Mobile Phone PAC Code Hell

I'm transferring my mobile phone from work to myself. This is an easy process: You call your existing mobile supplier and request a PAC code. You then give this to your new provider and they transfer your number over. Or so they claim...

First I went to the Vodafone shop on Cheapside, central London. After queing for 10 minutes, we went through the whole shooting match of which tariff, which phone etc etc. The chap even got the phone out of the store room and showed me it, checked the box contents etc. Then he asked me for my PAC code...

Then we waited...

Then I waited as he phoned someone to check. Then he told me that actually I don't need a PAC code, I need to call Vodafone and ask for a 'transfer of ownership' form. He sent me away, empty handed.

Clearly from a customer service point of view, this was a disasterous mistake for Vodafone. Firstly, they should do everything they can to keep you in store and on Vodafone. Secondly, why don't they have these forms? As it turns out, it's just a duplicate form, which we could have got filled out in the store (actually, my employer needs to fill in a bit, but if I've got my half of it done, I'm well on the hook and far less likely to go elsewhere).

So anway, shunned by Vodafone, I decide I'll go where phones have happier lives: The Carphone Warehouse (Clapham Junction, London). I speak to Maria, who was brilliant. She went through all the things I might need to know, showed me the upgrade of my phone, explained how it was better etc etc. When I asked her what other phones I could have, she was a bit vague, really resorting to asking me if I had my eye on anything. Anyway, we settled on a phone and a deal, with 02 I might add. She did a credit check, which curiously wasn't perfect (as it usually is), but never the less, I was ready to go.

Then we try the PAC code.

Then we wait...

Then I wait as she calls for help. She then tells me that the PAC code is invalid, perhaps because it's one code for three phone numbers. She tells me I need to call Vodafone to sort it out.

Again, I leave a phone shop empty handed. However, she's given me a sheet with all the details written on it, so in theory I can walk right back in and save a whole load of time. She's left me thinking Vodafone are crap and the Carphone Warehouse are alright.

I go home - big mistake - I should have just called Vodafone right there. Anyway, I call them, and they tell me the PAC code is valid, and has been activated to transfer my number (in about five days time).

I then call the Carphone Warehouse in Clapham Junction. No answer. I find another number for them. No answer. Pretty rubbish for a shop that does phones!

Then I call their central 'customer care' centre (on an 0870 number, so it ain't cheap), and speak to Carl. He and I go through a few things, and then he check the dreaded PAC code with me.

Then I wait...

And some more....

In fact, about 12 minutes more...

Then Carl tells me that his team are saying the PAC has been activated but definitely not by the Carphone Warehouse, so they're powerless to do anything. He explains I need to call Vodafone to sort it. He gave me his direct number though, so at least I don't have to navigate the perils of the phone system.

I call Vodafone, and speak to Philip. He clearly sensed my annoyance, and turned on the charm. I ask him to check my PAC code. Unfortunately, even though you can call Vodafone Business Support until 7pm, the PAC people go home at 5.30, so there's nothing he can do until next morning.

So anyway, in the morning I call Vodafone again, and again get bounced over to the Carphone Warehouse, who bounce me back to Vodafone, who (despite my pleading) bounce me back to the Carphone Warehouse. This time, they spend about 45 minutes investigating. I get a call back, telling me basically what I heard the first time - the PAC transaction is underway, but definitely, 100% certainly nothing to do with the Carphone Warehouse. They ask me if I've used the PAC anywhere else... Oh yes, in the Vodafone shop, when it wasn't even needed.

Anyway, as if this isn't tedious enough, a call to Vodafone sorted it out (after another 10 minutes). Vodafone, despite having told me the opposite earlier issued me with a new PAC, having cancelled the old one. Finally! Now it's finally all underway... New phone and contract should be with me next week.

Needless to say, I'm not at all happy with Vodafone. In fact, I emailed Arun Sarin, CEO of Vodafone with the whole sordid story. I found his email address here (along with numerous others). I'm not expecting much, especially as I've left now, but hey, at least he'll be feeling it a bit.

Update 23/11: I just got a call from a chap at Vodafone. He said "I will do anything I can to keep you on the Vodafone network". Sadly, he's too late, but he seemed really switched on and keen to make it all good. He's given me his personal number to call when my O2 contract expires.

Update 15/02/09: I've just had a world of pain with The Carphone Warehouse/O2. It turns out their Loyalty Department guard their PAC Codes, and will do almost anything to keep you if you're unhappy. Call them on 0870 111 7200 (extension x442 2100).

Submitted by coofercat on Thu, 2005-11-17 19:19


My vodafone sim been cut-off

How do i get it back on again,(:neutral:) Help

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Sat, 2006-04-08 15:24.
online billing

Vodafone customer care has been bad from day one.
I have been with them for over 5 years, however i cant get onto on-line billing because i get a paper bill. I dont want to be charged for a paper bill, i would like to use the online billing, but i cant because they insist on me paying via direct debit.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Wed, 2006-05-03 00:18.
O2 - load of cr@p!

Forget that bunch of money grabbing *bastards* at O2 - thieving bunch of scum sucking bottom dwellers that they are!Go back to Vodafone, and ram it down O2's neck!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on Thu, 2006-05-25 14:25.
vodafone orange theives

Vodaphones expensive tariffs and hopeless customer services forced me to switch suppliers after 5 years with them. I went over to orange who had a good deal no paper bills everything can be done on-line, plus carry over minutes made it attractive, then came the bombshell there is a 3rd party mobile number that can be accessed to dial abroad you make the call and minutes are deducted from your bundle out of the blue i received a huge bill i phoned orange to ask them why, they told me that the 3rd party number was now not included in the bundle any longer, my argument was that as far as i was concerned i was dialling a mobile number whice by law you had told me i can use with my bundle and without warning you have gone back on your deal they came out with some baloney about changing the contract at there discretion etc etc, i was on there webpage at the time and i asked them why there was no mention of it on there web page, the guy tried to look it up but with no luck the outcome was that they allowed me to cancel my contract in month 8 of an 18 month contract. today i went and got a deal on the 3 network hope to get my pac code and migrate over to 3 keeping my fingers crossed beetween i was on 02 who i found a very good service, i think vodafone are a bunch moneygrabbing bastards who have no care for any of there customers and there tariffs are ridiciously overpriced i will never use them again orange could have screwed me but didn't so i would use them again.

Submitted by cat (not verified) on Tue, 2007-07-31 22:47.
i wouldnt touch a vodafone

i wouldnt touch a vodafone tarrif again if they paid me 30 a month to own 1. out of most of the networks ive been, O2 is the better 1, and cheaper.

i wouldnt piss on vodafone if it was on fire, in fact i probablly would throw petrol on it just to make sure it dont come back! t-mobile and 3 are the only 1's worse than vodafone

Submitted by Anonymous user (not verified) on Wed, 2008-04-02 14:30.
indeed. bunch of arse holes!

indeed. bunch of arse holes!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Sat, 2008-09-20 15:25.
PAC Codes

i work in phones4u, pac codes cause a whole load of grief for us every day, althought the networks are regulated by offcom to provide the pac to the customer that doesnt mean they will infact supply the correct code, giving them time to contact the customer again with more offers to try and save the business. This in turn makes the stores look bad to the customer when the number doesnt transfer over and we spend more time trying to resolve the issue than selling phones as were paid to do. This costs all the phone shops alot of money every year trying to resolve the issues, not just phones4u are suffering from this. Why is it so important that you need to take your number with you? if its for business then surely you can just pay some money for an upgrade and stop being so tight. failling that you should take a new number and reap the benifits that the networks offer to new customers. As for transfer of ownership, thats a fairly simple procedure, involving you and the current owner contacting the network provider and swaping the details over, a credit check later and your done. Its very unfortunate that you have dealt with some of the more idiotic of staff, that frankly are giving us all a bad name.

Submitted by Dave (not verified) on Wed, 2006-08-16 13:05.

I sold 17k of business last month and only 3k was processed due to bloody pac codes not being released. Surely the network should give the code immediately.
I agree its a pain but my best friend has her own business and 6 mobiles. They will not change tel numbers as all their business stationery has the mobile numbers on as does their website and vehicles, so asking a business to change their mobile numbers is a definite no no unless its a 1 handset sole trader which gets you no gp worth taking anyway

Submitted by NATHAN FOLLOWS (not verified) on Sat, 2006-08-26 12:51.
Possibly Fake Comment

I've had a report that the above comment was not posted by Nathan Follows. I don't have an easy way to verify if it was or wasn't, or indeed if the content of the comment is correct/genuine.

As always: Be careful with things you read on the Internet ;-)

Submitted by coofercat on Sun, 2006-10-08 08:37.
Stop being so tight?

Are you serious?

1. All of my business cards have my number on them.
2. All of the recruitment consultants my CV is with have my number.
3. Everyone I know has this number.

It's not about being "tight", it's about cost effective choices.

Secondly, why should I stay with a network if I think someone else can provide a better service or deal? Just stumping up the cash for shoddy service (I'm looking at YOU, O2) doesn't give phone companies ANY INCENTIVE to provide a decent service?

Phones4U? Not only are your adverts intensely annoying, so, it would seem, are your staff.

Submitted by Karla (not verified) on Tue, 2006-10-31 14:42.
Karla, you are 100% spot

Karla, you are 100% spot on.

The staff of Phones4u are incredibly annoying!!!

I got a contract from them, and decided I hated the phone and wasn't happy with the service I was getting, so went to take it back within the 14 days. They wouldn't cancel it. They made up some cock n bull story that the service was down and I had to go back at the weekend. So I did, and all the girl did was go on and on and on trying to get me to stay with them. The more I told them I wanted to cancel it, the more they tried to get me to stay, the more they did that, the more frustrated I got. Then they fobbed me off onto another staff member, who I had to go through the whole thing with again on why I wanted to cancel, then she started trying to get me to stay. Not only was that bad enough... they then put me on the phone to someone who tried the same bloody thing!!! :@

Submitted by Anonymous Duck (not verified) on Tue, 2007-07-24 17:24.
Reply to dave at phones 4u

Thanks mate youjust saved me time going to phones 4u cos if thats the attitude its a wonder u do any bussines. i run my own small bussiness and it is imperitve i keep my number as it is on all my advertising. if i decide to swap my mobile supplier then i expect to keep my number if thats too much hassle for you why dont you go stack shelves in a supermarket or maybe that would piss you off cos people keep buying things and you might have to do some work

Submitted by HOBO (not verified) on Mon, 2008-09-08 23:03.
PaC codes

I can get most pac codes I have run this service for my clients both corperate and private for 5 years now and as long as we have all your details correct I have never had a problem even when the sim has been lost in the post am happy to help So please feel free to contact me

Submitted by G (not verified) on Sat, 2006-09-02 07:29.
Pac Codes

What happens when a pac codes expires and is not used, Do you still remain in contract even though you asked for the contract to be cancelled?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Mon, 2006-10-09 14:10.
p a c

i need a pac , you can help?

Submitted by mick (not verified) on Mon, 2006-10-23 19:46.
Obtaining my pac code from Orange

Dear g,

I have been told by Carphone Warehouse today that I need to get my existing pac code from Orange in order to retain my existing phone number. I saw your claim that you can get this and thought I would give it a shot!
How much is the fee?

Many thanks

Submitted by James Mc Gillicuddy (not verified) on Sat, 2006-11-11 16:53.
pac code

hello i am wondering if you can help me i got a phone from ebay and my husband didnt check what net work it was on so now i have a t mobile plhone and an o2 sim card the phone is a d600e wud u be able to give me the pac code plz

Submitted by lorraine steward (not verified) on Tue, 2007-02-06 14:45.
PAC Code / Phone Unlocking

You've got two choices:

1) Get the phone unlocked (can be done by those dodgy looking people who advertise at your local news agent)
2) Get your O2 sim moved to T-Mobile - you need to ask O2 for the PAC code, which you then give to T-M when you start your contract (or buy your pay as you go sim-only package).

Hope that helps...?

Submitted by coofercat on Wed, 2007-02-07 03:50.
PAC codes

If only it was that simple. Please help me out! Last month I was dragged into a Phones4U outlet and they convinced me to switch over to Orange, but I had to get a PAC code.
I followed their instructions to send T Mobile a letter requesting it and they sent me a bill totalling £100.
I went back to Phones4U to cancel my new contract, notice that I'm paying for two phones a month - £50 altogether. They said they could lower my T Mobile bill as long as I don't use the phone thereafter. It was to commence after my next bill so I got a 'Gesture of Goodwill' to cover up my new contract for one month until my T Mobile bill came.
I sent T mobile the PAC code request and they sent me another bill. So I phoned T mobile up and they said I'd have to keep paying until my contract ends. The Phones4U manager won't even speak to me anymore and I'm trying to cancel my new contract but I have to pay to do that as well! I get the impression that this is going to go on until my old contract ends and I'd be paying money for nothing...

Submitted by Emogirl (not verified) on Sat, 2007-04-21 18:34.
PAC Code

Hi I require a PAC code for 07738709139. Can you help?


Submitted by Kam (not verified) on Sat, 2007-05-05 09:54.
carphone warehouse - callcenter inside info.

heres a bit of inside info.if you email the CEO of Carphone warehouse, Charles Dunston guess where the email goes?Charles Dunstone?Nope, straight to the high level complaints team.He never even knows its been sent.The email address was set up for those people who feel that they want their complaint escalating higher and is designed to give them a false sense of hope that their complaint is being listened to by someone more important, when in actual fact its the same department as any other complaint. Its the same old story with most companies now.they take on so many staff and give them all a small piece of the job, one person for picking up the phone and another for saying hello, then another to answer the query etc, that nobody actually knows anything about the job, which means that nobody actually can fix the problem 70% of the time and poor customer service is the result.The best bit, having worked for many of these dreaded meat market/ call centers is that they all have the same goal, to be the best customer service ever.Guess what carphone warehouses is?First contact Delight.hahahahaha, what a joke, ive worked there and nearly ever customer had rang time and time and time again for even the simplest query, and had been given different advice every time. For those uninitiated with working in a call center (they are all basically the same) heres another piece of annoyance.All staff on the phones are given targets and stats to chase and whilst some of these are necessary others work directly against the poor worker.The poor guy on the phone whose best intentions might well be to take ownership and fix YOUR problem is often paid performance related pay based on how many calls he/she takes and how long they are on not ready etc .In the case of carphone warehouse this ammounts to £3000P/Aper person in bonus to do their job properly.but heres the best bit.Whilst they are told to provide first contact delight and spend as long as it takes on the phone to do so there is something called A.H.T that threatenes to loose the poor persons bonus if they do.A.H.T (Average handling time)how long across the day on average did the person spend on the phone per call.Carphone warehouses target for this is no longer than 3.59 per call.Considering most queries take this long after going through DPA etc and the fact that many people have more than one phone and number this puts added pressure on the call handler to fob you off and take the next call so that they are not paying the price through their bonus for helping save you grief.stats work against good customer service.People wouldn't mind waiting for the phone to be answered a little longer if they knew that when they eventually did get through there would be no rush to fix their problem and provide first contact delight as they are asked to do.Train better and give them the toold to provide what your asking charles...

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Mon, 2006-10-02 09:50.
Atthe end of the day all

Atthe end of the day all these comments just come down to a normal business making money.

As a CEO you would expect ANY business to want to retain their customers.
You would lose money if you dont.

Getting your PAC is a legal responsibility of the network. How they intend to do it, is entirely their choice and the harder they make it to obtain... the better for them as most people will forget to claim it, or not realise that until u claim you are responsible for the contract until cancelled or ported and these expire after 31 days.

If you require a pac, the best option is to send a letter in as you always get this in and they must give it within 7 days.

In regards to AHT - Aagain, they bonus and benefit from this in many ways, the more customers you can help quicker, the better the service for the customer. - the less staff we have to employ etc etc. - again benefits business.

Its all about companies, you are simply a payer of a service YOU use.

Submitted by jay (not verified) on Wed, 2006-10-04 14:42.
Carephone Warehouse: What?

I'm around upgrade time, so asked at my local Carphone Warehouse store. I was pretty much told to get my PAC Code and become a new customer. However, I was told it can 'sometimes take up to a month' to get the PAC Code out of them. They also hinted at dumping my number and getting a new one to avoid that problem.

Given that most mobile operators are heavily pushing 18 month contracts, it looks to me like they're doing a lot of things for themselves and not for their customers. As Jay says, this is just businesses making money, but as consumers we should chase the best deals for us (not necessarily the best deals for the companies that sell to us).

Submitted by coofercat on Tue, 2006-10-17 07:50.
nokia 6280

Hi i currently have a nokia 6280 on the 3 pay n go network its not open to any other network but i also havea 02 chip in another mobile if i get a pac code from 3 and transfer it to my o2will my o2 sim work in my 6280 unother words will i be able to put 02 sims in my fone other than just the three chip cos i aint paying £115 quid just for a num hahapls help i dont know if i brought this accross properly im sure youll work out what i mean PLS HELP ME

Submitted by james (not verified) on Fri, 2006-10-27 02:00.
tbh i didn't have a problem

tbh i didn't have a problem with PAC codes... i got my new phone and contract with t-mobile from their website, i then had this phone along side my old orange number.When it was a month to go 'til the end of my contract i called orange asking for a PAC code, they sent it to me 2 days later, i then rang t-mobiles customer services and told them i wanted to transfer my old number and they took my PAC code and then confirmed to me that it would be transfered in 7 days time...

Submitted by rick (not verified) on Thu, 2006-12-07 14:21.
pac code

I've just come off mymobile to vodafone having requested my pac number as I wish to change from them as my service provider. As the conversation proceeded to a Hyid ( the name provided) the call was cut off.Is this corporate directive? I am not an anonymous being, just want honourable action. What can be done? to change this contemporary lack.
Peter Mannox

Submitted by peter (not verified) on Thu, 2007-01-18 23:15.
can you use a pac code to

can you use a pac code to transfer your number within the same network ( eg, from pay as you go to pay monthly )

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Sat, 2007-01-27 00:26.
No need

There's no need to get a PAC code for this - just speak to your provider and they'll sort it for you.

Submitted by coofercat on Sat, 2007-01-27 12:09.
This is not necessarily the

This is not necessarily the case: I am in the process of transferring my existing 3 pay-as-you-go number to a 3 monthly contract SIM and was initially told that this would be impossible. However, one threat of cancelling my monthly contract later (amazing how this always works...) and I was given a PAC, but told to transfer to another network (luckily I have a few different SIMs lying around the place) and then use their PAC to port back to 3! A complicated process, but at least it's a work-around. I should have my old pay-as-you-go number on a new 3 contract within a week, though we'll see if it's really that straightforward...

Submitted by Simon (not verified) on Tue, 2007-07-03 14:48.

I just got of the phone from vodafone asking for my pac code,the told me i had to pay the rest of my contract up before they give the code to me,anyone else heard such bull s**t!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Anonymous coward (not verified) on Sat, 2007-02-17 18:59.
Quite Possible

I have no direct experience, but remember, when you first joined Vodafone, you signed a contract for (say) 12 months. That basically guarantees them a certain income over the contract term, so in return, they may have given you a free/reduced price phone, headset, texts, minutes, reduced line rentals, or whatever. You can't then expect to use the service for a few months and just simply walk away, because you haven't yet held up your end of the deal.

You may find that after your contract ends it becomes a good deal more attractive to stay with Vodafone than to leave (although you'll have to sign up for another contract term). Read the small print.

Submitted by coofercat on Sat, 2007-02-17 21:41.
Absolutely. You agreed to X

Absolutely. You agreed to X months, you cna either wait until your contract is up, or pay them the balance to exit early, Nothing wrong with that!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Mon, 2007-03-05 12:54.
pac - ownership of number

I reckon that in theory you SHOULD be able to get the PAC from Vodafone:
You are the legal owner of the mobile telephone phone number and should not be blocked from obtaining the PAC for it by Vodafone.

The remaining contract with Vodafone is a SEPARATE* matter.

(*When you enter into a contract with a mobile telephone service provider, the contract is for LINE rental. YOUR telephone number is assigned to their LINE.)

Of course, you are obliged to honour the terms of that contract, but for Vodafone to block you from obtaining the PAC is unlawful.

Vodafones' point of view could quite reasonably be that once they have given you the PAC, you may default on the remaining contract payments. I would recommend that you assuage Vodafones' fears by keeping the direct debit (which you would have presumably had in place)running until the contract ends.

However, I reiterate, Vodafone (or any other provider) should not be blocking any customers from moving their numbers over to different service providers. Not only is it unlawful, it is also sloppy business practise.

All of the big service providers, in partnership with retailers like Phones4u and Carphone Warehouse, focus on signing up new customers, wooing them with offers to buy out their remaining contracts, free handsets, free minutes, free WAP etc etc.

They're great at doing this but soon after, a few months down the line, the honeymoon is over and the customer is forgotten about. Preoccupied with getting new customers, they neglect their existing customer base. This is the stage when customers get tempted by such offers.

With no incentives to be loyal to one provider over another, who can blame them?

It is actually quite pathetic for service providers to drag their heels where PAC's are concerned, like it's a last deperate attempt to hang onto a customer. I feel sorry for the call centre staff who have to turn on the ice-cold patter when dealing with PAC requests.

To finish off, I was approached by a 'sales associate' from phones4u today, offering me a Samsung D900, £6o cash, two cheques to me for £105 each, in three and six months repectively, and a nice sounding tariff,for me to change over to Orange - a very handsome offer, I'm sure you would agree. After researching on the net I've decided I'm going to save myself a load of heart-strain and stick with my current provider, T-Mobile!

The D900 is old hat anyway. I'm gonna wait til Nokia bring out the one with hover-board/bread-bin/tea-cosy as standard.

Submitted by Little Ern (not verified) on Wed, 2007-04-11 23:00.
3 are doing the same to me.

3 are doing the same to me. They won't let me get a PAC code until I pay up my contract. I told them that I brought the number to them from a different network, and I wanted to keep the contract just get a PAC code for my current number. They refused point blank to do it.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Tue, 2007-07-24 17:32.
Yes but....

pac codes are only valid for 30 days so if you have more than 30 days left on your contract then in their eyes it would be useless to you!

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Fri, 2008-06-27 18:10.
pac code What a service

I recently moved my number to orange and then wasn't happy they said they couldn't let me have the pac code for 6 months that was until a very nice man from
got on the phone and sorted it out for me

Submitted by J Kerrs (not verified) on Sat, 2007-02-17 23:18.
arggggggggggggg iam totaly

arggggggggggggg iam totaly going to virgin on the vodafone site they donteven mention KEEPING ur old number arrgggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg
i hate them

Submitted by tom and jerry (not verified) on Thu, 2007-03-15 19:18.
£35 for a PAC to leave Vodafone.

A nice helpful man at Vodafone has just quoted me £35 for a PAC to leave and take my number. OFCOM state that it should be well under £25.

I've just asked them to confirm the events since I wrote requesting termination of the contract, or to state their understanding of same, so that I can forward them to OFCOM.

An unsuccessful outcome will provoke me into a lifetime mission to deter all of my friends and acquaintances from dealing with Vodafone.

If this was the first time that they had goofed or appeared unhelpful, I might have overlooked it but it is not.

Submitted by I hate Vodafone (not verified) on Tue, 2007-03-27 22:47.
PAC code from Orange

I'm considering switching to O2 after 10 long years with Orange.Mainly because I can get a package better suited to my calling/text habbits and save myself about 10 quid a month.I've got 2 months of my Orange contract to go and in order to get my PAC from them I need to buy out of that contract which will cost me about 25 notes.

Since I'm a tight wad I'll wait another month and then start checking the available tarrifs all over again, who knows things might be even more beneficial to my requirements in a month or so. From what I can see onthe O2 website switching should be no big deal, but reading the above comments doesn't fill me with a whole lot of confidence that it'll be a stress free transferal come the time.

Submitted by PRC (not verified) on Wed, 2007-03-28 08:30.
My dealings with Vodafone

I've had a week of trying to get an upgrade with Vodafone, and I won't say it's been easy. It ended up with someone at Vodafone offering me the handset at a discounted price when I asked for my PAC code to move to o2. I took him up on the offer expecting it to arrive the next day. 2 days later I phone them up and they profess to have no knowledge of the situation!

I then demanded my PAC code and signed up to o2, of course emailing as I read here because I felt it needed addressing and I also have liked the service Vodafone provided for many years. I got a response an hour after my o2 signing from a very reasonable man at Vodafone and after talking through I have decided I will cancel my o2 contract (love those 14 day trial periods) and stay with Vodafone afterall. The service they have provided for years has been excellent, it's just a shame that sometimes things don't go perfectly. The fact they were so reasonable in the end kept my custom, but it's a shame that sometimes you have to step up to get the best service.

Submitted by Jason Lock (not verified) on Wed, 2007-04-04 18:17.
pac code for transfer to pay as you go??

Ive been on contract for many years,which has now expired, but am now going on to pay as you go as Im out of the counry for most of the year. Can I get a PAC code from T mobile to transfer my existing number to a pay as you go contract please?
Is there a charge for this?

Submitted by barry (not verified) on Sun, 2007-05-06 18:04.
You May Not Need It

You may not need a PAC code, if you stay with the same provider. As far as I know, most providers automatically put you on pre-pay as soon as the contract ends (and last payment is taken). You shouldn't need to pay anything for this to happen.

Be careful though, an unused number on pre-pay will be deactivated. Ensure that your phone gets switched on regularly. You don't really need to actually use the phone to stay activated, so long as the provider gets the logon signal from the phone. The safest bet is to send a text message or two every month or two. Otherwise they'll assume the SIM is lost and deactivate it (and you'll lose your number).

Submitted by coofercat on Sun, 2007-05-06 22:11.

Just ref 'anonymous cowards' earlier question. I too am waiting for my code to transfer over. I gave it to the new provider, they said 8-10 days to port over. It is now the 10th day and no change over. My 30 days to use the pac code are up tomorrow. I cancelled my contract 1 month ago, so why does my old provider say in the 'pac code text' that if it isn't used bythe 30 days they'll keep billing me. I have cancelled my contract and given them 1 months notice, surely they should bill me up to this date(30 days after cancellation) and not a day after, even if my pac hasn't fully ported over. Any confirmation on this or advice please...

Submitted by Romo100 (not verified) on Wed, 2007-05-23 20:01.
PAC code to move companies

My 12 month O2 contract has expired with Carphone Warehouse.I am told that I can't transfer to another O2 deal at Dialaphone?

Anyone verify this?

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Tue, 2007-06-05 20:59.
pac code

could you help me i need a pac code i fond vodafone for one and they gave me just a number

Submitted by frances (not verified) on Thu, 2007-06-07 21:33.
Leaving Carphone Warehouse - O2

They promise you the world when they want you sign up....but try and leave...jeez!
My 12 month contract is up at the Carphone Warehouse O2 and I was constantly bombarded by them saying I was due an upgrade.
They offered me a shiney new Nokia 8600 exclusive to Carphone warehouse (CW), BUT I would have to increase my monthly line rental or pay for the phone...sod that for a game of soldiers, and I told them I wasn't overly impressed with this and if they couldn't offer me that phone without any extra charge, I'll walk.They never got back to me.Anyway I had a look for a phone that I liked, which CW only did in red (ugh), but other networks did in a kinda blackish brown.So I called CW to ask for my PAC code...panic ensued....why do you want to leave...because you don't do the phone I want...anyway after what seemed a few hours on the phone, CW said they could source me the phone and came up with a reasonable deal, supposedly lowering the monthly cost to me....the phone was due to be delivered within the wasn't, but eventually I managed to get them to deliver it to my local CW store...after again threatening to leave.Today I went to pick up my nice shiny phone...opened the box...and there was a red phone staring back at me!What a surprise....I camped in the shop using their phone to yell at Customer Services (sic) at CW...only to be told that the guy who said he could source me the phone(his name is Alan Graham)was I basically told them where they could shove their phone and wanted my PAC code...Was told that could only be given if I wrote to them, and they would send.My view on this is that it is a load of bollocks, but I have written anyway.So please beware...they will feed you tons of crap but make up your mind and don't be persuaded by their deals!

Submitted by Richard (not verified) on Sat, 2007-06-09 16:14.
I agree...

I stayed with CW+O2, but they do indeed try all kinds to get you to stay. It ended up being sport for me in the end, with me asking for all kinds of impossible deals. I got fed a load of rubbish too, which meant that the deal I thought I was going to get didn't exist by the time they were going to give it to me (and so on!). Actually, they did okay, but like yourself, only after quite a bit of haggling (on an 0870 phone number!).

It seems to me that phone sales is too high pressure, so people will say just about anything to keep you on the hook. Of course, once it comes to delivery time, they're unable to keep their end of the bargain. I think you're right in sticking to your guns on that though.

As for PAC codes, I think it's normal protocol to have to ask in writing. People posting above claim to be able to get them over the phone, but if you do it in writing you're far more guaranteed a response.

Submitted by coofercat on Sat, 2007-06-09 16:49.
orange pac codes

if you ring 450 there's not mention of PAC codes, and the customer service is never avaliable

Submitted by irate orange user (not verified) on Wed, 2007-06-20 14:53.

I'm also looking for PAC information from Orange. Needle-in-a-haystack stuff here. I can't even find a generic customer helpline so I can talk to humans and not computerised robot people!

If you find any answers for gentleman/lady above please tell me also.

Submitted by another irate orange user (not verified) on Thu, 2007-06-21 12:46.
Getting a PAC code from Orange

I've just been through this. I have been with Orange for long enough that all this PAC code stuff was a bit of a shock.

Call 150 from your Orange phone. Use option 1 for mobile, then option 4 for leaving, then option 3 again for leaving.

Tell the customer service rep you want a PAC code. Ignore the blather about why you want to leave. The Orange person I spoke to seemed genuinely interested but speaking personally I've had enough.

They will tell you it takes 48hrs to *despatch* the code by post. They claim it's company policy that they can't give you a code over the phone there and then. If you don't receive the letter within 3 or 4 days I was told I could call and have it SMS'd to me.

I was further told that it would take 7-10 days to transfer the number to my new provider. This only seemed bad until I realised that they bill you for a full 30 days from the issuing of the PAC code (i.e. potentially 20+ days after you've transferred your number)!

I'm waiting for my PAC code...

Hope this helps.


Submitted by Matt Mower (not verified) on Mon, 2007-07-30 17:40.
Horrid Phone Operators & Call Centres

I've never had a contract phone so never had PAC code problems.Finished with Orange years ago after I lost my phone whilst shopping the day before Xmas Eve (probably dropped it whilst heaving a big TV into the car). Bought another SIM at the Jag phone shop (£19.95) to put in my old phone which needed a new battery as well (another £19.95).I then had to put my bank card in a BT phone kiosk to get the SIM activated, 50p a minute I think it was (Jag wouldn't do it).I explained to the Orange operator who sounded drunk, that I would like the credit from the lost phone transferred to the "new" phone (new SIM) and the lost phone barred.No problem he said and I'm so happy I'm going to give you three months free texting as well.The silly idiot barred the new SIM! basically more money down the toilet! (Now over £50!) As my landline had gone down as well I was rendered incommunicado for the entire Christmas and New Year (thanks a lot BT). The landline here either suffers from tree rubs, corroded joints, or flooded manholes.This is 40 years after man walked on the moon and they still can't provide a reliable service, but then they do have a first class monopoly.Hope you all have better luck than I do.Best regards from Dave.

Submitted by Ex Orange user (not verified) on Mon, 2007-06-25 21:50.
i have been having trouble

i have been having trouble with orange, intermittent signal since before may. rang customer services to be told that they have decommissioned a mast locally, i said i wanted to end my contract, which runs out on the 16th nov. said i had to pay 69 quid to buy out. have got a new sim from o2, simplicity, talk and text bundle 15 pound. put sim in to phone and found phone is locked to orange.found these peeps, brilliant.

now phone unlocked, just need pac code to move number

just using orange sim to call divert to new number lol

Submitted by powermmouse (not verified) on Wed, 2007-08-01 17:47.
Canceling Contract

Just Wondering if anyone had any advice for me, I currently have an orange phone on contract which ran out in January, I would like a new phone and dont really care about changing my number just want the best deal i can get and a better phone, when i rang up about an upgrade they basically said that I dont use my phone enough to qualify for a better phone for free and i would have to pay for it, obviously there are phones I could upgrade to but they were basically the same or worse than the one I have now which is stupid cos i could cancel and start a new contract with them and get the same phone for free on a better deal. So I have decided I would like to cancel. What is the procedure for cancelations as i am sure i payed a month in advance when I started the contract does that mean i dont pay for the last month of my contract provided i dont make extra calls or texts, was just wondering as i dont want to get a new phone and pay for two contracts for the final month. Another example of phone companies treating new customers better than existing ones. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Submitted by Toad (not verified) on Thu, 2007-08-02 21:56.
Re: Cancelling Contract

If the fixed term is over, then you can cancel in accordance with whatever the terms are (probably 30 days). If you don't mind moving to a new number, then find out from Orange when the last day of service is, and have your new contract start on that day. Many providers will drop you to pay as you go after the contract ends (ask and check), which would mean that even if the new contract doesn't start for a couple of days you've still got a working phone. You probably didn't pay in advance, because there'd be no way for them to know if they need to bill you extra for services you're going to use.

Before all of that, negotiate. Orange may suddenly find they can do you a "special deal" to stop you leaving. It's not about how much you use your phone, it's what you pay them. Providers generally want you on a new phone, and a long contract, which may help you get what you want.

Submitted by coofercat on Fri, 2007-08-03 08:44.

ssssssssssssssssakes man.
pac codes

Submitted by Smokey Bacon (not verified) on Thu, 2007-10-11 16:38.

I am on pay as you go vodafone and want to use a new o2 pay as you go sim card.How do I get a pac number as I want to keep my existing number.

Submitted by gunny (not verified) on Mon, 2007-10-22 23:46.
pac for vodaphone PAYG

Can someone confirm that you can request a PAC code from vodaphone PAYG to a new o2 PAYG sim.


Submitted by Frosty (not verified) on Thu, 2007-10-25 23:08.
PAC Codes

First, don't expect supplier cooperation if you are trying to leave before the end of your contracted term.You sign for a year, you pay for a year.
I had a Vodafone contract. When it ended I tried to get a better deal - Vodafone weren't interested although I was a fairly heavy business user. So I moved to Three, which has been fine (apart from foolishly taking a Motorola phone).
I asked Vodafone for a PAC code, they gave me one without any argument. Number transferred as expected with no problems.
My Three contract is now ending after 18 months.I'll renew it, but now I can have a Nokia again (it's like coming home).

Submitted by dafranmo (not verified) on Sat, 2007-11-17 00:51.
Pac Codes, contracts etc.

I have just quit my job with a particular network due to the greedy insensitive approach they have towards their customers. I agree almost 100% with all the comments.I have to be careful here.... It is like this:
You think you are calling for a pac code and with 'some' networks you get told you are being put through to the department that issues these....this is not the case. Basically you go to what they call a saves department who try and offer you something free for a period of time etc.... if you do insist on having the pac code, they should issue it to you, but can take a period of time to be sent to you. If you don't use the Pac code in a certain amount of time it becomes inactive!!! So if you have asked to cancel the account and you think you are safe because you ordered a Pac code, then think again! You also have to (in most cases) give a written notice which does not run until it is received and logged on the networks system. If the account is not up to date or paid off the account remains open and charges for line rental accrue! So you think everything is in hand , but quietly in the background you are running up an enormous bill. The quick moral of this is ask questions, triple ask them, make sure the agent reads back what notes they have written on your account as you may want it worded differently. Many a time customers argue with what is noted.....if they read it back to you and you agree, then you know in the future it is recorded as the conversation took is for your protection as much as the networks. In my opinion they are all as bad as each other, that is the networks, and the outlet shops, especially phones4u......they are just 100% sales orientated and once you have done the deal, forget it, your history.....stick witha landline if you can or a PAYG handset, less stressful. Hope this helps.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Sat, 2007-12-01 23:34.


Why stay with them?

Well i bin with them 13 years or so.
They have the best coverage.
They sponser formula 1.
They are a market leader.

But MOST of all they do not give a shit about you or me.

You got a problem with that!?
Just keep paying the bills and subscribing to our painfully awefoooul customer service.

Yipp, like our banking fraternity,(much of a muchness),but you got more CHOICE!

Go PAYG,..or Landline or internet With ANYONE!!

Just not vodafone....

It is more than fair and correct to say in 30 odd years in business I have never dealt with such an "ugly" company.

Whatever deal you get,make sure its not this lot!


George Lunoy.

Submitted by George Lunoy (not verified) on Sun, 2008-08-31 05:07.
T Mobile - Quidco - New Contract - PAC Question Same Network

Hi there, I have just called T Mobile. I am now out of contract and there are better incentives for new users to the service. The nice man said he would match this if I renewed. Great. Problem is I am a member of and they offer a £40 kickback (this is commission someone would get) so I can cancel my contract get my PAC then take on the new tarrif with the deal and get the commission too! The problem is that the man on the call center said that they can't transfer my PAC from one contract to another on the same network!? To quote "It's physically impossible!".

My Question is: Is this right? Is this this allowed? Is there a way around it? What if I cancelled got my PAC then thought no I want to stay with TMobile? Would I have to lose my number?

Can anyone help me? I really need to keep my number......


Submitted by AndySheldon (not verified) on Mon, 2007-12-10 23:15.
I had a similar thing when

I had a similar thing when trying to get a new contract(I got a crazy deal the year before when trying to cancel), I did not cancel my contract and I kept the same service provider. I wanted to keep my number, I was told it is point blank it is not possible. The one thing I said to the sales dept, is that this is a deal breaker, I either keep my number or I walk. As miracles go I walked away with everything i wanted, including the number that was apparently impossible to keep. I know it's not quite the same as your deal, but that would be my first point of call. I keep my number or you don't keep my custom.Good luck, hope I helped a little.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Thu, 2008-09-11 03:10.
orange PAC code

Just been through all the options to get a PAC code from orange. man was very helpful once i explained why i was leaving orange (not least my company/work phone has remained with orange and i am only moving my personal one).

He did state that this would be sent 1st class to my home address so i live in hope.

the direct number for obtaining a PAC code from orange was given as 0800 079 0272 when i asked.

Submitted by ScousePhil (not verified) on Mon, 2008-01-07 12:58.
orange pac code

wow. the letter arrived with the pac code as promised. Whether vodafone accept it/it works is another matter. another number on the letter this time for the Mobile Number Portability team - 0800 376 2285 8am - 9pm.

so far so good....

Submitted by ScousePhil (not verified) on Thu, 2008-01-10 20:36.
Help please

I'm currently on orange pay as you go and want to change to 02 on contract. Is it possible for me to order my new phone now or do I have to wait until the PAC code comes in the post? When I go onto order forms for the new phone it asks for the PAC code there and then, just seeing if anyone knew if my old numbers transferrable after i've bought the phone?


Submitted by Andrew (not verified) on Mon, 2008-01-14 09:45.
Orange PAC code

Many thanks to ScousePhil for providing a telephone number which worked. 3 hours of calls to several dozen numbers provided by Orange proved useless (some at 5 pence a minute so no wonder) 0800 079 0272 is the one to use for PAC code. They will try to persuade you to stay with them though, so be prepared.

Submitted by Anonymous Coward (not verified) on Sat, 2008-02-02 21:29.
pac code

Hi there i just wanted to know if there is any other way to get a PAC code other than from your network provider?? Because my old provider O2 are not willing to release it to me. we ended on bad terms.And i need 2 transfer that number to my new contract..PLEASE HELP

Submitted by ldn-t (not verified) on Tue, 2008-02-05 21:30.
Getting Orange PAC code...

I had really had enough of Orange, wanted out. To cut a long story short, I`d say if you want a PAC instantly from Orange try this:

1) Call 0800 376 2285
2) Ask for a PAC code as you are leaving
3) You will be transferred, don`t get dragged into any conversations about leaving.
4) You`ll speak to an English call centre, ignore the reasons, tell them you phoned two weeks ago but had nothing.
5) Ask if they can Text it through, it should come through instantly.

Good luck, don`t think he checked I rung two weeks previous, but that`s their ruling to SMS through if they haven`t delivered.

Submitted by Dave Roberts (not verified) on Mon, 2008-02-11 12:22.
PAC Codes

I will NEVER get another contract with O2 at the Carphone warehouse ever again!
I was out of my 18mth contract (yes, I had been a loyal customer with them for 2 1/2 yrs!!) and decided to transfer to Orange. Well, thats easier said than done if you want your PAC code to take your number with you. The guy at O2 said that I needed to write a letter in to cancel my contract with them at which point I said that I did NOT have a contract with them (I was actually 2 months over the 18 mths I had signed up for) and I did not need to cancel a contract that wasn't there!! He explained that it was a 'rolling' contract and that I should have read the small print when I signed up.
I find the whole thing of mobile contracts ridiculous, when they say 18 mths, they mean you are still legally obliged to pay unless you send a letter in requesting that you give them 31 days notice!!!
Angry just wasnt the word.....
Anyway, the pac code has now been recieved by me after a 'signed for' letter (at their request) giving my details, request of contract (what contract????) termination and pac request.
This is unbelievable and just shows how much these mobile phone companies will try and hold onto you no matter what.
Oh, I did try and say to the guy at O2 that as I wasnt in ANY contract with them, I would happily pay what I owed until that point and then cancel my direct debit with them so that they couldnt take a further 31 days line rental off me but his words were that if I did this, I would be chased for this payment and debt collection agencies informed!!!
All this for a contract that is not even there.....

Anyway, I have given my pac code to Orange now, but by reading some of the problems on this page, I wont hold my breath for it working. Its due to start on the 6th of March, I'll keep you informed!!!

Submitted by Shelley (not verified) on Thu, 2008-02-28 12:50.
The terms and conditions of

The terms and conditions of the mobile operators all state that you have to give 30 days notice to cancel. o2 I know for a fact though will issue a pac code in the last 30 days of your contract and there will be no term fees. this can be requested over the phone and you will only need to put the request in writing if you are not porting your number. This i true if you are dealing with o2 direct and not necesarrily the case if dealing with an intermediary such as Car phone wharehouse.

Submitted by one legged man (not verified) on Fri, 2008-03-07 23:59.
Orange PAYG to O2 PAYG?

Hi, i'm currently on orange pay as you go, and i wish to move o O2 pay as you go but keep the same number. How would I go about obtaining my orange PAC code and then using it to have the same number on O2?

After reading all of the above, it seems a pretty stressfull process, but i really need to keep this number.

Submitted by Kingmudpie (not verified) on Thu, 2008-03-06 01:54.
Carphone warehouse PAC code delay

I'm leaving Carphone after 5 years, I was stuck on a 2 year contract and am going due to carphones incompetence (i had and also left talk talk andbroadband too, they don't like to treat customers well)

I was offered my £35 per month contract FREE fora year if I did not leave! True. I am so annoyed with them I even turned that down.

Had to get a drn number during a chat with customer services about leaving, Then send them a letter with quoting that DRN number to request a PAC code. I sent it recorded delivery, they got it Monday 10th (as I tracked it on the royal mail website)

Friday 14th and it is still not here.
They promised to send it within 2 days of receipt. i'll keep you posted.

Submitted by Stephen Thomas (not verified) on Fri, 2008-03-14 17:07.
3 mobile

Iam currently on the 500 mix and match on 3, im 7 months into a 18 month contract and hate it th games have stopped working on the phone and so has the msn etc i have been in to the shop and they say they will not give me a loan phone while this one is fixed as they dont have them in store and when i ring 333 all they say is take the battery out and sim card and put them back inetc i was just wondering if this would be grounds to cancel the contract without paying a cancellation fee and still gettting my PAC to transfer my number to another network? any help would be good thanks

Submitted by PJ (not verified) on Tue, 2008-07-08 20:29.
They will try everything to

They will try everything to not give you the PAC, don't listen to any of those nonsense/send PAC in letter/filling in form to request a PAC???.

You can get the PAC over the phone when you cancel your contract. It's valid for 30 days. Make sure you double check the code by reading back to get them to confirm, spelling any alphabet. Also it helps to get their name before the conversation so that you can go back to them if anything goes wrong.

Submitted by SG (not verified) on Thu, 2008-07-17 20:44.
out of contract and still a nightmare to get pac code

A loyal customer with Orange for near 10 years, upgrade only when offered (not a new phone junky) and direct debit the bill each month. You'd think i'd be a dream customer?

Anyway, lost phone in dublin airport returning to UK,so tried to report this when I returned home.Rang them at 6pm, got through to them at 12.30AM where I reported the phone lost. As i couldnt get a police reference number easily ( unless i ring dublin) and my old phone was crap anyway,I decided to simply get a new phone as out of contract. As I need a new Ipod the Iphone sounds a good bet to me which means switching to O2.The very polite lady told me to ring Retentions the next day to see what they offer / get pac code.

Then the hassle begins, I explain the situation and the women in retentions trys to flog me a samsung. When i politely reject the kind offer and ask for the pac code she gets abusive. At this point I stated that the fact that it had taken over seven hours to report the phone lost had made me decide to go with the iphone and O2.

First of all saying that im an idiot for preffering an iphone to the samsung, and a liar about not being able to report the phone lost ( I aint), then accusingme of working for carphone warehouse, then rubbishing O2, then finally informing me that the pac code would be sent in the post and pointing out that id still have to pay for line rental in the meantime with no phone (a fact that id already noted to myself but chosen to live with).

Sadly, I went from a loyal Orange customer who was flirting with switching to a man on a mission in the space of a fifteen minute phone call. I admit I could have been returned to the fold with a bit of sympathy and a decent offer ( an ipod touch would have worked :)) but as a customer who happily sees out their contractand pays their bills surely I wasnt being unreasonable. The Pac code situation is ridiculous.

Submitted by JimmyMcc (not verified) on Tue, 2008-07-29 14:17.
Sorry, Comments Now Closed

Comments on this article are now closed. I'm fed up with people using it to promote their websites, and I think we've got a good view of what to do with PAC codes now.

If you've got something burningly urgent to add to this article, by all means hit the "Contact The Cat" link at the top of the page.

Submitted by Coofer Cat (not verified) on Sun, 2008-10-12 08:52.