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BTCellnet/Barclaycard caught out by customer demand

Mobile phone promo leaves many users cut off

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Barclaycard has apologised after being unable to cope with a barrage of applications for its free mobile phone offer. Customers flocked in their droves to get one of the free handsets, worth £89.99, in a joint promotion between Barclaycard and BTCellnet. But over half the applicants, 185,000, suffered delays with the offer. Many did not get their Easylife pre-paid phone within the promised 28 days, while others were unable to get it to connect when they did finally receive it. Barclaycard sent a letter to customers, admitting the offer had: "fallen well short of the standards we set ourselves", according to a report in today's Daily Mail. The "exceptionally popular" offer had proved too much for Barclaycard and BTCellnet, and they were unable to provide enough of the Philips phones to meet demand, it continued. Barclaycard harked back to the summer supermarket sweep of mobile phones. It blamed the price war between shops such as Tesco and Asda, saying it had caused a huge sales surge which had led to connection delays. The credit card company said the problem had now been sorted out. BTCellnet added: "We were not expecting it to be quite so popular." ®

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