solution. Alternatively, is there a way to get a replacement SIM card from Vectone? If you’re able to get one, you should be able to request your PAC Code via text message.

    • Hi Gemma,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, it will work the exact same way if you’re moving your phone number from a consumer onto a business account 🙂

  • ​Hi, I have an old Motorola V3 with the largest SIM card.

    Whenever I needed more airtime I bought a voucher when I was shopping at Tesco`s.

    I want to do the same with a new NANO SIM card?

    I have my new Smart Phone and want to get a NANO SIM card for it but all I can find is contract SIM cards.

    On my old phone I could buy airtime off whatever company I wanted to, I want to do the same with my new Smart Phone.

    I want a UK NANO SIM card without a contract, where can I get one from?

    Regards Ray.

      • Hello Ken, Asda don`t supply a NANO SIM card, it`s a triple and you just push out the card you need.
        On my new Huawei smart phone, it says the new NANO SIM card is thinner, so the triple won`t work?
        You need a separate NANO?
        Also, I have been searching ASDA, as they are what I need, and I can`t find the one you are talking about, free pay as you go, it looks like they have bundles only and you have to buy a bundle no matter how small in price?
        Regards Ray.

        • Hi Ray,
          Thanks for your comment. The Nano SIM is simply the innermost part of the Triple SIM – simply push it out and you’ll find that it fits inside your Huawei device. With regards to the bundles, there’s no obligation to buy a bundle every month. If you don’t buy a bundle, you’ll simply pay the standard Pay As You Go rates of 8p/minute, 4p/text and 5p/MB.
          Hope this helps,

    • Hi Susan,
      Yes, no problem at all! Just follow the instructions for requesting a PAC Code. The existing STAC Code will automatically be cancelled, and you’ll be sent a new PAC Code to replace it.
      Hope this helps,

  • I am changing from Talk Talk to O2. on my iPhone Tomorrow. they have my PAC no and my present no which I am keeping. By phone call today. At the moment I have a Talk Talk SIM card still in my phone. When do I remove it and insert the O2 SIM card. Thank you.

    • Hi there,
      Thanks for your comment. You can keep the TalkTalk SIM card inside your iPhone until you lose coverage on that SIM. When that happens, it’s a sign to replace the SIM with your new one from O2.
      Hope this helps!

    • Hi Steve,
      Which company was your PAC Code obtained from? It might be worth double checking with them to make sure the PAC Code is correct, before submitting it again to your new network.

  • Hi my number is on my work phone (transferred when I went on to work phone) I now want to transfer on to my private number but how do I do this so I keep my number and take it from work phone please ?

    • Hi Tracy,
      Thanks for your comment. Can you request a PAC Code from your work number, and then use this PAC Code to move the phone number to your own account?

  • I joined virgin 2 days ago tv broadband & sim only mobile contract
    I have my Pac code & I just cannot through on 789. I’ve been pressing redial. Since Friday …40 mins wS the longest wait
    Regretting moving …how on earth can I retain my number if no one is available to take my Pac code? ?
    Not very happy

    • Hi Christine,
      Which mobile network are you trying to get a PAC Code from? They should be giving you a PAC Code within 60 seconds when you request it online or via SMS text message.

  • Hi Ken,
    You mentioned that transferring number needs to be within the UK. Say, I order a new SIM and I travel for 3 months. I’d requested the PAC beforehand. When my new SIM arrives, could I get my wife to tell the new network what the PAC is or does the old SIM has to be physically in the UK. Thanks

    • Hi Yee,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe your new SIM card will normally need to be inside the UK. This is because some updates need to be made to it – for instance, provisioning it with your new phone number after your PAC Code is used. This isn’t always possible when you’re travelling abroad due to the way international roaming works on different networks, etc. In practice, I have seen it working abroad a couple of times but your mileage may vary and this may not always work as required.
      Hope this helps,

  • I’ve lost my phone which had a giffgaff number inside and I want that number back. How ever everything was logged on that phone like my giffgaff account and I can’t get into it.. is there any other way I can get my number back? Everything linked to that account I can’t log into

    • Hi Adeebah,
      Thanks for your comment. You can request a replacement SIM card as soon as you can get in to your giffgaff account. Would it be possible to do something like a password reset via email?

  • Hi,

    EE now ask for the PAC or STAC number during their signup process. I have my PAC code but if I supply this during signup and the new SIM takes 3 business days to arrive (they quote this) but the number is ported ‘next business day’ won’t this leave me without service for potentially 2 days.

    Anyone got advice on this? Will EE wait until I have their SIM before transferring?

    • Hi Jamie,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, I’d personally wait for the new SIM card to arrive first. That would also give you the opportunity to return it, without porting complications (e.g. if it didn’t work properly or if you weren’t satisfied with the coverage in your area on the SIM card).

      • Thanks Ken,

        I’ve got one further question. I pay in advance for airtime, do you know if any remaining airtime is refunded when my number switches? So if I pay a month in advance on the 1st of the month and my number switches on the 2nd are my current provider obliged to refund me the remaining 29 days?

        Great site by the way.

        • Hi Jamie,
          Thank you for the very kind words! Are you on a Pay Monthly contract? If so, then yes, you’ll be refunded for the days that you didn’t use in the final month. Details can be found in your final bill (most networks will issue you with a refund automatically, but some of them might require you to call up to ask for your refund). If you’re on Pay As You Go, top-ups are non-refundable and will not be returned to you.
          Hope this helps,

    • Hi Yvonne,
      If your phone number transfer has been delayed, it’s worth getting in touch with your new mobile network to check on the status. I believe, as of July 2019, your network should also offer you “reasonable compensation” for a delay in porting that takes more than one working day.

    • Hi Rajinder,
      They’re legally obliged to give you a PAC Code, as per Ofcom’s General Conditions of Entitlement. Are you still experiencing problems getting your PAC Code? If so, I’d consider putting a formal complaint in writing to them and reminding them of their legal obligations.

  • Stephen Hawley said:

    Received ‘Your message isn’t recognised’ from TalkTalk after texting PAC to 65075.

    Looks like they haven’t heard about the new process, bless them.

    • Hi Stephen,
      It’s a shame that they’re not following the new process! Given they’re in the midst of closing down anyway, it’s possible they’ve just decided that it isn’t worth following the new rules.

      • Stephen Hawley replied:

        Yes but the best it was the text message went on to say … If you want a PAC code text PAC to 65075, if you want a STAC code etc etc!!!

    • Hi Tina,
      Thanks for your comment. Typically, it’s the account holder that needs to request the PAC Code. You’ll therefore need to ask him to do this for you. Alternatively, if you have access to the SIM card, it might be possible for you to request it via text message.
      Hope this helps,

  • is their any ofcom/ofgem laws that state a 10 day pac code release period for 80 business user mobile contracts moving to a new provider?

  • Claire Hill said:


    I am leaving EE and had requested a PAC code which I received and I have now transferred to my new provider. The changeover was requested yesterday and it happened today and my new phone is now using my previous EE number.

    However I still seem to be receiving my messages and calls on my old EE phone? I was informed once my PAC code had been transferred that my EE account would be cancelled/closed.

    Do I need to do anything else?

    • Hi Claire,
      Thanks for your comment. Is this problem still persisting or has it now been resolved? On the day of the phone number transfer, there is sometimes a bit of overlap between the two networks. However, it usually clears up by the end of the day and then your account on EE should then automatically be closed.

    • Hi Paula,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you’ll be given a temporary phone number when you sign up your new mobile network. This will allow you to make sure everything works as expected. Once you’re sure that’s the case, you can simply provide your PAC Code to your new network and your phone number transfer should then take place on the next working day.
      Hope this helps,

  • Timothy Page said:

    Getting my old mobile number back was relatively painless, although the shop had some issues getting to the form at the time it seems, after getting that sorted it got transfered with very little fuss and quickly.

    unfortunatly the number thats supposed to just give you the pac number did not do so and just linked the account system for tesco mobile, possibly because it was on a family plan? At any rate we eventualy got a hold of it and the change was relatively painless.

  • What happens if I get my pac code, then my new sim comes and I kinda like that number…and don’t want to use my pac code, do I just request a stac code and it cancels out the pack code?!

    • Hi Maria,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can just change your PAC Code into a STAC Code. Just follow the instructions for requesting a STAC Code from your old network, and use this in place of your PAC Code.
      Hope this helps,

  • paul meredith said:

    this is a joke it is supposed to be easy to get a PAK code (send a txt)
    no way to do it from the app,online logged into to the account.
    When you phone 4455 PAK code is not an option
    Tesco mobile seems to be breaking the new Ofcom rules !!!

  • Marc Steven Braithwaite said:

    I need a pac code I am joining sky my sky sim number is 89***removed***9 can you send me information. On how it works do I I give sky the pac code and they will do it

  • Danny Bothick said:

    Hello hope you can help me i’ve lost my sim card and ordered a new one but I want to keep old number

    • Hi Danny,
      Thanks for your comment. When you order a replacement SIM card from your mobile network, they should automatically transfer your existing phone number to it (get in touch with the customer services team if they don’t do this). A PAC Code is only needed when you move from one mobile network to another, so it isn’t necessary for you to go through this process 🙂

  • This is getting farcical. Tried texting 65075 for pac but delivery failed. So went to web site, this page, where it tells me to call 202. Called 202 and I got 3 options none of which tell me how to get my PAC.
    Looks like O2 are determined to make it as difficult as possible for you to leave.
    Hope OFCOM monitor this page!

  • I wish to remain using my number for EE and stay in service and have changed hand device.
    I wish to unlock my old phone provided by EE so as to give it to my daughter on a pay as you go sim card from Vodafone, please can you advise?

    • Hi Scott,
      Many thanks for your comment. There’s information on this page about how to unlock your handset from EE. To keep your existing phone number, you’ll just need to put your existing SIM Card in your new mobile phone (as the phone number is linked to the SIM card rather than the handset). Your daughter can simply place her Vodafone SIM card inside the mobile phone and it will have the new phone number.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken!

    I love this article, super helpful. I am moving from 3 to EE, I have no cancellation fees, but they require 30 days cancellation. If I do it through PAC number, will they charge only what I used until the date number was changed to EE? Or since they have the 30 days policy they will charge the whole month since I requested the PAC ?

    • Hi Jordi,
      Thanks for your comment. At present, most companies will charge you for your 30-day notice period. Therefore, if you were to request a PAC Code on the 1st July, you would be liable to pay your bill until the 31st July (this is regardless of when your phone number actually moves over). For many people, this means there is a period of time where you’re paying two bills (both the old contract along with the new one). It’s something that I know Ofcom (the UK’s telecommunications regulator) is looking into changing, but sadly, this is how it works at the moment 🙁 You can minimise the overlap by scheduling your transfer towards the end of your 30-day notice period.

  • My sim only contract ends on 27/06/19 with Three, I have contacted them today to get my pac code to switch to a different network, they have said I must wait until 27/06/19 when they will then switch me to a PAYG contract and I don’t have to do a 30 day notice period.. they will then issue me a pac code. I have asked for them to email me a copy of my contract as surely if my contract is ending and I am fully paid up I should be able to get it now and not need to give 30 days notice. But they are refusing to send me a copy of contract too. Are they in the right?

    • Hi Alex,
      Thanks for your comment. Three are legally obliged to issue you with a PAC Code, even whilst you’re in the minimum term of your contract. You should remind them of their legal obligations under Ofcom’s General Conditions of Entitlement!

    • Hi Christa,
      Thanks for your comment. The mobile networks are only legally obliged to offer “text to switch” from the 1st July 2019. We’ll update this page in due course to make sure it reflects the latest information on how to request a PAC Code.
      Hope this helps!

  • christa buttolph said:

    I’ve asked talk talk 7 times for pac code they keep saying there’s problem giving me one yet they are closing there mobile side down. What can I do.

    • Hi Christa,
      Thanks for your comment. TalkTalk are legally obliged to provide you with a PAC Code within 2 hours of your request. Have they given you a reason as to why they aren’t able to issue you with one?

  • Hi i have a pay as you go sim, however i have recently got a pay monthly sim can i transfer my pay as you go sim number onto the pay monthly sim and how

    • Hi Krusa,
      Thanks for your comment. Are you staying on the same mobile network? If so, you can get in touch with their customer services team to request this (a PAC Code is only necessary when moving from one mobile network to another). If you’re changing mobile networks, you can use a PAC Code in order to do this.
      Hope this helps,

  • Orange just cut off my number without telling me, I’ve had the same number for 20 years and it’s unbelievable, I phoned them up from a landline obviously and they just said sorry your number is now lost in the system and can’t be restored…..
    I had this once before but they managed to reinstate the number but this time said they can’t.
    Terrible service, I have had to spend days changing various security details on various accounts which had this number not to mention losing contact with clients etc.

  • Garry Mcphee said:

    Hi I’m trying to get a Pac code off virgin so I can use my phone as I’m having problems with virgin and my account I need my mobile but also need my number as it’s my work that I need it for I have phone up virgin and was told by someone so rude that I can’t have it and then hung up is there any way that I can get the Pac code without calling virgin many thanks Garry

    • Hi Garry,
      Thanks for your comment. At the moment, the only way to obtain a PAC Code is by calling your mobile network. From the 1st July 2019, however, text-to-switch will be in operation. This will make it possible to obtain a PAC Code by sending a short text message.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Simon,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m not sure I 100% understand your question. However, if you have an active giffgaff goodybag on your account, you should be able to use the data from it rather than Pay As You Go rates?

  • Just want to know how to transfer my old/current O2 phone number to my new Tesco Mobile phone. Rather worried that I won’t be able to as I found out that Tesco Mobile use O2 or something.

    Can someone help me?

    • Hi Wendy,
      Thanks for your comment. You can move your phone number from O2 to Tesco Mobile by following the normal PAC code process. The fact that they both use O2 for coverage doesn’t make a difference to this process!

  • If you do not change you PAC number once requested, talkmobile will still charge you irrespective if you told them to cancel the account and even though your device may be inactive they will still charge you every month, months by month and scam you with no refunds.

    • Hi Owain,
      Sadly, the default outcome if you request a PAC Code and then decide not to use it within the 30-day validity period is the existing contract will continue to run as before. In many ways, this is actually a positive for the consumer as it means you can try and negotiate the price you pay (asking for a PAC Code when you do this) but then there’s no obligation to actually leave if they call your bluff and they offer you a PAC Code rather than a discount.
      In some cases, this actually causes some confusion if you had just wanted to end the contract without moving your phone number elsewhere. If you had wanted to do this, the PAC Code process shouldn’t have been followed – instead, the 30-day notice period should just have been served and your contract should be ended automatically after that period.
      If you believe Talkmobile didn’t act properly on your instructions (e.g. by issuing you with a PAC Code when you had just wanted to end the contract), it might be worth making a formal complaint in writing to them. This will allow you to dispute the money they’ve charged you.

  • Alex Vanselow said:

    Trying to get a PAC code from Vodafone and again experiencing the service that make me want to switch providers. Called 191, long cue was called back 25 minutes later, did all the identity checks and was told there is a technical problem with their system that is not issuing PAC codes to call again later. Really ?

  • Muhammad khan said:

    I have experienced very bad customer service from Vecton mobile. They don’t bother and understand customer needs . My account has been suspended for last one week but unfortunately they don’t bother to discuss and I try tried to contact them several occasions but no one picks up the phone. There are no customer support and service at all . I was no the phone for hours but no response. Now I wants my puk code but it’s quite impressive to getting it because no one pick up phone.

  • Hi
    Moving out of a network and back in again quickly to change deal through a third party provider and get Cashback … is there a minimum time limit?

    • Hi MP,
      Thanks for your comment. There’s no minimum amount of time you’ll need to have left a mobile network before you’re able to port your phone number back in. With regards to the cashback, however, there might be additional conditions so it’s worth double checking this before you buy.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi, I changed from EE to Vodafone and used the website to change from my temporary number to my old number. Although on my iphone under “Names, email address and phone number” it says my old number is working, my messages are still going through under the temporary number. What do I do?

  • Hi,

    I tried to transfer my number to giffgaff but it shows an error with PAC Code:

    Oops. There was a problem with your PAC code. Please try again later.

    The PAC code do not expire until 12 June, why can’t it be processed?

    • Hi Keying,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced inputting a PAC Code at giffgaff. Unfortunately, it’s likely you’ll need to flag this with giffgaff’s support team (e.g. using their online support) to get a bit more info about it.
      Sorry I can’t be of any more help!

  • I been trying to get Pac code form vector mobile but keeps saying I need to put money on phone to get one ????

    • Hi Jay,
      Thanks for your comment. It shouldn’t be necessary to have money on your account to get a PAC Code issued. However, there might be a per-minute charge when you get in touch with them (which might require you to have money on your account). You can side-step this by using a different phone to call Vectone (e.g. borrowing someone else’s phone or using a landline instead).

  • Mark Perry said:

    I tried to move from O2 for pay as you go, 4445 is chargable, but I’m moving provider so I have no credit. I then called from my home phone, entered the code sent to my o2 mobile, then I was told my security details couldn’t be found and was then transferred to a phone line that was closed! Why on earth can’t we just request a pac code via automated service, or through my O2? Seems like you just want to make it hard as possible to transfer away. Your company is a joke!

  • If you are PAYG and simply want support, without giving three any additional business, they are terrible. I bought a new phone that needs a nano sim, whereas my existing three sim is micro only. It is very difficult to get a nano sim and have my old number transferred to it. There is nothing on the website that allows you to do this simple operation – you need to go to a three shop (I don’t have one nearby) to arrange this…

  • Hatun Soruklu said:

    I had 2 contracts with Virgin and I cancelled one of them yesterday due to their price increase from £9 to £12 while in a contract. Their service is terrible. Always there is some kind of issue with either internet or phone line. My other contract ends in Dec and cant wait to leave them. As yesterday 14th May just about whole country had issues with their internet and phone line as well as text messaging. Simply my both mobiles were dead from 10am until evening.I moved to 3. Lets see what they are like. At least they wouldn’t increase the price 30% while in a contract.

  • Simon norley said:

    If i leave and get a PaC code, then dont use it but still leave. Then 18months later get a bill to terminate because you didnt use your PAC code but still left but used no service..can i be legally bound to pay this bill?

    • Hi Simon,
      Thanks for your comment. Essentially, there are two ways to cancel your contract: you can either use a PAC Code to move your phone number to another network, or you can contact your mobile network directly and ask them to cancel the contract. Typically, you’ll actually need to use the PAC Code to move your phone number to another network in order to cancel your old contract through the PAC Code route. If you haven’t used it after 30 days, the PAC Code is cancelled and it’s assumed you no longer want to move.
      With regards to the question you asked, this is unfortunately something you’ll need to dispute with your network. Part of it would rely on whether they cancelled the contract as per your request. For instance, if you had explicitly asked them to cancel your contract (rather than simply issuing you with a PAC Code), it could be argued that they didn’t follow your instructions correctly. Evidence of non-use of the service would also back this up.

  • Today I applied to Tesco Mobile to request a Porting Authorisation Code and was refused point blank to be given one.
    No explanation given, just take it or leave it.
    I may add I am on a P.A.Y.G. tariff.

  • I tried to request a PAC code from vodaphone only to be told I needed my sim card so they could send me a code number to give them so they could proceed with the Pac code, I told them I no longer have the sim as i have already gone to another phone company and have activated the card to start to use my phone and number as soon as but I am wanting my old number but they said the only way they could start to give me a Pac code is for them to send code to my original sim.
    My question is Ken would there be another way they could give me a Pac code.
    Thank you

    • Hi Dave,
      Thanks for your comment. It sounds like Vodafone are trying to put you through a security check to make sure the phone number belongs to you. This is an important step for security and privacy, and as such, I don’t think there is any way around it (unless you’re able to pass the security check another way).

  • Hi, I lost my sim and reported it as lost but then found it days later. My account is suspended, I cant get access to reactivate. I have bought a new sim and would like to transfer my old number. Can anyone help

    • Hi Marite,
      A PAC Code should consist of three letters followed by six numbers (e.g. ABC 123 456).
      Hope this helps!

  • Absolute shambles, first I was cut off while talking to an operative, then when I called again I was put onto my own voice mail. I simply want my PAC number so as to keep my current number as I am entitled to do.

  • I got an email that my number has transferred but it still says no service at the top left corner. I’ve tried turning my phone on and off and I’ve removed the SIM card and put it back in but it still says no service. I need help

    • Hi Harini,
      Thanks for your comment. Which mobile network are you transferring your phone number into? I’d recommend reaching out to their customer services team directly as this sounds like an account-specific issue that they’ll need to look into.

  • Hi so I lost my sim and I need to get back to it how would I do that I know the number and stuff but I can’t transfer back to the old sim because I lost the sim

    • Hi Imran,
      Thanks for your comment. Your mobile network should be able to send you a replacement SIM card for the one you’ve lost. The phone number would be reassigned to the new SIM card for you.

  • Bit of a strange one. My son had a sim only deal with virgin but couldn’t pass teh credit check to get an upgrade. If decided to take a contract out with him on Virgin also. Can he keep his old number?

    • Hi Sean,
      Yes, if you wanted, you could take out a contract on his behalf and it would be possible for him to transfer his phone number to it. However, as this won’t be processed as a normal upgrade, it may sometimes be necessary to transfer your phone number out to another network before transferring it back in. I’d recommend double-checking with Virgin Mobile Customer Services in advance to see what the best way of achieving this would be.

  • I have asked three to get a Pac code, they said in 2 hours I can get it, but I haven’t get it . I phone three again they said need to cancel the old Pac code and order a new Pac code

    • Hi Tamata,
      Thanks for your comment. No, there’s no need to follow this process if you’re not changing mobile networks. As you want to keep your existing price plan on the same mobile network, you can simply contact your mobile network operator to ask for a replacement SIM card.
      Hope this helps,

  • More then 1 month trying to contact customer service to port out my number from freedom pop but still no way cos their phone always on auto reply no otherway to find to port out my number. I’m in Worest condition cos of their service

    • Hi Atilla,
      Thanks for your comment. There should be a way to contact your mobile network without paying any more than the standard UK landline rate. Could you let me know which network you’re trying to obtain a PAC Code from?

  • Hi Ken,

    Great blog and very helpful. Quick question for you – I’ve recently relocated to the US and want to get the PAC code from o2 so I can move to 3 – chance to keep my number for when I visit home/move back. I’m being told they can only do this if the sim card is in the UK. Is this accurate?

    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Steph,
      Thanks for your comment. I do believe your new SIM card should normally be in the UK and connected to a UK network (as opposed to roaming). Saying that, I’m afraid I don’t know enough about the specifics of this and what would happen if you were abroad whilst the phone number moves – sorry about that!

  • Gurjit Singh said:

    Hi, I had a message 40 mins ago to say that my old number had been successfully transferred but when I ring the number a message says it is an incorrect number !

    • Hi Gurjit,
      Thanks for your comment. On the day of the transfer, there could be a brief period where the phone number hasn’t yet fully moved over to your new network. If the problem persists, I’d recommend getting in touch with your new mobile network who should be able to take a look into this for you.

  • Mr Liam J Cairns said:

    It’d be helpful if you made it clear above which are the correct options to select when you call the 0345 number. Think that’s doable?

    • Hi Liam,
      Thanks for the feedback and agreed this would be a great addition! The main issue here is that menu options change quite frequently, so it would be difficult for us to consistently maintain an up-to-date list of these options. Also, the options may differ depending on the type of tariff somebody has (e.g. consumer VS business, Pay Monthly VS Pay As You Go, etc). For this reason, it’s probably still “best” for everyone to listen to the options and to make sure they pick the right option for them. I will consider this for the future however if there’s a way we can make it useful and accurate.
      Thanks again,

    • Hi Pamela,
      Thanks for your comment. Are you using a Sky Mobile SIM card in your existing smartphone? If so, you may need to unlock it before it will accept the SIM card from Sky.
      If you’re using the Sky Mobile SIM card in a new mobile phone (e.g. one that you’ve purchased from Sky or on a SIM-free basis), it isn’t necessary to unlock your current smartphone.
      Hope this helps,

  • Carol Roberts said:

    I am having huge problems with Virgin. My mobile service has been cut off and no one will answer my calls. Several times I have waited on my landline for over 30 minutes each time. I have asked for my PAC, which I know is my legal right, but virgin cut me off and now I am unable to get through. I have tried to call virgin again this morning but can’t get through.

    I have a disabled family member with whom I need to maintain contact – she only has a mobile phone, no landline.

    How can I get my PAC code if no one at virgin will take my calls?

    • Hi Carol,
      I’m very sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced getting in touch with Virgin Media. I’m extremely surprised about this and would have expected Virgin to be a lot better at picking up phone calls! Fingers crossed you’ll be able to get through to them soon.

  • Hi Ken
    Such useful information & easy to follow. Thank you.
    One question please
    Am planning moving to sim only from my current
    provider O2. Already have PAC & after getting the
    new sim from new provider who’s actually using
    O2 mask, shall activate new sim & transfer my
    current number by providing the PAC & then wait
    I think for day for the transfer to complete with the
    provider. Once I get confirmation that am ready
    to go, shall remove old sim & insert in new sim.
    Will all my data – contacts, apps, photos & videos
    as well as all instant messaging on whatsapp &
    iMessage/message be available on my phone
    as not sure if some info are stored on the sim while
    others are stored on the phone.
    Do I need to do a restore once am on the new sim?
    BTW am on iPhone 7 Plus
    Thank you

    • Hi there,
      From your message, I believe you’re keeping the same phone as before but just changing the SIM card inside it? If so, then yes, all of your personal data will still be there on the phone after you change the SIM card. Nowadays, smartphones do not store any personal data directly on the SIM card so there’s nothing to worry about here (in the past, it was only some very old feature phones that would store your phone book & contacts on the SIM).

  • I am writing and calling for a lycamobile for a month. they do not answer the phone. I want to get the PAC code.
    It is unbearable

  • I have a little Nokia PAYG phone and 6 months ago Virgin offered me a great deal paying monthly which has been more than sufficient for my use. I have recently bought a new Nokia PAYG phone, simply as the old one was about done. My question is how do I remain on the same Virgin deal, keep the same phone number on my new phone, also what to do about the SIms? Do I fit the old sim in the new phone? I have not done anything yet, just in case it’s the wrong thing.

  • I had a contract with tpo mobile who have now gone into administration. They had emailed me a pac code to transfer my number to a new supplier, unfortunately I was abroad at the time and was unable to do this until I returned to the UK. When I have now tried to transfer it the pac code no longer works. I have had the number for around 12 years, I use it for my business and it linked to all my accounts so it is very important for me to keep that number. Does anyone know what will now happen to that number and is there any way I can obtain it?

    • Hi Andrew,
      I am so sorry to hear that you’ve been affected by the TPO Mobile closure. Unfortunately, your best call of action probably now needs to be getting in touch with TPO’s administrators to see if they can offer you a new PAC Code (I believe you can email them on I hope they’ll be able to recover the phone number for you.

  • Trying to get a PAC code to keep my old orange number, change to EE. Phone says SIM is invalid. Called number to get PAC. (From my Spanish handset) Entered my old number. Told it’s not correct when it is. Tried twice without success.
    I only use the UK phone on orange for 2 weeks a year.. seems the SIM is now expired. Advice please. Matt Mason.

    • Hi Matt,
      Many thanks for your comment. Are you trying to transfer a Spanish phone number (+34) to a UK SIM card? If so, this unfortunately isn’t possible: you can only transfer UK mobile numbers (beginning with +44 7) using a PAC Code.
      If you’re moving from Orange UK to EE, you can do this through EE customer services without the need to use a PAC Code.

  • Sue Bartholomew said:

    Hi, I had a message 40 mins ago to say that my old number had been successfully transferred but when I ring the number a message says it is an incorrect number !

    • Hi Sue,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve encountered transferring your phone number. In this case, you’ll need to contact your new mobile network to ask them to investigate the issue. As this is an account-specific query, only they will have access to the information required to diagnose the issue.

    • Hi Andrew,
      As per Ofcom’s General Conditions of Entitlement, Virgin are legally obliged to give you a PAC Code unless one of the following reasons is the case (e.g. because you haven’t been able to complete a security check for the account, or because the account has already been closed). You should ask Virgin why they aren’t able to issue you with a PAC Code, and can make a formal complaint in writing against them if they’re still refusing to do this.

  • Hi Ken,

    I am moving to Sweden next week. I have cancelled my EE monthly contract, which will expire in roughly 3 weeks time. I have bought a Three pay as you go SIM to transfer my current phone number to, so I can continue to use the same number when I come back to the UK for visits.

    My question is, will it be okay for me to set up the Three SIM when I am in Sweden? Or do you need to be in your home country? I am not going to be back in the UK for a few months and don’t want to lose my current EE number.

    I hope this makes sense! Thanks for all of your amazing advice, so helpful!

    • Hi Danielle,
      Thanks for your comment and “god lycka” with the move to Sweden 🙂
      Regarding your Three Pay As You Go SIM card, the good news is you can continue to use this at no extra charge whilst over in Sweden (allowing you to continue receiving calls on your UK number, calling back to the UK, etc).
      If possible, I’d strongly recommend activating the SIM card whilst you’re still in the UK (i.e. putting it into a phone and then topping it up with some credit). This is because Three will sometimes flag up SIM cards that have never actually been used in the UK. Once your SIM card is active, you can move the phone number over whenever you like. For simplicity, however, you may prefer to get it all done before you go (e.g. scheduling the transfer for 1 or 2 day before you go).

  • Why oh why can you not get a PAC code online through your account login. It should be compulsory that this channel be available. Vodafone, for example, use 2 Factor Authentication just to let you view your own bill – very sensible security precaution. Given that they have the security infrastructure in place, I see no reason why I should not also be able to get my PAC this way. In fact, they shouldbe requiredto issue it by default automatically 30 days prior to contract term. If you don’t choose to use it, the contract just rolls on anyway.

    Of course I do know the reason – they want to put you through their ‘persuasion’ process first, make it like you don’t really want to leave, make it like Hotel California.

    That’s fine – they could email me their best offer with the default 30 day PAC. But no, they would rather that the date just slipped by and I didn’t notice the uptick in the monthly payment…

    • Hi Martin,
      Thanks for your comment. You make a really good point, and I totally agree with you. Like you said, the reason they normally require you to contact them by phone is because it gives them a good opportunity to keep you as a customer. The good news, however, is that things are changing from July 2019. Upcoming Ofcom legislation from that date means it’ll be possible to request a PAC Code hassle-free via text message. The issue of double-charging for overlapping contracts will also be resolved. A thoroughly sensible piece of legislation if you ask me!

  • lynda masters said:

    I only found out about TPO by text from them on Friday the 22nd! No email or letter. As a previous person has said their call centre is closed. I tried Saturday morning. I have sent a message via their website as I want to a PAC code before Tuesday. I’m hoping they will get back to me tomorrow
    ( Monday) My question is what can I do if they don’t? As I understand it they should provide one but as they are going into administration what rights do I have to keep my existing number. Hope you can help. Lynda

  • Dayna Simpson said:

    Im on a contract under my dads name and im looking to change, however he’s making it difficult for other reasons, can i get this pac code without getting him to do so?

    • Hi Dayna,
      Thanks for your comment. Sadly, only the bill payer/account owner is able to request the PAC Code for you. This is due to security reasons so that the phone number can not be “stolen” and the phone calls & text messages intercepted.

  • I’ve been forced to leave TPO due to their problems and I’ve gone over to Smarty, however I use my phone for my business and my number is on my website and my business cards as well as 11 years trading using same number. I’ve entered my PAC code and yesterday my current number stopped working and my phone is now using the SMARTY number off my new sim. I’m used to there being around 30 mins where my old number stopped working but this is now 18 hours without my phone working from my old number. What do I need to do? Should I resubmit the PAC code and try again or wait.

    • Hi John,
      Sorry to hear that you’ve been affected by TPO Mobile going into administration. The best thing to do would be to get in touch with Smarty’s online support ASAP. You can do this by visiting their help centre, and contacting them through that (e.g. using the live chat that pops up in the bottom right corner of the page). They should be able to look into this for you, and can figure out the status of your phone number transfer. I would probably avoid waiting further myself, given the short amount of time that TPO has given customers to move off their network.

    • I too have a TPO number, however I have been informed by SMARTY that the porting delay is due to TPO failing to provide all the information to move the number to SMARTY.
      “We’re working with them to get the issue resolved, and you’ll get an email when the transfer completes – if the issue isn’t fixed within three business days, we’ll contact you with an update.”
      What information is being transferred here?

      • Hi Andrew,
        I’m really sorry to hear about the delays you’ve experienced to porting. Out of curiosity, was this resolved in time in the end, or are TPO still failing to provide all the information?

        • Common problem/std response from a very tardy Smarty Customer support team. Do you know what would happen if I have already put in a request to move to Smarty from TPO – but as no longer trusting them – I have also requested my number is transferred to a temporary O2 sim…

          Nothing now for over a week. Have I lost my number that I have carried for 20 years….

          • Hi Matt,
            Sadly, it’s difficult to know 🙁 Unfortunately, I’m not sure what the current status is of old TPO phone numbers. Are you still getting coverage on the TPO SIM card, or is it now dead?
            Normally, responsibility for completing the transfer belongs to your new mobile network (i.e. Smarty or O2). It’s up to them to liaise with your old network to get this sorted, albeit, I’m not sure what they’re able to do if TPO isn’t responding. I should have thought that a large number of people will be transferring from TPO to Smarty (since Smarty were the recommended network) so it’s probably more likely they’ll have some more recent contact with TPO on the matter.

    • Hi Maisha,
      Thanks for your comment. What type of tariff do you have from O2? If you have a mobile phone number with them, they should provide you with a PAC Code. However, I’m not sure what other type of tariff there is besides from Pay Monthly and Pay As You Go!

  • TPO mobile goes into administration on 23rd. Did not know anything about this until I saw it in the paper yesterday. I am trying to contact them to get my PAC code but their number is dead and any emails won’t go. Can you help me as I need to keep my number and get another operator ASAP. I pay monthly.

    • Hi Win,
      I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been caught up in TPO Mobile going into administration. I believe they have been issuing PAC Codes to all customers automatically, via a letter in the post or an e-mail in your inbox. According to their website, this should arrive by Monday 18th February – if not, you’re encouraged to get in touch with them via this form on their website.

    • Hi Scott,
      It might be worth asking O2 to issue you with your PAC Code again. It should be three letters followed by six numbers e.g. in the format ABC 123 456.
      Hope this helps,

  • Carol Farrell said:

    I’ve just received my new sky sim and would like to activate it, I would like to use my old number when my contract is up. Can I activate my sky sim now and change to my old number at the end of this month when they give me a pac code.

    • Hi Carol,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can activate your Sky Mobile SIM card today with the temporary phone number that Sky have assigned to you. You can then transfer your phone number over whenever you’re ready (e.g. at the end of the month). With regards to your old provider, I’d suggest getting your PAC Code sooner rather than later as they often require you to give advance notice of ending a contract. Your PAC Code is valid for 30 days, so you can still use your PAC Code as planned at the end of the month.
      Hope this helps,

  • I have taken a new contract out with a new network provider instead of upgrading with my current provider.
    Can I give my new provider a PAC code when I give notice in 3 weeks to my current provider? This is because if I cancel early and use the PAC code I’ll be charged for doing this.
    In other words is there any time limit on giving a PAC code? Does it have to be when you receive your new handset etc?

    • Hi Clare,
      Thanks for your comment. You can ask for a PAC Code at any time, which will last for a period of 30 days. Your current contract will end on the date when you actually use your PAC Code to move your phone number to another network, and any early exit fees will be calculated from that date. For this reason, it’s fine to request your PAC Code today and to wait 3 weeks before you actually use it.
      With regards to the best time to request your PAC Code, it’s normally best to do this straight away if you’ve made the decision. Most mobile networks require you to give 30 days notice of ending your contract. In practice, this means they can charge you for another 30 days of usage after you request your PAC Code. Therefore, if you’d like to move network in 3 weeks time, I’d recommend requesting your PAC Code today to avoid having to pay for another 30 days of usage.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Ron,
      Thanks for your comment.
      On the mobile network that you’re porting your phone number out of, you’ll lose all unused allowances and Pay As You Go credit. For instance, if you had 3GB of unused data, that would also be lost. Your account will be closed automatically when you use the PAC Code.
      On the mobile network that you’re porting your phone number into, your price plan will not be affected and you’ll continue to have the same allowances as before. So if you still had 3GB remaining in the current month, it would still be available for you to use.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi, what menu should I go on to request my PAC code (in the 7777 mobile number) is it the “leaving iD” menu or a different one?

    • Hi Kumkuma,
      Yes – you should choose the “leaving iD” option. This should take you through to the relevant person who can issue you with a PAC Code.

  • I have given notice on my contract with EE. It will end on 4th Feb 2019 – is it possible to get the PAC code or as I’ve already stated I want to close the account, is that no longer possible?

    • Hi Emma,
      Thanks for your comment. It should still be possible to get a PAC Code for your phone number, providing your account hasn’t yet been closed. You can contact EE Customer Services on 150 to do this.
      Hope this helps,

  • Monty de la Guerra said:

    It’s really very frustrating not to be able to register on the app. There is a tick by the number we are porting in, then there seems to be some problem with our surname or date of birth? I have read all the online comments but nothing works. Bit disappointed…

    • Hi Monty,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’re experiencing. Which mobile network are you trying to port your phone number into? If you’re not able to get anywhere with the app, it might be worth contacting customer services so they can put it in manually for you.
      Hope this helps,

  • Keith Stainer said:

    How do I get my PAC code without phoning 0800 or 150 numbers as the delay in waiting on hold is unacceptable and not compatible with my working hours.

    • Hi Keith,
      Thanks for your comment. Sadly, most mobile networks still require you to call them on the phone in order to request a PAC Code. I agree this is a little frustrating, though it should change in the middle of the year when Ofcom introduces text-to-switch legislation. For the time being, however, calling is the only way to request a PAC Code from most mobile networks (especially as you’ll normally need to go through a security check).
      Sorry about that!

  • Hello,

    I have a family sim package (4 in total) we are moving to bt mobile. Do I need a PAC for each number or just the one PAC to do all four.

    Thank you

    • Hi Deborah,
      Thanks for your comment. There are actually two ways for BT to do this: they could put all four numbers on the same PAC Code or they could issue you with four PAC Codes (one for each number). Most typically, I think they’ll normally do the latter as lots of mobile networks only accept port-ins one number at a time. It also gives you a bit of added flexibility (e.g. different numbers could go to different mobile networks or plans).
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Kerry,
      Thanks for your comment. You can use the PAC Code as soon as your new contract begins. I’d normally recommend spending a few hours to make sure everything works properly on your new phone or SIM card, before going ahead and asking to move your phone number over.

  • Hi

    When I am trying to get PAC code from Lyea , service is not available on SMS or email. We need to call customer care representative which is chargable. As per instruction it should be free.
    Please make this service free and also available on sms.

    • Hi Sandeep,
      Sadly, many mobile networks including Lycamobile only allow you to get a PAC Code by phone (this will change next year when Ofcom introduces the ‘text to switch’ legislation). For the time being, you’ll need to contact Lycamobile by phone. This number should be included within your minutes allowance as it’s a London-based geographical number (020).
      Hope this helps,

      • A very good, helpful blog!

        My two queries…

        Is there any limit on how many times you can port your number between different networks?

        Secondly, I want to port my number from Three to o2 but if I find I don’t like o2 can I port my number back to the original network?

        Thanks in advance

        Ron transferred a phone number from Three to O2.

        • Hi Ron,
          Thanks for your comment.
          1) No, there’s no limit on how many times you can port your phone number between mobile networks.
          2) Yes, of course, you can always transfer your phone number back to the original network if you don’t like the service offered by your new provider.
          Hope this helps!

      • Lisa Roshdy replied:

        I contacted Three Mobile by phone on 17/12/18. After many phone calls to them, I still not have received my PAC code. It’s so frustrating. I have my new phone, can I use it with new SIM card until I receive the code?

        • Hi Lisa,
          Thanks for your comment. What has led to the delay in getting a PAC Code from Three? It should normally be a fairly straightforward process, and they’re legally obliged to provide you with the PAC Code within two hours of your request.
          Regarding your new phone and SIM card, yes, you can use this as much as you like before finally moving your phone number to over to it.

          • Lisa Roshdy replied:

            Hi, Three said that they had technical issues. They eventually gave me my PAC code by changing my phone to PAYG and then issuing a pac code which I received in 5 minutes. They didn’t charge me for last bill for inconvenience. I am now using my new phone with new company, thanks for your advice, Lisa.

  • Advised three I was leaving, got issued a PAC code. Then told that leaving doesn’t mean leaving, and that I would have to phone back on to leave? Why not tell the truth 30 days ago, why lie, why cheat why be dishonest to your customers?

  • Hello, have Pay as Y go with O2, going to get a 24 month contract O2 in car phone warehouse. I can save my current number with O2 without PAC. But is it possible to save Balance I have now? Thanks

    • Hi Inga,
      Thanks for your comment. There’s more information here about what happens to your Pay As You Go credit. You should enquire with O2 to see whether you’d be eligible to transfer the balance onto your Pay Monthly SIM. If not then you’ll unfortunately need to use it up before moving over!

  • Neil Beaumont said:

    I followed Ken’s simple advice and it really works. Ring O2 on the number Ken has provided; it’s so much simpler than trying to navigate O2’s website and impossible on-line form. Even in the week before Christmas waiting times were reasonable.

  • This is a very useful blog. I want to move from a rolling monthly Sim-only contract to a similar contract with another provider. If I use the PAC code is there a danger I will be billed by both the receiving (iD mobile) and releasing (Plusnet) providers over the same period during the transition? Does it depend on what date I make the switch? I have read the terms and conditions of my contract with Plusnet but I can’t work it out.

    • Hi Rick,
      Thanks for your comment. You’re right: the issue of overlapping contracts where you’re billed twice is still a problem (in fact, Ofcom is currently legislating to try and reduce the problem). How it currently works is you’ll need to give 30 days notice if you want to end a contract on your old provider. For the purposes of calculating this date, it will normally be the date on which you request your PAC Code. For instance, if you gave notice on the 1st December, they could charge you up until the 31st December (or an early termination fee to that regard).
      In order to avoid the issue of overlapping contracts, it’s recommended you start your new contract as close as possible to the end date of the notice (the 31st December in this case). Of course, I wouldn’t leave it too late as you’ll need some buffer time for testing your new SIM, transferring your phone number over, etc.

      • Thanks for the response. Following your comment I called Plusnet to activate my 30 day notice period. Interestingly they said my notice would be confirmed by email but I didn’t receive an email so I am going to call again tomorrow to chase for it.

        I will apply for my new phone a week before my notice period ends. That way there shouldn’t be too much of a crossover period and I can live without a phone for a few days if need be.

      • I called to give my 30 day notice to Plusnet yesterday and the advisor said okay and that confirmation of my cancellation would be sent via email. I didn’t receive an email so I called again this morning. The advisor said my cancellation notice period would not commence until I had activated a PAC code. Is this right? Doesnt that mean I can only activate the cancellation period if I start a new contract elsewhere? What if I’m leaving the country and don’t need another UK SIM? I’m rather dissatisfied with PLUSNET on this matter and not sure they are telling the truth

        • Hi Rick,
          As far as I know, the 30-day notice period should begin when you request your PAC Code as this is when you’re giving notice to them that you want to end your contract & move to another network.
          If you were leaving the UK and didn’t want to move your phone number elsewhere, it would normally be processed as a straight cancellation (you’d pay for another 30 days, and would receive service up until the end of that period or an early termination fee to that regard).

  • Hi there,

    We have no coverage in our house on any network. We were on Talk Talk, but have switched to ID and have asked ID to port our number. Will they be able to do it even though the phone will be indoors and won’t have a signal? Or, to put it another way, does a phone have to have a signal for a number port to work?
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Tim,
      No, it shouldn’t be necessary for your iD Mobile handset to be connected to the network when your phone number moves over. Hopefully, the coverage will be better on your new mobile network, but if not, your handset will need to connect to your new mobile network to complete the phone number transfer.
      Hope this helps!

  • Hi,

    Do you know if the old sim (the number you’re keeping/transferring over) needs to be in a phone that’s switched on during the day of the changeover or is it enough to just keep your new phone/sim switched on?

    I accidentally flushed my old phone/sim (Virgin) down the toilet and my new phone is locked to a different network (O2).

    Thanks in advance!

  • I have asked for my PAC code from Vodafone but they say it can’t be done as my contract ended yesterday and the number has now gone. I was initially told I had to wait until my contract finnished before they could give me the code. Absolutely appalling customer service.

    • Hi Terry,
      Sorry to hear about the awful experience you’ve had with Vodafone, which has led to the cancellation and deletion of your phone number. It sounds like they’ve messed up hugely, and followed the process for closing your account without generating a PAC Code. I’d strongly recommend putting a formal complaint in writing to them – the faster this is escalated, the better chance you’ll have of recovering your number.

    • Hi Jea,
      Thanks for your comment. There is no charge or penalty for requesting your PAC Code. There might, however, be an early exit fee when you come to use your PAC Code if it’s used before the end of your contract.
      Hope this helps!

    • Hi Gillian,
      I’m really sorry to hear about this. Sadly, the mobile phone networks will normally only deal with the bill payer for the account (regardless of whether they’re the person actually using the phone). Therefore, if the bill for your old phone was paid for by your ex-partner, this would be the reason why the instruction to close it was accepted by the mobile network. It might be worth discussing this with your mobile network or the Citizens Advice Bureau to see whether it’s possible to somehow restore your number.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help,

  • Hi Ken
    I am starting to use a pay as you go plan from three. Is there a minimum period before which I can ask for a pac number to switch to another operator?
    Thanks in advance

  • I was waiting fo coustmer service to answer me half hour then when I asked them I need my PaC Code he asked my why I told him I whant to moove to three then he was close the line

  • If a PAC code is requested from a mobile registered at one address and transferred to another network provider for the same user at a different address, does an address link happen on credit file agencies like experian?

    • Hi Barry,
      Many thanks for your comment. An address link won’t appear on your credit file as a result of using a PAC Code. You are free to transfer your phone number into an account in someone else’s name or address, without any restrictions or a link being made on your credit record.
      Hope this helps!

  • Hi,

    My wifes contract is up with another network and I was going to get her a phone for christmas on o2. Would I still be able to swap her current number over in December if I purchased the phone now in October?

    • Hi John,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can move the phone number over at any time 🙂 So absolutely fine to order the phone today and then to transfer her phone number over in December!

  • The PAC code may be free, but I should like to know exactly what I’ve been charged £75 for, when my phone was paid for in full on 11th Feb 2018 and I had no outstanding payments.

    Excluding the cost of the phone, my contract was on £15 a month, so this seems rather steep!

    • Hi Emma,
      I’m really sorry to hear about the unexpected charges you’ve incurred. Is it possible you might have incurred an early termination fee? It sounds unlikely you’d have had a £75 charge based on the information you provided, but it’s worth double-checking with your mobile network to get a final itemised bill. This should detail all of the final charges, then allowing you to dispute those charges if necessary.

  • Good afternoon,

    I followed the guidelines to ‘keeping my number’ on Saturday am. It said on the app that my PAC code was successful, however, it’s now Tuesday and still not switched to my new phone. Any ideas/suggestions. I don’t want EE to charge me. My PAC code expiry is the 14th so i’d given it plenty of time.

    Anyway, any help would be great received.


    • Hi Ben,
      Thanks for your comment. Are you still experiencing the problem described in your message? Typically, your phone number will transfer over on a Tuesday if you provide your PAC Code on a Saturday. This could happen pretty much any time that day (so going right through into Tuesday evening).
      If you’re still experiencing this issue by Wednesday morning, I’d recommend getting in touch with your new mobile network to get a status update on the transfer.

  • Alex Elliott said:

    I have a Question. I recently canceled my tesco mobile contract and my number was moved to a PAYG deal, on the same sim. I then called tesco and said that i would like a PAC code. I was told that the PAYG Sim card was not “Fully activated” and that i need to top up a minimum of £10 to activate it. then the £10 would be lost when i transfer my Number. Is this Legal? It is technically charging me for a PAC code, which is not legal. Some help would be Greatly appreciated!
    Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Alex,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, I’m not really sure what the letter of the law is here… it definitely sounds like a bit of a grey area. However, having said that, I’d have thought that Tesco Mobile should be able to issue you with a PAC Code given that you were previously a Pay Monthly customer and used their service on this basis (so I would certainly try and dispute this charge).
      Worst case, you can top-up your account with £10 to “activate” it if Tesco won’t budge (either use it for one month or donate the credit to charity to make sure it doesn’t go to waste).

  • Angela briggs said:

    I rang I’d moble yesterday for my Pac code they said I had to take out another traff costing me 3.99 for one month and when lwant to the bank today they had taken £11.50 out please could you help me thankyou

    • Hi Angela,
      Sorry to hear about the billing issues you’ve encountered (I presume this is with iD Mobile rather than another mobile network)? Unfortunately, you’ll need to get in touch with iD Mobile directly on 7777 (or 0333 003 7777 from any other phone) and ask them to take a look into this for you. I’m just an independent blogger so I’m not able to answer account-specific queries, though my guess is they either haven’t changed your tariff just yet, or it was too late to update your Direct Debit payment (in which case, they should refund the money to you or apply it as a credit to your account).

  • Hi Ken,

    Plenty of great tips on here, thanks!

    I moved to Three from O2 recently and want to cancel within the 14 day cooling off as it hasn’t worked out; any guidance with the process of porting my number out from Three and applying the 14 day cancellation? Normally the PAC being used would create cancellation, but if I want to cancel within the 14 days will they still let me use a PAC?

    • Hi Anthony,
      Thanks for your comment. In this case, I would definitely speak to Three about wanting to cancel your contract within the 14 days, and moving your phone number elsewhere with a PAC Code. They should be able to advise, and should allow you to move your phone number out as part of the cancellation.

  • Hi I’ve just bought my own phone as I’m a student and I want to keep my old phone number, but my old iPhone my parents pay for and I am not on good terms with them is there another way to transfer my number?

    • Hi Lorelle,
      Many thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, your PAC Code will need to be requested by the account holder. In this case, it’s likely that your parents will need to request your PAC Code for you, as they’ll need to undergo a security check to get it.

  • I am a PM customer of O2. I pay £10 per month. My question is, my balance with O2 is £19.87 so if I transfer to Sky Mobile just before the next payment is due will O2 automatically refund me the £19.87 or do I need to ask for this to be refunded?

    • Hi Will,
      Great question! There’s more information here about O2’s process for final bill refunds. As your refund is less than £20, I believe you’ll need to contact O2 to request for it to be sent.
      Hope this helps,

  • An absolute nightmare. Could hardly hear or understand the operators.
    Number will be transferred but I was advised that I would have to go to an O2 store to pay for the PAYG. Also advised that I could not do it on line.
    I asked for a top up card to be sent to me. Again, go to an O2 shop.
    That means that I have to drive 20 miles each way, pay parking and probably be told I needed to do something else.
    Totally fed up.

    • Hi Vlad,
      Yes – you’ll need to order your new SIM card first. When it arrives, it will initially have a temporary phone number assigned to it. You’ll then be able to use your PAC Code to complete the phone number transfer.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Terry,
      I assume you’re keeping the same handset, but just changing the SIM card inside it? If so, there’s no need to transfer your phone book or photos as they’re stored on the handset itself rather than on the SIM card.
      Hope this helps,

  • Tony saltonstall said:

    Brilliant…for once a simple reading and easy advice, non obstructive website that gave me all I needed to know…many thanks

  • Contacted Tesco last week to get my PAC as i am transferring to a new provider, Tesco text me my PAC and i forwarded it to a new provider. After waiting 5 days the new provider informed me that the PAC is not valid, i have contacted Tesco twice and have told me that it is valid and refuse to issue me a new PAC, have now got to wait until 6/10/2018 before they will issue me a new PAC.

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. This is a really weird situation. What normally happens is that Tesco Mobile creates the PAC Code on their end and uploads it into a central database. Your new mobile network checks the exact same database to make sure the PAC Code is valid, but in this case, it seems like there has been a breakdown of communication somewhere along the line. This isn’t a situation that I typically encounter, and the only thing I can suggest is to double check all of the information being passed between the parties.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of more help,

  • Hi thanks for the reply. Tesco were insistent that there would be a 3 day delay before we could get a pac code. They said they had to update or correct their address data. Perhaps it is related to the final bill as you say. I suspect it may be just their unnecessary bureaucracy.
    I have a conspiracy theory that there is a secret database that attaches addresses to mobile phone numbers.

  • As always plain non-tech instructions from Ken. I used him to find out about a getting a temporary Sim in the USA. First port of call in the future.

  • Hi Ken. I have requested my PAC code which runs out at the end of August. My contract with 3 terminated on the 11 August I was told that I would have to pay line rental up until the end of August even if I use my PAC code before then. Is this right? I want to switch networks after my contract expiry date but before the PAC runs out

    • Hi David,
      Thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, most UK Pay Monthly networks have a 30-day notice period on their Pay Monthly contracts. This starts from the day you tell your mobile network you’d like to end your contract (of which requesting a PAC Code is considered to be a form of “notice”). In your case, this means it’s likely you’ll need to continue paying for your contract until around the 9th September (assuming you requested your PAC Code on the 11th August). You can transfer your phone number out to another network any time before that, but you’ll be charged an early termination fee covering usage between that date and the 11th September.
      This is a practice that very much frustrates me, and it has also been flagged by Ofcom (the UK’s telecommunications regulator). They’re currently legislating to stop “overlapping contracts” which causes many people to may for two contracts at the same time. For the time being, however, it’s still allowed and the only way to really stop it from happening is to request your PAC Code 30 days in advance.

  • Andrew Prince said:

    Why does the old network need to know your address before they can provide a PAC code? My address has changed since i bought a Tesco phone and they insist on knowing my new address.

    My new postcode does not show the correct address on their database so I now have to wait 3 days for them to update their address database before they will issue a PAC code. It all seems unnecessary.

    • Hi Andrew,
      Your address isn’t normally a requirement for a PAC Code. However, there are two other things that might be coming into play in this case:
      (1) The requirement to successfully go through security checks when requesting a PAC Code
      (2) The ability for Tesco to send you your final bill, to update credit records, etc.
      I shouldn’t have thought an address change would delay the process of them being able to give you a PAC Code, unless for some reason it freezes your account in their system or something.

  • Straightforward????? Really! I’ve had nothing but problems trying to get a PAC code from Tesco’s so I can keep my same mobile number with a new provider. They said they couldn’t find my name on their records. I said my mother bought the mobile from Tesco’s as a gift for me. They said Oh well if your mother bought the mobile then we can’t give the the PAC code for security reasons. Absolutely ridiculous.

    • Hi Adel,
      Unfortunately, it can sometimes be a bit of a faff getting PAC Codes for a Pay As You Go number as they’re typically not registered. If you were able to get pass the security checks (e.g. using your mother’s details), then you should receive the PAC Code from Tesco Mobile without any further problems.

    • Hi Jessica,
      Thanks for your comment. If you submitted your PAC Code on a Saturday, I would normally expect the phone number to be transferred sometime on Tuesday. If it hasn’t transferred over by now, it might be worth getting in touch with your new mobile network to see when this is now expected to happen.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken, I’ve been trying to switch two phones from a o2 Business account to Sky mobile o2 gave me one PAC number for both phones and they say thats all I need, but sky said I need 2 Pac numbers one for each phone !!
    Who’s Telling Porkies ?

    • Hi Pat,
      Thanks for your comment. It is actually possible to have up to 25 phone numbers attached to one PAC Code. So in this case, O2 are correct, but it’s possible that Sky are unfamiliar with the process as they tend not to have as many business customers on their network. I think it should be possible to transfer them both onto Sky Mobile by providing the same PAC Code for both numbers.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello! I am trying to get my PAC number from Lycamobile, but they keep on delaying me because it’s a “fancy number”. It’s been over 1 week since I have requested it. Any advice on how to proceed? They are holding me hostage to their network

    • Hi Bogdan,
      I’m really sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced getting a PAC Code from Lycamobile. It is a legal requirement for them to provide it to you within 2 hours of your request, so I’d recommend pushing them on this. If you’re still not able to get anywhere with them, I’d then recommend making a formal complaint in writing to them.

  • Thank you so much for clarifying exactly what I needed to do wrt swapping SIMS in and out when keeping my old number – moving from Vectone to GiffGaff. I’ve activated the shift now (PAC No). So let’s see if Vectone does its bit. Very, very grateful for this website and appreciate all the work you put in.

  • My Sony z3 suddenly stopped accepting texts from my husband. All other services worked fine but despite several calls to virgin I was unable to resolve the issue. I wondered if it was linked to a new SIM they had recently sent me as an upgrade.

    I kept my phone but decided to change SIM card and provider to gift gaff. This seemed to be a good decision as I transferred my number without a problem and my phone worked fine for a couple of months.
    Suddenly my phone stopped receiving calls or texts from anyone except my husband. Gift gaff have a limited helpline and suggested I change the SIM which I did. No difference.
    I decide maybe my phone is faulty so I change my phone to Huawei and provider to ID. There now seems to be a problem porting my number…it’s taking 6 days and they are stalling me. I can make calls and send texts but not receive either.
    Do you think there is a link between any or all of these events and could you suggest a way forward? Thanks. Helen

    • Hi Helen,
      Many thanks for your comment. It sounds like there might have been issue somewhere with transferring your phone number – this doesn’t sound like the way it should normally work. Responsibility for solving the problem lies with your new provider, so that’s probably going to be iD Mobile based on what you’ve said in your message. Where applicable, they should correspond with Virgin Mobile and giffgaff and part of your number has is “stuck” somewhere else in the system.

  • Thanks for your helpful guide.
    Do you know if a UK pac code is any use moving abroad? I am relocating to Japan and my UK provider, EE, has suggested that would work.

  • Wendy Jones said:

    Thank you so much for your reply. I have ported my number from Virgin Mobile to Giffgaff with a new phone, and my old phone does have access to wifi so I now understand why I can access apps like Facebook with my old phone even without a sim.

    I really appreciate the help you have given me so promptly. I was worried that something had gone wrong with the transfer of my number but am now reassured that all is ok.

    Many thanks.


    I want to change my network and for that I will need PAC code and to get that code it asking me to top up. why should I top up if I don’t want to use your service anymore this is ridiculous. Just to get that code I am wasting my time and they want me to top up, can’t you even provide free customer helpline number? or can you send my PAC code by email?
    which will make life easier for everyone.

    • Hi there,
      Which mobile network are you trying to get a PAC Code from? As far as I know, most networks now provide a free-to-call number, and you shouldn’t need to have a balance on your account to qualify for a PAC Code which is your legal entitlement.

  • Clive Thorp said:

    Really helpful articles.
    I have just stopped my BT landline and am buying a home mobile for infrequent home use, keeping my BT business phone and broadband and wished to know which mobile provider to use. Your articles are incredibly useful, informative and clear
    Thank you.

  • Wasim Abbas said:

    I have been with this company for years. Now their service is pathetic. I can’t receive my texts most of the time and even calls sometimes.
    I called them to get PAC, after waiting for 30 minutes someone attended the call. After all the security questions, they asked me to tell them the number i dialed two months back ending with 11. My mobile doesn’t store that many logs to answer this question.
    Treating your customers in such a bad way is really disappointing. I would write to offcomm to ban such a cheat companies.

  • I have been trying to get in touch with Vectone customer service for over a month now.
    Because I am working I give a call around my lunch break which is in the afternoon and I am on hold for around 45 mins with no luck getting through. I have also tried around 6pm and i am just waiting for over an hour with no luck. I dont have the time minutes or credit (depending on what I call from) to waste waiting on like to get through every single day for nearly 30 days. I have tried this constantly as I no longer have an interest with vectone as I have regular occurring problems with vectone regarding not being able to call out, signal issues, data issues etc. Not one month have I had a package that gave me no problems so I have started using another sim with Giffgaff who’s service and signal and packages work way better for me. But everyone has my vectone number so I want to transfer that over as I am having to switch some to see any messages etc.

    I just want a way to get a Pac code to transfer over my number I don’t have it in me as it is frustrating now to keep on calling and wasting my time. All I require is a simple 3 min conversation with someone to obtain a Pac code.

    I would appreciate it if you could provide me with an email so me to get in touch with someone who can get that sent to me straight away or if someone can call me back because this is just becoming a joke now.

    You won’t let me be a happy customer and you won’t let me leave in peace. There’s no winning with your services at all. I am disappointed and very frustrated with your level of service and ridiculous waiting times where it feels like there s only one person working within the business.

    If someone could contact me very soon that would be amazing or if an email could be provided that would also help. As well as this if you are able to help me with either of the 2 informations coukd you please provide me with a turn around time.

    • I just sent a message to Vectone on their website using their Contact form asking for my PAC No straight away. It turned up in a text within an hour. I think that, legally, they have to provide it within 2 hrs.
      Before this I’d tried every way to contact them – Facebook, email, landline, 322 with no response. I also sent the same message ‘PAC No straight way’ through Facebook messenger – got an auto reply. So I’m not sure which worked.
      I also sent a complaint through Resolver.
      Good luck

  • Susan Wheatley said:

    Hi, I was wanting to transfer to ID, I have a Blackberry curve 9300 3G phone and it is not on your list can I still use ID?

    • Hi Susan,
      Many thanks for your comment. I believe the BlackBerry Curve 9300 requires something called BlackBerry Internet Service, which as far as I know is not available on iD Mobile. Some of the larger networks might still continue to offer this as a service, but as this has been deprecated on newer handsets, you may find there is only a limited selection of networks and tariffs.

      • Susan Wheatley replied:

        Hi Ken, thanks but I was thinking I do not need to use the internet on my Blackberry I just use it as a phone and to text, would ID mobile work in it just to do that do you know?

        • Hi Susan,
          I believe it should be possible to use that handset on iD Mobile, for calling and texting. The only BlackBerrys you’ll have a problem with are the old 2G-only devices, but I believe your handset is 3G-enabled.

          • Susan Wheatley replied:

            Hi Ken, thank you for your help, my Blackberry is a 3G so will try the ID mobile now just wasn’t sure and your advice has sorted it, thank you again

  • Christine brailsford said:

    Can you send me a orange SIM card with free evening calls I don’t like ee it is a crap net work

    • Hi Christine,
      Thanks for your comment. Sadly, it isn’t possible to join Orange as a new customer any more – the only way to continue using it is if you’re an existing customer with an active account. Are there any other Pay As You Go networks that might be suitable for your usage?

  • Vectone Customer Services not answering the call. I am trying the number from a week for many hours everyday. like 4-6 hours

  • Hi Ken,

    I currently have a company phone on EE. I need a PAC code to swap my number to Vodafone but my company would still want to use my original phone as it is in contract still. Can EE reassign a new number to the original phone and let the contract continue to be active?

    • Hi Kevin,
      Thanks for your comment. I believe it should be possible for EE to arrange this, but it’s something your company will need to request through their EE account manager.

  • Remedios Fernandes said:

    After providing Pac to new network my old number if I dial it says cannot be recognise
    Please check the number and new vectone number still works

    • Hi Remedios,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m sorry to hear about the problems you’ve encountered transferring your phone number. In this case, the best thing to do is to contact the mobile network you’ve just joined – it’ll be their responsibility to investigate and resolve the problem for you.
      Hope this helps,

      • Remedios Fernandes replied:

        Everyday Iam trying to contact customer service team of vectone but they keep me holding the call for more then the hour and then disconnecting the call without even answering what else to do then please advise

        • Hi Remedios,
          I’m very sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced getting in contact with Vectone Mobile. Unfortunately, however, they’re the only people who can issue you with a PAC Code in this instance. If you continue to experience problems getting in touch with them, I suggest making a formal complaint in writing to Vectone Mobile (and potentially escalating this to the relevant ombudsman as well, along with dropping a note to Ofcom about it).

  • Hi,

    I am moving to American next month and I was wondering if I’d be able to request a PAC code from the company I am with now to transfer it onto a USA sim when I am over there?

    • Hi Sarah,
      Thanks for your comment. Sadly, it isn’t possible to transfer a UK mobile number onto a US SIM card. Sorry about that!

  • Alec Rattray said:

    I plan on moving company tomorrow if I phone to get my pac code now. Will I have it in time for tomorrow when I switch

    • Hi Alec,
      Many thanks for your comment. Your mobile phone company should issue you with a PAC Code within two hours of your request. However, it normally takes 1-2 working days for your new mobile company to actually process the transfer. Given that no phone number transfers take place at the weekend, you’re probably looking at Tuesday at the earliest for your phone number to move over.
      Hope this helps,

  • Took me 5 attempts and a total of 9 hours to get my PAC codes from O2. Both phones at the end of their contracts. I’m not happy.

  • David Carey said:

    My number transferred ok but my wife,step son and friend who are on 3 can’t get through to sky mobile it goes back to 3 and I can answer what do I do

    • Hi David,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced moving a phone number from Three to Sky Mobile. In case of any problems after the phone number transfer, you’ll normally need to get in touch with your new mobile network (so Sky Mobile in this case).

  • Michael Lindsay said:

    Can one transfer a landline number from Talktalk to BT, once the T/T account is in the process of closing. Thanks

    • Hi Michael,
      As you’re transferring a landline phone number, the process will be different to transferring a mobile phone number. You should contact your new provider (BT) to ask them to transfer the landline number.

  • My new O2 is arriving tonight and I go on holiday tomorrow morning. Is it best to wait until I’m home to give in my PAC and switch numbers?

    • Hi Natalie,
      Given you’ll be out of the country, yes, it probably does make sense to wait until you get back before switching your phone number over.
      Hope this helps,

  • Andy Brown said:

    Hi, is it possible to activate a sim then port a number over, say a week later. It’s just to get use of the phone and allow a contract to expire

    • Hi Andy,
      Yes – you can decide to move the phone number over at any time. Indeed, I’d normally suggest waiting at least a few days or a week, so you can make sure everything’s working correctly on the new network (i.e. that you’re getting the coverage you expect).
      Hope this helps,

  • Question. Looking to upgrade from a very old phone to a very new one, (finally have a use for the extra features and battery is going), however my old phone is so ancient i can’t get stuff like pictures off it except via texting it somwhere, (Motorola C550 if you must know).

    I want to check to see if i can safely use the new number the new phone will come with for a period before swapping the number over. Or will texting stuff from the old phone to the new one lock the number?

  • Malcolm Fitzell said:

    I was with ID Mobile who have gone into liquidation (in Ireland at any rate, where I live). Unfortunately I failed to port my number to another mobile network provider within the stated time limit, as I was overseas. I have now opened an account with Eir (Eircom) but they say they cannot port my number because of this, so it looks like I will have to use the number they have given me. Is there any way around this so that I can keep my old number?

    • Hi Malcolm,
      Sorry to hear about the loss of your phone number from iD Mobile Ireland. Unfortunately, the system for transferring mobile phone numbers is very different in the Republic of Ireland & the UK. As such, this is probably something you’ll need to take up with the local regulators in your country (or iD Mobile Ireland if you’re still able to contact them), to see whether they’re able to recover your number.

  • Hi I want to change my network from vectone to other network but my call is not getting through to get pac code.i am very disappointed with there customer services no one attends the call they take ages..please help me with this

    • Hi Hina,
      Unfortunately, this is a third-party website so there isn’t very much I can do to help in your specific situation except from re-iterating the contact details for Vectone (322 from your Vectone handset, or 020 7179 0134 from any other phone). Truthfully, I have heard multiple pieces of feedback about poor customer service on Vectone, but sadly they’re the only people who’ll be able to issue you with a PAC Code. If you’re still struggling to get a PAC for a whatever reason, it might be worth lodging an official complaint with them to try and get this escalated.

  • Hi
    I used my PAC code given to me by Talktalk and switched to another provider. My question is this, does the handing of the code to your new provider tantamount to ending that contract, or do you have to pay for the number twice if the old provider says you have to give 30 days notice when the contract has ended. What is the legal position ?

    • Hi John,
      Many thanks for your comment. The requesting of your PAC Code counts as giving notice to your provider, so you’ll typically need to pay for another 30 days from the date you request your PAC Code. Depending on when you start your new contract, this means there could be up to 30 days overlap between the two. I believe Ofcom (the UK’s regulator for telecommunication services) is trying to legislate to stop this, but for the time being, this information still applies.
      Hope this helps,

  • Richard Briden said:

    Many say that you cannot transfer a ‘Pay As You Go’ mobile phone number, but from what you say you can transfer it to ‘Pay Monthly’ or ‘SIM Only’ contract with another provider.

    I am assuming what they meant was that you cannot transfer a ‘Pay As You Go’ mobile phone number to ‘Pay As You Go’ with another provider, or can you do this as well?

    • Hi Richard,
      You can transfer a phone number between any type of account – so it’s perfectly fine moving your phone number from one PAYG tariff to another. Is there something in the above article which is unclear or is causing confusion? If so, do please let me know and I’ll try to clarify it.

  • Hello Steve,
    I have changed my number but it does not work totaly.
    My friends can call me on my old number but when I call, it is the temporary number that appears on their side??!!!
    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Coralie,
      Many thanks for your comment. Are you using an iPhone with iMessage or Facetime? If so, you’ll need to follow the instructions here. If you’re having a problem with regular phone calls and text messages, you’ll need to contact your mobile network to ask them to resolve it.
      Hope this helps,

  • G Ruppersberg said:

    This is the most frustrating thing to do as I have been unable to contact Sky on the number provided. It goes straight to engaged before you have even started. Truthfully wish I had not changed over now as the service is appalling. I have been with Vodaphone for years with no problems. All I want to do is provide the PAC code . The number they provide is 0330 041 4136 so if there is another number we need it would be nice to have that so that i can use the phone

      • GZ Ruppersberg replied:

        Hello Ken
        It took far too long to sort this problem out and it has now been resolved however still experiencing issues with the messaging service. Do you have a particular number to dial in to voicemail?
        Thank you

  • Hi,

    I’m on a SIM only deal with a provider using EE network. They’ve gone awol and have not taken payment for a few months. I want to go to another provider but I can’t get hold my existing one…their phone line is dead, they don’t respond to emails sent. Their service went down for a weeks for no reason over the Christmas break and then suddenly it was active again. I’ve requested a PAC code but they’re not responding. What can I do?

    • Hi Sajid,
      Thanks for your comment, and I’m really sorry to hear about the problems you’ve encountered. May I ask which provider you’ve had a problem with? I’m not aware of any providers that have shut down recently, except from Tello (which uses coverage from Three). In general, however, you’ll need to find a way to get contact with that network in order to obtain a PAC Code and transfer your phone number elsewhere. You can also escalate this to the ombudsman if they’re not responding to you, though if they’ve already shut down, it might be difficult to get very much further there.

  • Hi Ken, I notice better deals for new time EE customers, could I therefore requests a PAC code from EE (now out of contract), assign to another network on a free pay as you go, then almost immediately request a PAC code to go back to EE? If this is allowed, how long would I need to wait, in their a minimum amount of time in which a PAC code can’t be transferred.

    • Hi Carl,
      Absolutely, you can do this! It’s a bit of a hoo-ha having to port out and back in, but as you say, it will sometimes allow you to get exclusive “new customer” deals. There is no minimum amount of time you need to have held an account before you’re able to port your number back out of it again.

  • Hi Ken,
    After reading an article at I am worried about the possibility of fraud, given that I want to buy a memorable number from a third party. Are you aware of any improvements in security among mobile providers (e.g. the worst offender in that article, Three) that would stop a fraudster from bypassing security measures so easily to steal a memorable number using a PAC?


    • Hi Terry,
      Many thanks for your comment about this very important issue. I agree: SIM Swap fraud is definitely a huge worry, but unfortunately I think it can only be solved by security improvements at the mobile network operator. It might be worth contacting your mobile network to see if they’re able to add any enhanced security to your account (i.e. additional steps that would need to be taken in order for you to authorise yourself and to go through security with the mobile network). Unfortunately, I don’t think there is any documentation out there on the account security provisions available at each network.

  • I want to transfer my number to my husbands SIM card that is halfway through the contract, is this possible or do pac codes only work on new contracts?

    • Hi Lisa,
      Absolutely – you should be able to do this 🙂 It’s possible to transfer in to your SIM card, regardless of whether it’s at the start or end of your deal.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi I was with vodaphobe and without my knowledge they move my account to onecom which I am not happy about as they keep calling me to renew contact and when I have requested to go back to Vodaphone they said they would send me a form vIa email which never came – Feed up I have moved to EE and they said they cannot give me a PAC number until I fill out a form which they will email – but I suspect they will not – I have been into Vodaphone store but they can do nothing and can’t access my account as it is under Onecom…. help!

    • Hi Bridget,
      I’m really sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced on Vodafone. Are you able to shed any more light on why they’ve transferred you to Onecom? I can find multiple other instances of this being done e.g. here, here and here so there appear to be lots of other people in the same situation with you.
      To answer your question directly, you’ll unfortunately now need to liaise with Onecom to obtain your PAC Code (why you should need to deal with them as opposed to Vodafone is another, and IMO, a bigger question). If they make it unreasonably difficult for you to do this, I recommend lodging a formal complaint in writing to both Onecom and Vodafone, which should hopefully help to expedite the process and move it along.
      Good luck and please do keep me updated regarding Onecom.

  • Is there only one PAC code per network, to transfer several numbers to a different network?
    I want to transfer my number, my mom’s and my sister to giffgaff because vectone doesn’t live up to the expectations.

    • Hi SH,
      Many thanks for your comment. It’s typically one PAC Code per phone number, so you’ll need to request a separate code for each number you want to transfer. The only exception to this is for business contracts with more than one number, but I expect this probably doesn’t apply to you!

  • Carlos Batista said:

    I am trying to move a BT phone to another BT number but won’t let me , it keeps telling me there’s a problem and I need to phone them . I have used the pac Number they gave me but it won’t work , I even tried without the pac number but won’t let me either .

    • Hi Carlos,
      Many thanks for your comment. It isn’t actually necessary to use a PAC Code here as you’re simply moving a phone number within the same network. Instead, it’s something that BT will need to process internally for you – you can reach them on 150 to ask them to do this.
      Hope this helps,

  • Philip Goatly said:

    This is my experience – I am going to send the details to my MP and ask that my problem is submitted to the House of Commons communications committee.

    Mobile phone companies are required by regulation to give a user of their network a PAC code if requested. This PAC code should be given within two days.

    I quote the regulations

    “For individual or small business customers wanting to port no more than 25 mobile numbers, the PAC should be despatched within two working days of your request. Some providers may provide you with a PAC immediately over the phone; others may issue it by post, email or SMS.

    I have been trying to get a PAC code from Virgin Media since Monday.

    I have received a string of excuses.

    The number you are asking a PAC code for is being transferred to a new database (Monday)
    We are sending you a new sim to correct a problem with the phone and until you get the sim we cannot issue a PAC code ** The SIM was sent on the 16th of Dec. and has not arrived yet!!!! My wifes phone was unable to receive incoming calls or texts for a week . I called customer services and they said if they sent me a new SIM it would solve the problem -(Thursday last week) The SIM still hasn’t arrived but my wife’s phone has started receiving calls and texts without any intervention. I didn’t ask for the SIM card they offered it.
    We will have to close your account first and then issue a PAC code – this will not allow me to port the number – which is the whole point of a PAC code.
    This evening (Thursday) I received the excuse 1, above again.
    It does not take very long to update a database if those doing the work are in anyway competent. . I know I worked in IT for 35 years and was a designer of databases in 1974 before most people knew what a database was.

    There is absolutely no reason why Virgin cannot issue a PAC code because a SIM is in transit – anyway if the SIM gets lost in the post what happens then?

    I am getting the feeling the Virgin Mobile is being deliberately obstructive by not honouring my request for a PAC code. I would therefore ask you to inform your staff of the regulations re PAC codes.

    The more they upset me the more likely I am to cancel all my Virgin Media services and look at other providers!

    I hope this can be sorted this out – Virgin staff do not seem to be able to let me transfer the phone to another network, and retain the number – which is my right.

    Virgin are awful and their attitude is verging on the criminal – Virgin on the criminal?

  • Hi All,
    Is it possible to transfer a number between different contracts within the same provider? I’ve been told I need to get a PAYG and use that to hop out and back in to the provider across the contracts…
    Cheers, M.

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes, technically speaking, it is possible for a mobile network to move your phone number internally from one contract to another. However, the networks often refuse to do this as they would rather process it as an “upgrade” rather giving you a “new customer” contract (along with all the associated commissions, etc).
      With some perseverance, it is normally possible to get them to do this. However, some people decide to bypass all the hassle by hopping out to another provider on PAYG, and then re-joining again as a new customer on their existing network.

      • Thanks Ken,
        I’ve initiated the PAC bounce, from BT > O2 > BT, fingers crossed…
        This is as a result operators preferring to give new customers cracking benefits but not reward existing loyal customers, forcing people to do what I am doing simply to gain the reward. There should be law forcing operators to offer existing customers out of contract the same deals as new. BT guys wouldn’t entertain me, offer any discount, or match the reward, forcing me to do the ‘PAC Bounce’ dance – which they suggested..! But all worth it for 2x£80 reward cards 😉 on their £12/mo 6GB deal (2xSIMS).
        I guess it helps their metrics.
        Happy New Year to you and all, Mark.

  • Hi.
    I’m like leaving from vectone mobile to other provider,but my customer service don’t me response by phone and by email.
    What I’m need doing.
    Many thanks

    • just recently switched my number from vectone and surprisingly it wasnt too painful and they didnt make any funny or odd excuses as to why i couldnt have it, the hardest part is contacting customer services and getting a reply over the phone as it took me no less than 5 attempts of a minimum of 30 minutes only to be cut off for no apparent reason, my advice is persist and eventually you will get what you want!

  • my mobile no transferred from t mobile to lebara yrs ago- pay as you go – the credit expired and as I only make few calls I could see the phone still allowed this; however on 3-9-17 Lebara retrieved my no and after 2.5 mths communication I have it back working on Lebara however they have now suspended service to my phone no and I require a PAC no to shift to another network where there is a cheap unexpired Pay as you go tarriff – Three springs to mind as I intend using internet but I don’t think they allow tethering – any ideas please?

  • For VOXI I can see that you have Vodafone linked for transferring the number on the website, although VOXI is indeed powered by Vodafone, the correct form to use is within the online account at and the customer is also able to choose a transfer date 🙂

  • My mum lives in Portugal and has a sim only pay as you go with Lycra.
    She wants to change provider to EE and we have a new sim only contract.
    We asked Lycra (Portugal) for a PAC number so that she can keep her number but they didn’t know what we were talking about and said there are no PAC numbers.
    Can you get a PAC number from Lycra Portugal?

    • Hi Odette,
      Many thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, the PAC Code process only works for UK-based phone numbers (so most phone numbers that look like with +44 7xxx xxx xxx). You can’t transfer a Portuguese mobile number onto a UK-based network, which is why they’re probably a little confused!
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Arnie,
      A Network Unlock Code (NUC) is required to unlock your handset, so may be required if you want to use your existing handset on another network. However, this is a different process to transferring your phone number between networks, which only requires you to obtain a PAC Code and not a NUC Code.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hello.

    I called ID a few days ago to request a new PAC code as I am changing my phone and network. After 40 minutes of trying to convince me to stay, my baby boy woke up so I had to hang up.

    Staying with ID is not an option, regardless of offers etc so I called today and entered the 4 digit pin code, the same as my first call, but it wasn’t accepted. How do you suggest that I get through to ID and simply get my PAC code in as short and hassle free time as possible?

    • Hi Lianne,
      I’m really sorry to hear about the problems you’ve experienced getting a PAC Code from iD Mobile. If you’re not able to provide the 4-digit PIN code, it should be possible for them to authenticate you another way (e.g. by asking you some questions about your account). Would it be possible to talk to an agent and do this?

  • Having requested transfer of my old number to a new network with a PAC code can I put my old sim back in and continue use my old number until the fatigue transfer?

    • Hi Steve,
      Yes – you can continue using your old SIM card until the phone number transfer actually completes. Once it does, you’ll lose coverage on your old SIM card and you’ll need to switch it over to your new SIM.

  • Virgin refuse to give me Pac code they are saying I owe money for phone that I got in April that after 3weeks switched it self off & never came back on after many attempts to get them to replace handset I looked on interw& this is a common problem with sonyxperua its November now &still no further forward all I want is my number I took from o2 originally

    • Hi Anita,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve encountered obtaining a PAC Code from Virgin Mobile. Unfortunately, I can’t comment regarding the disputed bill with Virgin – this is something you’ll need to chase up with them directly. However, it’s worth pointing out, they aren’t legally allowed to use this as a reason to refuse you a PAC Code. More information here on your legal entitlement to a PAC Code.

  • When you port an existing mobile number to a new SIM card, do you retain the SIM Number, SIM PIN code and PUK from the new SIM card or does the new provider give you new numbers?

    • Hi Eric,
      The PAC Code will only move your phone number over – the SIM card number, PIN and PUK code will not be changed.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Brian,
      Many thanks for your comment. Only the account holder will be able to obtain a PAC number for the account (they’ll need to undergo security checks when requesting the PAC). However, once the PAC Code has been obtained, it’s possible for anyone to use it. Therefore, you could easily transfer the phone number onto an account owned by someone else.
      Hope this helps,

  • I’ve just ported out from ID mobile to Three, and ID Mobile have invoiced me for a “porting charge”. I’ve never heard of this, does anyone know if I have to pay it?

    • Hi Irene,
      Many thanks for your comment. iD Mobile shouldn’t be charging you for a PAC Code. However, they’re within their rights to charge an early termination fee to cover the 30 days after you give notice to end your contract (so my guess is this is what the charge reflects). Saying that, it’s worth double-checking with them directly as to what the charge is for and how it was calculated.

      • i had this too.
        my contract ended in november (2 year contract) i got my pac on 10/11 (date charge was added, then used the pac 3 days later. last bill came in with line rental credit plus porting charge

  • Hi Ken,
    I’m already with O2 but it was in my mother’s name so I opened a new O2 contract. The store didn’t tell me that I would lose my number. Is there a way to get it back?
    Thank you

    • Hi Rebecca,
      Many thanks for your comment. If the old account under your mother’s name is still open, it may be possible for O2 to transfer the phone number to your new account. This is something you should you check directly with O2 Customer Services – you can reach them by dialling 202 from your O2 handset.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Dave,
      Thank you for the heads up about this. It looks like Lebara Mobile has an updated phone number (020 3059 0304) so I’ll update this in the article above. Thanks again for letting me know about this!

  • I received a message saying everything went through with transferring my number. I restarted my phone and I can’t call anybody

    • Hi Khari,
      Thanks for your comment, and sorry to hear about the problems you’re experiencing with your mobile network. In this case, you’ll need to contact the customer services department of your new mobile network, and ask them to investigate the issue for you. This is because it’s an account-specific issue, and requires further investigation from your mobile network’s tech team.
      Sorry I couldn’t be of any more help!

  • Hi, I activated today my new received SIM card after purchasing online a sim only monthly plan. My old contract with different provider is going to finish 5 weeks later, is it possible to transfer the number to Three not right away but first after 4-5 weeks?


    • Hi Peter,
      Many thanks for your comment. Absolutely: you can decide to transfer the phone number whenever you like (so in 5 weeks time is absolutely fine). It’s worth noting however that your PAC Code is only valid for 30 days, so if more than 30 days pass then you’ll need to request a new one.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken

    Any thoughts on the following from 1pmobile t&c?

    You may not be able to transfer the telephone number(s) you have been using on our Service to another provider

    It is unlikely, but we may need to change your voicemail number, mobile phone number or any other number from time to time, or to use a different network or carrier. We will let you know if this is going to affect you.

    Does this mean that if I buy a “gold” number from them, they can steal it back?

    • Hi Mike,
      Many thanks for your comment. My guess is that 1pMobile have just put this clause in place in order to protect themselves, as clause 11c of the terms and conditions states the following with regards to them giving you a PAC Code:

      In the event you decide to move your mobile telephone number to an alternative reseller or carrier, and you have completed any minimum contract term associated with that number (if applicable), then we will provide a porting authorisation code (‘PAC’) to you upon request; the one month’s notice of cancellation that you need to give us (if applicable) will commence on the date we issue the PAC to you.

      In the UK, I don’t think we technically “own” our phone numbers – we’re simply given the right to use it by Ofcom & the mobile networks. These rights can sometimes be amended, like in the past when phone numbers have changed (e.g. London changing from the 0171 and 0181 area codes to 020). I recommend you check directly with 1pMobile to get their full interpretation of the T&C, but my belief is you should still be able to transfer your gold number elsewhere.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi, I have a valid PAC code from EE as I have cancelled my contract. I want to transfer that number to my work phone, which I have had for about 4 months – is this possible? Thanks.

    • Hi Catherine,
      Many thanks for your comment. Absolutely, yes, you can follow the PAC Code process to transfer your personal phone number to a work handset. However, you may need to see if your company will allow you to do this. Also, you should be aware that your company will then “own” your phone number (so in theory, it becomes their property and they don’t need to give the phone number back to you when you leave the company).

  • Can u give three ur PAC code on last day of it expiry date which in my case will be Sunday
    All that because I’m still waiting for my new sim from three
    Thank u

    • Hi Zaki,
      Many thanks for your comment. Your PAC Code is valid for 30 days from issue and must be actioned within that 30-day period. Therefore, it wouldn’t be possible to give the PAC Code to Three on the final day of validity (as by the time Three tries to action the PAC Code as per the timetable here, it would have expired already). If your PAC Code has expired however, you can of course request a new one which will have another 30 days of validity.
      Hope this helps,

  • David Milkins said:

    Three refuse to give it over the phone, state wil send it,l take 48hrs, but still no code ? This was after they ended my cobtract fir no valid reason.

    • Hi David,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve encountered retrieving a PAC Code from Three. It’s potentially worth reminding them of their legal obligations to provide you with a PAC Code within two hours of your request.

  • Adam Clifford said:

    This is perhaps one of the most informative sites with the most effective recommended actions I’ve ever come across.Thank you,Ken.My ongoing headache optimally resolved.

  • Please can anyone assist. I have ported my number from Lycamoblie to another mobile service provider. Will my monthly bundle top-up be cancelled by Lycamoblie as I am unable to cancel this on my phone as the Lycamoblie Sim will no longer register a network. Thank you.

    • Hi Trisha,
      Many thanks for your comment. Yes, unfortunately, once your phone number is ported out to another network, your account will be closed and you’ll lose any remaining credit or bundle allowances. Typically, we’d recommend trying to use up your remaining PAYG credit before transferring your phone number over.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hey
    I got an iPhone SE with Id when it arrive I applied to keep my old number by using keep my number on the Id website and I was wondering how long will it take until my old number is transferred onto my new sim please

    • Hi Donna,
      Many thanks for your comment. After you give your PAC Code to iD Mobile, your phone number transfer will normally complete on the next working day. You can see the table here for more information.
      Hope this helps,

    • Hi Jay,
      Many thanks for your comment. There is no minimum amount of time you’ll need to have been a customer before you’re able to request a PAC Code from your mobile network.
      Hope this helps,

  • Bruce Davies said:

    Hi Ken

    When on contract and phone is “upgraded” to a newer version are the PAC codes the same for each phone , or does each phone have it’s own PAC code.
    Reason for asking, is I want to give my old phone to my daughter but set her up with another provider.
    Thanks for your help

    • Hi Bruce,
      Many thanks for your comment. PAC Codes are tied to an account/phone number rather than to the handset itself. Similarly, the phone number is tied to the SIM card rather than the actual handset. Therefore, it should be possible for her just to insert her SIM card into the iPhone (assuming it’s unlocked). This means there is no requirement to obtain a PAC Code.
      Hope this helps,

  • I’m in the process of trying to transfer my mobile number over from O2 to TPO and having a nightmare as my number seems to be lost somewhere in between and TPO have no clue as to what they are doing I am ringing them every day and getting nowhere there customer service is none existent and so I’m now stuck.

    • Hi Jan,
      Sorry to hear about the problems you’ve had moving a phone number from O2 to TPO Mobile. In the case of a phone number transfer, it’s your new mobile network that is responsible for the switch. Therefore, you’ll need to liaise with TPO to resolve this. Without wanting to be the bearer of bad news, the general feedback I’ve had is pretty negative regarding TPO Customer Services. I’d therefore possibly recommend looking at an alternative network, if haven’t yet passed that stage of no return.

  • Hi Ken, having just bought my first smart phone and planning on using sim only (i.e no contract) is it possible to keep the same number whilst also using two SIM cards – a nano SIM card for my new smartphone whilst still using my old handset and it’s SIM card – effectively the same number for 2 phones.
    My reasoning behind this is I will want to have the ability to use the old phone and great battery life one week whilst needing internet access using a smart phone the next.
    Many regards.

    • Hi Pete,
      Many thanks for your comment. Unfortunately, in the UK, it’s not possible to have the same phone number on two SIM cards. Rather, you can only have one SIM card for each account/phone number, so your best solution would probably be to choose a nano-SIM and then to use a relevant SIM card adapter for your older handset.
      As an aside, I’ve seen the “multiple SIMs for one phone number” working before in Thailand so it is technically possible to achieve this. I suppose there isn’t the same amount of demand for it here, hence why no UK network offers the service.

  • Hi,

    I have gone through the steps and received a text from Virgin on Wednesday to say transfer would be completed that day, now Friday evening and still no transfer. The strange thing is though that calling out to my landline on either sim shows the call is coming from the number i am trying to port. But incoming calls only come through my original provider sim. I’ve been on the phone all day to Virgin and they have been massively unhelpful saying they are working on it. Have you ever heard of this and are you able to give me any advice please?

    • Hi Wayne,
      Thanks for your comment. This is an issue known as a ‘split port’: essentially, it means your phone number hasn’t yet moved over to the new mobile network (hence, why calls are still being received on your old mobile network SIM). With regards to phone calls out of your new Virgin Media SIM card, the phone number that displays to others has been updated already but the actual phone number registered to the SIM card hasn’t yet been updated (you can think of Caller ID as the return-to address on the back of an envelope… it doesn’t necessarily need to be the actual number on the SIM card).
      As usual, responsibility for resolving port issues is with your new provider, so you’ll need to liaise with Virgin to get this resolved.
      Hope this helps and good luck!

      • Thanks Ken and apologies for my late response. I have only just spotted your reply as went straight into junk email. Your reply however was very helpful.

        I finally got sorted but I am very disappointed in Virgin’s customer service as felt I was fobbed off repeatedly until my 8th or 9th call where I finally found someone who both knew how to help and took ownership for the issue. He not only resolved the issue but committed to calling me back each shift until he m knew I was satisfied.

        What I didn’t realise until this weekend is that whilst incoming and outgoing calls are routing properly Virgin are still unable to find my account by the porter number nor does the automated system recognise it so I can’t access my account details. It will be another call for me at some point this week to raise another issue.

        • Hi Wayne,
          Thanks for taking the time to update me on this! I’m glad to hear that things were resolved in the end, though obviously the news about Virgin’s customer service is a huge disappointment. Fingers crossed things will work a bit more smoothly in the future, once the issue with accessing your account has been resolved.

  • Hi, i buy another smart phone and i need nano sim but i want to keep same phone number. I take the new sim but i don’t no to change the number. Can you help me with some instruction? Thank you.

  • Hi, I recently received my pac code for my vodaphone handset, I still have a contract time left with them but am unhappy with the charges and general coverage in my area. I have a talk talk sim and want to port my number to them, I believe they use the vodaphone network for their own and that the sim should work if placed in the handset. My question is this, with outstanding amounts and termination fees, I was going to make a payment arrangement with them to pay that off, can they restrict the phone or number once I am using talk mobile sim?

    • Hi Kerry,
      Thanks for your comment. My first question is whether it makes sense to move from Vodafone to TalkTalk due to poor coverage you’re experiencing. As you said, they both use the same network coverage provider, with TalkTalk also not having access to Vodafone’s 4G network. If anything, a move to TalkTalk Mobile will give you the same or slightly worse coverage than on Vodafone.
      To answer your questions about early termination fees, have a look at my in-depth article here. You should negotiate a suitable arrangement for payments to Vodafone. However, they are not able to hold your phone number hostage as part of this process.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi, my mum just bought a sim only 12 month contract to put in my brothers old phone and everything is fine. However, she did receive a PAC code that she wants to use to transfer her old number to this new Sim/phone, her contract on her old provider ends April 2nd, nearly a month away. With this said, is it possible to use the PAC code now – or should she wait until her old contract ends? Thanks for your time

    • Hi Joel,
      Thanks for your comment. Your mum can decide to use her PAC Code at any time (so you can either use it now, or you can wait until the end of the month). However, as her previous contract ends on the 2nd April, she’ll need to continue paying for that contract until then (her final bill will contain a early termination fee for the period between the account being closed and the 2nd April).
      Hope this helps!

    • And another question, I have old t mobile sim. The sim is already deactivated by t mobile. Is that possible to reactivate the old t mobile sim ????

      • Hi Notwarlal,
        Thanks for your comment. Yes, you can get a PAC Code for any UK mobile network – you just need to follow the instructions listed here.
        With regards to your old T-Mobile SIM card, it unfortunately won’t be possible to get a PAC Code for it now. A condition of being able to get a PAC Code is your account must still be open and your phone number must still be live (in this case, it sounds like the account has already been closed).
        Hope this helps,

        • Michael Gillingham replied:

          Hi Ken I have brought a number off of a company it’s on gif gaff they told me to register the pac number with my service provider 3 uk
          3 uk have Acknowledge this and said it will be done within 48 hours The company I brought the number from can they stop the transfer as I’ve paid them for the number and pac code

          • Hi Michael,
            Many thanks for your comment. The phone number on your old mobile network must still be active on the day when you transfer it over to your new network. So in theory, I think this is probably a yes, though realistically speaking it’s probably unlikely to happen.

  • Hi
    Could I ask, 2 weeks ago I gave 30 days notice to terminate my EE phone contrast. Today I phoned EE to ask for a PAC code. They now say that in order to obtain a PAC Code I must again give 30 days notice starting from today I’E the day they gave me the PAC Code over the phone. Why should I give a second 30 day notice just to obtain a PAC code. Are they right. I have asked them if they were correct but how I understand it I could give my 30 day notice and then request a PAC number at any time before the 30 day expireary date. Please am I correct

    • Hi Tony,
      Thanks for your comment and a very good question! Unfortunately, I’m not a lawyer so I wouldn’t be able to give you a legal interpretation of this. However, common sense would dictate to me that you wouldn’t need to give the 30-days notice again (after all, you’ve already requested it and getting a PAC Code doesn’t really change this). My recommendation would be to simply maintain a copy of your correspondence (especially anything that relates to you having given notice 2 weeks ago). If EE later tries to charge you for those 2 weeks, I’d then dispute those charges with them via customer service or via their complaints channel.

      • Thank you very much Ken. Your answer was very clear and to the point. I am now aware that I was incorrect and will move on accordingly. Kind regards. Tony

    • You’re supposed to be made aware at point of cancellation about the PAC code. If you didn’t request the PAC code at point of cancellation, then yes, you will have to give an additional 30 days notice as you’re essentially changing your mind about keeping the number, therefore changing your mind about the nature of the cancellation. Just like if you changed an order for receiving products, there may be a delay in you getting them.

  • Just thought I’d share my experience of obtaining a PAC from talkmobile. First I tried phoning and had to play 20 questions about why I was leaving before being transferred to the correct PAC code department, where I was mysteriously cut off. When I tried their online webchat I was again given the run around in spite of persistantly asking for a PAC. They then eventually said I couldn’t have a code unless I gave notice to close my account, something which I had assumed you shouldn’t do until you actually had the PAC. I had to play it their way of course to get my PAC after about an hour of “bat and ball” trying to persuade me not to leave. A very frustrating experience.

    This contrasts to t-mobile when I transferred a few years ago, it took 30 seconds to issue a PAC with no sales pressure or trying to avoid issuing it.

    About time OFCOM handed the whole transfer number deal over to the new provider to sort out.

  • I have kept my number for many years and switched between a number of networks.

    I’d now like to switch back to bt who I think I was with 10 years ago – can I take my number back with me? Is there away of checking?

    • Hi Neil,
      Thanks for your comment. There’s absolutely no problem at all transferring your phone number back to the original network (it’s exactly the same process as transferring it to any other network).
      With regards to transferring your phone number to BT Mobile, in reality, you’ll probably find this is actually a different mobile network to the one you were previously on! If you were originally on BT Cellnet, you’ll find that network became O2 in 2002 (it’s now owned by Telefonica which is a Spanish multi-national). There was also previously a BT Business Mobile service that used coverage from Vodafone. The current BT Mobile service is part of EE (a rival network to O2 aka the old BT Cellnet!).
      Hope this helps,

  • Gerry Nicholson said:

    all I can say is THANK YOU!!
    After trawling the net via Apple, o2, three and many more I finally found your site and it is amazing!
    It gives clear, step by step helpful instructions. You’d put Apple to shame!
    Thank you so much. I shall certainly be spreading the word.

  • Ken, can you explain what happens when you PAC port a number multiple times?

    My number started off a very long time ago with Mercury one2one, who then became T-Mobile, and eventually EE.

    I used a PAC code to port from T-Mobile to O2, then when they started the giffgaff MVNO I used a PAC to go from O2 to giffgaff.

    I’m now thinking of joining PlusNet, which are an MVNO on EE.

    So if I use a PAC code, will all my calls get routed from EE to O2 to giffgaff and then to PlusNet? Will porting back around to the network the number originated from cause any problems?

    Thanks 🙂

    • Hi Col,
      Thanks for your comment. There is no issue porting a phone number multiple times: rather, your phone call will only be routed from the original mobile network that issued the number to the mobile network you’re currently on. So in your case, your incoming phone calls would be routed from EE/T-Mobile directly to Plusnet (no need to go through O2, giffgaff or any other network).
      If you’re interested in a bit more background, Ofcom has a long document here about how it all works (this is 112 pages so not the most riveting Christmas read, but section 2 has all the info you need). Also there’s a list here showing which mobile area codes are assigned to each network (presumably your phone number range will be listed here under EE).
      Hope this helps!

  • Hi Ken thanks for all the info. Two things still slightly unclear to me…

    1. What is the diff between a Free Sim Card and a PAYG card ? Aren’t they both free, the diff is just bundle vs traditional PAYG . At least that is what I thought I learned from your pages.

    2. I use my iPhone 4s lightly, currently have £10pm virgin package, and will go to ASDA I think. I think my initial top up will last way beyond a month, possibly several. But, not sure as looking at my mobile usage, somehow I used 1.2gb of data in the last 30 days which astounded me. Calls and texts in last month were 20 hours call and ? texts a sits not totted up at least on iOS 8 which I’m on. I notice though that .37gb was on System Services. Unclear if this is a tot up of all the apps I use like safari, spotify, YouTube, mail, but even if it was in addition to those apps, it still doesn’t add up close to 1.2gb, so I’m at a loss.

    Anyway I think I’ll give it a go and switch to ASDA. I lie, I have one more question. I have recently found a sim data card for my iPad Air1 Cell which for about £25 gives me 2 years worth of data. Excellent! Question is, why can’t I use, somehow, my iPad as a phone with a mob number just like my iPhone ?

    Thanks again, Hugh

    • Hi Hugh,
      Thanks for your comment! To answer your questions in order:
      1. Normally, they actually refer to the exact same thing. On my article about free pay as you go SIM cards, “free” refers to the fact there is no upfront charge for the SIM card itself. In contrast, if you buy the SIM card in store, you’ll often pay between 50p and £5. At some airports, you’ll even pay £10 for the SIM card (and that doesn’t come with any money on it!).
      The two types of Pay As You Go are traditional PAYG and monthly PAYG bundles (you can click through to the relevant articles to find out a bit more).
      2. Interesting! It’s possible the 0.37GB (370MB) is due to background app updates and push notifications (this is data your phone will consume even if you aren’t actively doing anything on it). It does sound like a fairly high figure, however, so might be worth double checking the setting on your phone.
      3. You talked about using your 2-year mobile broadband SIM card inside your handset. In theory, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do this from technical perspective. However, it’s worth checking how much data you have on that SIM and also the terms & conditions that are attached to it. Finally, mobile broadband SIM cards tend not to have call and text functionality which obviously is a fairly key feature for your mobile phone!

      • Hi Ken thanks for the reply, very kind of you. I was also sort of thinking though, why can’t I buy a ‘normal’ phone SIM (ie say the one already in my 4s) and use it in my IPad so my iPad becomes a phone if I want it to ? Have Apple deliberately omitted a phone function so I have to own an iPhone ? If so, I wouldn’t be surprised, but what would be a good way round it ?
        Cheers again, Hugh

        • Hi Hugh,
          There are really two things in play here:
          1) The mobile networks often like to segment their products into two different types of tariff: the first being a normal mobile phone plan (with inclusive minutes, texts & data), the second being a mobile broadband plan (only with data and nothing else). In theory, there’s no real difference between the two except from inclusive allowances and pricing (though sometimes the T&C will place restrictions on the devices you can use, and sometimes phone calls are blocked on a mobile broadband tariff).
          2) Technically, there’s no reason why a tablet like the iPad couldn’t make and receive phone calls like a normal mobile phone. In fact, there are many 7-inch tablets that can make a phone call (for instance, Samsung used to support this on many of their Galaxy Tab devices). With regards to the iPad, Apple probably just thought people would look a bit silly holding it up to their head for a phone call! It’s also missing certain bits of hardware (e.g. the speaker at the top of a phone where you’d normally be listening to a call).
          Hope this helps,

          • Hi Ken, I was thinking really that eg an IPad could just be used as a tabletop phone device, like a speakerphone, like people sometimes do with their phones. But I’m a bit cynical I suppose, I tend to think Apple would rather sell more units of iPhones and IPads than key the phone functionality cross over. Just wanted to confirm what you thought about that. Since on an iPad there is no built in phone, what do people use most for said tabletop speakerphone use…Skype, Facetime, or something ? It would just be simpler if I could use a normal mob number for this type of thing. Cheers Hugh

          • Hi Hugh,
            Definitely agreed that this would be a nice feature (worth suggesting it to Apple perhaps!). I know Samsung used to offer this on a couple of their tablets, so it might be worth investigating some of those as well if you’re interested in this feature.

  • Hi Ken

    Thank you for producing such a useful website with lots of relevant links and supportive information.

    I used your site twice now to see at a glance the steps needed to switch mobile phone networks.

    Much appreciated.

  • Dear Ken,

    This is a brilliant article. I have been struggling to understand the ins and outs regarding mobile phone contract and coverage. Thanks very much for putting together such detailed information whilst remaining so concise.


  • Through my employer I signed up for a 2 year deal via an MVNO which resold 3 packages. The contract had ended and they disconnected me without notice. They said they issued a PAC code but I didn’t receive it. Now they’ve disconnected me and the PAC code they issued has expired is there anyway to get my PAC code reissued to get my number back?

    • Hi Thom,
      Sorry to hear about the problems transferring a phone number from your old network. Unfortunately, if the account has already been disconnected without a PAC Code being actioned, it’s likely your phone number has now permanently been lost. Saying that, it’s worth double-checking this by giving your old mobile network a call and seeing if they’ve held on to your old phone number temporarily.

  • Do i need to wait for my contract end date before i can use my pac code with another mobile provider. I gave 30 days notice yesterday ( 21/10/16) . My contrct end date is 07/11/16.

    • Hi Mark,
      Thanks for your comment. Once you have your PAC Code, you’ll be able to use it at any time. However, depending on your mobile network & the details of your contract, you may still continue to be charged by your old network for a period of 30 days after you gave the notice to them.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken, love the informative website. I’ve had a look, but can’t see an answer, I don’t know if you’ve answered it anywhere. If I’m with a virtual operator, do I still need a PAC to go to the network which that virtual operator runs on? (For example, moving from Asda Mobile to EE or from Tesco Mobile to O2)

    • Hi Phil,
      Thanks for your comment. Yes: you’ll still need a PAC Code when moving to another network using the same coverage provider (so you would need a PAC Code going from ASDA to EE, and going from Tesco to O2). This is because you’re actually transferring your phone number into the service provider’s system as opposed to the coverage provider’s system.
      Hope this helps,

  • Hi Ken, I’ve been on the Three network for years, and requested a PAC from them 4 days ago (2 working days). No sign of a PAC within 1 hour or two! This morning I had a text to say it would be another 7 working days: A total of TWO WEEKS! How can I get them to act? The contact number listed on sites such as this does not work. Only 333 from a mobile – which is fully automated.

    • Hi Paul,
      Thanks for your comment. I also did this recently and requested a PAC Code from Three: they promised to send it by text message but nothing arrived and I finally had to call them up to get the PAC Code on the phone. You should be able to contact Three Customer Services on 333. Alternatively, if you’re using a landline or a handset on another network, you can call them on 0333 338 1001. Assuming it’s already been generated, they’ll be able to give you the PAC Code immediately on the phone.
      Hope this helps,

      • Hi Ken,
        I could find no way to speak to anyone on 333, but visited my local Three shop, where assistant typed in an option including a ‘7’ which was not listed. It took about 20 mins, and three repeat requests for security info, but I was eventually given PAC while on phone. Changeover now sorted! Thanks.

  • Hi, Just a quick question on the process for the day the PAC is triggered and the number is ported.
    Should you leave the original SIM in the phone (the one you are porting from) or the new SIM in the phone (the one you are porting your number too).
    I have heard conflicting advice on this with some people saying you should leave the old SIM in place until it stops working then replace with new SIM, whilst others say you should run with the new SIM in the phone as it needs to be active for the switch to occur.
    I was planning on leaving my old SIM in the phone until it deactivates (thus letting me keep getting calls/texts on my number) and then putting the new SIM into the phone which i figured would then start up with my number activated on it.
    Is this a reasonable approach?

    • Hi Andy,
      Thanks for your comment. My personal recommendation would be to keep the original SIM card inside the handset (as you suggested in your message). On the day of the transfer, you’ll lose coverage on the old SIM card – at that point you can switch it over to the new SIM card. As you say, doing it this way around will ensure you always have access to incoming calls and text messages on the number.
      There’s no need for the new SIM card to have coverage when the transfer occurs. It must be an “active” SIM card that you’re transferring your phone number to, but only in the sense that your account has been set-up and that the SIM card hasn’t been blacklisted for another reason (e.g. if the SIM card was reported lost or stolen).
      Hope this helps,

  • dear giffgaff,
    I come from Singapore and would like to retain my Singaporean number, as I’ll be here for four months. I currently already have a giffgaff SIM and have been using it. However, I would like to go back to using my old number as this would be useful for online transactions and so on. Is there a way to do this? Many thanks!

    • Hi Marylyn,
      Thanks for your comment. This is actually an unofficial website maintained by Ken Lo (so I’m not a representative of giffgaff) but I can try and answer the question for you anyway.
      Unfortunately, it’s possible to transfer a UK-based mobile number over to giffgaff. It isn’t possible to transfer your Singaporean number. It might be worth having a look to see if there are any call-forwarding services available in Singapore. Alternatively, you could roam on your Singaporean SIM card whilst you’re here in the UK (if you’re just using it to receive text messages I presume there should be no charge for this service).

  • Hi,

    I have requested a PAC code from three.
    Will I be charged for 30days once I use the pac code or just for the days I used the contract?

    • Hi there,
      I believe your final bill will cover 30 days of usage from the date when you obtained your PAC Code. This is regardless of when your phone number actually transfers over.
      Hope this helps,

  • I had already transferred my number from TPO to Life Mobile a couple of months ago, and I wanted to transfer my wife’s number to them as well.
    About 3 weeks ago we got the LIFE sim and the PAC code from TPO. We were told it would take about 5 days for the transfer. So on a Tuesday we give LIFE the pac code, and on Friday the TPO sim goes off. The new LIFE sim is put in the phone so that the old number can get transferred.
    When mine was done, the number transferred within hours of the old one switching off, however with my wife’s number, it has been 2 weeks and the number still has not been transferred.
    We have called numerous times, and made complaints. First they say there was a backlog, then they said that process is done in France and there was a public holiday, then they said they don’t know.

    My wife is the main carer for an elderly relative and she relies on having her original number. She gets calls from nurses, doctors, and other carers. This has caused a lot of stress and issues because she cannot be contacted. At first we thought the number would change so we didn’t supply the nurses with our temporary number. They too have enough to deal with.

    Surely in this day and age where, transactions are instant, why would it take 2 weeks (and still not done) to migrate some numbers from one IT system into another? There should not be a 2 week backlog.
    We can’t even redirect calls to another number because the original is not recognized.
    Is there any way to get here original number back.

    • Hi Sanj,
      Sorry to hear about the problems transferring your phone number from TPO to LIFE Mobile. I’m really not sure what has gone wrong here, but it’s now the responsibility of LIFE Mobile to process your phone number transfer. I’d recommend making a complaint to them in writing as this may help to expedite the solution of your problem.
      Good luck,

      • The porting problems here seems to be a Life Mobile problem that’s becoming clear is affecting a lot of punters.

        My personal experience of porting a number was 5 days from start to finish porting from Delight to Life but I was reading on Digital Spy this month of someone having their number taking a month to transfer.

        I though in my case the problem was that Delight piggy backs on the EE network as does Life but I’ve seen so many cases of porting problem with Life they surely are doing something wrong in their porting process.

        Porting problem besides the Life Mobile network once all the porting is done is a first class service and just to add their customer services department when you ring them talk in perfectly clear English and that’s worth 5 stars in my book nowadays.

  • Hi i understand that postoffice mobile are closing down. They are doing the decent thing and returning unused credit although you do have to request this on the website.

  • Hi, I am a PAYG customer with TPO, on the 14/07/16 I lost service, the customer service team are saying this is due to the network being upgraded to 4G and unfortunatly some customer have lost service the issue is being looked into by there network provider, and engineers are working to resolve.
    TPO are migrating to 4G on the 27/07/16 do you think there will be any chance of getting my old number back once the migration has taken place?
    TPO are unable to offer me a PAC code as my number is showing out of service, is there any other way I can get my old number back?
    They have sent me a 4G sim to activate using the sim/swap process but this fails to work.
    Any guidance/help you can offer would be very much appreciated.

    • Hi Steve,
      Sorry to hear about your problems with TPO Mobile. Unfortunately, only TPO will be able to help you out with this. Sorry – I really wish I could do more but I don’t have access to the account information only they’d be able to access! It would be their responsibility to transition your service over to the new TPO service running on coverage from Three.

      • Hi Ken, thanks for getting back to me, It has now been 3 weeks since the loss of my number despite calls and emails to TPO can’t say I’m making any progress, they have sent me a new sim card and transfered my old credit plus £25 ( have’nt tried it yet as bought a Tesco sim).
        I’m desperate to get my old number number back but TPO are saying they are working with their partner to try to recover the number hence cannot issue me with a PAC code.
        Is their any other course of action I can take? I would email their CEO if I could find his address..
        I don’t think OFCOM will deal, perhaps the Press…any idea’s Help.