Launching Monday is a service that allows users to check their email online using a system that only charges a call up fee if there is unread mail to collect. FreeCheck acts as a ghost ISP, allowing users to circumnavigate the minimum charges made by telephone companies when checking Internet email accounts.
To access the service users simply substitute the FreeCheck number, 0845 200 1248, for their ISP's dial up networking number and go to FreeCheck's Web site. Once a user's email details have been entered registration is complete. There is no requirement to enter users' ISP user name or password details, although the password for a users' email account is needed.
When FreeCheck receives a call it sends a request to the user's mail server for new mail. If no unread mail is detected FreeCheck does not accept the users call and there is no charge. If an account, (up to five can be registered), does contain unread mail the user is charged the local call rate.
Mike Brown, FreeCheck's founder, is confident that his service will be able to save UK consumers money. "From observations of personal accounts and those of friends, around four in ten charges are the 4.9p ones for checking emails," said Brown, "With our service if you don't have new email you don't get charged.
FreeCheck claims that it acts purely as an email checking service, and does not want users to abandon their normal ISPs and migrate to FreeCheck.