Customers Last To Know of PSN.net Closure

National Internet service provider Planet Systems Network Inc., officials
are telling its former customers, “don’t call us, we’ll call you,” after
shutting off all Internet services Thursday.

A former customer, who wished to remain anonymous, said the dial up and
broadband ISP hosted two of his Web sites, which were shut off at 10:30 a.m.
Thursday. Not only was he not contacted, he said, but he is unable to
switch his services to another ISP until PSN.net resolves the problem on its
own.

A recorded message to PSN.net’s main phone line greets customers with a
cheery “PSN.net is no longer offering Internet services. All customers will
be transferred to other Internet service providers.” The message also tells
customers that officials will contact them in the future if a refund is
available.

The Web site was shut down early Friday morning.

“My main concern is that no warning was given, and now that we can’t get
email from our PSN.net account, how is the company going to contact its
customers?” the customer said. “Two, no real information about transfer of
service is being given — from timetables to the names of companies at the
PSN.net website. Three, because of the disruption, as it takes time to set
up new accounts, etc., there is a serious loss of communication, not to
mention that my Web sites are down.”

Not only are all his e-mail accounts handled through PSN.net, but in order
for Network Solutions to transfer the domain information to the next ISP, he
said, they will need email confirmation from the ISP. That’s not possible
until PSN.net responds.

Reports indicate the troubled ISP filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection
last month, but PSN.net Michael Almond was unable to prevent the company
from going under.

Martha Sessums, Covad Communications Group vice president of corporate
communications, would not comment on the status of PSN.net’s account. Covad,
with its share of deadbeat ISPs, has been trying unsuccessfully to come to
financial terms with these ISPs.

Sessums suggested PSN.net customers who are having difficulties connecting
to their service sign up to Covad’s Safety Net program at www.covad.net.
Affected customers will be given the status of their connection and allowed
to switch without incurring additional setup fees, she said.

NorthPoint Communications, another PSN.net DSL provider, was unavailable for
contact, but reportedly shut down all DSL lines to the ISP last month.

The dial-up and broadband provider has been under fire all year for what
customers and the Better Business Bureau of Arizona call false and deceptive
advertising.

Amy O’Brien, BBB director of communications, said anyone who has a complaint
can report it to her office, but the bureau is not the place to go to pursue
legal options. “We only report claims,” O’Brien said. “That’s why we
encourage people to visit our site before signing up with an ISP, not
after.”

But legal options, in the form of class action suits, might not be far down
the road for the former ISP.

In August 2000, the Attorney General of Arizona issued an Assurance of
Discontinuation for allegations that PSN.net “has directly or by implication
promulgated advertisements that are false, deceptive and misleading. The
infractions include making up price comparison offers with an expiration
date and vague and misleading purchase orders/refund policies.

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