Customer fury over breathe's final tactics

Breathe refuses to comment on decision not to offer refunds and won't apologise for giving no notice of shutdown

Unmetered ISP breathe appears to have choked on its decision to shut its service Monday, refusing to comment, despite leaving thousands of customers in the lurch.

Instead the company sent out a press release claiming unmetered access is "no longer viable". ZDNet News called the ISP to establish why it will not offer refunds for paid up subscribers and why it has given no notice to users that they were about to be cut off.

No one at Breathe was prepared to comment.

One angry customer, writing in ZDNet's mailroom, sums up the attitude of many. "I was appalled this morning to find out that breathe has discontinued its 'breathe freely' service which I paid £50 for lifetime Internet access. There was no notification it was going to happen, it wouldn't have been so bad if they had informed us but there was nothing."

Customers are also angry that they will not be given a refund, despite the fact that "bandwidth hogs" removed from the service earlier in the year did have their one-off £50 fee reimbursed.

In a statement breathe claims the only financially viable unmetered service is one based on Friaco (Flat Rate Internet Access Call Origination). Oftel finally forced BT to roll out this fully unmetered wholesale service following a stream of complaints about its SurfTime service.

Both AOL and Freeserve are now providing Friaco based offerings but breathe is not saying whether it too will go down this path.

The Advertising Standards Authority which investigated complaints from angry users claims Monday the case was not pursued as it was outside of its remit. A spokesman advises customers to get in touch with the Office of Fair Trading to pursue any new complaints they may have.

How can you get online for less? Find out in the Unmetered Access Special.

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