Breathe's management team has adopted a bunker mentality over the withdrawal of its unmetered internet access deal last week.

The ISP is refusing to speak to the press, merely issuing a press release and leaving its public relations people speaking through audibly rictal grins on the phone while the national papers and TV stations batter them with inquiries.

"The decision … has been taken as a result of excessive use over recent months which has become unsustainable," says the release. But one Breathe ex-customer phoned PC Advisor to say she had been a victim of the company's summer purge of 'excessive' users, and her use had only totalled 12 to 15 hours.

Trading Standards in Warrington, where Breathe's head office is, is talking to the firm to try and get it to come up with a deal that will satisfy disgruntled ex-customers.

"Civilly, consumers may have redress against [Breathe]," said Peter Astley, principle Trading Standards officer in Warrington. "There's a particular piece of legislation which says they should give 30 days notice. We're looking at the issue that they pulled the plug with only one day's notice."

Astley also said Breathe may be in trouble for not giving users the promised lifetime's internet access for £50. He pointed out that users did get several months of service for their money, but said they may be in the right to expect Breathe to put up or shut up on its promise.

People who have been affected by the are advised by Trading Standards to register their interest with their local office, and will be contacted when Trading Standards has talked further with Breathe. For the contact details of local offices see