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RedHotAnt claims police raid ‘rash’

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RedHotAnt has criticised the raid on its premises by police and trading standards officials last Friday as "rash". The ISP made the claim in a statement published on its Web site.

It reckons it has done nothing wrong and that any investigation into its business affairs will draw a blank.

"We feel confident that the authorities will find that we have acted and will continue to act in a moral fashion towards our subscribers in either un-suspending the un-metered service or providing a refund package," read the statement from MD Kevin Wall.

The ISP blames BT for the delayed roll-out of the wholesale unmetered Net access product, FRIACO, and claims this dawdling prompted the company's financial backers to withdraw support.

But senior RHA staff are currently in the US trying to "reinstate the un-metered service and/or to provide refunds for as many users as possible".

And in a bid to win the sympathy vote, RedHotAnt says it won't be "beaten by the establishment trying to crush a small player in the market trying to take on the 'Big Boys'".

Furthermore, the ISP said it has "already started to accept refund applications for subscribers who joined in December 2000 and we are working to increase this time frame even further back into last year". It makes no mention of actually paying anything out.

In the statement, Wall said: "On Friday 19th January 2001 Kent County Council Trading Standards Officers came to our offices and removed various paperwork and computer systems. This was an attempt to ascertain if RedHotAnt had committed any offences since March 2000 in providing our recently suspended un-metered access products.

"Unfortunately, due to the authorities "rash" handling and lack of communication with us we have had to keep them informed every step of the way."

The Register tried to "communicate" with RHA but no one returned our emails or phone calls. ®

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