Mercury lines up fee waiver

THE new mobile telephone service Mercury One-2-One has waived the pounds 20 connection charge for thousands of customers because its standards of service were not up to scratch, writes Mary Fagan.

The company, which has been overwhelmed by inquiries about One-2-One, has written to anyone who subscribed in the first two weeks saying that no connection charge would be included in their first bills.

In theory, customers can register for One-2-One within minutes by telephoning a customer service number. But, having bought the telephones, some people were failing to get a reply from the number or found that registration was taking up to 72 hours or more.

A spokesman for Mercury One-2-One said: 'It was a human congestion problem which led to huge delays.'

Mercury declined to say how many people have registered for One-2-One, which is initially available in Greater London and surrounding areas. The figure is thought to be between 8,000 and 10,000, of which two- thirds are completely new to mobile telephones. Mercury said that the number of people employed in customer service has been trebled.

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