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NetServices slams Gio Internet in bill dispute

3,000 Gio customers caught in crossfire

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Some 3,000 broadband customers are facing an uncertain future after being caught in the middle of bitter legal dispute between ISP Gio Internet and Manchester-based wholesale broadband operator NetServices Plc. NetServices Plc is pulling the plug on Gio Internet on December 1 because it claims that the ISP owes it more than £220,000.

In a statement issued on Friday NetServices said: "This debt incorporates invoices several months old. NetServices Plc believes that Gio Internet Limited have no ability to clear this debt. NetServices Plc have provided Gio Internet Limited with numerous opportunities to settle their debt. We believe Gio Internet Limited have been commercially obstructive which has forced NetServices Plc to take protective action."

Gio Internet denies the allegations, saying it is in dispute over the size of the bill. Gio Internet MD Charles Holland told The Register: "We are in a legal dispute with NetServices because we believe we've been overcharged."

Those hit by the dispute - around 15 per cent of Gio Internet's DSL customer base - have been given the choice by NetServices of losing their Net access or signing up with an outfit called "F1 Internet".

However, customers considering what to do next have been alarmed that although NetServices is putting forward F1 Internet as a potential provider, the F1 Internet web site contains no background information on the company or any contact details.

When The Register contacted NetServices PLC to try and find out more, no one from the company was available for comment. But in a statement NetServices said: "F1 Internet is in no way owned by NetServices Plc. NetServices Plc is the provider of services to F1 Internet and therefore we can confirm continuity of service. F1 Internet is a brand operated by an existing NetServices Plc customer." ®

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