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CallNet back in action

No catch free Net access on offer again, with catches

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CallNet 0800 -- the ISP that claims to offer "no catch" 24/7 0800 access to the Net -- began accepting new customers at the weekend, more than three months after first suspending registrations back in November. The ISP was forced to drop the gate and restrict access to the service only days after the service went live in late October after being inundated with Net users eager for toll-free access. A spokesman for the ISP said the backlog had now been cleared, despite promises in December that the ISP would be accepting new customers by Christmas. Punters looking to sign on to the service will have to fork out £19.99 for a CallNet Telecom dialler, which automatically routes all phone calls via CallNet's network -- which is at odds with CallNet's "no catch" marketing mantra. Although CallNet will refund the outlay with £20 worth of free phone calls, it means that CallNet's new users will effectively be tied to its network for their phone calls, as well as Net access. In that respect there is little difference between CallNet, LocalTel, TelNet and any other telco that offers varying amounts of toll-free access to the Net as part of a general telecoms package. Despite this, CallNet is upbeat about its relaunch. It has half-a-million diallers ready to be dispatched to new users although those who register online (www.callnet0800.com) will be dealt with ahead of those who call CallNet's helpline on 0906 944 4040, a spokesman for the company said. Either way, don't expect to register online today and surf for nowt tomorrow. It could take as long as 28 days before the diallers and registration details arrived neatly boxed on doorsteps up and down the country. ® Related stories: Backlogged CallNet has new year hangover Cisco backs CallNet0800 expansion CallNet to re-open registration site BT blamed for CallNet collapse

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