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Ace Internet vs Entanet saga continues
Thursday 30 August 2007 13:09:56 by Sebastien Lahtinen

On the afternoon of Thursday 23 August, some users of Ace Internet found themselves unable to use their broadband connections following a suspension of services to Ace Internet by its supplier Entanet. What followed was a war of words between the companies which looks to be continuing with Ace Internet issuing a detailed statement of its version of events.

"On Thursday 23rd August 2007, I had to attend an unrealated business meeting. I was out of the office from late morning to and just after 6PM. On exiting the meeting, I discovered my mobile phone had 17 missed calls from Entanet International and 4 answerphone messages asking me to contact them. Unfortunately, as it was past Enta's office opening hours, the person who had called had left for the day and I was unable to retun the call at that time.

On my return, I checked my email, I discovered an email from John Hutchinson (credit control manager at Enta) which was sent at 13.05 asking me to call him. At the same time we received a large number of "automated" emails from Enta corresponding to each of the accounts stating that access would be suspended within 48 hours and to contact them.

A further email at 14:13 stated that there was a payment issue with a Direct Debit, and unless I contact them at 15:30pm, connections would be blocked. I would like to stress that until this point, our account with Enta was completely up to date."

Steve Daniels, Ace Internet

Ace claim that the Direct Debit should have been taken from their account early this week, not last week and that had this been done correctly, the account would have had the appropriate funds available.

The following day, Steve Daniels of Ace Internet spoke to various people within Entanet and they came to an agreement on partial payment for an invoice "just 24 hours overdue" which ensured Ace customers were re-connected and they would pick up on Tuesday morning to discuss the remaining issues. At this point, Ace also requested MAC codes to allow them to bulk transfer all their customers on Entanet based services to another provider, which according to Mr Daniels, Entanet refused until the account was settled in full.

"I made the payment to them to prevent our customer accounts from being suspended over the weekend, and we said that we would talk again on Tuesday to hopefully resolve the dispute."

Steve Daniels, Ace Internet

On Friday afternoon, Ace received an e-mail stating Entanet's intentions to contact their customers directly to transfer billing to Entanet, to which they responded 'within a few minutes' informing Enta they were not giving permission for such a contact.

By Saturday morning, Ace Internet users started receiving letters in the post from Entanet advising them that it had been agreed that the billing process would be transferred from Ace Internet to Entanet and asking users to contact Entanet with their Direct Debit or Credit Card details by September 15th or risk disconnection.

"On Tuesday morning, [..] I spoke to James Blessing (COO of Enta), and he conformed that MAC codes would not be issued to our customers via us, although if one of OUR customers contact them directly, they would do so. [..]

A discussion with James, where I stated that neither ourselves or Enta are likely to come out of this situation well, he suggested that we state to our customers that we had made a "mistake" about the letters and it was no more than a simple breakdown in communication. I am however unwilling to lie to our customers about the matter just to cover Enta's reputation.

As things stand at the moment, we feel that talks have irretrievably broken down between Enta and ourselves, and have we have logged formal complaints with OFCOM and Trading standards about the situation, and in addition I have also today instructed my solicitor to look into the matter."

Steve Daniels, Ace Internet

Ace Internet have in their statement alleged that Entanet's refusal to provide them with MAC codes is a breach of General Condition 22 which requires providers to issue MAC codes allowing migration from one service provider to another, regardless of any contractual disputes and instigated a complaint with Ofcom.

"There have been a number of inaccurate comments made on this forum (and others) relating to the commercial relationship between Entanet International Ltd (Entanet) and Ace Internet. It is our professional opinion that it is inappropriate for Entanet to comment on specific detail about this relationship on any open forum and we will not be drawn into such a discussion.

However, we would like to state our position with respect to the provision of MAC codes according to General Condition 22 in an effort to reassure End Users. Entanet has an outstanding reputation for ensuring that End Users are able to migrate if they so wish by providing a MAC code and we have every intention to maintain this reputation. We have therefore acted in accordance with General Condition 22 and are providing MAC codes within 5 working days of the original request. The earliest we are required to provide MAC codes to Ace Internet under GC22 therefore is Monday 3rd September 2007.

Ace Internet has stated that it is unable to offer End User customers technical support relating to Entanet ADSL services. Any End User requiring Entanet technical support can do so by calling 0870 224 3494 or emailing support@enta.net. End Users can also request a MAC code by contacting Entanet Customer Services on 0870 777 4224 or by emailing cs@enta.net.

We recently wrote to all Ace Internet End User customers advising them that Entanet will be billing them directly in the future and asking them to contact us to set up a payment method. We would like to reiterate that they remain End User customers of Ace Internet.

Ace Internet End User customers should have confidence that they will receive Entanet's full co-operation regardless of whether they choose to receive their Internet service from Entanet or an alternative service provider."

Entanet Statement

The one positive issue to come out of this is that whilst end users have indeed been affected last week, at this point in time it appears their Internet service remains up and they have a route to obtain support if they experience problems.

Related Articles: Ace Internet Service Problems (24/08/07)

Comments

Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"they remain customers of Ace Internet but we're taking their money ourselves" ?? A fairly unique business situation.
Posted by Flubster over 9 years ago
erm.... no, many entanet resellers use enta.net for the billing
Posted by c_j_ over 9 years ago
"many entanet resellers use enta.net for the billing"

That may be so, but then they're not really "resellers" in the usual sense of the word, are they? "Agents" or "reps" might be a better term. At least the ones where Enta bill direct are unlikely to get into the kind of financial mess where the reseller has collected money from punters (in advance?) but for whatever reason the reseller hasn't got enough money to pay Enta (in arrears?).
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"many entanet resellers use enta.net for the billing" maybe so, but they elected / agreed to do so and just be dealers / reps as opposed to being cut out of the loop by entanet's unilateral action.

Try this for size - BT Wholesale writes to all Entanet end users asking them to set up direct payment arrangements otherwise their ADSL will stop working. At the same time they block Enta's access to the MAC system but will provide anyone wishing to leave "Entanet" with a MAC directly. Spot any parallels ?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
The complaint Ace Internet have made with regards to General Condition 22 i very much doubt will be upheld. General Condition 22 is in place for END USERS benefit not RESELLERS. Also as Enta are more than willing to DIRECTLY provide Ace customers with a MAC upon request the complaint is likely to be ignored. (CONTINUED)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I also doubt this is the first time Ace Internet have missed a payment, Enta in their right mind wouldnt go to the lengths and expense of writing to the whole customer base if this was a one off issue where payment was made within 48 hours. Their is obvioulsy more to this than whats been commented on from both sides.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
If you dig deeply into GC22 (as per the forum) you will see that OFCOM very much wanted it to cover Wholesalers being required to issue MACs to Retailers to avoid a repeat of the Netservices debacle(s).

Entanet are cunningly meeting the needs of the end user while preventing Ace moving their customers to other wholesalers, restricting competition. Stealing the revenue of the end users and preventing migration to another wholesaler. Generous ?
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I fail to see how they can be stealing a thing as its there infrastructure used to provide the service and Enta were the ones that didnt get paid. If anything you could say Ace were stealing from Enta when they were in areas for money owed. All they are doing from what i can see is looking after the End user/customers while at the same time cutting out a middle man who they have had financial 'issues' with. Thats basic and sensible finance and credit control.
Posted by ETEE over 9 years ago
The latest Enta statement seems to be equivalent to shooting themselves in the foot. They agree that they will provide MACs to Ace Internet. Ace Internet go elsewhere with their customers. Some customers leave Ace Internet. Both parties lose out. It seems to me that Enta has made a bad decision.
Posted by warweezil over 9 years ago
I chose to be connected thru Enta, its not for my reseller to decide to migrate me elsewhere - possibly to an inferior network - if my reseller ever tried that hed have my MAC request very quickly.
Posted by g-bhxu over 9 years ago
Have to disagree with you there warweezil.

Have to disagree with you there warweezil. You chose Ace Internet and it just so happens that they are Enternet resellers.

It is up to Ace Internet to decide which company they choose as the provider for their broadband.

You probably wouldn't know that they'd changed their broadband provider except for the loss of connection for a few minutes you would be non the wiser. Especially if Ace Internet found a broadband source on the same terns as Enternet are giving
Posted by warweezil over 9 years ago
Actually I am not with Ace.. but the fact is I chose my reseller primarily because I wanted an Enta connection, I think I made that pretty clear in my original comment, I was commenting on the way that Ace are deciding to migrate their enta connected customers without consulting them. Given the stability and speed of my current connection I think I ight easily notice depending on where they decided to go next...

It is also up to customers to choose which network they choose to be on.
Posted by Silvereyes over 9 years ago
I'd have to agree with that. I only started comparing the resellers *after* I had decided on Entanet.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"It is also up to customers to choose which network they choose to be on." if a customer buys a service from a reseller they have no control over that unless the network is specified. If that's a problem then don't use a reseller.
Posted by herdwick over 9 years ago
"I fail to see how they can be stealing a thing" perhaps your issues with Ace blind you to the reality of the fact that Entanet are seeking to take money that is legally due to Ace. It isn't theirs to take. If they are owed money by Ace (which they aren't) then they can take action to recover it, but intercepting the income of another business is without legal precedent.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote "It isn't theirs to take. If they are owed money by Ace (which they aren't) then they can take action to recover it"
Ah but Ace did owe them money and Enta had to waste their own time chasing them for payment, obviously it was owed or Ace wouldnt have finally paid up. Now whether Ace now owe Enta any more money or Enta owe Ace money still remains to be seen in a legal light. (Continued)
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
Enta have done the sensible thing and stopped doing business with Ace, again thats just a common sense thing to do, If someone previously owed you money and you had to twist their arm for it, would you continue to do business with them??? I highly doubt it
Posted by warweezil over 9 years ago
Herdwick - you seem to have difficulty in grasping my point so let me try to make this as clear as possible, in the case of Enta resellers, using a reseller is pretty much the only way to obtain connectivity via Enta. I chose my reseller as a secondary consideration, the primary consideration in my case was to obtain an Enta connection.

I would expect any change of end supplier to be notified to me by a reseller with the option of a MAC if I am not happy with the new arrangement.
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
I think you have a valid point warweezil, especially when you consider the prices and various options of packages Enta offer end users through resellers. Why should a Customer have a Enta reseller move you to another company just because they have financial issues with the company supplying the service. Many choose Enta resellers due to price and more than resonable peak and off peak allowances, i dont see why the customer should be moved to other perhaps lesser service just because a reseller disagrees financially with the supplier.
Posted by g-bhxu over 9 years ago
Any contract is Ace and not Enternet.

Therefore, as long as you get the same type of connection as that supplied by Enternet, Ace are not in breech of contract.

The only way out if you disagree with the change in Aces' choice of broadband supplier is to ask for a MAC and possibly have to buy your way out of any remaining contract
Posted by adagio over 9 years ago
Whatever the rights and wrongs both parties ought to know better than to persistently use the tautology "MAC code". A MAC is already a code!
Posted by CARPETBURN over 9 years ago
quote "Therefore, as long as you get the same type of connection as that supplied by Enternet, Ace are not in breech of contract."

Indeed thats correct but only if they moved you to a like for like service, including having the same download limits you would of had previously, if they didnt that is a change in the contract. As i said originally Their is obvioulsy more to this than whats been commented on from both sides. It will be intersting to read the FULL story once it leaks out.
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