Nightmare on ISP Street

I wasn’t sure what to call this entry. I toyed with ‘What a bunch of idiots who half of which don’t know what the other half is doing and in this day and age of technology have to make customers wait about a month to get reconnected because of crazy MAC codes and ridiculous wait times when it should be a simple case of pressing a button’.. but that is just way too long for a blog title.

So here’s the deal..

I had a phone call from another ISP (competitor) offering me the deal of the century. They claimed they could offer me the same service as I was already getting for nearly half the price.. WOW. How could I say no? I wish I had.

So I decided to take them up on their incredible offer.

I was informed that I would need to get a MAC (Migration Authorisation Code) code from my current service provider and once I had this to ring them (the new service providers) and give them the code.
I rang my provider and asked for the code, and after several minutes of having to explain why I wanted to leave them, they finally confirmed that they would get the code sent to me in the mail (snail mail). They said this could take between 7 and 10 days to arrive. *Gasp* 7 – 10 days without internet access, how would I survive?

After about 5 days I received the code and quickly (very quickly) rang the new providers to give them the code.
When I eventually got through to the right department I gave them the code and asked them to confirm that I had done all that was necessary to swap to their service. I also asked them to confirm what I would be getting for the money. I was originally told that I would get the same service as I was already getting from my current ISP.

That is unlimited free phone calls (24/7), unlimited/unrestricted broadband (up to 8Mb speed) and line rental. The voice on the other end of the line said “No, that’s not what I have here”. They informed me that I would get a restricted broadband service (something like 40Gb, but even so, still not unrestricted). They said I would need to get onto BT (British Telecom – which incidentally is based in India, very British eh?) and become their customer and remain so for a minimum of 7 days before they could request control of my line. They also informed me that there is a broadband setup fee of £40 (which I was also not told about).
When I finally caught my breath I asked them what the cost would be for unrestricted broadband and it turned out to be the same as I was already paying my current provider. It did mean that I would also have to pay BT separately for the line rental.
So it turns out I was lied to about the deal initially, not told of the broadband setup fee, would ultimately be paying the same as I already was and would have to be paying two separate companies for the same service I currently received from one.

I decided to change my mind. You’d think that would be easy enough right? Surely it’s my right to do so? I changed my mind there & then on the phone. I did not wait & have to ring them back or anything, so what was the problem?
The problem was that despite saying I had changed my mind the new company decided to initiate my MAC code anyway. Maybe they thought I wouldn’t notice or something, so desperate were they to have my custom.

I rang my original provider back and told them the whole tale. They told me that as long as the other company had cancelled the MAC code and everything then my service should remain as normal. Great. 🙂

No, not great at all.

Next day my internet service stops and nothing I do will make it work. I even reset the router and entered all my details again. I rang tech support at 0.50 per minute (or whatever the ripoff charge is these days) and clocked up a good £10 call I’m sure, all to no avail. They had no idea why I had no service. they said that as far as they could see all was well their end and I should have service.
But I didn’t, and no amount of screaming down the phone or sobbing silently into my cold coffee could change that.

I rang the new company back and asked them to confirm that they had cancelled the service, to which they assured me they had.

Hmm.. something strange going on I thought.

Anyway, to cut a long and frustrating story short[er], it turns out that the new company had in fact cancelled my service, but not the MAC code that they shouldn’t have initiated in the first place.

I was a little annoyed to say the least.

I rang the new company again so I could rant & rave down the phone at them and eventually they told me I would need a new MAC code from them to give back to my original provider. OMG.
They said they would create the code (which would take up to 48 hours) and get it in the mail (snail mail again) to me, which could, of course, take up to 7 – 10 days. *Gasp* That’s like over 2 weeks now. Withdrawal symptoms setting firmly in I muttered something like “Hmm, OK, but hurry up”.

Around a week later the code arives and I get back onto my original supplier (once again, very quickly) and ask them how long before I would be connected.
They said that it could be anything up to 14 days. WHAT? ANOTHER 2 WEEKS? ARE YOU SERIOUS?
What could I do but wait? So I waited.

Finally I get a letter telling me my ‘Go live’ date, which happened to be almost another week from the day I received the letter.

The day finally arrived.

One thing I forgot to mention was that when I rang BT to swear.. I mean talk to them about it all they offered me their own package deal. They said they could re-acquire my line that day. I was so excited, I thought why not? They can get me online today.

But guess what? yep, it was another lie. They could re-acquire the line for sure, but they still couldn’t connect me for 2 weeks because of this stupid MAC code business. Also their deal was less for more. Less service for more money. I didn’t want to complicate things further so I politely declined. Yeah right.

Well I’m back. It’s so nice to be back. I felt like I’d had a limb or two removed.
I should have known better, I went against all my instincts (something I very rarely do) in the hope of a cheaper deal. All that to save a few pounds.

It has taught me, or more accurately reinforced something that I already knew but chose to ignore. Two things in fact..

Better the Devil you know, and, If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

Just for the record, and because they lied to me, I have decided to name the new company I almost changed to so others can be aware of some of the tactics these companies employ to gain customers.
I don’t feel bad about naming them and neither am I scared of legal proceedings against me, for I believe that if they wish to take me to court for this naming here then they will have to produce recordings of the phone conversations between me and them and that alone will prove that I am telling the truth and not just out to discredit their good name *Choke* for no reason.
I have been without a connection for around a month thanks to them and their deceit and dragging their heels as far as releasing my line again (which they should not have taken over in the first place) goes.

The company that I would not personally recommend is Sky.

Thanks for reading.