Ex-subscriber accuses PlusNet of 'paranoia'

Legal exchange over 'email database' claims

A Reading man says he "didn't know whether to laugh or cry" when he received an email from PlusNet's lawyers instructing him to hand over a database containing email addresses of 95,000 PlusNet customers.

Snag is, Simon Chapman says he doesn't possess a database of PlusNet's customers. Nor does he have any intention of obtaining one.

PlusNet's lawyers wrote: "Our client has received information that you have acquired a database comprising the email addresses of some 95,000 customers of PlusNet (the database). Our client has received further information that you are proposing to use the database to email customers of PlusNet, either directly yourself or through a third party."

It then goes on to demand that the database is returned.

Mr Chapman is stunned by the nature of the allegations which he describes as "ludicrous, unwarranted and a waste of my time".

He believes that PlusNet's heavy-handed tactics are a result of an ongoing dispute he's had with the company which resulted in him being booted off the ISP in August.

In reply to PlusNet's lawyers Mr Chapman wrote: "Your client is suffering from paranoia. I do not possess, nor have I ever possessed, a database of PlusNet customers' e-mail addresses."

He told The Register: "I have no idea where they got this idea from. I have no database."

A spokesman for PlusNet said the ISP sought legal advice concerning written information it had received and that its solicitors "contacted the third party directly as a preventative measure". ®

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