Report: #761537

Complaint Review:

  • Submitted: Fri, August 05, 2011
  • Updated: Tue, August 09, 2011
  • Reported By: Anonymous — New York New York United States of America
    PO Box 824
    Alfred, Maine
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

On August 2nd, 2011 I contracted this company to host me on their supposed webservers for NNTP Usenet postings to newsgroups. They charged me $2.75 for a block of GBs. All well and far.

A day later I notice my posts are not uploading. I email them on their standard form and they request I switch to the European server. I refuse because I know I will have to rebuild my book once this is done.

Then after more fails to upload I open a new support ticket and they ask me what the problem is? I tell them the same thing; my posts are not uploading to the newsgroups. They soon email back that they are fixing their equipment and ask me to be patient. I tell them fine, I am patient and I can wait for them to repair whatever they need to repair.

After another day of waiting, I open a new support ticket. This time they tell me, "oh, we didn't notice but your posting privileges have been suspended" due to some ambivilant term as "spamming. [continued below]....
....." I'm in shock. I've been online for more than twelve years and have yet to spam anyone about anything. So they send me their perception of "spam" which turns out to be a song parody I wrote about the Beatles Magical Mystery Tour song.

I tell them fine. If you can't handle something as benign as this then please just refund my $2.75 block purchase price and we'll go our own separate merry ways. I then get a notice from saying that if I report them to anyone they're going to charge $200.00 to my debit card as their "cleanup fee." What kind of madness is this?

If they refuse to do something so simple as to refund $2.75 to a irate customer after only a day or so of non-service what else are these people capable of? Now on top of this I think they may have blacklisted me from joining up with any other newsgroup provider.

If you're going to contract a newsgroup server, make sure they're not as thin-skinned as Blocknews is. Plus you see a cavalcade of other problems they can cause you. I also have had to close my bank account and open a new one due to their threat of withdrawing an unauthorized $200.00 out of it.
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/05/2011 03:50 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Author of original report Incompetent Crooks

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

Not a modicum of decency is displayed nor offered by this flimsy outfit called

No communication, no reply, no refund after less than a day of normal newsgroup posting. They don't know what newsgroups are all about, so why should they even be in this business? Look at a section of TOS from a competent newsserver I have recently joined:

Q: Will we terminate an account for being annoying?

A: No. Usenet spans all race, age, sex, ideological, and cultural

boundaries. It is a place where children act like adults and adults act

like children.

This is why kill files exist. If someone annoys you by what they say,

ignore them.

Ok, being splashed on RipOffReport is bad enough, but if they want to rob me and other people out of $2.75 a pop they've got to dance for it. This is just the beginning folks, just the beginning.

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#2 Author of original report is bogus

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

The more I read the sicker I get. This newsgroup they're saying I "spammed" in because I didn't write something "tech-related..." Well, 85-90% of posts into that newsgroup are not "tech-related" either and never were. Most of the posts in that group are either political in nature or people just jabbering to and fro about anything they want.

Why was I singled out and labeled as a "spammer" by Oh, I know the underlying reason why. They're more interested in collecting a $200.00 "cleanup fee" than letting anyone post.

You see what happened with the owner "forgetting" exactly how he worded the $200.00 threat after less than a day posting it? I hope I refreshed his memory quite sufficiently. I am still owed $2.75 by this internet fraud of a company
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#3 Author of original report

My account still doesn't work

AUTHOR: Anonymous - (United States of America)

'nuff said? There you have it from the horse's mouth. Anyone savvy in newsgroups knows you can't suspend an account for posting "off topic" into a particular newsgroup. I was with this outfit for less than a day when they arbitrarily decided to terminate an account.

And escalating the situation into an absolutely frightening scenario, here's the direct quote, well threat from that forced me to close my former bank account and open a new bank account in an emergency situation:

"I will say, that our terms also outline that we charge $200 to handle these types of cases and clean up as necessary. We are not charging in this case but if you would like I can go ahead and have this billed to your card if you would like to go that route." August 4, 2011. Now this to you doesn't sound like a threat to gain unathorized access to an innocent person's bank account, right? On what planet? Can I swear just a moment ago denied threatening me in this manner?

I have been posting to this particular newsgroup is referring to for years, and have never had a problem until now. You should see the items that some people post into this newsgroup that are everyday items and are accepted there by everyone as and are the norm. Responded to, spoken about, laughed at, ignored, criticized...this is the way newsgroups function! No one can change that.

To behave in this manner I believe fails the basic concept of newsgroups themselves. I think instead of trying to act as a newsserver perhaps they'd be better off in the business of shipping jalapenos from California to New York if they're going to behave like this?

I told them numerous times if you don't like the way I post, and being I've been here less than a day instead of threatening me with hefty, unathorized charges to my bank account why don't you just refund my $2.75 and we'll go our own separate ways? I've been here less than a day. So now the whole world knows the situation. In fact, I'd be happy if they'd just reinstate my account instead of going back and forth like this. It follows I don't have $2.75 to dole out to every incompetent newsserver under the sun.

Like anyone else if I contract with a newsserver or any other type of company I expect a bit of competence, communication, decency and a bedrock foundation in return. Do you see any of that good stuff here? Because I certainly do not.
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#4 REBUTTAL Owner of company


AUTHOR: Blocknews - (United States of America)

This specific user had his account posting privileges revoked due to abuse defined under our Terms Of Service related to Spam / Off-Topic activities.

Usenet is a bulletin board type of system where users post comments, discussions and media to one of thousands of different groups pertaining to many, many different subjects.  Each group has there own unique topic.

With that said, users who engage in posting messages to groups that do not pertain to the groups topic, causes other users to file abuse complaints with the posters company, in this particular case, it was Blocknews.

Blocknews, and Usenet in general, has a very strict anti-spam policy.  With all companies adhering to these standards, it allows Usenet to continue functioning as it should.  All of our policies, which are not that much different than competing services are listed in our Terms Of Service that is displayed during sign up so there will never be any "surprises" when we have to take action upon users who do not follow the code of conduct of Usenet.

As the user admitted to in his initial report, he posted a song parody that he wrote.  What he neglected to mention was that this song parody was posted in a computer help and support group.  These types of posts detract from the mission of what the groups main focus is.

Other users logged an abuse report with us and we took action, once again, abiding by our Terms of Service in regards to Spam and Off Topic postings.

In regards to the $200 fee that we outlined to the user, I believe he took our words out of context.  Severe cases of spamming and such take time and resources to handle.  Our Terms Of Service outline that should the need arise, we reserve the right to charge accordingly for the time and resources it takes to clean up the users abuse.

This users abuse was not severe enough to warrant these charges, however we did make an effort to note that our terms do allow these charges if needed but we were not charging for this particular case.
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