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ISPA bottles LineOne ruling

LineOne gets away, punters must pay

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The Internet Service Providers Association (ISPA) is to take no action against LineOne over the way it treated customers following its decision to ditch unmetered Net access, the industry body has ruled.

In July ISPA claimed that the "compensation that has been offered to date is unsatisfactory" after thousands of net users shelled out £20 for a dialler box only for the service to be pulled.

It seems now that ISPA believes LineOne acted "decently, fairly and reasonably at all times".

In effect, ISPA has done a Kevin Keegan and bottled it. But unlike Keegan, who resigned as England manager of the national association football side minutes after the 1-0 defeat against Germany on Saturday, it's taken ISPA more than 80 days of to-ing and fro-ing to reach its non decision.

And once again it's consumers who have to pay the price for outfits like LineOne getting it wrong - and getting away with it.

No one at ISPA was prepared to talk about the decision. Instead it issued a statement which said: "Following the investigation, it is the view of the ISPA Council that LineOne has not breached the ISPA Code of Practice. On the basis of evidence provided by LineOne, the ISPA Council believes that LineOne used reasonable endeavours to comply with its obligations to its customers, thereby acting 'decently, fairly and reasonably' as the Code requires.

"Evidence recently provided by LineOne indicated that the majority of users of the LineOne service who forwarded complaints to ISPA and were eligible for a refund, chose to continue with the service during the notice period.

All complainants to ISPA, including those who were not eligible for a refund, have saved, on average, many times more the cost of the equipment that was initially paid for, and in some cases have made extremely heavy use of the service."

In a statement from LineOne the ISP said: "LineOne...is pleased to announce ISPA finds LineOne did not breach the ISPA Code of Practice, and the company used reasonable endeavours to comply with its obligations to its customers, thereby acting 'decently, fairly and reasonably' during the operation and withdrawal of its 24/7 unmetered internet access package in July this year."

And just to prove that LineOne and ISPA have now kissed and made up, LineOne reiterates what ISPA said in its statement, great chunk of it word for word.

"Following LineOne's initial announcement to withdraw the service, ISPA received a number of complaints from customers and undertook a detailed investigation. ISPA were satisfied that where complainants were eligible for a refund, the majority chose to continue with the service during the notice period. In addition all complainants to ISPA, including those who were not eligible for a refund, have saved, on average, many times more the cost of the equipment that was initially paid for, and in some cases have made extremely heavy use of the service."

That'll be heavy use of a 24/7 unmetered Net access service, will it?

Either way it sounds like ISPA will have to redraft its code of conduct - for obviously its current verbiage isn't worth the Web site its printed on. ®

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