ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Excite@Home, AT&T Broadband
ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Excite@Home, AT&T Broadband
There seems to be a lot of misunderstanding (even by Excite@Home subscribers) how Excite, @Home, and the local cable provider work together. Excite is a portal company that merged with broadband ISP @Home a couple of years ago; think of them as one company. Your local cable company (AT&T Broadband, Comcast, Charter, whoever) provides the connectivity from your home to the Excite@Home backbone. Basically, if your cable provider no longer wanted to use Excite@Home as an ISP, they could reroute your data packets to another ISP. Examples of other ISPs might be AOL, MSN, EarthLink, or AT&T WorldNet. If any part of your Internet service includes "@Home", then your ISP is Excite@Home. Note that a cable company could use a different ISP other than Excite@Home; about half of AT&T Broadband's customers are on the RoadRunner network.
Excite@Home waived the installation fee and the first month of service (nice) and it was the same monthly cost as my crappy PPP account with Sirius and a second POTS line from Pacific Bell.
Yeah, yeah, fast cable access. Too bad it isn't reliable. On Sunday evening, January 23, 2000, my network connection flaked out. I could ping hosts in my own subnet (approx. 30 ms turnaround), but I couldn't ping my subnet gateway (24.xxx.xxx.1). If I tickled the router (by pinging reserved address 24.xxx.xxx.254) the gateway address came alive for a short period (anywhere between 1 second and 30 minutes). Hmmm, sounded like a problem with @Home's network. For three days, every morning of this service outage I made a call to their Technical Support line and got stuck in their voice mail queue a minimum of ten minutes per call... I told them, "Get a network admin to login to the router and manually flush the arp cache; it'll take thirty seconds." They replied, "Okay, we'll have someone take a look at it."
I thought I solved the problem on Wednesday evening, January 26, all by myself with no help from @Home and their impotent Technical Support. It appears that a bogus entry in the router's arp cache had mismapped my cable modem. I powered down my computer and cable modem, unplugged the modem from the electrical socket (the power switch is apparently "soft"). I removed the coaxial cable and the RJ-45 from the cable modem.
Since I didn't know what sort of router was being used and what the arp cache timeouts were set as, I played it safe and let the modem sit cold for over 90 minutes. This seemed to have given enough time to flush the bogus arp entry; I plugged everything back in and now my network is alive. I received zero assistance from @Home Technical "Support".
Ten days later, I still haven't heard any followup from @Home Technical Support. The router flaked out again this morning. My first three support calls totaled 50 minutes. Today's support call (my fourth) was over 92 minutes until the call died (I don't know if they hung up on me but admittedly the voice mail system at the company I'm contracting for sucks very large rocks). I also asked them to have a customer support supervisor get back to me. @Home said, "Okay, someone will get back to within 48 hours." Forty eight hours. Wow. Sense of urgency, anyone? Let's see how long this trouble ticket stays open...
The router flaked out this afternoon, exactly four weeks after the previous failure. So has anyone from The World's Worst Customer ServiceSM gotten back to me about the trouble ticket I opened 38 days ago? Get real. Of course not.
Summary: @Home Technical Support is atrocious; it is the worst customer service I have ever encountered. That's a real shame because when the service is functional, the connection is pretty speedy.
The router's been flaking out almost once a week, requiring me to do the little modem power-down/arp cache flush trick. Today I dropped off my cable modem and miscellaneous network gear at the Belmont, California AT&T office after making two telephone calls to cancel @Home service.
|I specifically ask Shalonne, the woman who signed and dated the converter receipt that indicates that I returned the @Home gear, "Do I need to call anyone to confirm cancellation of service?" Shalonne says, "No, your account is now closed," pointing at her computer terminal.|
I'm going away for a couple of months to Europe, so we'll see if these morons still keep charging my VISA card...
Got back from Europe trip and went to the post office to grab mail that was on vacation hold. Lo and behold, AT&T@Home continues to bill me for a service that I canceled in April. Got on the phone with both @Home and my VISA card issuer to file investigations. I should receive an unauthorized charge form from VISA to fill out. Naturally, I'm going to provide copious amounts of documentation, above all a photocopy of the converter receipt that I got when I returned the RCA cable modem in April.
In the meantime, Excite@Home chairman, Tom "T.J." Jermoluk, formerly of Silicon Graphics (NYSE: SGI) - another company that's totally tanked - announces his resignation and passes the helm of the Titanic to George Bell, the former head of the Excite portal.
AT&T@Home shows up again on my VISA bill. I telephone @Home and the VISA issuer again. This time, the @Home customer service rep informs me that in fact, no, the Belmont AT&T woman was wrong and that another telephone call was in fact necessary. I pointed out that during the two calls I made to originally cancel the service in April and the followup call in early June to dispute the charges, no one bothered to mention this fact. Craig, the @Home customer service rep I talk to on the phone today (employee no. 5755x) gives me a couple of @Home snail mail addresses to write as well as a fax number.
In trying to cancel my @Home service I've so far spent over two hours on the telephone talking with both @Home and my VISA card issuer, written four snail mail letters (three of which required $0.55 stamps because there was so much double-sided documentation the envelopes weighed over an ounce apiece), and sent one four-page long distance fax, wasting far more hours than I ever dreamed of to cancel cable modem service.
|@Home Customer Service is the World's Worst Customer ServiceSM. Note that the Technical Support staff never once closed a trouble ticket, not even the very first one from January 23rd. They never, ever had anyone call me back. Integrity score: zero!|
My latest VISA bill indicates some refund activity, but I'm currently disputing $11.13 for unused services. In an unrelated note, Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) was downgraded by Jefferies & Co. to a "hold" on July 27th.
Some things to keep in mind: I've spent over three hours on their toll-free lines, burning up their cash at $0.35 a minute. The G&A expenses to do the research into a billing dispute plus issuing a credit refund are not insubstantial. There is a permanent black mark in a VISA card issuer's files concerning @Home billing practices.
I give up. I'll never get the disputed $11.13 for unused services back. AT&T@Home provided me with bad connectivity, bad customer service, defrauded me of some of my money, and worst of all, wasted a lot of my time.
At this point, my personal dealings with Excite@Home are over.
In other news, Excite@Home CEO George Bell announces his resignation.
Pud reports on FC, that Excite@Home is laying off 250 people - about 8% - mostly related from their suffering portal site. In an unrelated note, Excite@Home has shelved their plans to diversify into the DSL market. They probably figured out they should try to make some money from their cable modem operations first...
Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) closes at $3.25 a share, a 52-week low. There's room to move down though; after all, it's still trading above zero dollars and zero cents.
Former Telocity President/CEO Patti Hart is announced as Chairman/CEO of Excite@Home. Good luck, Patti! You're gonna need it. Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) closes at $3.87 per share.
AT&T Broadband decides to hike rates to $45.95 per month for the World's Worst Customer ServiceSM and Excite@Home lays off 13% of their staff. What does that equal? 192 FC points, baby!
Excite@Home agrees to pay cable customers like Cox Communications and Comcast for service failures. You know, I think the jerks should pay me a hundred bucks or so.
Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) closes at $1.52 a share, a brand-new 52-week low having shed over half of its value in just over two months! The stock is so cheap, my brokerage won't let me trade it in my margin account.
More layoffs at the World's Suckiest ISP equals 132 FC points!
Prompted by the proliferation of Code Red I and Code Red II worms and the possibility of slowing down its network, AT&T Broadband is blocking access to web sites run by residential customers which includes Excite@Home cable modem users.
Additional layoffs at the World's Suckiest ISP equals more 137 FC points for yours truly! Today Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) closes at a new all-time low of $0.87 per share.
Floating around in today's headlines are several articles doubting Excite@Home's chances of surviving. They're starving for cash, and there's little chance that AT&T (their largest investor) is willing to dump any more shekels into the money-losing ISP. These reports stem from comments made by the company's auditors in a recently refiled SEC annual report.
The company's stock now trades below the Nasdaq minimums for share price, net assets and shareholder equity. Once a stock trades below $1.00 for thirty days, Nasdaq can delist it; there's talk about a reverse split to get the share price above the minimums (Webvan tried to do this but went out of business before it could take place), but that's certainly no guarantee that the price won't slip below. Normally, the minimum share price is one dollar, but other items on Excite@Home's balance sheet actually makes the minimum per share price to prevent delisting somewhere around $3 following the Nasdaq formulas.
Excite@Home generated some cash by selling a bunch of convertible notes, but under the requirement that they stayed on a major stock exchange; if the company's stock were to be delisted, they would have to accelerate repayment of its notes.
Hmmm, perhaps it's time to start shopping for a coffin. Hmmm, is there such thing as eCoffin.com? eFuneral.com? eMortuary.com? ePearlyGates.com? Enferno.com? (Actually, the last one sounds so stupid, it's probable). Please omit flowers. TIA.
Market wrap: Almost 26 million shares of Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) trade hands today, ending the session at a new all-time low of $0.47 per share. Since Patti Hart took office as CEO - less than four months ago - the company has implemented three RIFs (Reductions In Force) and the stock has shed close to 90% of its value.
Someone on the FC bboard posted this memorandum:
All Excite@Home Employees, I am sure that you have all seen the stream of news stories yesterday questioning our viability as a company. These reports cite statements we have made in a number of required SEC filings in the past week. These filings contain stark language reflecting the fact that we face serious short-term challenges with respect to our cash balance, our debt obligations, and the status of our listing on NASDAQ. I want employees to understand that these filings reflect the situation that we described in our quarterly earnings announcement last month; they are not intended to signal a worsening of that situation. As we communicated to investors and to you last month, the losses in our media operations and other factors will result in a need to raise additional cash prior to the end of this year in order to fund our operations and meet our debt obligations. The SEC filings made in the past week simply reflect this reality. Unfortunately, filings such as these provide reporters and analysts an occasion to comment on our situation, and many have taken the opportunity to speculate about what might happen next. While I know that this negative coverage is unsettling to employees, it is imperative that employees remain focused on the task at hand. For my part, I am spending the vast majority of my time working on solving our corporate issues. I am working with a small team of advisers to explore every avenue we could take in order to raise cash and/or reduce our debt load, and I expect to be in a position to take action in a matter of weeks. Meanwhile, you are all aware of the actions being taken by our management team to address the losses in our media operations and the cost structure of our overall business. These measures are painful yet critical steps in the transition of our company. One area of particular concern is our listing status with NASDAQ. As our filings indicate, our stock price has fallen below NASDAQ's listing standards. However, this does not mean that we are in immediate danger of losing our listing. Rather, NASDAQ may choose to notify us that we are in violation, and we would then be given an opportunity to address the situation over a period of time. As a management team, we have been forthcoming to you about our financial situation. We are in the process of finalizing our strategy for the new Excite@Home, emphasizing our ability to maintain the first-runner position in delivering broadband. As we complete our transition, I am sure that there will continue to be more "bad" news than "good" news in the media. These are difficult times as we re-engineer the company to take advantage of our leadership in the broadband arena. As a management team, we ask that you continue to focus on the incredible work that you are all doing to support our customers and build our infrastructure. We will continue to communicate with you as our plans and directions are finalized. Patti
Oh, yes, thanks for the 186 FC points!
Along with the three waves of recent layoffs, the accounting firm of Ernst & Young looks for some move boxes to pack up their belongings. PriceWaterhouse is announced as the new auditors. While the market treats them okay, firing your auditors is not seen as a good sign. [While this change of accounting firms was apparently announced in an SEC filing in June, the timing of the whole transition is, well, embarrassing.]
Promethean Investment Group, holders of $50 million in convertible notes, are demanding to be paid off in cash by the end of the month. Under the terms of a debt agreement, Excite@Home would have to pay $100 million (half to Promethean, and the other to another investor) if it drops off the Nasdaq.
The market reacts: Almost 25 million shares of Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) trade hands today, closing the session at a new all-time low of $0.39 per share (with an intraday low of $0.37).
Today Excite@Home is supposed to conjure up $50 million from the black hat to give back to Promethean.
In other sinister news, cable TV partners Cox Communications and Comcast Corp. have informed Excite@Home their intent to terminate distribution effective June 4, 2002, exercising rights set forth under their current distribution agreements.
The market sez "You suck": Over 17 million shares of Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) trade hands today, closing the session at $0.42 per share after hitting an all-time intraday low of $0.36.
On Friday, well after the closing bell, Promethean Asset said that it "has not taken immediate steps to pursue its remedies in connection with the breach of the terms of $50 millions of At Home Corp. senior secured convertible notes due 2006." This gives Excite@Home a tiny bit of breathing room for the moment.
Reports are surfacing that two other offers are now competing with Friday's bid by AOL Time Warner (America's second largest cable provider) to purchase AT&T Broadband, the cable operator (the nation's largest) that telecom giant AT&T is trying to spin off. Number three Comcast Corp., whose earlier bid this year was declined by AT&T as too cheap, is considered one of the possible front-runners in the takeover possibility.
Uh, oh. Excite@Home chief financial officer Mark McEachen is leaving to "pursue other opportunities."
Excite@Home, who paid $780 million for online greeting card site BlueMountain.com, unloads this component of their portal to Dead Trees company American Greetings for $35 million. I guess you could say that it wasn't a spectacular ROI.
Rumor has it that Excite@Home will filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection maybe this week or next. 170 FC points!
MatchLogic, Excite@Home's Internet marketing and advertising subsidiary is to be shuttered by the stumbling portal/cable modem company. The 500 people to be given the ax represent approximately 25 percent of the company's total workforce. The news wires are rampant with rumors of Excite@Home's imminent bankruptcy from "sources close to the company" (these sources are often PR firms, ad agencies, accounting firms, and attorneys).
200 FC points for MatchLogic and an invitation to join the star-studded FC Hall of Fame!
In other news, there's talk floating around about Nasdaq maybe waiving the $1 minimum share price rule. It'll be in an interesting conversation between Nasdaq and the SEC on how this happens.
Media reports are surfacing that AT&T Broadband is thinking about bidding for certain assets of Excite@Home, probably the @Home cable modem ISP part (and not the Excite content/portal parts). Ma Bell owns the majority of the voting shares of the ailing company. The high-speed access assets are probably Excite@Home's most valuable operating components.
Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) hits an intraday low of $0.12 before closing at a brand-new, all-time low of $0.13 per share, losing over half of its value in just two days!
Since Patti Hart was announced as the new CEO on 23 April, the stock price has dropped from $3.87 to $0.13, a 96.64% loss.
Excite@Home announces that it will file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and intends on selling its high-speed network to AT&T Broadband for $307 million in cash. Basically Ma Bell says, "We'll take your hardware, but we wouldn't touch your skanky portal with a ten-foot pole." Rock on!
Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHM) closes at $0.15 per share, two cents above yesterday's all-time low of $0.13 per share!
With utmost pleasure, I post the following hyperlink to the Associated Press article on Excite@Home's bankruptcy ironically hosted on the doomed company's own portal:
Pud awards me with 200 FC points and Excite@Home is inducted into the FC Hall of Fame! (He's apparently tired of writing about them.) I doubt this is the last time we've heard from the World's Worst ISPSM.
This day has been a long time coming. Let the festivities commence!
The Nasdaq Stock Exchange halts trading of ATHM pending "additional information requested." Some folks are speculating that ATHM will receive no further bids other than the one on the table by AT&T Broadband.
Nasdaq has changed Excite@Home's stock symbol from ATHM to ATHMQ (denoting company in bankruptcy proceedings). Of course, trading of the firm's shares are still halted. Pharmaceutical firm Andrx Group (NASDAQ: ADRX) replaces red-lettered Excite@Home (NASDAQ: ATHMQ) as a component of the Nasdaq-100 Index® (NASDAQ: NDX).
Similarly, biotech firm Gilead Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: GILD) will take the place of bankrupt co-lo/hosting company Exodus Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: EXDSQ) on the Nasdaq-100 Index tomorrow, October 4.
News reports indicate that creditors and bondholders may try to scuttle AT&T Broadband's $307 million bid for Excite@Home's broadband business (basically the @Home part of the company).
There are some serious doubts being posed about whether or not anyone would want to purchase the Excite portal, even at fire sale prices. Excite@Home has basically cut back on original content, and started running third-party banner ads. The news feeds are all up, but things like the original horoscope are gone. Excite@Home has apparently laid off most of the folks who actually wrote content.
That means a buyer of the portal would be getting some servers, the domain name, and some automated news feeds. You know, I don't even think that's worth a million dollars.
Excite@Home has stopped taking new subscribers. The company claims that this is "temporary." Yeah, right.
Get this: since Excite@Home loses money with each customer, they have decided to focus on existing customers rather than accept new customers. That's right: new customers are bad for the bottom line. Ah, the Webvan operational model.
The media reports today that Excite@Home is now bouncing payroll and reimbursement checks.
So far, there are no takers for Excite's media assets. The company plans to continue as a wisp of its former self, providing e-mail, instant messaging and Internet search capabilities. So Excite, having once featured the Architext search engine and after failing to break through as a mega-portal, is reduced to being Yet Another Lame Search Engine with a few other services.
Just in case you didn't know, there is only one search engine that counts: Google. All other search engines including Excite Precision Search, AltaVista, GoTo, HotBot, Infoseek, Looksmart, Ask Jeeves, All The Web, etc. suck.
In the past couple of days Comcast and AT&T have signed temporary agreements with Excite@Home to deploy the bankrupt company's service to new customers.
Excite@Home bondholders are going to put a formal effort to block the $307 million buyout by AT&T of the broadband unit saying that the deal should be worth four times that amount. These disgruntled investors would probably stand to lose $750 million in long-term debt if AT&T's current proposal is accepted.
Four AT&T executives have departed Excite@Home's board of directors, leaving two minions and thus relinquishing board majority. This was done to avoid a conflict of interest in AT&T's bid to buyout the troubled portal company's broadband ISP assets.
However, federal bankruptcy Judge Thomas Carlson is reluctant to allow AT&T's $307 million bid for @Home to stand in the face of vociferous criticism by creditors.
In other news, Excite@Home announces its intent to resume trading of its stock in the OTC market.
William Randolph Hearst III, publisher-turned-VC, has resigned his post as vice chairman of Excite@Home's board of directors. Hearst, the Kleiner Perkins VC was the original CEO of @Home.
In a rather convoluted three-way deal, Bellevue, Wash.-based InfoSpace is acquiring Excite@Home's portal assets for a measly $10 million and then handing it over to Excite competitor iWon in exchange for the right to provide search engine services to the portal. This deal does not include any hard assets (like the swanky Excite@Home headquarters off of Highway 101).
Excite@Home has lost so many board members in the recent months, it no longer has a quorum.
Reports are surfacing that Excite@Home may pull the plug on Friday - the situation hinges on whether or not the bankrupt broadband ISP can renegotiate agreements with cable companies that carry the service. Potentially 4.16 million customers could be left out in the cold to wither and die.
Cox Communications issues a vote of no-confidence; they're working on reconfiguring their network to remove any reliance on the Excite@Home service.
AT&T Broadband claims that it can keep its Excite@Home customers online in the event of a service shutdown. Some cable companies are suggesting users to back up any mail messages and personal web site content lest it disappears in a big cloud of smoke.
In other news, Infospace says that it has won court approval to buy certain Excite portal assets. It appears that Excite has deeply buried any news articles related to its possible impeding demise.
Excite@Home (OTC BB: ATHMQ.OB) hits a new 52-week low at $0.004 per share. Ahahahahahahaha! I'd have to trade 4988 shares just to pay the brokerage trading fee.
Since Patti Hart was announced as chairman/CEO, the stock has lost well over 99% of its value. I don't blame Patti for the company's current problems (that blame can be redirected to the upper ranks of management and George Bell), but she certainly wins the "I Took the Helm From Captain Smith of the Titanic" Award. Wrong place at the wrong time, Patti.
Judge Thomas E. Carlson, U.S. Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of California, has cleared the way for Excite@Home to shut to its high-speed network as early as 12 midnight PST Saturday, concluding that the temporary operating contracts were "clearly burdensome" to the company as it bleeds away $6 million a week.
However, Excite@Home is currently attempting contract renegotiations with AT&T Broadband, Cox Communications Inc., and Comcast Corp. before the midnight deadline in a last-minute effort to prevent pulling the plug on 4.16 million customers.
This little blurb appeared on the Excite portal after the judge's ruling:
How Excite@Home Impacts You: You may have recently read about issues with Excite@Home's broadband service. Don't worry. Excite.com and the broadband service are operated completely separately. Whatever you may hear about Excite@Home broadband, cable or ISP will have no affect on this site. You will continue to enjoy the same great content and personalized services. In fact, we're adding more fun and useful services to make Excite even better.
Whatever. (Actually, this is InfoSpace's way of saying "We're in charge now.")
Excite@Home has cut off service to AT&T Broadband customers; the latter is apparently cutting people over to its own network (DNS now resolves to attbi.com). Folks are claiming that the transition was taking 15-45 minutes.
Apparently those were the lucky ones: approximately 86,000 customers in the Pacific Northwest were the first group to be migrated over to AT&T's own network. The remainder of their customers have no service and are to be migrated in the "next ten days."
With utmost pleasure, I post the following hyperlink to the Reuters article on Excite@Home's termination of service to AT&T Broadband ironically hosted on the doomed company's own portal:
In a terse press release, Excite@Home announced that it was continuing negotiations with its cable partners other than AT&T Broadband. However, on Saturday afternoon, Charter Communcations announced that it was moving its 850,000 Charter@Home customers to its own Pipeline service.
Cox Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. have offered Excite@Home $320 million for three months worth of access in lieu of cable subscription fees of $16/month per subscriber that they had been previously sharing. The offers gives those two cable companies time to build out their networks.
In other news, Canadian cable company Rogers signed a brief contract with Excite@Home while sister Canadian cable company Shaw has already left the building. Also, AT&T Broadband's $307 million offer is close to being pulled from the table.
AT&T Broadband has withdrawn its $307 million bid for the high-speed network assets of Excite@Home, conceivably killing off the bankrupt ISP.
Okay, first the bondholders were formally opposed to the sale of Excite@Home's network assets to AT&T Broadband for $307 million. Now, they're planning to sue Ma Bell because it withdrew its offer.
Hello?!? McFly? Jiminy Christmas, give me a break.
Excite@Home Announces AT&T Termination of Pending Asset Purchase Agreement and Transition Agreements with Several Cable Companies REDWOOD CITY, CA - Dec. 4- Excite@Home announced that it has received notification from AT&T Corporation of AT&T's termination of its obligations to pursue the Asset Purchase Agreement for certain of Excite@Home's broadband Internet access business assets. Separately, Excite@Home also announced that it has reached a transition agreement with Comcast Cable Communications Inc., Cox Communications Inc., Rogers Cable Inc., Insight Communications Company, L.P., Insight Communications Midwest, LLC and Insight Kentucky Partners II, L.P., Mediacom LLC and Mediacom Broadband LLC, and Mid Continent Communications to provide continued @Home service and transition services from now until February 28, 2002. Under the terms negotiated, the combined cable companies have agreed to pay $355 million immediately to Excite@Home. The company will be allowed to access these funds under terms contained in the transition agreements. Under the terms negotiated, Excite@Home and the cable companies intend that the high speed Internet access service will not be interrupted for customers of the participating cable companies for the duration of the transition agreements. The transition service agreement is subject to bankruptcy court approval. The bankruptcy court has scheduled a hearing on the agreement for Friday morning in San Francisco. Upon the expiration of the transition service agreement, Excite@Home intends to cease operations.
Another 100 FC points for yours truly and a second induction into the FC Hall of Fame.
At breakneck speed, AT&T Broadband has constructed a network more or less duplicating what Excite@Home provided. However some of its 850,000 customers are disgrunted as Ma Bell appears to be throttling down connections and planning to introduce a tiered pricing system that will charge more for bandwidth hogs. Apparently 1% of AT&T's customers use up 16% of the network resources.
People on the new cable company networks get to deal with e-mail issues ranging from undeliverable, lost, and inaccessible messages. Also Excite@Home has not provided access to its e-mail servers.
U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Thomas Carlson has approved Excite@Home's contracts with six cable companies for $355 million which will enable service to be continued while those cable companies build up their networks for the eventual migration before Excite@Home's February 2002 shutdown.
As part of the agreement, the six cable companies cannot sue Excite@Home for alleged violations of previous contracts. The agreements allows the bankrupt broadband ISP to start winding down operations.
In other news, registered users of the Excite portal are being prompted to authorize account transfer as InfoSpace has bought some of the old portal assets.
Today 400 Excite@Home employees received early Christmas presents: pink slips. The 900 remaining Bataan Death Marchers will continue on to fold up operations.
Excite UK has announced that it is closing shop.
Well, it looks like Ma Bell (NYSE: T) is selling its AT&T Broadband unit to Comcast Communications (NASDAQ: CMCSA) for $72 billion rather than go with their original plan of spinning off their cable TV/broadband unit as a separate entity.
Are customers screwed? Maybe. Comcast's residential broadband subscriber agreement prohibits the use of VPN software and in some places USENET is being shut down.
Excite@Home (OTC BB: ATHMQ.OB) closes the day at $0.004 per share. Yes, that's four-tenths of a penny. I'd have to trade 4,988 shares of the stock just to pay the brokerage fee. Ahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!!!
The new owners of the Excite portal have been telling me for over a week that my new personalized home page will be ready within 24 hours. What a joke.
Guess what? Yahoo! loads about five times faster.
Three founders of online photography site Webshots spend $2.4 million to buy back their brainchild from Excite@Home to whom they had sold it for $82.5 million in late 1999. Pretty good ROI.
Privately-held CLEC (Competitive Local Exchange Carrier) New Edge Networks is acquiring the customers and certain assets of @Work, Excite@Home's commercial division for a paltry $1.5 million. The Vancouver, Wash. based company is getting about 1,300 customers in 21 states.
In other news (cable company misbehavior category), it appears that AT&T Broadband is screwing up electronic payments and arrogantly blaming customers. Hey, there's some quality customer service for you. Not! And there's word that some Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) customers can't read their e-mail.
AT&T Broadband is shedding about 500 jobs, approximately 12% of its staff. This comes at a time when Comcast (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is trying to buy its larger competitor for in $47 billion deal that will make it Numero Uno: bigger than AOL Time Warner and Cox.
HVAC units, UPSes, generators. What are they? The landlords claim that they're "tenant improvements" and Excite@Home claims that they're "trade fixtures." Either way the judge rules, the stuff will be used to pay off creditors: the landlords if the ruling comes down in their favor, or for the rest of the begging creditors if the ruling goes Excite@Home's way (in which the junk would be auctioned off).
Oh yes, the landlords filed suit against Excite@Home, saying that the bankrupt Internet poster child still needs to pay property taxes on the place.
Driving past the Excite@Home headquarters in Redwood City, I noticed that there are a bunch of white truck trailers rather ominously lined up in the parking lot next to Highway 101.
Officially, any remaining Excite@Home customers are supposed to have the plug pulled at midnight.
|This rocks! Excite@Home's network has been shut down. All remaining customers are totally screwed. Let the party begin!|
Get it? marchFIRST? Ahahahahahahahahaha!!!! Anyhow, Excite@Home's corporate web site has been shut down. The company will still linger (malinger?) in bankruptcy court for months.
Ding, dong, the witch is dead!
Looks like AT&T Broadband is looking for more innovative ways to provide crappy service to their masochistic clientele. UltraLink is part of their new tiered pricing scheme aimed at "power users" (read kids who trade waReZ and are actively trying to rob Hilary Rosen of sleep).
Excite@Home is now suing its former cable partners. Sic those corporate lawyers! This is pathetic.
I drove by the former Excite@Home global headquarters; the building is dark and the name has been taken off the building. Anyone visiting from out of town or recent transplants would never know of what the place was. It just looks like another piece of vacant high-tech real estate.
Patti Hart is now a professional board sitter; perhaps that's a good thing. Less able to do damage to the daily operations of a company.
Oh yes, the home.com domain name has been sold to the Japanese. Probably got it for a song considering how weak the dollar has gotten.
|Last modified on
Tue Dec 2 01:44:50 GMT 2003
|Copyright © 1999-2003 Tara Hertz.
All rights reserved.
ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Excite@Home, AT&T Broadband