TeleWest subscribers became furious and threatened legal action after the cable company announced plans to phase out free calls to the Net in two of its 16 franchises.
Some angry TeleWest subscribers have claimed they only took out the service because TeleWest sales people guaranteed "free calls to the Internet". However, when asked whether subscribers might have a case, TeleWest Marketing Manager Ian Hood replied: "The conditions are clearly outlined in the terms of our agreement. The claims are nonsense. None of the other franchises ever had free Internet access, so there's no reason why these two should continue to do so."
He added that free Net access was a legacy inherited from its buyout of cable company SBC, which previously operated the two franchises.
On 27 February, TeleWest Communications PLC wrote to its customers advising them that the free local cable to cable calls they provided would, from 1 April, no longer apply if the dialled number was an ISP.
Over 160,000 subscribers in the Midlands and North West franchises could be affected by the decision.
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