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Customers slam BT over ISDN charges

Home Highway customers find themselves burdened with charge to upgrade or cancel service
Written by Jane Wakefield, Contributor

ISDN customers wishing to upgrade to ADSL are currently being charged nearly a hundred pounds for the privilege.

They are similarly disadvantaged if they wish to downgrade from ISDN back to a standard telephone line.

ZDNet was alerted to the charge by an angry BT (quote: BT) customer who wanted to ditch his ISDN service in favour of a World Online offering. He was horrified to discover he had to shell out £99 in order to convert his Home Highway line back to a standard phone line.

BT admits that the penalty also extend to users wishing to upgrade to ADSL. "We recognise it is not ideal for customers and are looking to introduce a conversion charge as quickly as possible," says a BT spokesman. This charge is likely to be around £40 and realistically will not be implemented until the New Year.

The spokesman denies it is another tactic for the telco to hold on to its customer base. "It is not a ploy and we don't even cover our costs as it requires an engineer to be sent out," he says. For the ISDN user who contacted ZDNet, BT's charge is the final straw. "BT has certainly lost me permanently as a customer," he says.

As BT's half year results loom -- due next week -- speculation is mounting that the telco will announce it is to split itself in two. The pressure will be even greater following AT&T's decision last week to divide into four companies. BT undertook a similar re-organisation in April but its share price has continued to slump.

See also the Broadband Guide

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