Original URL: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2003/09/03/bt_says_sorry_for_poaching/

BT says sorry for poaching Zetnet punter

Honest mistake, Guv

By Tim Richardson

Posted in Media, 3rd September 2003 13:53 GMT

One of the UK's oldest ISPs is demanding answers from BT after one its customers was blocked from having an ADSL connection - only to be poached by BT Openworld.

Zetnet - founded in 1994 and based in the Shetland Isles - is unhappy at the way it has been stonewalled over the last month following a cock-up by the UK's dominant wholesale supplier of ADSL.

In July, one of Zetnet's customers ordered ADSL through the ISP. But the order was rejected because BT engineers said the distance from the exchange to the customer's premises was too great.

But when the customer complained to BT, a new line test was carried out, which found that ADSL could be supplied to the property. The customer concerned - who has not been named - was then connected to the telco's ISP BT Openworld.

This apparent poaching of a customer has enraged execs at Zetnet, who contacted their BT account manager at the beginning of August demanding an explanation.

After weeks of silence, BT has finally admitted that it has made a mistake although it "can't explain why it has happened".

"It was a simple error," said a spokesman for the company. "We've processed well over a million connections - this sort of thing doesn't happen very often."

As a result, BT has said it will transfer the customer to Zetnet at no charge and will discuss the matter of compensation. However, Zetnet is unconvinced and believes it has been fobbed off by the UK's dominant telco.

Paul Martin, technical director, told The Register: "Whilst we appreciate BT's trying to make amends for their mistake, we are still not entirely satisfied with the explanation offered, or the time taken for them to explain what went wrong." ®