Free calls man caught in Web of threats

Entrepreneur and family under siege as menaces grow

The man behind a new service that is set to offer 0800 toll-free Net access in the UK has received threats against himself and his family. Richard Jay of Freecall-UK said people have even turned up at his house and threatened him. The matter is now in the hands of his solicitor, he said, speaking to The Register today. Freecall-UK -- which is set to provide toll-free calls to the Internet in return for users receiving online ads via email -- is due to be formally launched at the end of this week. But many Net users who have already registered for the service have used newsgroups to vent their anger and doubts about the true nature of the service. The Register was contacted by one reader who expressed concerns that Freecall-UK was not all it claimed to be and was just an attempt to harvest email addresses and personal details. This was denied outright by Jay who said that he had been inundated with enquiries from Net users eager to subscribe to his service. "Full details about Freecall-UK will be released on Friday," he said. "But I can tell you it's causing a real stir in the industry." That may be so, but when The Register spoke to its contacts at Screaming.net and The X -Stream Networks -- both of which already offer limited toll-free access -- they both said: "Freecall-UK who?" ® Click here to email Tim Richardson

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