Excite Internet service given go-ahead to unplug
November 30, 2001 7:55 PM   Subscribe

Excite Internet service given go-ahead to unplug A federal judge ruled on Friday that bankrupt ExciteAtHome Corp. may unplug its high-speed Internet service, a move which threatens to strand some 4.1 million Internet customers around the country.
posted by stazen (15 comments total)
 
And I think, given the low offer by AT&T, that . . . (communication cut due to a service interruption at Comcast).
posted by raysmj at 8:09 PM on November 30, 2001


4.1 million less people using the internet. Man that will be nice!
posted by BlitzK at 8:50 PM on November 30, 2001


Well that sucks for me.
posted by fleener at 8:54 PM on November 30, 2001


I'm actually fairly optimistic. I'm a Charter@Home customer, and I'm sure they'll get things straightened out before my Internet service is cu
posted by diddlegnome at 9:00 PM on November 30, 2001


well done diddlegnome very well done
posted by stbalbach at 9:04 PM on November 30, 2001


Sounds like an oportunity for the DSL providers out there. Oh I forgot that they are telephone companies and they are all losers. 4.1 Million fewer high speed connections off the internet will make it a *lot* faster.
posted by MaddCutty at 10:06 PM on November 30, 2001


Now if someone can just find an advertising method that WORKS, the internet will really be in good shape!
posted by kingmissile at 12:06 AM on December 1, 2001


Well, the big deadline has passed, and I'm still here. Sorry, BlitzK and MaddCutty.
posted by diddlegnome at 1:50 PM on December 1, 2001


4.1 Million fewer high speed connections off the internet will make it a *lot* faster.

There are so many things wrong with that assumption I don't know where to begin.

Some of us aren't gone, we're here in dial-up form. Try as hard as you like AT&T you can't get rid of me. Luckily, in Chicago there's lots of DSL options (all of which take a few weeks to get started) and RCN cable who is going to be here in three days to put me back on broadband.
posted by skallas at 10:09 AM on December 2, 2001


Looks like only the AT&T/@Home subscribers got nuked. Like me (also back by dialup). However, AT&T is saying 7-10 days and they'll have everybody back up and running, although URLs will change, which is a minor pain if you've stored stuff out there on @Home servers like I did with my photos from Africa. I would rather wait 10 days for service from AT&T than get DSL from a lousy phone company like PacBell. Oh wait...
posted by JParker at 12:19 PM on December 2, 2001


They cut AT&T customers, and are working out deals with other cable companies, from what I can tell (Comcast, Cocks, Charter, etc...)

I guess they are kinda pissed at that whole hostile takeover attempt thingy....
posted by adampsyche at 1:34 PM on December 2, 2001


However, AT&T is saying 7-10 days and they'll have everybody back up and running, although URLs will change, which is a minor pain

I've also seen them quote 2-5 days. If they can do four million people that quickly and probably cheaper considering they have their own network why weren't they migrating before? I really don't want to wait on AT&T's word when I could already have a preorder from someone else if and when they fail to deliver the goods.
posted by skallas at 4:04 PM on December 2, 2001


"If they can do four million people that quickly and probably cheaper considering they have their own network why weren't they migrating before?"

It's called a contract. The one with Excite@home ended Friday. That's why they could pull the plug then.
posted by CrayDrygu at 6:54 PM on December 2, 2001


the big question is: why was their WHOLE FUCKING TECH DEPARTMENT out of commission?! sorry for shouting, but I was on hold for 2 hours (thank god for speakerphone) before being told by a nervous-sounding customer service representative (I think she'd been screamed at a few times) that technical service was unavailable.

and of course the only reason I even called yesterday was because I got a recording saying that "service has been restored to your area" - after going down sometime between midnight on Friday (when I was listening to the radio online) and Saturday morning (when I tried to look up a bus schedule).

um, no.

and boy did it feel like having my arm chopped off, to go w/out internet for 2 days. (I have a dial-up account, but hadn't installed the modem the last time I rebuilt my computer, and didn't feel like hunting for it in the 'computer junkroom.')

still don't have service at the house, either. might give them a call at lunchtime, or maybe not.....
posted by epersonae at 8:53 AM on December 3, 2001


4 Days later, I'm still down...I think the following illuminates dealing with their phone customer service, it's part of an email I've sent to a writer at The Register UK:

I'm one lucky customer who hasn't had my service transitioned at all--let alone "smoothly"--yet after 4 days, I still have no internet service. If I only used it for amusing email and playing games, I wouldn't mind so much - however this outage has brought my home-based business to a grinding halt. Today, I had to utilize a local Seattle ISP dial-up account and 56k modem to access the internet.

I'm writing to you while waiting in queue for AT&T's online chat support (I'm number 980 in line.)
Two friends who are professional computer support/network/sysadmin types have spent several hours at my home painstakingly going through every step there is, finally arriving at conclusion the problem is a hardware problem at AT&T's end, not my home computer or cable modem.

Where AT&T has REALLY been horrible in all this has been their deplorable telephone customer service. (I hear they have a lot of helpful info and files available on their website, which of course I've been unable to reach.) I've had 4 bloody days of the following:

* Waiting on hold 3 hours, on 3 separate occasions, to get through to Level One tech support, who couldn't help me.
* Waiting on hold 2 hours only to have their phone system disconnect me (I've spoken with other Seattleites who experienced the same thing.)
* Speaking to a supervisor who told me a server was down in Washington, then have that information contradicted by the next person I spoke to.
* Having the customer care number printed in the letter AT&T sent out November 26th boot me to the (rather bemused) Telemarketing Department all evening on December 3rd.
* Being told late at night by a Level One tech that no, he couldn't connect me to Level Two tech support because Level Two support is closed at night.
* Being told by yet another Level One tech that Level Two Techs are available 24 hours a day, patching me through into a toneless black hole of silence. I gave that an hour, then hung up.
* Being told by yet another Supervisor that currently, their support phone tree system doesn't allow Level One Techs to put me into a waiting queue for Level Two techs; they're allowed to try four times, if Level Two is busy, the Level One Tech can't try again.
* Having Level Two techs deny the phone tree system screwups.
* Finally getting through to a Level Two technician this evening who told me that he doesn't show my account in their system. That mine must be one of the accounts that he's seen, and other techs have run across, that are still "being rebuilt" and until it shows up in the system, I have no service and there's nothing he can do. (This despite the fact their servers have assigned me a new IP number, subnet mask number, and gateway number.) I ask to have my account created, now. No can do, that's a department no one can access, not even him. I just have to wait. No, he won't create an incident ticket number for me. *Unofficially*, he says, *hopefully* my account will get straightened out by Sunday. That will be over nine days without internet service, and I'm not optimistic of that ETA.

It took FOUR DAYS to get even this info. Four days of incessant calls to/waiting on hold hours for/being given conflicting misinformation by myriad half-trained chimpanzees to be told my account isn't showing up (after two years of @home service) in the new system yet, so tough, you'll get service eventually.

Just thought it might be helpful to hear from one of those who have, in fact, NOT had their service go back up quickly and what lousy telephone customer service AT&T is so proud with.
posted by Kato at 12:36 AM on December 5, 2001


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