When is a contract not a contract?

  m800afc 18:40 12 Feb 2008

As an O2 user I am entitled to a broadband deal which will give me just over 11meg speed for £10 a month. I have checked my phone-line with BT and the maximum I can receive is 11.6.
I joined AOL on 26 of Feb 08, and this was confirmed when I telephoned AOL. The difficulty arose when I asked for a MAC code. I was told that I would still be in contract until 26 March 08. The explanation of this was as follows.
I had one month "Free" at the start of the contract. My first bill was 26 March 07. The contract runs from the date of the first bill, so my contract runs for thirteen months.
If I want to obtain a MAC code I will have to wait the full thirteen months, or pay the thirteenth payment to obtain a code. To my way of thinking, this effectively charges me for a MAC code.
The question is, is it legal? I thought I signed a 12 month contract.

  Totally-braindead 18:53 12 Feb 2008

You are not being charged for a MAC code. If you continue to use your present connection till 26 March you will have paid 12 payments and will have received one month free. In other words you have had 13 months of BB and will have paid for only 12. There is no charge for the MAC code. If you leave early and have to pay the extra month thats down to you.
Regarding your contract as far as I am aware the 12 months begins when the first payment is made and you having a month free has nothing to do with it as it was not part of the 12 months of the contract.

  Forum Editor 18:55 12 Feb 2008

"I joined AOL on 26 of Feb 08", but you obviously meant 26th March 2007.

Your contract does indeed run for 12 months from the end of the free month, so yes, you're contracted until the 26th March next, and will have to pay the penalty charge if you want a MAC number now.

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