Feeds

Free Web calls: BT speaks – not

Suddenly it's not so good to talk after all

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet

Updated BT has refused to confirm news that its BTInternet service is to offer toll-free access to the Net as of 5 June. "We will make an announcement when the proper business decision has been made," said BT spokesman David Pincott, in response to the story that broke earlier today on The Register. The official line from BT is in sharp contrast to that of BTInternet's customer support staff. This morning an operator confirmed that BTInternet would be offering toll-free access the Net from 5 June. The operator even said he would send details of the service and the software in the post. To have the marketing bumph and software ready to be sent out sounds like the "business decision" has already been made. Still, this supports anecdotal evidence forwarded by Register readers who reported similar conversations they'd had with BTInternet staff. BTInternet customer support staff have now been gagged and are refusing to talk about the toll-free service. But this is not the end of the story. Speculation in a number of newsgroups over the last day or so pointed to BT ClickFree offering a toll-free service due to be launched 1 June. So far there is nothing to substantiate this claim. Speculation had been heightened further still following the publication of an 0800 number that provided free Net access for users. BT denied it was trialling a toll-free service claiming instead that it was part of a V90 modem trial. The Register subsequently received an email from a reader who said that the username and password of the 0800 service he was using was "btclickfree." Once again, there was no proof that this was little more than just a rumour. Yet BT's refusal to come clean on its 5 June launch, despite this journalist hearing it for himself, shows a blatant disregard for Net users in the UK. Either BT is going to launch a toll-free service or it isn't. If it is, then it should say so now and put an end to this you-don't-need-to-know-until-we-tell-you attitude. If it's not, then The Register wants to know why staff at BTInternet deliberately set out to mislead Net users when they said the service was due to be launched on 5 June. Is BT so afraid of competition from screaming.net that it would deliberately try and stall its customers from joining LocalTel with promises of toll-free access? The coming days and weeks are going to be very interesting. ®

New hybrid storage solutions

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
JINGS! Microsoft Bing called Scots indyref RIGHT!
Redmond sporran metrics get one in the ten ring
Driving with an Apple Watch could land you with a £100 FINE
Bad news for tech-addicted fanbois behind the wheel
Murdoch to Europe: Inflict MORE PAIN on Google, please
'Platform for piracy' must be punished, or it'll kill us in FIVE YEARS
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Found inside ISIS terror chap's laptop: CELINE DION tunes
REPORT: Stash of terrorist material found in Syria Dell box
Sony says year's losses will be FOUR TIMES DEEPER than thought
Losses of more than $2 BILLION loom over troubled Japanese corp
Show us your Five-Eyes SECRETS says Privacy International
Refusal to disclose GCHQ canteen menus and prices triggers Euro Human Rights Court action
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.