Help Please - Legal advise needed. ISP in breach of contract & wondering how to pursue.

Discussion in 'Broadband' started by WillC, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. WillC

    WillC Guest

    Hi all,

    We are a small business with a long standing account with an ISP.

    We regraded a 2 Mbit ADSL line with 128 static IPs about 6 weeks ago.

    During the regrade the subnet masking was misconfigured and our 128 static IPs
    were reduced to 6.

    The ISP acknowledged the fault after 1 week of me calling everyday until
    someone finally had enough basic TCP/IP knowledge to understand what went wrong.

    The ISP then decided that their error was not a support issue but rather a
    provisioning error,... "So what" I hear you ask?
    Well, we were bounced between the two departments for another week while the
    fault continued.

    It transpires that the ISP has re-provisioned portions of our range to new
    clients who would have been provided these IP ranges up to a maximum of one
    month ago (when the reconfiguration was botched).

    At first the ISP offered to supply US with a new range. Unacceptable! We have
    had the range for 4 YEARS. I have put 100s of hours into work that relies on
    these addresses and I would need a minimum of a month to migrate (even from a
    healthy network!)

    Now the ISP is stating that UNTIL all the new clients can be re-provisioned
    they cannot fix us.... So they are waiting until 12 new clients are all
    comfortable with their new lines until they will correct ours!!!!

    Totally amoral business practice driven entirely by making money and "path of
    least resistance" mentality....

    Anyway, I want to sue these bastards for 4 weeks worth of business impact.

    Can anyone suggest a legal firm or statutory body that can assist in these
    Am I even able to seek compensation....? Any help greatly appreciated!
    WillC, Sep 26, 2006
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  2. WillC

    Fisher Guest

    These any good?
    Upto £5000
    Upto £50,000

    Fisher, Sep 26, 2006
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  3. WillC

    Mike Scott Guest

    WillC wrote:
    A month minimum? Doesn't that suggest something very wrong with your
    setup? IP addresses are bound to change sooner or later - I'd be /very,
    very/ hesitant about allowing into the world any system that relied
    absolutely on fixed ones.
    Mike Scott, Sep 26, 2006
  4. WillC

    Bob Eager Guest

    Bad news, but mistakes happen.
    Oh dear. Their lawyer would take you to pieces. An expert witness would
    say that you have a badly set up network...IP addresses ought to be
    changeable very quickly; that's what DNS is for.
    Certainly you ought to be able to get something for the impact, up top
    the point where they offered you a new block (and perhaps a couple of
    hours afterwards, for you to reconfigure). I'd think the chances of
    getting any more would be low.
    Bob Eager, Sep 26, 2006
  5. WillC

    karlsbad Guest

    At first the ISP offered to supply US with a new range. Unacceptable! We
    Not true. From a contractual point of view if the address range is
    specifically referenced & legally documented then its not a question of the
    client's network being setup badly... it is simply a matter of a specific
    service not being provided when there is a contractual obligation. Check your

    "that's what DNS is for" = non sequitor
    "IP addresses ought to be changeable very quickly changeable" mute.
    Thankfully no "expert witness" is needed.

    Better equiped audience in IMHO...
    karlsbad, Sep 26, 2006
  6. How have you managed for 6 weeks? - or put another way what isn't
    working at the moment?
    Colin Forrester, Sep 26, 2006
  7. I agree - and the most likely scenario is that the contract limits
    damages to no more than the cost of the contracted service. Which is
    why adding a backup with another ISP and having a good disaster
    management plan is essential. As is a good knowledge of DNS etc.
    Colin Forrester, Sep 26, 2006
  8. WillC

    Muxton Guest

    I suspect you'd be on very shaky ground as I can't imagine for a
    moment that the contract you have with the ISP covers you for this. IP
    addresses don't "belong" to anybody, not even to the ISP, so while
    your contract may state that you are entitled to a /25 assignment I'd
    be very surprised if it specifies which particular /25.

    As someone else pointed out this appears to be a mistake by the ISP.
    Sloppy, yes, but a mistake nonetheless and very unlikely to be breach
    of contract.
    I doubt it, by offering to inconvenience 12 other customers on your
    behalf it sounds like they're genuinely trying to restore things in
    your favour. The path of least resistance would be to say "stuff you,
    these 12 other customers are happy..."
    Muxton, Sep 26, 2006
  9. WillC

    karlsbad Guest

    why would damages limited "to no more than the cost of the contracted service"
    make anything essential?
    i think "always get it in writing" & "read the small print" are more
    appropriate in the circumstances.
    why so bent on criticising this person? not very helpful.
    karlsbad, Sep 26, 2006
  10. WillC

    Bob Eager Guest

    Of course. But damages would surely be limited to what a competent
    customer would require to resolve the situation.
    Not at all.
    Silent? Of did you mean 'moot'? It's a fact - change of addresses should
    be trivial.
    Bob Eager, Sep 26, 2006
  11. This sounds like the British Gas whinge ~25 years ago when the VAT rate
    changed and they were caught out with it hard coded in lots of places.
    R. Mark Clayton, Sep 26, 2006
  12. WillC

    Clint Sharp Guest

    No opinion here, one way or another, but what do you need/use 128 IP
    addresses for on a DSL line?
    Clint Sharp, Sep 26, 2006
  13. WillC

    DriveTooFast Guest

    I recommend you see a solicitor on this issue as the facts need to be
    examined thoroughly. I recommend you find someone competent in this arena
    before you discuss this with them. If the agreement is in place and
    enforceable then you could be able to claim real damages for loss of
    business but it will depend on the specifics of the case.
    DriveTooFast, Sep 27, 2006
  14. WillC

    Stan The Man Guest

    They are good but not useful until a quantifiable claim for losses can
    be presented, together with the ISP's refusal to offer compensation. In
    short, you won't be able to make a claim for losses which you are about
    to incur - only those which you have already suffered... and which you
    can prove. The last point is invariably tricky when your own time is
    involved. It might be better to pay someone else, eg a freelance, to do
    all the data crunching so that the costs are clear and less likely to
    be disputed.

    Stan The Man, Sep 27, 2006
  15. If you know that the limit of compensation is low - for example far
    lower than the cost of losing a service - it is prudent to have a backup
    arrangement in place. In fact some insurance which provides cover for
    such "disasters" requires it.

    The two ISP's we use for business, both well respected, limit their
    damages to the cost of the contracted service. While it is clear this
    could be challenged in Court it is a good starting point when calculating.
    The OP has been silent on this point.
    It was useful advice, even if it isn't what the OP wanted to hear.
    In your kiilfile now?
    Colin Forrester, Sep 27, 2006
  16. Before anyone asks see:- - section liability
    and - section 9 (liability)
    Colin Forrester, Sep 27, 2006
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