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Old 28-June-2001, 22:40
A2-B2
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Default Customer anger at World Online

Customer anger at World Online

Thousands of internet users have been given a month to find a new phone company - or accept the choice of their service provider.

"I can't believe they would treat their customers so badly" World Online Customer

Dutch ISP World Online has decided to pull the plug on its fixed line telephone service, following its take-over by Italian internet giant Tiscali.

World Online customers who were signed up to its joint internet and phone package have been given the choice of transferring to rival operator Servista.com, switching back to BT - or finding a new phone company.

World online has 63,000 customers who signed up for telephone calls and internet access.

'Dumped'

One customer, who has been with World Online for more than two years, said: "I can't believe they would treat their customers so badly.

"It just feels like we have been dumped.

"When I first saw their letter I thought my phone was being cut off."

Tiscali, which says it has no plans to enter the UK telephone market, claims it announced the end of World Online's phone services in May.

But some customers say they were not informed until last week, when they received a letter marked "important information about the future of your telephone services".

Tiscali has confirmed that customers have been given 30 days notice to make alternative arrangements.

The company claims that its choice of ISP, Servista.com, would give customers the same level of service as World Online.

A Tiscali spokeswoman said that although Servista.com is more expensive than World Online, it was the best alternative available.

Kingston Telecom will take over World Online's technical support helplines and customer service.

'Forced into decision'

But one World Online customer told BBC NewsOnline he was being rushed into a finding a new ISP by Tiscali.

"I actually feel resentful about the options they have given me.

"I feel they should have given me more warning. I would have liked to have been given more alternatives.

"I feel I have been forced into making a decision."

In May, World Online's UK chief executive Simon Preston said the company regretted it would be losing "some good people, while giving rise to opportunities for others".

"Regrettably, this is necessary for the company to be going forward in today's highly competitive market place," he added.

Returning to BT

A significant proportion of World Online's customers are understood to have agreed to return to British Telecom.

But the former state monopoly is still in negotiation with World Online and telecom regulator Oftel over the terms of the handover.

Under Oftel rules, it is not allowed to actively target World Online customers or offer them preferential rates.

A BT spokesman said: "We are discussing with World Online what happens to their telephone customers and we are keeping Oftel informed."

Under Pressure

Tiscali is under pressure to make savings after it spent more than 4.1bn euros (2.5bn) becoming one of Europe's largest internet service providers.

United Business Media and British Telecom sold LineOne, one of Britain's best known ISPs, to Tiscali in April for a fraction of its valuation at the height of the internet boom.

Tiscali, now the second biggest ISP in Europe and the fourth largest in the UK, paid 62.5m in cash and shares for a business once valued at more than 1bn.

Tiscali acquired LibertySurf, a French ISP, in January and World Online in December.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/bus...00/1400894.stm


EDIT: Readability issues

Last edited by A2-B2; 28-June-2001 at 22:44.
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  #2  
Old 30-June-2001, 21:59
chris bartley
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Default service ?

"The company claims that its choice of ISP, Servista.com, would give customers the same level of service as World Online. "

Surely not !, there can't be another company as bad, can there ?
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Old 30-June-2001, 22:08
Ann Ann is offline
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LOL..........I love it......don't believe it!

Ann
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Old 30-July-2001, 18:17
watsondi
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This morning I was somewhat suprised to get a letter from Tiscali/WOL telling me that they had contacted me to say that they were no longer a telco (which they hadn't) and that my details were incomplete so I could not be automatically transfered to their preffered telco. I'm guessing but my transfer details may be incomplete because I ceased to be a Worldonline customer in November 2000 when I got an NTL cable connection.
Ain't bad either. Only a dial up account, but 2 phone lines for about 11/month ain't bad oh and it's 24/7 internet.....


Last edited by watsondi; 31-July-2001 at 11:16.
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  #5  
Old 30-July-2001, 22:21
seaviewuk
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Good move Watsondi
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Old 31-July-2001, 09:57
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Worldlife Worldlife is offline
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"The company claims that its choice of ISP, Servista.com, would give customers the same level of service as World Online.
Surely not !, there can't be another company as bad, can there ?"
@Chris - rather belated as it was posted whilst I was on holiday!

Good decision watsondi... wish we had NTL cable in our village!!!
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