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BT Internet customers told they can't sign up until August

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BT Internet users are being forced to wait at least one month longer than new customers to sign up for BT Surftime.

Existing users were angry after being told today by the BT Internet customer helpdesk that they could not register for BT's unmetered Surftime package until August... unlike new customers, who can sign up for the shiny new service from today.

BT confirmed there would be a delay for existing BT Internet customers, citing difficulties in switching users between the two different payment systems. BT Internet is charged monthly via credit card, whereas Surftime charges are to be added to quarterly phone bills.

But a BT representative said the company expected to have the problem fixed at the end of June, and that the customer helpdesk had "got it wrong". BT was working round the clock to get an automated system in place that could transfer customer details between the two schemes, he said.

He laughed off suggestions that the company was favouring new customers over its established users. ®

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