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(free service defunct)

ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame,,

the phone company via (free service defunct)

Personal agony: August 2000 to August 2001

I started using Kmart-branded along with NetZero as my 1stUp connection became flakier. This requires you to have a Yahoo! Mail account. Yahoo! privacy policies have sucked ever since they forced you to give a credit card to verify that you're an adult.

The client hogs up the bottom of the screen. When the service functions, it does work better than NetZero's brain-dead Java trash. I use when NetZero's network is hosed (it happens a lot).

December 16, 2000 update

I just learned that Spinway is out of business and that acquired the parts of the free service so free dialup still works.

March 12, 2001 update now warns users that usage is metered and you have to pay money if you pass a certain usage level: 12 hours per month. For $9.95 you can get 100 hours. That's not a very good deal. AT&T WorldNet offers a plan called i495 that offers 100 hours for $4.95 per month. NetZero Platinum is unlimited hours for $9.95 per month. (Free NetZero is 40 hours per month).

May 24, 2001 update - Buh, bye, Mr. CEO

Mark Goldstein,'s CEO is outta here. Hey, wait a minute. Mark Goldston. Mark Goldstein. Could this be the same person? Hmmm... One runs a sucky free ISP, the other... runs a sucky free ISP!

July 22, 2001 update

With little doubt, is a far worse free ISP compared to NetZero (although NetZero has nothing to be proud about).'s network performance is horrible: local routing problems, ISP egress issues, and DNS lookup failures galore. How bad is bad? Well, when your users can't surf to Yahoo! or your own home page, essentially, you've totally screwed them.

I've diddled with the local access numbers. Different blocks of numbers seem to be going to different dial-up servers, sometimes this allows you to get online, but taste of victory is brief: you're going to lose the suckiness war with

July 23, 2001 update

Today, Kmart announced that it is buying out the remaining shares of to add to its current 60 percent interest, reeling in the wayward e-tailer back into the corporate fold. Thank you for the 178 FC points!

July 30, 2001 update - Another one bites the dust!

Kmart (NYSE: KM) has killed off its free dialup service, moving to a pay-to-surf model ($8.95 for unlimited nationwide access).

August 10, 2001 update - Walk in the park

Pud reports that 90% of employees were escorted out of their fancy Fisherman's Wharf digs. 193 more FC points for yours truly!

Looking into my cache directory, it appears that is trying to download the installer application for their new pay-to-surf service (as opposed to one of their lousy two megabyte MPEG ads).

Also, I note that the network connection is dropped after forty minutes. It doesn't matter if you click on the banner ads or not. Forty minutes is all you get. :(

August 23, 2001 update - Still here...

Funny, I think I've used up more than 10-12 hours; the "meter" has been stuck at 35 minutes the last 3-4 times I've dialed in. I don't even know if the extra time is a good thing; the DNS lookups are now horrendously slow. (In addition, large parts of the Internet are inaccessible, pointing to DNS or possible router issues.) I'd like to see what happens if I try dialing in after "D-Day".

August 27, 2001 update - Lights out!

My account is finally dead. R.I.P. I just uninstalled the software and deleted the directory from my hard drive.

November 2, 2001 update

Kmart chief technology officer Richard Blunck has been appointed the new CEO of according to news reports. He's been running the show since former CEO Mark Goldstein relinquished his throne in late May.

January 22, 2002 update - Join the club!

The Kmart Corporation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection today. Since January 8, when the stock (NYSE: KM) closed the last time above $5 per share ($5.05 to be exact), the market has been slaughtering the poor share price. After the dust has settled, the closing share price is $0.69, down over 60% from the previous day's close.

September 18, 2002 update - BlueLight extinguished

United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD), the merger between two sucky ISPs NetZero and Juno intends to pick up this festering sore ISP from the scrap heap upcoming auction from K-Mart.

I will post updates on the BlueLight service in the United Online section.

the phone company

Last modified on Wed Jan 1 18:14:26 GMT 2003
Copyright © 1999-2003 Tara Hertz.
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ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame,,