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

ISP Hall of Shame Inductee

United Online

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

AT&T WorldNet

United Online

Personal agony: August 2000 to March 2002

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 tried to visit the new corporate web site on Tuesday, 25 September (the one mentioned in the official press release), and only got the following 403 Forbidden error:

Hmmm, running a moldy old, security-compromised version of Apache, I see.

September 26, 2001 update - Great start

Ooohhh, can you hear the wedding bells?

United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD) closes the day at $1.84, down $0.13 from its initial opening price of $1.97. Well, at least their new corporate web site is finally up.

Note: technically, there was a 5-to-1 reverse stock split before the market opened.

September 29, 2001 update - Last free weekend

It's the last free weekend in the September promotion and boy does NetZero's network really suck. Dropped TCP/IP connections, router loops, DNS errors galore, etc. I don't think any packets moved from my modem during 5-7 minutes. I killed the session and dialed up again. This is one really, really messed up infrastructure (my modem connects fine and logs in, so it's their network).

October 6, 2001 update - new Windows NT emulation mode!

The Juno Online service has recently changed the color of its "prioritization of web-related services" web page from red to blue. Very soothing. Probably a new usability-sensitive web producer in charge. Now it looks more like something many of us are familiar with: Microsoft Windows NT's Blue Screen Of DeathTM (BSOD).

October 14, 2001 update - More Juno dialup problems

I got the BSOD today, and retrieved three messages before aborting the mail transfer. One of the messages mentions NaviPath's recent demise and how this may negatively impact Juno availability. Huh?!? The service is mostly down anyhow.

November 2, 2001 update - Juno is crushingly bad

I haven't dialed into Juno for sixteen days and as soon as I did, I got Juno's Blue Screen Of Death. Juno continues to flood my e-mail inbox with spam. With the downturn in online advertising, it's mostly junk mail touting their Juno Platinum pay-to-surf services.

December 1, 2001 update - And NetZero is close behind

Today: DNS lookup errors galore. ZeroPort wedged again, fixed only by the Vulcan Death Grip. United Online is running one of the worst dial-up networks I have ever witnessed. Thess ad windows are a real nuisance; too bad nobody really looks at them.

The following is a rather typical way how ZeroPort ends a session:

Atrocious, simply atrocious.

December 1, 2001 update - You're too expensive

United Online has informed certain rural customers that the cost of servicing them is too great; people out in the boondocks are having their pay service cancelled.

December 6, 2001 update

Well, I tried Juno today. Surprisingly there was no Blue Screen Of Death, but I was seeing massive DNS errors (i.e., couldn't resolve Yahoo!). And the Juno application bailed out after eight minutes. Lame, lame, lame!

Of course, NetZero isn't doing much better. They're having DNS performance issues, but it didn't come to a complete grinding halt like Juno. I'm also seeing errors from one of their mail servers,

February 26, 2002 update

Cable provider Comcast Communications (NASDAQ: CMCSA) is planning to offer NetZero and Juno ISPs of United Online (NASDAQ: UNTD) on their broadband service. Great, two ISPs who suck on a cable service that sucks. This allegedly gives Comcast access to 5.6 million paying Juno and NetZero customers.

Last night I booted Windoze and I tried my Juno connection and surprisingly I got a fairly decent connection. Of course, there's that crummy banner ad widget that lives on the desktop and I got a lot of error messages about ActiveX errors (I've stuck a couple of servers in my Restricted Sites). My guess is that this was a fluke and that the service is probably back to sucking already.

March 15, 2002 update

Hooray! I switched from my dual-boot Wintel/Linux deskside to a brand-new Apple iBook. End of the line for NetZero and Juno services for me. Of course, this little baby plays nice with my current ISP. All of my old hardware (except my Sony CPD-G400 Multiscan 19" Trinitron monitor and my trusty APC Back-UPS Pro 650S) gets donated to The Marine Mammal Center.

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.

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Last modified on Sun Feb 22 19:29:56 GMT 2004
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ISPs who suck, ISP Hall of Shame, United Online, NetZero, Juno