Wanadoo in French phone farce

And we think Rip-Off Britain is bad

Freeserve's soon-to-be French owner, Wanadoo, is already up to no good by exploiting British journalists

Those hacks who couldn't attend today's hastily convened press conference in London were given the choice of taking part in a telephone conference call supplemented by a slide show on the Web.

Except they were asked to dial a French telephone number. That's right. British journalists, in Britain, phoning a French telephone number to hear a conference being held in Britain.

What's more, the conference didn't start until 11:53 (GMT) - 23 minutes later than scheduled, forcing British journalists to hold while the cost of the phone call escalated.

One reason could be that France Telecom - Wanadoo's parent - might be trying to recoup some of the cash it's shelled out for Freeserve.

But it's a worrying precedent. Let's just hope Wanadoo doesn't divert ordinary Freeserve Net calls via France or there will be hell to pay. ®

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