Wednesday, 18 June 2008

Hahhaha a last word ... perhaps

I had some spam from Pipex business the other day through the mail. I ignored it.

Yesterday I had a call from them. I told them politely I'd never ever consider going back with them ever.

Tuesday, 19 February 2008

Got a reply

By letter saying: Basically its your job to check the price and request a change (Hmm I did mention it on 31st Jan on the phone ... does that not count?)

And by email: Dear Madam

Thank you for your email

I can confirm to you that your account is cancellation pending and will be fully cancelled on the 07/03/2008.

If you have any further queries please don’t hesitate to contact us.

This is a different response to the one I got yesterday from the person who replied originally to my email. Ah well.
Fingers crossed this'll be the end of it.

A cheque would be nice but I won't be holding my breath,

Moral. Check the price every week of your ISP service and complain the minute you're paying too much or the service is rubbish

Monday, 18 February 2008

Well it all went too smoothly

I got an email over the weekend stating that pipex were planning to take their direct debit payment at the start of March.
Given that I've cancelled the direct debit, no longer get their service and cancelled (getting a MAC code to switch ISPs on 31st January) I thought they were taking the mickey a bit.

I emailed them telling them I had cancelled the direct debit and would refute any attempt by them to take more money. I had been told on the phone originally when I cancelled that I'd be given a pro-rata refund for any time after I'd cancelled that I paid for.

I'd not got a response by the time I got home from work so I rang them. It's not cheap to do that on their phone line but I felt I really needed to vent my spleen on them.

Three button presses later and I got through to a bloke who at first couldn't find my account as the ID I gave him didn't match up with the name I gave him. Oh what joy. it's been years and still companies have the wrong name on my account information.

The first thing he tried to tell me was I have spoken to someone today about this. I haven't. What he meant is someone has replied to my email but I haven't got it yet. (You don't think it's because their email system is a big laggy on tiscali? )

He then explained that despite me having "cancelled" on 31st January I didn't get a MAC number until 6th February and a MAC code brings with it a 30 day notice period. So basically once you get a MAC code even if you get new internet the next day you have to pay for 30 days of using their internet which you can't get.
[This would take me to 7th March]

Hmm. Sounds really annoyingly bizarre to me. I "cancelled" on 31st - so in my mind even 30 days notice should be up at the end of February but no, here they were demanding more money from me. I had a bit of a go about having been overcharged compared to the new rate. Impossible he tells me that business tarriff has only been out for 10 days. So I tell him at this point I record my phone calls and on the 31st Jan I discussed this new cheaper rate with the girl on the phone so I knew it'd been out for longer than 10 days. He wasn't into discussing that as he was "customer care" and not billing.

So here we are potentially being charged another arm and a leg for internet that was (a) rubbish and (b) not accessible from 14th.

He then told me there is a huge difference between cancelling or requesting a MAC code.

I told her I'd explained to the woman I'd spoken to and she said I was only billed to when the service was changed. He says this was only in the case of quarterly customers. I said this wasn't what she'd told me on the phone.

From Phone call on 31st Jan -
The MAC code is valid for 30 days. You get pro rata credited if you use the MAC before .. you've paid, you pay a month in advance. As soon as the service is with the new provider they will cancel with ourselves and therefore from that day you will get pro-rata credited back.

I asked him to explain the difference between cancelling and asking for a MAC code and he did... but it all seems mad. They claim to drop the tag on your line after 30 days.

Anyway eventually he suddenly changes his mind and says that I'm paid up and won't be billed for anything else. A sudden change of tune but there you go. I've kept the phone calls in a separate folder for listening back to when they try and take the direct debit again.

Anyway it was all going too well so I am seriously expecting them to try and take the direct debit at the start of March.

I'll update you then!

Thursday, 14 February 2008

Woohoo new internet is on

As of 14:52 Pipex disconnected us. The phone bipped as if someone had been messing at the exchange and then a short while later we had new internet!

I have newsgroups! Hurray!

Still on pipex... waiting for the changeover

Still on pipex this morning. Was expecting to have no internet when I woke up.

Couldn't get newsgroups at all yesterday so decision to leave is the right one!

Ah well it'll disappear at some point today I spose and then we'll set the new router up!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008

New router arrived

I was about to look up my tracking link so I could see where the new router was when Nic told me not to bother.
I was briefly confused until he opened the door and accepted a parcel from the delivery bloke. New router had arrived. Fantastic!

This evening tiscali's version of pipex refuses to let me browse my newsgroups so once again I'm pleased to be leaving!

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Router is in the post

Got an email off our new ISP today saying the router is on the way!

this is going remarkably well!

I have written pipex a letter telling them why I'm leaving. Didn't see the point in ringing them again or trying to go through their email system as they don't seem to care, but I felt I had to vent my spleen a bit at them!

Friday, 8 February 2008

MAC number

Our MAC number arrived by email on Wednesday morning and we've started the switch process. We should be on our new ISP by 14th February.
fingers crossed.

Friday, 1 February 2008

What is a MAC code?

I thought I'd look up what a MAC code was and how long it took to get.

I've read some ISPs give it within 15 minutes by email. That's pretty fast!

A MAC is a unique code, identifying a particular line. It comes in two formats. You do not need to worry about which format is used:

  • a code consisting of four letters that identify the underlying service (BBIP, FTIP or BBDS) followed by between seven and nine numbers, a slash, and five alphanumeric characters (e.g. BBIP1234567/1F6HT); and
  • a code consisting of four letters (LLUS), followed by six digits followed by four further digits showing the expiry date (i.e. LLUS123456ddmm).
info from OFCOM

A MAC code is only valid for 30 days.

MAC stands for Migration Authority Code

Thursday, 31 January 2008

Leaving Pipex - changing my ISP

As an experiment I decided I'd keep a blog of what happened when I tried to change
my ISP.

A little background first - I've been with pipex for years. As a business customer
I have paid them quite a lot of money for an excellent service. It's worked
really well. I've had no problems with them at all during my time with them.
Until recently.

About a fortnight ago our home router had it's IP changed. Now we've had a static
one for such a long time that it came as a shock. We found out it'd been changed
because something stopped working that relied on knowing the IP of the router.

The service was a little flakey after then but it's possible that phone lines
might have had something to do with it as the BT engineer has been perched up
the pole outside on and off reconnecting phone lines. As a result we'd noticed
pages taking a bit longer and some general lack of quality but nothing really

Then I stopped getting access to giganews in the evenings. This was really
strange. I assumed that as it'd been on my laptop each time it was software
related and was toying with investigating but couldn't be bothered as it worked
during the day when I was on my main work machine.

Anyway one evening I happened to be on my main machine - and found newsgroups
didn't work. So I wondered if it was giganews having problems. I eventually
logged into my giganews account to find that I was well under my paid newsgroup

So I did a traceroute via giganews and found the following

1 ( 0 ms 0 ms 0 ms

2 ( 0 ms 0 ms 0 ms

3 ( 88 ms 88 ms 87 ms

4 ( 88 ms
( 88 ms ( 88 ms

5 * * *

6 * * *

7 * * *

Max number of unresponsive hops reached (firewall or filter?)

1 ( 1 ms 0 ms 0 ms

2 ( 0 ms 0 ms 0 ms

3 ( 5 ms 5 ms 6 ms

4 ( 8 ms
( 6 ms ( 6 ms

5 * * *

6 * * *

7 * * *

Max number of unresponsive hops reached (firewall or filter?)

So it suddenly became clear that tiscal were now running the ISP and had probably
moved us over from Pipex's IP to one ruled by Tiscali.

A quick message or two on a forum and someone pointed me at this story on The

bandwidth throttling flub fix flops

Apparently Tiscali have messed up and we're not alone - Many Pipex customers
have who had not realised their line had been migrated to the Tiscali network
have cried foul after having no problems under the old regime.

Tiscali paid £210m for the Pipex broadband customer base last year. There's
growing disquiet among the new members that they still pay Pipex prices for
cheaper, apparently shoddier Tiscali service via its LLU network.

So I emailed pipex with a copy of my traceroute from giganews and also said
I was cheesed off at paying so much more than the advertised amounts on pipex's
site these days

Pipex Business Pro Broadband

* Up to 16Mb with unlimited usage
* Business Grade Broadband
* FREE WiFi Router and connection*
* 500 inclusive TalkTime minutes
* Dedicated 24/7 UK business support centre
* Pipex Pro business broadband for just £19.50

I got an autoresponse giving me a reference number and then got this

"Completed as it's an internet account and support @ were Copied in on the email already"

Well it isn't completed. They never gave me an answer to either parts of my question.

So I decided to leave. Looking at the options I think we're going with Be There.

So this morning first thing I rang and asked for a MAC number. It's 3-5 working days for one to be issued. Why do you want one, she asked?
I asked if it was too early for a rant and told her the service was rubbish now it was with tiscali and she tried to tell me that it was still pipex and she wouldn't listen to me telling her about my traceroute saying my giganews died at a tiscali bit.
She reiterated it'd be 3-5 working days for a MAC number, and that we'd be refunded pro-rata for any unused time.

I also asked her about the price thing - and she said that's really new and they'd be telling me about it soon. Well as my invoice is due in two days I suspect they're leaving it to the last minute to tell me how much it'll be - so I will update as to exactly how much they charge me!
(Apparently we're paying top whack for 2Mb when they offer so much more for less anyway - so I'm doubly cheesed off with what's happened!)
OK, some of that is probably my fault for believing I'm always going to be offered the best deal without kicking up a big fuss!

So it's Thursday 31st January 2008 and in 3-5 days I will have a MAC number which can release me from Tiscali.

Sadly I've heard loads of stories about tiscali being harder to get rid of than any other ISP on the planet so I'm not holding my breath for this one!