Radu Luchian(ov): Pastime: Commentary
My experience with ZDNet

"One of the worst things in life is not how nasty the nasty people are; you know that already. It is how nasty the nice people can be."
-- Enoch Powell: The Book of Common Prayer

This is an outrage!!

Thank you for messing up my on-line life, ZDNet. I used to consider ZDNet as my place to start whenever I was looking for information or buying advice, but no more!!

First you took away my email address which everybody knew, so I went ahead and got my domain name and email address through you. Which service sucks (lots of down time on the DNS and mail, bouncing messages, poor, unfriendly on-line email application), but I'm stuck with it for a year.

Now you took away my web site. Granted, it's not much and I didn't have time to update it lately, but still it's mine.

I paid for the Sitebuilder service, and when I called months later to check what the US$50 charge to my VISA was, the support people told me it's just for membership in some boogey-woogey stuff with buyer protection and Computer Shopper subscription. So I cancelled it. And you took away my site. *fume* And now, more than a month after I cancelled and more than 2 months after I got charged, though my site is down, the money didn't yet reach my account *fume*

I guess I'll have to go to geocities. I'm deeply disappointed. I used to recommend ZDNet, now I'll tell my story to whomever I can.

Unhappily yours,
Quoting CNET Support :

Subject: Cancellation Notice/SiteBuilder

Hello Radu,

It has been forwarded to my attention that we have detected an issue in regards to your SiteBuilder account and that we have not been able to bill you in the past.

According to our records, the following account is due to be removed on 10/11/02. Please note that once this account is closed, its work would be removed and cannot be restored.

UserId: raduluc
Password: XXXXX

You must contact me directly in order to save your account. If contact is not made, the account will be closed on 10/11/02.

Please note that we are able to accept checks and money orders. Please let me know if you are interested in this method of payment as I would need to reserve your account and send you more details.

Looking forward to hearing from you.


ZDNet Premium Services
Customer Support

From Radu:

It's a NO. Close the darn account.

If you're interested in WHY, here it is:
-I paid for zdnetonebox and siteBuilder well before ZDNEt went commercial.
-On the day you went commercial, my site and email became totally inaccessible.
-which caused major problems for me, since a big chunk of my personal and academic life hinge on my web site and email account.
-after I called to check the service, your support rep told me *I* had cancelled the service. Wrong.
-after some 6 months from when ZDNet kicked me out, I received back 72% of the money I paid (due to exchange rates in both directions and the fact I was never reimbursed for the first year of zdnetonebox.)

So thank you, but no, I'll never use your services again. I used to be a ZDNet fan. After its commercialization, nothing worked like before. Now I have great hosting and email with linuxmotor, get computing information from various sources, game information from GameSpy, and I build my own tools for maintaining and testing my web site.

ZDNet was a gorgeous integrated service. Until you people chopped it up. I was using it since its debut (1995 or so). And I was very sorry to let it go.

But there it is. Good luck with your strange business model.
Radu Luchianov

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