CompuServe rubbishes AOL's flat-rate move

CompuServe is unimpressed with rival AOL UK's move to flat-rate pricing, announced last week.

"I find it quite a strange move," said Martin Turner, CompuServe UK general manager. "Three months ago their said they would never go flat-rate. They're targeting the price-oriented user and I'm sure it will attract a certain kind of customer but £16.95 [AOL's 'Unlimited' usage plan] is a very high price for the average customer who uses the service for seven to ten hours per month."

Turner also played down AOL UK passing 200,000 users. "Our membership has grown about 40 per cent in the last year. We've got 400,000 members so they've got an awful long way to go."

However, Turner was cagey when asked about a possible flat-rate deal from CompuServe. "It's impossible to predict but we've got no plans at this time," he said.