Freeserve fingered by BTo snitches

Hostilities resume

Hostilities between two of Britain's biggest ISPs surfaced again today after the advertising watchdog backed a complaint lodged by BTopenworld against Freeserve.

BTo objected to a leaflet which claimed that: "With Freeserve AnyTime, you'll have the freedom to go onto the Internet any time of day and night for as long as you like."

BTo pointed out that people couldn't stay logged on "for as long as [they] like" because Freeserve's Ts & Cs stated that the ISP could "reserve the right to disconnect you after two hours continuous use and/or after 10 minutes of inactivity during connection."

Despite protests, the Advertising Watchdog Authority (ASA) sided with BTo and told Freeserve to remove the offending remarks.

A spokeswoman for Freeserve told The Register: "It's a bit rich for BT to complain about terms of use for the Freeserve service when their own AnyTime service can be used for just 12 hours a day. Freeserve AnyTime is what it says and offers far less restrictions on use than any competitive products."

Not to be outdone, a spokesman for BTo told us that the ISP makes it perfectly clear in its Ts & Cs that they can only use it 12 hours in every 24.

"We've had several [advertising related] complaints about our AnyTime service but none has been upheld," he bragged.

That might be right, but the ASA did cuff BTo last year for describing its unmetered dial-up service, BT Anytime, as "reliable", after users protested that they couldn't use the service. ®

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