Crunch time for 08004u

If it can't resolve its problems today, the game's up

Troubled ISP 08004u is facing an eleventh hour struggle to avoid closing down for good.

Last week, The Register reported that 08004u was to make a Phoenix-like recovery on Friday, but the ISP instead appears to have come to the end of the line following months of turmoil which have seen the promise of unmetered Net access come to nothing.

Now, unless it can come to an agreement with its telco about the release of access numbers, 08004u will shut up shop tonight. The ISP posted a message on its new site on Friday: "If on Monday we are no further, we will quite gladly ensure that the product is terminated and refunds issued."

When we contacted 08004u today, no new announcements were forthcoming. Since launching in September, 08004u has been plagued by problems. Within days of its launch it had buckled under the weight of people trying to register.

Even the managing director, David Banks, admitted the service levels were unacceptable. "I am not happy with the service. At the moment, it's absolutely appalling... I'm not proud of it," he said in October.

In November, 22,000 users gained unauthorised access to the service after a leaked 0800 number. The costs generated by this security breach are believed to have been instrumental in the ISP's latest round of difficulties.

It also led to the somewhat ambitious plan to issue all users with their own 0800 number. On 25 November, the Scots company closed its service hoping to be up again after little more than a week. By 8pm (GMT) this evening, the future of 08004u will have been decided. ®

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