Pipex trashed by Tiscali : Avoid Pipex at all costs, it’ll save you in the long run

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A few months back PIPEX changed my fixed IP address without warning. Ok, so I lost a few days in fault finding a few network issues when a few things stopped working because of the IP change. The fact that PIPEX changed my IP wasn’t so much an issue, it was the fact that they never told me about beforehand. For operational reasons, I understand that sometimes an IP has to change, it just can’t be helped. So I really wouldn’t have minded. But to be not told beforehand is just bad business practice and causes a lot of unnecessary work. But PIPEX’s ineptitude doesn’t end there.

I emailed support to ask them why they had changed my IP address without warning.  My ticket just contained the following information:

I would be grateful if you could let me know:
1. Why was the IP address changed?
2. Why were no notifications sent out?
3. Is the IP address change permanent?
4. What intend to do to prevent this from happening again in the future.

In order to contact support, I had to :

  • Log in to my account using my username and password.
  • Fill out a protected contact form submitted via SSL
  • And then wait… and wait… and wait…

And then imagine my surprise when I get an email back saying:

Unfortunately, due to Data Protection laws we are unable to act upon your enquiry as we cannot access any account without the proper means of secure evidence. To enable us to access the Pipex Internet account in question and advise you on your query, please forward the following verification details:
– Your name
– Your account number
– Your Pipex Internet phone number
– Your full address and postcode

Why? In order to have created the ticket, I had to log into my account with my username and my password.

During a subsequent call to PIPEX I asked the support guy why I had to supply these details, he said it was in case someone had gained access to my username and password. When I pointed out that the account number, PIPEX internet phone number and full address and postcode could all be read from the account by anyone with the username and password anyway, he put the phone down on me. Just to piss me off some more.

Oh, incidentally, their initial “automatic suggestions” were:

Title: How do I cancel an account on behalf of a customer who has passed away, what should I do?
Link: http://support.mypipex.net/cgi-bin/tiscali3.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=728&p_created=1196255896
Title: Will my MAC code expire?
Link: http://support.mypipex.net/cgi-bin/tiscali3.cfg/php/enduser/popup_adp.php?p_faqid=755&p_created=1196259530

The first one had me laughing so much, I nearly changed to Sky Broadband (ok, so nothing can be *that* bad).

So having waited 4 days for them to even respond to the ticket, they wanted information which they didn’t really need in the first place. I supplied the information and nothing else (didn’t want to complicate the ticket with anything else).  I then had to wait another 14 days for a reply.

I’ve replied to their ticket at weekly intervals asking for an update with absolutely no reply.
And then on the 22nd August, some 40 days after creating the ticket, I get the following:

Unfortunately, due to Data Protection laws we are unable to act upon your enquiry as we cannot access any account without the proper means of secure evidence. To enable us to access the Pipex Internet account in question and advise you on your query, please forward the following verification details:
– Your name
– Your account number
– Your Pipex Internet phone number
– Your full address and postcode

And their reason for asking for this again:

Incident created due to reply to expired incident

The original ticket had been open for longer than a month, so they closed it.
They closed it.
And because I replied to a “closed ticket”, it opened a new ticket, to which they don’t have the username and account information they asked me for in the first reply associated with the new ticket. So now we have to start all over again.

PIPEX used to be the best for value, best for performance and best for customer support.  I have been with them for 99% of my “online time” whilst in the UK since “the net” has existed.  My only break was for the 3 years I lived in Texas.  As soon as I saw that Tiscali were going to be taking over I knew this was coming.  Tiscali have ruined a great company and dragged it down to their level. So in the next few weeks I’ll be moving over to someone that actually has a clue about customer care.  I have never in all my time online or in dealings with customer support, met such an inept bunch of numpties as I have done at Pipex/Tiscali.

And this moan about my IP is nothing compared to what they have done to my main account which I shall save for another post. (But lets just say that they tripled my monthly bill for no reason, and I mean tripled !!)