Why I hate CompuServe

These guys are industrial strength idiots. There is no question about it! They are claiming I owe them over $4000 and keep harassing me with phone calls and letters. I have explained this to them many times but to no avail. They are morons.

Here's the story.

I was using CompuServe as my ISP in spite that their customer service sucks and that I could get cheaper ISPs for the only reason that I could connect from some foreign countries using CompuServe. I have done this in the past without any problems. In the US I had the flat rate and when i travelled, using an outdated 286 laptop at 2400 baud (no internet capability), I would log in for a minute or two at a time to get and send email. The surcharges were minimal (something like 10 cents a minute I believe but the calls were 1 - 2 minutes) adding up to just a few dollars.

Last November I traveled to Madrid Spain for a few weeks and while I was there one day my access was denied. I later found out CompuServe had sent some huge charges to my credit card and shut me off when they were rejected.

They have sent me a long list of connection times and durations and after analyzing them carefully I can see:

  • A- The calls last for hours and overlap. What on earth would I be doing on the Net with a computer that cannot use a browser? Since the calls overlap, sometimes three and four sessions at a time, it is obviously impossible. CompuServe says I just did not log out correctly but to that I have to say
    (1) after a certain period of inactivity the connection should log you off so how come a connection can last 6 or 8 hours without being logged off? In any case,
    (2) I am knowledgeable about using computers and I have used this software for years and I know I was logging out correctly so I reject that explanation completely.

  • B- Now that I look at the log more closely I see some sessions were handled directly by CompuServe and some by Equant-Euronet. Every one by CompuServe is correct and lasts no more than 1 or 2 minutes. It is the ones by Equant-Euronet that are all messed up. I was logging out correctly.

  • C- There are days when I was in Washington DC and there are sessions logged both from DC and from Madrid. Needless to say the ones from Madrid are not bad logoffs, they are just nonexistent. I am absolutely certain it was not someone using my account. Rather it looks like computer error or someone deliberately planting false sessions, in any case by Equant-Euronet.

  • D- There are even sessions totaling 10 hours the day and hours I was flying from Washington to Madrid and I still have the air ticket to prove it. What more proof can I offer?

  • E- Shouldn't CompuServe have some kind of detection like credit cards and calling cards do to alert for suspicious activity? There are a total of 21543 minutes in just one week ($2175) which means running more than two computers simultaneously 24/7.

You would think this would be enough evidence for reasonable people but all I get from the idiots at CompuServe is arguments and harassment with phone calls and collection notices. Because all I get from them is stupid arguments, lies and a waste of time, I have decided to communicate with them only in writing. I have written them a letter, that I mailed by USPS with proof of delivery, telling them the reasons why I reject the charges and that I do not want them to harass me any further with letters or phone calls.

(By the way and just as a clarification: the credit card is out of this loop already. They charged back the amounts I was charged and now they are not involved. It is just me up against CompuServe.)

I have been trying to resolve this matter with CompuServe for months but they are total morons and I am afraid they may report it to the credit bureaus and damage my credit (there is obviously no way in the world they are ever going to get the money). I know they can do this even if their claim is totally invalid and without need for a judgment.

(Did I mention these guys are idiots?)




Compuserve Sucks Autor: Alfonso Gonzalez Vespa