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BTInternet and the free call fiasco

Our man on the spot finds BT getting its wires crossed

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Opinion Subscription-based ISP BTInternet is still telling people that it will start offering toll-free access to the Net as of five June. A customer services operator told me this morning that BT was going ahead with the offer after I phoned to say I had received my BTInternet software but that there was no mention of the free offer. "Yeah, that's right," said the operator. "You'll get free calls for weekends from the 5th of June." I asked him for more information after he mentioned something about BT ClickFree. Thirty seconds later -- after he'd excused himself to speak to his supervisor -- he denied that free calls were being offered. "But you just told me they were," I said. "Yeah, that's just press speculation though," said Talbot. "Press speculation? You're a BT operator and you're telling me something about BTInternet based on press speculation?" "I'm sorry. You'll have to wait until BT makes an official announcement," he said. "When will that be?" "I'm sorry..." "But I was told two days ago that BT was going to offer free calls. That's why I asked for the software. Two minutes ago you told me you were offering free calls and now you've changed you mind. What's going on?" "As far as I'm aware it's just press speculation," he said. "Press speculation!" "I'm sorry," he said. If BT didn't play such a vital role in the lives of ten million Net users in the UK this episode would be comical -- farcical even. But it's got beyond a joke. BT is deliberately misleading people about pricing policy. ®

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