ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Juno, NetZero, United Online

ISP Hall of Shame Inductee

Juno Online
(merged with NetZero to form United Online)

ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Juno, NetZero, United Online

United Online

Juno Online (merged with NetZero to form United Online)

Personal agony: July 2001 to September 2001

Juno Online Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: JWEB) got its start as a free e-mail provider and moved to Web services. They have pay-to-surf services as well.

The Juno 5.0 client software rather frequently hangs my system. That's better than Juno 4.0 which would corrupt its own configuration files and render the software useless. After thirty minutes, a dialog box pops up asking if you want to disconnect or not. After an hour, you automatically get chopped off at the knees.

Cowardly, unfriendly features: Juno doesn't clearly disclose what it is that they consider "excessive" usage. Hey, at least NetZero and lay their cards on the table and say "We shut you down after 40/12 (respectively) hours of usage per month." Juno also audits your daily usage, so if they think you have been online too much on one day, again, they shut you down.

That's a real drag because typically, my usage patterns are erratic. Some sessions, I might only be on for a couple of minutes (check e-mail, update stock prices). Other times, I might be downloading or uploading substantial chunks of data (e.g., images to one of those online photo finishing services).

July 27, 2001 update - The Swami Sez...

NetZero and Juno Online Services, Inc. (NASDAQ: JWEB) intend to merge and form a new company called United Online. My prediction: they will take the worst features of both services - resource hogging, OS-crashing, Java bloatware running on the worst performing infrastructure available and not tell you how much time you got left. They will tart up their banner apps with the cheesiest video clips imaginable.

August 6, 2001 update

Okay, for about the past week, I been getting an alert saying that I couldn't access the network until 4 A.M. Eastern Time. Fine, I'll try again tomorrow. So I try dialing up every morning. Guess what? The same crummy message. Finally, today, I successfully log in - the first time in the month of August. No surprise: Juno sucks.

August 20, 2001 update - Today's daily special is Spam

Downtime is so common for my Juno account, that I only try using it once a week or so. There's no telling if it's going to let you log on, so it's virtually unusable compared to the other free ISPs.

I'm downloading mail using what must be the world's crappiest e-mail client. I know I'm not getting any real messages (no one knows about this account); they're all ads. It takes about a couple of minutes to download just one of their crummy messages. Let's see what's in my inbox today: an ad for a Chase credit card, an ad for a Nokia cell phone, and one more for a money market bank account. Spam sucks!

The funniest thing about their "prioritization of web-related services" (blockage of HTTP) is that I can still use FTP just fine. Eventually though, the client software just drops the PPP connection and hangs up the modem.

August 27, 2001 update - Bandwidth hog!

I logged in for thirteen minutes today, the first time since I logged in five days ago for 94 seconds. The second time I dialed in today, I was given the Red Screen of DeathTM (Juno's "prioritization of web-related services" page) and unceremoniously shut out.

Translation: "We noticed that you've been used fifteen minutes of access in the past five days, so we need to take measures to protect others from users like you who use a disproportionate amount of our bandwidth."

September 4, 2001 update - You network abuser! Over eight minutes!

Oooh, I was online for eight minutes and forty three seconds. The first time I've dialed into Juno's servers for five days. I spent most of the time downloading two pieces of Juno spam before I got unceremoniously booted.

September 9, 2001 update - Juno is worthless

I think we have a new free ISP loser: Juno. There's no rhyme or reason to when you can log in or when you will kicked out. Apparently 24 minutes of access over a period of nineteen (19) days is considered abusive use of their pathetic network resources.

September 11, 2001 update

My regular ISP is having problems due to today's tragic events in New York City and Washington D.C. I log in to Juno, but after 7 minutes and 34 seconds of usage, they inform me that I've used up too much network bandwidth and cut the connection. Wow. I guess I should go elsewhere to find out about people who I knew who might of been in the World Trade Center.

This is truly pathetic and this company is certainly doomed.

September 20, 2001 update - NaviPath, the Cowardly Lion

Wholesale dial-up provider NaviPath, a CMGI (NASDAQ: CMGI) company who provides dial-up services for Juno, is calling it quits - at least the dial-up services part of its operations - at the end of the month. CMGI, the dot com incubator dot bomb incinerator, has announced that it will cease funding NaviPath's operations.

Level 3 Communications, Inc. was asked to take over NaviPath's dial-up operations, but the former had discretionary power to turn down ISP clients and Juno (one of the largest free ISPs) was not on the list.

In an utterly disgraceful display of cowardice, the company has not acknowledged the shutdown, nor does its public relations firm answer media calls. The company's web site is now apparently a placeholder. The telephone number listed on the site apparently doesn't even work.

September 25, 2001 update - NetZero and Juno merger complete

NetZero Inc. has completed its merger with Juno Online Services Inc. forming the very generically named United Online Inc. which will commence trading on the Nasdaq tomorrow, Wednesday, 26 September 2001, under the ticker symbol UNTD.

I will post updates on Juno (and NetZero) service in the new United Online section.

United Online

Last modified on Wed Jan 1 18:31:51 GMT 2003
Copyright © 1999-2003 Tara Hertz.
All rights reserved.

ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, Juno, NetZero, United Online