AOL claims 24/7 toll-free access offer “a hoax”

But it is testing a freephone number...

AOL UK has move quickly to quash rumours that it is on the verge of introducing round-the-clock toll-free access to the Internet. A newsgroup posting on the Editor's Message Board last night sparked a fresh wave of rumours that AOL was set to introduce toll-free access. The message has been branded a hoax by AOL. The alleged conversation happened in one of AOL's chat rooms between one of its guides and an AOL user. Not only did it allege that AOL was to introduce toll-free access, it suggested that a television report claimed it would be for 24-hours a day. This has been strongly denied by AOL spokeswoman Maggie Gallant. "AOL UK is currently testing an 0800 product but we are in early stages of trials. There is no announcement due in the near future," she said. Referring to the posting she said that the presence of an official AOL guide in the snippet does, on the surface, lend credibility. But the name "Guide UK" is incomplete and could be one of 200 people, she said. "We have no evidence that that this is a genuine posting. "We are looking into it," she said, "but I suspect it is a hoax." The short posting read: Here ya go guys, some of the latest news, well its mainly cause the guide said its gonna released soon... hold tite! Also on the tv it said thats its gonna be 24/7!! 1 even better!! Ianp22: i was just watching the tv and it said aol is realsing 0800 dialup soon, is this true? GuideUK: yes maybe Ianp22: and it said the best thing yet, that when they do release it, its gonna be 24/7 dialup and no limit like 2 hour kick offs GuideUK: I am not aware of any details Ianp22: but there is rumors that its gonna be realesed soon? GuideUK: yes Last month AOL UK confirmed it was testing a new pricing package which would give users toll-free telephone calls to access the Net. Since then speculation has mounted about when -- and if -- this may be introduced. AOL also confirmed last month of it intention to cut the cost of its unlimited price plan to £9.99. ®

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