Transitioning? No: just changing my MAC

So what the hell is a MAC code…and what does it actually do? I appear now to have one – but I still don’t know why, or even why I have had quite so much disinformation from (mostly) Sky on the subject over the past few weeks.

The story? Well, UK Online, with whom I am currently a customer, are winding up some time soon. So I can’t have my internet from them any more.

Not to worry: Sky, who just happen to own them or are part of the same group or something of that ilk are offering a special deal to ex-UK Online customers. Yay!

So, inspired by this, I agree with a young lady from Sky to switch to them – especially as she informs me it will take but a week or so to shift over (and other providers are talking ten days plus).

A week later I speak to another young lady, who informs me that it is still going to be a week or ten days, but not to worry, as UK Online are not closing til a little later in January.

Another week passes and I am starting to get worried. I phone again. Ooops. We’re still not there. And,er, UK Online will be closing in a few days, so looks like I’ll be without the net for a week or more. I am not satisfied and say so.

Sorry. Nothing we can do. But don’t worry: I absolutely definitely don’t need a MAC code…which is what the earlier people kept sort of hinting at, but this time I have it in black and white (or as near as you can have black and white on a phone).

Today (we’re now almost three weeks from my first conversation) I phone to express my worry at the non-appearance of my promised new router. I pass from person to person before ending up with some techy guy who tells me absolutely definitely that I DO need a MAC code – and without one, they won’t even consider sending me my router. Huh? I am upset.

He advises me to phone UKOnline forthwith to get my code and then they’ll take it from there. But Sky can’t get me a MAC code!

I phone UKOnline. A guy THERE tells me he can give me a MAC code but it won’t be any good because of something about most of my line being with BT and the codes keep being rejected. Not to worry. He advises me to cancel my line (which I do instantly) and when the cancellation goes thru, Sky can take me on as a customer.

Back to Sky (sigh!). And back to another nice lady – albeit one with a streak of dominatrix in her: she keeps stopping me to say “listen to what I am saying”. Which is: yes I need a MAC code. The cancellation stuff is bollocks. And she can sort me out a MAC code then and there. Which she does.



I shall wait and see what happens. For now, though, I appear to have cancelled my line AND got a MAC code. I should be back online with Sky in about ten days and – I am assured – I won’t be ffline at all. If you don’t hear from me suddenly…you’ll know the folks at Sky and UKOnline got it wrong.


Bizarre. After this experience, transitioning seems like a doddle!



3 Responses so far »

  1. 1

    Phoebe said,

    Migration Access Code. Not to be confused with MAC addresses which are specific id numbers for network interfaces ( )

    Presumably “you don’t need a MAC code” has some sort of “we’re angry our business is being eaten by a bigger one so we’re going to avoid giving customers the migration codes they need to transfer their connection over to another service” significance.

    Or they’re just idiots.

  2. 2

    Jenny said,

    BT were just as bad when we switched our broadband and phone to Sky.
    They told us that they had sent us the MAC code so that Sky could get us transferred. After 5 weeks of us repeatedly calling they sent the code which we duely passed on, only to be told that it was invalid because it expired within 5 days and they needed it to be valid for at least 10.

    Noone we talked to could issue us a code as it had to come from some dark, dank corner of the company that weren’t allowed to talk to ordinary people.

    Eventually after talking to one of their staff on the phone for 20 minutes, on a Saturday morning, and have them put the phone down on me, I sent a letter to the Chairman of BT and has his PA on the phone to us first thing on the following Monday morning apologising and giving us a valid MAC code. Transfer was completed very quickly after that.

  3. 3

    Stace said,

    So much for the laws that were introduced to make this type of thing easy!


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