Last week Ofcom celebrated the first year of its new mandatory broadband migration code (MAC) rules, highlighting a significant reduction in consumer complaints about the process. However uSwitch reports that four out of ten (38%) broadband switchers have not received a MAC within the compulsory 5 day period.
In addition, one in every seven (14%) requests for a MAC have failed to materialise at all, which compares with 11% prior to the introduction of the updated rules. Less than half (46%) received a MAC the first time they asked for it and nearly a quarter (24%) had to chase their ISP for the code at least once:
Steve Weller, Communications Expert at uSwitch.com, comments: "It’s disappointing that despite the mandatory Code of Practice being introduced, providers are still dragging their heels at the customer’s expense. MAC codes not only enable customers to move to a new broadband service quickly and smoothly, but they ensure that bills from the old supplier stop.
They are so vital that some companies actually refuse to sign new customers up if they don’t have a code. Ofcom needs to address this issue as a matter of urgency and come down hard on providers failing to deliver a MAC code. If this means issuing financial penalties then so be it."
Ofcom has already confirmed that it intends to extend its MAC enforcement programme, albeit only by a few months. We believe that the regulator should not even entertain the notion of ending its enforcement programme until it has at least adapted the process and rules for fully unbundled lines (LLU).
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