MAC codes Law?

  Splooshy 19:16 07 Sep 2006

Hi all!

2 days ago i rung my ISP (Supanet) and requested my MAC code so i could join Sky Broadband. The Supanet advisor told me that they do not give out MAC codes to customers as they have technical difficulties doing so, and informed me that i would have to write and cancel my connection. I rung Sky, and explained that Supanet cannot give me a MAC code and the (Very Very nice young man ;)) told me that alot of ppl wanting to join Sky have had problems getting their MAC codes from their ISP's and that the ISP's have to provide one by that right? He also gave me the number for OFCOM and told me to give them a ring if i have any further difficulties in getting it. The number if it's of help to anyone is 02079813040 press Option 1 then Option 2.
I decided to email Supanets Broadband Support first with the following email:


Today i rung your advisors asking for my MAC code as i wish to change to an alternate ISP provider. The advisor informed me that they cannot give MAC codes to customers, they have technical problems giving them out and that i would have to write giving a months notice to cancel my connection. I informed him my new ISP needed my MAC code in able for me to change to them and was told to just inform them of your technical difficulties. This i did, and the new ISP advisor informed me that they most definately need my MAC code for me to change to them and that by Law ISP providers must provide customers with the MAC code when requested.

I have been with your company 19 months now. If i fill in the online form to cancel my contract when will my internet connection cease with you as i do not want to be without an internet connection until my new connection is ready? And also how will i be able to change to my new ISP without my MAC code?

Your help will be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks

My reply today(copy & pasted):

Dear Customer

To move to another providor you would have to cancel your Supanet broadband account and then sign up to your new providor.The cancellation could take up to 30 days but you would need to contact our Billing team for a definate answet. You can contact them on 0800 915 8186

Very helpful eh?

Sky gave me the code to be quoted within 21 days...and they have told me i definately need my MAC code..i'm not really sure what the best option is to do next, I don't want to be left in limbo without a connection :S

Any suggestions?? pleeeease

  Forum Editor 19:42 07 Sep 2006

1. There's no 'law' that says your current ISP must give you the MAC (Migration Authorisation Code) number when you ask for it. The SKY customer service representative gave you false information on that aspect of things. The MAC process is part of a voluntary industry initiative. This means that ISPs who make it difficult for their customers to obtain a MAC are unlikely to be in breach of any formal obligations.

2. Most ISPs are pretty good when it comes to providing a MAC number.

3. OFCOM is currently looking to introduce new regulations that will apply to all ISPs which will make it mandatory to supply customers with MAC numbers on request and to comply with a specific process for doing so. OFCOM will also work with the industry to develop a process for customers to obtain a MAC from another source if their own broadband provider is unable or unwilling to comply with a request.

I suggest that you do what your ISP has suggested, and write to them about this. Make it clear that you wis to receive a MAC number without further delay.

  STREETWORK 20:14 07 Sep 2006

They should be able to give you your MAC within a reasonable time. Call them again and refer them to nominet...

  freaky 20:14 07 Sep 2006

The fact that you phoned your ISP for the MAC code, and they refused, was probably done to protect your security.

It might not have been you who phoned, hence their request for it in writing. This would protect them as well as you.

  STREETWORK 20:25 07 Sep 2006

Hmm.. Changed mine with wannadoo/orange with no problems, they emailed it to me in 15 mins...

  CurlyWhirly 20:51 07 Sep 2006

According to this click here Supanet *isn't* on the list of ISP's who have voluntarily joined the MAC scheme, so they are quite within their rights to refuse you a MAC code unfortunately :(

  CurlyWhirly 20:53 07 Sep 2006

"The fact that you phoned your ISP for the MAC code, and they refused, was probably done to protect your security."

I had my MAC code from AOL a few months ago and after asking me a few security questions, they sent my MAC code to my master screen AOL e-mail address so you *can* request MAC codes over the telephone.

  Splooshy 21:03 07 Sep 2006

Thanks for that information FE ;)
Ohhhhh i could've looked a right fool if i'd have spouted off about it being Law!

That's not a bad thing OFCOM looking to introduce those new regulations. I mean, the various ISP's don't exactly inform you when you join them that they do/don't provide a MAC do they? It can only serve to make life a little more easier for us little folk, especially as quite a few of us have this MAC problem. Maybe it would be a good idea to put forward names of ISP's that do not have the policy of issuing MAC's to save on all the wasted phonecalls?

There is an option i can use to cancel my connection via the Supanet online form as i've been with them over 12 months..but, that wouldn't solve my problem about acquiring the MAC. If it is indeed a voluntary industry initiative and not compulsory, if they say they don't provide customers with one i could ask all i like and not get it?

  Splooshy 21:11 07 Sep 2006

STREETWORK..umm, whose nominet? i'm afraid i haven't heard of them

Thanks CurlyWhirly :) i didn't know a list actually existed

and Freaky, Supanet go all through your security codes etc too to make sure it is you, plus can cancel online..

i think they're just being bloody awkward cuz they can :(

  CurlyWhirly 21:19 07 Sep 2006

"i didn't know a list actually existed"

I think that ISP list is out of date as it still shows Euro1Net on there and they have recently stopped trading as they haven't (allegedly) been paying BT click here

  spuds 22:00 07 Sep 2006

Nominet click here have nothing to do with MAC codes, they deal with domains.

Perhaps STREETWORK meant Ofcom click here You could also possibly obtain further advice from Otelo click here or ISPA click here

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