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Internet provider
Old 11-01-2004, 03:31 AM   #1
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Internet provider

I have had problems with Net Zero. Slow connection ect, I tried to fix the problem using the technical assistance provided by their web page. I scanned my computer and I have safe guards installed. No problem with my computer. I called yesterday to cancel. I waited 45 minutes, and then the customer service person would not cancel the account. I finally had to get rude. Is this typical ?
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Re: Internet provider
Old 11-01-2004, 03:38 AM   #2
 
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Re: Internet provider

Quote:
Is this typical ?
Yes.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 11-01-2004, 08:51 AM   #3
 
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Re: Internet provider

I've used Juno (NetZero clone) for a year with excellent results.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 11-02-2004, 11:21 AM   #4
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Re: Internet provider

I havent used netzero, but I've had my share of entertaining problems with ISPs.

A few years ago I bought my dad one of those "mailstation" devices that just sends and receives text email. He liked it plenty but we ended up moving him up to a full featured PC. A few years later I got a bill on my credit card for monthly mailstation fees. Turns out a larger company had bought mailstation and decided to just start billing the old expired customers to see what would happen.

What amazes me is that someone, somewhere, thought this was a good idea...and several people probably agreed.

When you called them to remove the charges, you were placed on hold for extended periods of time, only to be told that you needed to talk to 'mailstation customer service' and then summarily disconnected on the failed transfer attempt.

In one sweeping move, they created mistrust, anger and frustration among their former user base. I remember the new companies name. They wont ever see my business again.

Another major ISP did this to me as well. Just started billing me a year or so after I cancelled.

If you're fed up with your ISP, I might suggest this one. I've never tried this one, but it came well recommended. As I understand it, service is almost non-existant and you have to pay them $5 a pop to call them for help on something thats on your end. But except for the above mentioned gaffes I dont remember ever calling my ISP for support. This link includes a special deal for $4.95 a month, regular price is $5.95 a month. Last time I checked, UUNET was charging roughly $5 a month for basic raw internet connectivity without email or any other supporting services, so this is a pretty good deal. I got this referral over a year ago, and the company is still there, so I guess they'll hang in there a while.

http://www.access4less.net/IndexGo.htm

As a former marketing guy, I would recommend to them that they remove the photo at the top of their page that looks like a really, really angry guy on the phone...but other than that...
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Re: Internet provider
Old 11-03-2004, 05:06 AM   #5
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Re: Internet provider

Thank you. It appears delay tactics, pressure and all around bad business is the accepted mode with some of these ISP's. The old brink and mortar- face to face interaction stopped alot of this in the past. But the past is not the present.
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I've used Juno since 1996...
Old 11-04-2004, 12:29 PM   #6
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I've used Juno since 1996...

... and I sneered at United Online stock when it was selling for $3. Ah well.

I've been happy with Juno's service only because the e-mail can be saved to a hard drive. Apparently that costs more money than web-based services like Hotmail, or maybe Juno's just a bunch of venial money-grubbing profiteers. Or maybe Charles Ardai thinks he can make more money from writing crime novels. Whichever the reason, Juno has threatened that starting next month we'll all have to pay for downloadable e-mail.

What's the board's advice on an e-mail system that can be saved to a hard drive? For example, if I could do this with my Hotmail account then I'd cheerfully jettison Juno tomorrow.
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Re: I've used Juno since 1996...
Old 11-04-2004, 12:44 PM   #7
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Re: I've used Juno since 1996...

Quote:
What's the board's advice on an e-mail system that can be saved to a hard drive? *For example, if I could do this with my Hotmail account then I'd cheerfully jettison Juno tomorrow.
You're looking for an email provider with POP or IMAP access. Yahoo will do that for $20 / year. You'll still need internet access.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 11-04-2004, 01:19 PM   #8
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Re: Internet provider

You can do it with hotmail for free.

Using outlook express or outlookXP or later, you have a set of local folders along with your hotmail folders. When you feel like it (once a week, when the mailbox gets full, etc), you can do a 'select all' on the hotmail inbox and sentbox, and drag that selection to your local folder inbox and sentbox. All the items will be copied locally.

Note that hotmail is increasing the size of the free mailboxes sometime in the next month or two...from 10mb to 250mb.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 12-25-2004, 09:41 PM   #9
 
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Re: Internet provider

I am very Happy with Charter Cable high speed.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 12-26-2004, 07:32 AM   #10
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Re: Internet provider

Happy with Netzero for many years.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 12-29-2004, 10:51 AM   #11
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Re: Internet provider

By the way, many ISP problems arent the computer or the ISP, but a cheap modem or problems with your phone line.

Many PC's include an el cheapo "winmodem". This is basically enough electronics to interface the computer to an analog line and the main computer processor does all the work itself. A non-winmodem has an onboard processor to do the modem work, and frequently a lot more expensive and sophisticated parts. To be fair, some of the winmodems arent bad, but if you bought it yourself and paid less than $50, its probably only going to give you good speed with very good and very short land line runs. The reported connection speed is complete hogwash, as many modems will report a full speed connection rate and then immediately drop back to something half that or less. At that point, a lesser modem will also retransmit a lot without even telling you.

So one thing you can try if you're unhappy with connection speeds is to go get an external modem in the $100 range and see if your perceived speed is better. You can also go to www.dslreports.com, click on 'tools' and run the 'speed test' to get something more objective.

Phone lines are also potential problem areas. Even if they're relatively new. Even if you live in a metropolitan area. My old mcmansion was 5 years old when I moved in, all new phone in the area. But they didnt put any waterproof grease on any of the fittings in the phone connections when they installed the lines in the ground, so they started corroding and degrading from day 1. Had to dig up my lawn and the guy across the streets lawn because thats where they decided to bury a main junction. Then it was still flakey because someone had run an extension in the house and hadnt terminated it properly. Then about every six months I could get voice but no reliable data connections out of it. Guy would come out, fiddle in the box down the street, and it'd work another six months. Three years later it turns out that there was a bad card in the box and instead of replacing it the repairman would move my connection to another card, but some maintenance guy would later wonder why that connection was stretched waaay over there and plug me back into the iffy card nobody wanted to replace. One good way to do a high level check on your lines is to connect a plain old $9 analog phone to the modem line, pick up the receiver and press any # except '0'. This will drop the dial tone. Now listen carefully for any clicks, pops, hums or other sounds. If you hear ANYTHING, you've got a bad line. If you find your telephone access box outside the house and open it, you'll find a 'customer access' area with a jack in it. Remove the line plugged in there, which is connecting your house wiring to the telco, plug in your analog phone and repeat the process. If there is still a noise, its in the phone companies "side" of things...if the noise is gone, its in your interior wiring and you probably have to pay to fix it yourself.

I did find an oddball device called a "modem shark" (not a 'shark modem') that was most helpful with not-so-good lines. I was skeptical but it worked. I think I paid about $15-20. Palm sized box with a telephone line-in and line-out plug on either end. Had some filters and caps in it to clean up and stabilize the voltage on the line, couple of other bits and pieces. Basically a low-cost line conditioner. I found even when I was having line troubles the shark seemed to help a lot. I couldnt find any with a 10 second google search, but a little more looking might dig one up.

By the way, I did try the el-cheapo "access4less" ISP I mentioned above, hooked up the mother-in-law on it. $8 connection fee up front and $4.95 a month after that. So far no problems.
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Re: Email address changes
Old 12-29-2004, 12:06 PM   #12
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Re: Email address changes

My employer have been paying for my DSL connection with the same ISP for over 5 years so I have had the same email address all this time. That is the address I assign to all my online profiles on purchase or financial websites.

When I ER in 2005, I will be looking for a cheaper ISP. What do you do about the changing email addresses when you switch from ISP to ISP for what ever reason? I do have a bunch of internet email addresses with mail.com, gmail.com and yahoo. Would you trust financial related email to be sent to these email companies? I don't know if they a more secure than regular ISP's like earthlink or aol. Do you use them or do you have a better way of keeping a more permanent email address that is secure and reliable for financial email communications.

MJ
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Re: Email address changes
Old 12-29-2004, 12:29 PM   #13
 
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Re: Email address changes

Quote:
.. Would you trust financial related email to be sent to these email companies? I don't know if they a more secure than regular ISP's like earthlink or aol. ..
MJ
Unlike a web transaction via a certifiable secure link, email is not secure. I would never send personal information via email which travels through the Internet.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 12-30-2004, 04:26 AM   #14
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Re: Internet provider

We always were having problems with AOL. We finally discovered what TH mentioned, a problem with the phone line. This was after numerous calls to AOL about getting dropped. They never suggested it might be a phone line problem. It dawned on us one day while talking on the phone that we heard a lot of extraneous noise. The phone company ended up stringing a whole block of new line.

Nevertheless, now we use cable and love the speed and reliablility.
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Re:  DSL or cable?
Old 12-30-2004, 07:00 AM   #15
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Re:  DSL or cable?

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Nevertheless, now we use cable and love the speed and reliablility. *:)
As long as it stays dry.

Our local Time-Warner RoadRunner service is multiplexed onto their CATV lines. I'm only five miles away from the ground station but the lines are underground and regularly drenched/penetrated by local rainstorms. Customer service's script treats callers like idiots-- "Is your computer turned on?" "Is your modem light on?" Finally our account was flagged to indicate our history of cable problems but even then the repairs were scheduled in days rather than hours.

We get along great with the techs but they admitted that they spend most of their time chasing water leaks instead of upgrading the network. Fiber (instead of coax) was years away. When the tech is telling you this as he's up to his elbows in mud & water at your service box, it doesn't take much to see the trend.

The final straw was raising the monthly fee to $45 when Verizon's DSL costs $30. We haven't had a single outage since installing DSL (three months ago). It may be half the speed but at those prices I can't tell the difference... my ISP customer loyalty is zero. If our local RoadRunner ISP fixes the reliability problems and competes with Verizon's price, we'd switch back in a heartbeat.
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Re:  DSL or cable?
Old 12-30-2004, 10:37 AM   #16
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Re:  DSL or cable?

Quote:
If our local RoadRunner ISP fixes the reliability problems and competes with Verizon's price, we'd switch back in a heartbeat.
Nords,

Do you care that your email address would keep changing as you switch from ISP to ISP or do you just bite the bullet and go into every one of your website user profiles and put in the new email address.

MJ
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Re: Internet provider
Old 12-30-2004, 04:19 PM   #17
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Re: Internet provider

MJ,
I use gmail for family,
Yahoo for companies I want to have my e-mail address
Netscape for all other places I have to have an e-mail address.
IP addresses aren't needed.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 12-30-2004, 06:50 PM   #18
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Re: Internet provider

Thanks Dex
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Re: *DSL or cable?
Old 12-31-2004, 08:37 AM   #19
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Re: *DSL or cable?

Quote:
Do you care that your email address would keep changing as you switch from ISP to ISP or do you just bite the bullet and go into every one of your website user profiles and put in the new *email address.
I don't use ISP's e-mail addresses; I've had Juno & Hotmail accounts since 1996.

Juno used to download to a local hard drive but this month they stopped their free service. I have eight years of archives on that legacy software that will probably never port over to Outlook or some other mainstream (e.g., updated) program, but I haven't looked at it yet.

OTOH Hotmail has raised their free accounts to 250MB (the "GMail upgrade"), more e-mail storage than I'll probably ever need, so I'm not in a big hurry to download those archive folders to Outlook.

I don't maintain a website, so I don't know how I'd feel about changing ISPs if I had to move a website too. I guess the best approach is to maintain flexibility wherever possible by keeping e-mail & websites separate from the ISP.
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Re: Internet provider
Old 12-31-2004, 09:25 AM   #20
 
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Re: Internet provider

None of the web services that I use -- email, website, and a plethora of others, have anything to do with my ISP. I can switch in a heatbeat (I have), and would never know the difference (except for the bills!). Don't fall for the 'AOL trick' -- combining ISP services with proprietary web services to incease 'switching costs',

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