E7Even was one of the cheaper ADSL providers, but operated with a pricing model that relied on users paying for up to two years in advance. Prior to December 2005, the service has been reasonable for the price being charged but problems began to develop seemingly as a result of transferring customers from one wholesale provider to another over the Christmas period.
Over the last weekend customers trying to access web pages over their E7even UK connection were redirected to a page informing them that if they wanted continuity of service they should sign up to a new provider called ezeedsl.co.uk or face their connections lapsing in the next few weeks and then pay a connection fee again to get another ADSL connection once the existing marker tags on the line indicating it has broadband are removed. Unfortunately it would appear that migration codes are not available, which is very concerning.
A fairly length FAQ on the changes are available at www.ezeedsl.co.uk/faqs.shtml. This provides the detail that 186k is the company behind ezeedsl and that rather than taking over E7even lock stock and barrel, it has made a deal with the wholesale providers Tiscali Wholesale and Netservices whereby rather than these providers just ceasing all connections, there will be a period of time when users have the choice to sign up to the new provider. The new service if people do sign-up carries a 12 month minimum term, and anyone money previously paid to E7even remains with E7even.
It looks as if E7even UK Limited still exists as a company, but due to various problems in the last few months is now an ISP with no customers. This also means if you have paid for months of service that now you will not receive you will need to chase E7even or your credit card company for a refund. If this proves difficult it is time to contact Trading Standards or the Citizens Advice Bureau to ascertain what can be done in your individual case.
We have repeatedly tried to contact E7even to confirm the situation, and in particular details about any refunds and as yet there has been no reply. The customer services centre recorded message is saying the centre is closed but will be open 9am to 5pm, at 09:52 this morning.
This illustrates a fundamental risk when signing up to new providers with low cost pricing models which require pre-payment. Even if users can get refunds, from E7even or their credit card companies, the hassle of dealing with the changes and loss of broadband service are to be weighed carefully.
Update 11:45am Monday 3rd July 2006: 186k has issued a press release, which is reproduced below.
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