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Heavy breathers winded by Net access rejection

Modern Urbanists blamed

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breathe, the lifestyle conscious ISP that courts a cliquey social group it calls "Modern Urbanists", is to withdraw Net access from 500-odd heavy users later today.

The new media luvvy ISP claims that the few are spoiling it for the many and that such heavy usage is contrary to breathe's terms and conditions.

For those concerned the service will be pulled from 13:00 BST today.

In a 'Dear John'-style e-mail, breathe said: "The continued heavy use by a small proportion of users has now resulted in the need for us to withdraw the breathe freely service from these customers to sustain the offer to the majority of customers who are not using the service to the same extent.

"Whilst this is not a decision that we have taken lightly, we believe other providers would choose to undermine the service for everybody by restricting modem ratios and bandwidth until the whole service becomes unusable. This is not a measure we were willing to undertake," it said.

How oxymoronic: pay for 24/7 Net access but get kicked off if you attempt to use the service for any extended length of time. The ad, flashy sales bumph and media hype said the ISP offered 24/7 unmetered Net access. The Ts and Cs don't.

"The small print can't get you out of everything," said Steve Ballinger, a spokesman for the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

"We would look into a complaint that the ads were misleading," he said.

Breathe has offered up to £50 in compensation towards call charges if people revert to using the breathe everywhere local-call access service.
Last month breathe ceased offering flat-fee unmetered access after launching its all-you-can-eat-service-for-fifty-quid in March.

Predictably, no one from breathe was available for comment today. No doubt they were far too busy leading hectic Modern Urbanist lifestyles instead of delivering what they promised. ®

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