- Waitrose is joining the growing list of retailers offering customers free access to the Internet, but will donate the telephone revenue - the most profitable part of service provision for retailers - to charity.
The service will be available via a CD-Rom and will also have a round-the-clock helpline which will be free of charge to customers.
Waitrose.com offers unlimited e-mail addresses, news and information provided by The Guardian newspaper as well as limited online shopping. The store will sell wines, flowers, gifts and organic fruit and vegetables over the Net.
Unlike other service providers, who make the bulk of their revenue from call charges, Waitrose.com aims to make its money from online sales.
The charities which will benefit are The Prince's Trust, MacMillan Cancer Relief, the British Heart Foundation and the British Red Cross.