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I used to have a BT telephone line, but when Tempo launched their screaming.net service in association with Localtel, I decided to change and use this service because it cam with free internet and supposedly cheaper call charges. After about 6 months, Localtel decided to change over to WorldOnline and double the line rental. I wrote, phoned, faxed them to tell them to terminate my contract but they couldn't be bothered to reply and when I did eventually get through to speaking to one of their pathetically stupid operators, they were no help whatsoever and they did not do a single thing that I asked. Eventually, I resorted to telling my credit card company NOT to let them take any more money and then I got red notices from them. If they had taken notice of the letters (about 4 without reply in 3 months) that I had written, they wouldn't have had the cause to send me these notices.
On the subject of the free internet, it's all well and good being without charge, but it's not much good if you can't connect because it is constantly engaged. The odds of connecting 1st time are 1/100 at best.
If you have a WorldOnline line, read this bit very carefully... ALWAYS CHECK THROUGH YOUR BILL SYSTEMATICALLY AND ACCURATELY BECAUSE THEY CANNOT ADD UP NOT TO MENTION THE FACT THAT THEY PUT CALLS ON YOUR BILL WHICH YOU DON'T EVEN MAKE - GET A CLAIM FORM FROM THEM AND MAKE A FUSS UNTIL YOU GET THE MONEY YOU DESERVE, OR, REFUSE TO PAY THE BILLS UNTIL THEY ARE CORRECT. MAKE SURE YOU STOP YOUR CREDIT CARD COMPANY PAYING THEM. To put it in perspective, I was overcharged by £40 one month and over 4 months, I claimed £110 back from being overcharged.
I now have a NTL line and am slightly more impressed with them.
To be fair the comments you are refering to reflect the poor service and support from localtel, engaged tones were the norm as they were the first to market with free unlimited off peak internet access and were swamped with demand, a victim of their own success. Their billing problems were horrendous, but that was also down to the fact (they claim) that BT who provide the lines were being unco-operative in supplying billing data to localtel, and BT were also on a go slow when transferring people's phone service to localtel. Localtel complained to the telcoms watchdog to relieve the situation. But problems persisted. I got overcharged twice with similar amounts that you mention but got those automatically reimbursed as they did discover the situation, and informed me upfront. At the time it was infuriating, a company that could not bill to save their lives. However since the take over by Worldonline the Dutch company has improved the internet service, and speed and availability is now top notch you will find, and as indicated in Internet Magazine's independant testing Worldonline are currently UK's best performing ISP, the average time to download a UK site is half the time of 99% of any other ISP.
Billing wise the situation has improved, I received a letter about 2 weeks ago apologising about the billing situation and that in future they vowed that billing would be on the dot, a situation which you would not know about as you have left for NTL. I myself am no longer with Worldonline but not because of their ISP capabilities but because they have capped their hourly usage to 100 hours. I have moved to AOL and the speed (currently) is disappointing with hanging and disconnections, I miss the speed of Worldononline. I've heard with NTL that availability is not that good with engaged tones is that true?