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NTL has launched an urgent investigation into why one of the company's recorded messages told punters to "f**k off".

Customers in the North East of England were shocked by the verbal assault when they reported faults yesterday .

The Sun managed to get a transcript of the message before it was pulled. The message said: "Hello. You are through to NTL customer services. We don't give a f**k about you. We are never here. We just will f**k you about, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just f**k off and leave us alone. Get a life."

At this stage it's not known if security on NTL's network was breached, or whether it was an inside job. A spokeswoman for the cableco said it was "too early to say".

"The priority yesterday was to remove the offending message," she told us.

"This is a serious matter. The message was highly offensive and we would like to apologise to our customers," she said. ®

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