UK cable company NTL said it will not compensate the large number of frustrated customers who have waited weeks to get connected to its unmetered internet service.
NTL defended the service's performance today, saying it had made clear from the start that it was strictly controlling the sign-up process. It also said it would not compensate customers who are still paying per-minute charges while waiting to get connected.
The ntlworld service launched in April offers unmetered internet access included in the price of phone rental. Non-NTL customers signing up to ntlworld must buy a line adaptor for £10 and spend £10 a month on non-internet calls.
However, many customers are still waiting for the registration software to arrive. Existing NTL customers have also been irked that non-NTL customers have already received software.
"We have no plans for compensation," said an NTL spokeswoman today. "We are the only operator offering a free service and don't see why we should compensate people who will be getting a free service."
Other unmetered services that have run into congestion problems have offered refunds. Liberty Surf and Telewest both offered a free month's service for frustrated customers.
NTL has stopped advertising ntlworld, but refuted reports that this was because of an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA). The company confirmed that it has had conversations with the ASA, but said this wasn't connected with its advertising withdrawal.
"We have spoken to the ASA in recent weeks and I believe they are quite happy that we notified customers that they may face long delays when signing up to the service," said the spokeswoman.
NTL said it will continue to communicate regularly with people waiting for their registration software by both email and post, and will notify them when they can expect their registration disc.
NTL said more than 650,000 people registered an interest in ntlworld, but could not confirm how many has received the registration software. However, the company added that those who have managed to receive their CD find the service "very good".
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