Clueless ISPs – is Verio joining the group?

I was so frustrated with my current ISP, NTT/Verio, that I Googled "clueless ISP" to see if anyone else had experienced the same frustration with their ISP.  I came up with 24,400 results!

Is it possible that we have an epidemic of corporate stupidity springing up around us?

It is the wrong time for an established ISP like Verio to rest on their accomplishments of yesterday. Competitive pressures have recently reduced monthly charges from $24.99 to $9.99.

I have had very few problems with uptime or speed at Verio. It appears, however, that they have grown so large that they focus far more on sales than on customer service.

A few months ago I had to move one domain from Verio to another ISP because Verio could not give me enough control of my domain so that I could point it to a site on TypePad. Weeks of discussion with baffled technical people went nowhere. They could not understand why I would want to use the domain as a pointer to another site. Duh! I finally moved the domain to pairNIC.com which was cheaper and provided me with the capabilities I needed.

The last straw occurred a few days ago when I was billed for renewal of five domains that I intended to let lapse. Verio is still playing that tired old scam, made famous with magazine subscriptions, where you get automatically renewed and the fee is not refundable.

They have installed the phone tree from hell and it takes incredible determination to reach a live person to answer billing questions. I finally got a customer service representative on the phone, who was friendly but not helpful. "Domain renewal fees are non-refundable." I had cancelled my domain renewals but she insisted their billing was non-refundable.

Surely they do not expect payment for non-service? I guess they do. Clueless, indeed!

I have written an email pointing out the negative results of such a repressive billing arrangement. If I receive no satisfaction, I will dispute the charges when I am billed by the credit card company. Being billed for fees that I did not authorize sends me a strong message about this company and its lack of business ethics.

I may eventually have to move my last domain to another ISP.

But I won’t go quietly…

UPDATE: The good, clueless folks at Verio did not respond. I disputed the charges on my AMEX credit card with a full account of being billed for services I did not authorize. The credit card company agreed with me and removed the charges.

Verio got the message. They sent me an email saying that my domain registrations were not being renewed.

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