BUSINESS and residential customers of Hongkong Telecom will be able to claim compensation if the company fails to connect telephone lines within agreed targets under a new pledge to consumers. Called G-Force, the measures - expected to cost the company more than $300,000 a month - are part of a package of improvements announced by deputy chief executive Peter Howell-Davies. But the plan will hardly dent the firm's $24 million a day profit. From January 1, if the firm fails to install a telephone line within seven days, residential customers can claim a month's free line rental (currently $62) for every additional day's delay. Business customers will be able to claim a month's free line rental ($92) every day after the first five days. Hutchison Whampoa, New World Development and Wharf want to start rival systems when Hongkong Telecom's monopoly ends on July 1. Using the firm's November figures, when it failed to connect six per cent of the month's 50,000 new lines within the target date, customers would have received $250,000 if there was a day's extra delay. Mr Howell-Davies said new mobile telephone users could claim $200 from January 1 if the phone was not connected within one hour of purchase. Pager owners will be allowed $50 if they are not connected within three minutes. Both have to be bought from Telecom CSL shops.