London: Customers who rang the helpline of one of Britain's biggest cable television companies were shocked to be told to "f--- off".
But Ashley Gibbins, who recorded the tirade in revenge for being put on hold for an hour, walked free from court this week after magistrates decided that the message, although offensive, did not reach the "grossly offensive" standard for prosecution.
Mr Gibbins discovered by chance that he could change the recorded message on NTL's customer service line. The polite request to hold was changed to: "Hello, you're through to NTL customer services. We don't give a f--- about you, basically, and we are not going to handle any of your complaints. Just f--- off and leave us alone."