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20,000 World Online punters could be phoneless

It's a 'shambles' says punter

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Time is running out for 20,000 World Online customers following the ISPs decision to can its discount telephone service in the UK.

The service is officially pulled on 12 July and if customers haven't made provisions for a new telecoms supplier they could be left without a phone service.

According to the latest figures some 40,000 people have heeded World Online's advice and sought a new provider.

However, this still leaves around 20,000 people who could be cut-off unless they make arrangements to sign-up to a new phone provider.

A spokeswoman for Servista.com - a discount telecoms provider recommended to customers by World Online - told El Reg that today was the final day punters could switch providers for the Servista.com service and guarantee uninterrupted service.

BT is currently holding discussions with World Online in an attempt to help ease the situation.

However, one reader who contacted El Reg claims the process has been a shambles.

"Tiscali sent out a letter on June 19, 2001 (received four days later) stating it was ceasing its voice telephone service on July 19. Subsequently I made arrangements to reconnect to BT. BT's confirmation letter said connection would be July 25, although it had agreed one minute past midday on July 19

"They corrected that a fortnight ago but failed to give me a proper account number which meant I could not register on the bt.com website to check my order. Contacting them today to reconfirm July 19 they said to let World Online know I was changing on that date.

"WOL, however, now says it is terminating the service on July 12. What a shambles, especially as we have now been given little more than a fortnight to make the change to a new provider," he said.

The advice to those who are as yet undecided is to act now - or face being cut-off. They should call World Online on 0800 037 1338 for more information.

No one from World Online was available for comment by press time. ®

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