Ezesurf has become the latest internet service provider (ISP) to fall from the unmetered bandwagon with the announcement that it has closed its business and entered into voluntary liquidation.
But the ISP, which offered unmetered access to internet users who purchased £75 worth of shares in the company, is refusing to call it a day and is appealing to its customers to help it survive.
Ezesurf posted a message to customers on its website today, which begins with the statement "Sorry but we are now closed" after admitting it owed its telecom provider Energis £2m. However, the company is still claiming to be "the first UK 24 x 7 freecall internet provider to get it right" and is hoping customers can assist it in its bid to re-open.
The company's downfall began last Wednesday when its telco provider Energis stopped providing connectivity. Ezesurf customers were unable to connect via the 0808 number, fuelling speculation about the company's future.
Energis said that it did provide web hosting and connectivity to Ezesurf, but as of midday 23 August it would no longer provide the service. A member of the customer services team at Ezesurf told vnunet.com on Friday that he expected problems to be resolved and services to be up and running shortly.
But Ezesurf managing director Matt Bryson has admitted today that the ISP has entered into voluntary liquidation. He said the company was informed by Energis that it had accumulated over £1.7m in charges for freecall access between February and July 2000, and said it was expected to pay this amount "at once".
"Every bill we received from Energis was paid. However, with this unexpectedly large bill suddenly sprung upon us, we naturally hoped that Energis would give us the standard credit terms. But no; just a 'payable upon receipt' footer on the invoice. Had they given us between 30 and 60 days we could have done something," he said.
Ezesurf apologised to its users but said it did not have enough time to pay the £2m bill which includes VAT. It said it could be saved if each of its customers introduced five friends to the company, as it needs at least 55,000 new users to survive.
Energis confirmed that it no longer provides connectivity to Ezesurf but declined to comment on the specific reasons at this stage.
To see Ezesurf's explanation in full, visit www.ezesurf.co.uk.
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