POTENTIALLY misleading advertising by some of Hong Kong's Internet access providers has sparked complaints from some users. Most complaints appear to be aimed at Asia On-line. Its advertisements promote Internet connectivity for the low price of $4 per hour and also claim that its prices are the lowest in the territory. But careful reading of the information sent to potential subscribers shows the $4 charge is a surcharge on top of the standard $2 rate for accessing the Asia On-line bulletin board system, which must be used to access the Internet through the service. The result is an effective $6 per hour charge, which may not be the lowest in Hong Kong and is 50 per cent higher than the company's advertisements suggest. 'I think there is a bit of deception in the advertising,' said Kochattil Gopinath, one of several users who have complained to Technology Post. Mr Kochattil said that even though the information sent to him before subscribing to Asia On-line did mention the $2 per hour BBS charge, 'it is in the small print and when it is so fine [people] seem to miss it'. Philip Wong, the new chairman of Asia On-line, acknowledged that some of Asia On-line's advertising to date was 'flawed'. 'Organisations do make mistakes,' Mr Wong said. 'It was miscommunication. It was misleading and I think Asia On-line made some mistakes. We have no shame to admit the miscommunication.' Mr Wong said the company would clarify the situation. Asia On-line is not the only provider whose advertising has been called into question. In the past, Technology Post readers have expressed concern that Hong Kong Link may not live up to its promise to provide unlimited access for $288 per month. But Hong Kong Link's founder Aaron Cheung denied this. He said users with standard dial-up accounts would not be cut-off if they were to dial-in and keep their connections open 24 hours per day for a month. He added that users would not be able to maintain multiple dial-in connections at the same time. According to Garland Leu, Internet On-line Hong Kong's director, Asia On-line's advertising may have drawn users away from the company. Internet On-line Hong Kong's rate structure makes the $4 per hour rate available only for a user's first 30 hours each month on a 12-month prepaid discount plan. After that, each hour is charged at $7.50 per hour.