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Is BT tight-fisted or what?

Flat-rate pricing nothing to get excited about

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Opinion "There's no such thing as a free lunch," BT spokespeople always say when asked about why the telco won't introduce flat-rate pricing plans for Net access as is the case in the US. The something-for-nothing culture regarding toll-free telephone calls that has existed in the US simply wouldn't be feasible in Britain, they say. You can't have little old grannies subsidising "free" Net access for a minority -- it's simply not on. Ah ha, that may be so but yesterday BT seemed to change its mind when it decided to bundle a minuscule amount of toll-free phone calls as part of its line rental. BT may not think there's such a thing as a free lunch, but it obviously believes that free snacks are all right. Granted, the 80p a quarter it effectively gave consumers yesterday when it handed out £1.80 worth of free calls every 90 days in return for £1 extra on top of the quarterly line rental would just about buy a Pot Noodle. You would certainly get change from the price of a packet of crisps and a choccy bar. And if you saved up your 80p each quarter it's feasible you could splash out on a modest lunch once a year for your £3.20. You wouldn't quite get a McDonalds' meal but you'd be almost there. So BT's spokespeople will have to come up with some other adage to fend off enquiries about BT's high cost of accessing the Net. Something like, "who says BT's tight, we give you all-you-can-eat for 80p", or something equally as trite. ® Don't forget... We hate BT -- and now we're going to sue

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