Cable & Wireless Communications will press ahead with plans to scrap free phone calls for some customers, despite hope that it would abandon the move following criticism by Oftel.
From 15 December, around 70,000 CWC customers in the franchise areas formerly controlled by Videotron will have to pay £10 per month to make unmetered calls to local business numbers - including some Internet access numbers.
Some customers had hoped CWC would abandon the charge, first muted in August, following criticism by Oftel of its handling of the change. The first many customers heard of the charge was on Internet newsgroups and on vnunet.com.
Today CWC said there would be no turnaround, despite Oftel receiving 350 complaints from customers. A spokeswoman said talk of the planned charge being dropped was "just press speculation."
Customers affected received a letter this week from Janet Somerville, consumer marketing director at CWC, informing them of the 15 December deadline.
In September, Oftel called on CWC to extend its original 1 September deadline for the charge, explain the new terms and conditions more clearly and give customers at least a month's notice of changes.
"Their service is high priced and makes no attempt to draw in new clients by offering cheap calls. It looks as if they are now trying to price people who used their phones for the Internet out of the market," said one unhappy CWC customer who contacted vnunet.com.
Yesterday BT announced new phone tariffs for ISPs that could result in cheaper Internet access for consumers, but falls short of some people's demands for unlimited free Internet connection time.
Comcast's £29.7bn winning bid more than twice the £13.7bn Rupert Murdoch valued Sky at just eight years ago
A nuclear strike has been considered, but Bruce Willis is nowhere in sight
Spray-on antenna could enable seamless integration of antennas with everyday objects
Parker Solar Probe, TESS and GOLD missions will deliver exciting data, claims NASA