Monday 16 December 1996
In alt.netcom.sucks, a user was complaining about constant busy signals and other service failures. "Your [sic] lucky you live in America where it's legal to rip off your customers. Answer your damn e-mails ... Don't you feel guilty at all? You will rot in the same hell as AOL. When I joined you were truly state of the art. Now your [sic] just living off the people that are too lazy to dump your ass." He ends his posting with: "God, I hate them with a religious zeal!" Another correspondent complained that he couldn't even get through to Netcom on the phone to cancel his account.
But it is AOL that seems to spawn the most deranged fanatics. In alt.aol.sucks, a San Franciscan Netsurfer was calling on people to help his friend assemble an "anti-AOL installation". Obviously, he has plenty of time on his hands. "His plan is to collect as many AOL disks as possible, do something so horrible that I dare not mention it ... in honor of ... all their censorship and wastefulness." You would think he was talking about a totalitarian regime.
Currently, a lot of anger in the AOL groups is directed at its decision to move to a flat monthly charge of $19.95 for unlimited use of its services. But one writer smells a clever conspiracy in the way the company has handled it: "AOL's advantage lies in clouding the issue as much as possible, in moving their under-10-hour-a-month users to $19.95 monthly, in moving as few heavy users as possible to $19.95 flat."
Demon Internet seems to generate more criticism than all the other Internet and online services combined. There were more than 4,800 postings in its demon.service forum recently - far more than you normally see in popular movie star groups. To be fair, many of the critics are fairly sane, but there are quite a few Mr Angrys at work as well. One furious Demon Internet user posted a fake press release in the demon.service newsgroup last month alleging that "Demon Management Admits Complete and Utter Incompetence". It was a spoof of the usual format in Demon announcements: "The engaged tone, provided 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, is provided free of charge to every user and there are no additional online costs." Incredibly, some correspondents in the forum believed it was genuine.
Miraculously, one Internet service provider seems to have escaped the Net fanatics. In fact, when I visited the Pipex newsgroups, there was not a single comment in any of them. All the other companies must be asking the same question - what's their secret?
Life & Style blogs
Alexander McQueen at auction: What makes a really great piece of fashion?
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
No female ejaculation, please, we’re British: a history of porn and censorship
Stressed nurses are 'forced to choose between health of patients and their own'
Pornhub: Kim Kardashian's sex tape is the most-watched porn video of all-time
Disgruntled RBS worker writes hilarious open letter to Russell Brand after anti-capitalist publicity stunt leaves him hungry
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Nigel Farage's approval rating hits 'record low' as popularity suffers in wake of Ukip sex scandal
Pakistan school attack live: Taliban kill at least 132 children in 'horrifying' massacre
Sony hack: Angelina Jolie branded 'seriously out of her mind' in further embarrassing leaked email saga
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
- 1 Nigel Farage: Me vs Russell Brand on Question Time – he's got the chest hair but where are his ideas?
- 2 Harry Potter fans can apply to the Hogwarts-inspired College of Wizardry
- 3 Jessica Chambers: 19-year-old woman 'doused with lighter fluid and burned alive' in the US
- 4 Russell Brand calls Nigel Farage 'poundshop Enoch Powell' in BBC Question Time debate
- 5 Orange Wednesdays are no more
£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Service Desk Analyst - Chessington, Surrey...
£16000 - £19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is the UK's leading ...
£45000 - £55000 per annum + benefits: The Jenrick Group: Finance Manager/Manag...
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a rare opportunity for ...