A Pipex customer has problems getting a MAC when he moved house... but did he need one?
At the end of October 2009 I moved flats within the same building and had told my internet service provider (ISP) Pipex that I wanted to continue my service.
It said this would be up and running at my new address within 10 days. But after more than four weeks and numerous phone calls I still had no service. I decided to cancel my contract.
I told Pipex that I wanted a Migration Authorisation Code (MAC). Pipex said it couldn't generate this MAC.
When it finally did connect the service at my new address I again asked for the MAC. This time I was given one and signed up with BT which took over my service on 4 January this year.
Then I started getting final demands and threats of debt collectors from Pipex.
Mr Aindow didn't initially need a MAC at his new address and waiting to get one from Pipex complicated matters.
A MAC is a unique code that identifies a line through which a broadband service is provided. It is used by people who are not moving home but who do want to migrate to a new internet service provider (ISP).
When you move, even to a flat within the same block, you can usually take your phone number with you, but not your broadband contract.
Mr Aindow would not be using the same line for broadband that he had done at his old address. Also, when he moved there was no service from Pipex or any ISP at the new address, so Pipex couldn't generate a Mac.
All he had to do was call BT or any ISP and sign up for a service. Pipex should have told him why it couldn't generate a MAC.
But when it did connect him, he entered into a new contract with the ISP on a new line. It could then generate a MAC, and he could migrate as he did.
But he was also legally liable for the monthly payments to Pipex for the whole of this contract. Because of the muddle and confusion Pipex has agreed to waive its rights to payment for the contract.
The ISP, now part of Talktalk, has also agreed to give Mr Aindow a refund. "Talktalk customer complaints spoke to Mr Aindow and cleared his balance so his account is now closed and he does not owe anything," the company told us.
Updating your subscription status