I Love Acronyms
Tuesday, June 17, 1997 by Dave Winer.
I've been playing a game with my friends.
I say "ILA".
They say "I'll figure it out!".
I wait. They fumble.
They get it.
We do it again.
I don't know why they're so funny, maybe they're not always, but acronyms are cool because you can use them elevate a mundane concept to more official status by making it an acronym.
I Love Acronyms.
You can elevate it even further by adding an OB in front.
I haven't written this up in DaveNet because I was concerned it wouldn't come thru well non-verbally. In the future (ITF) I'm going to use acronym language more and more, and then it will pass, and then I'll do it less and less (LAL).
Bear with me (BWM).
ISP stands for Internet Service Provider.
Last October I switched ISPs, from Internex to Conxion. I totally dig Conxion, they continue to exceed all reasonable expections for uptime, throughput, compatibility, software performance and most important, professionalism.
Many of the people at Conxion are young, but they have incredibly excellent manners. When there's a problem, they solve it quickly, acknowledge it, tell me why it happened, and if appropriate, say what they're doing to prevent the problem in the future. I'm informed every step of the way.
I'm probably getting special treatment because of my visibility, but even so I totally and wholeheartedly recommend Conxion because they do their job so well, even if you don't operate a site like mine, I'm sure you'll be very happy with the service.
While I was writing this piece, I received an email from Curt Howland, firstname.lastname@example.org:
"Good morning. As of 09:30, Mae-West is having serious problems. This may cause trouble getting to some sites. Peering remains up through the PacBell NAP and Mae-East. If there are any questions, please don't hesitate to call us."
See what I mean?
I cancelled my service with Internex in January, after a brief period of having two ISP connections, hedging against the possibility that Conxion wouldn't work out. By January I was ready to cut the umbilical cord, so I called Internex and told them to shut it down.
They didn't hear me. Charges kept appearing on my credit card. I had my assistant get in touch with them, but they didn't respond. So we contacted the credit card company and disputed the charges. In May the charges reappeared on my credit card bill, and I called the card company personally.
I got the runaround for two hours and then got the bad news. If Internex wanted to keep charging my account, they could do it, and I would have to pay, for a service I wasn't using and had cancelled five months earlier.
So I called Internex. I clearly explained that I did not want their service, and I wanted them to credit me for the five months since I had terminated the service.
But the Internex computers didn't get the message. I got a call this morning from someone in customer service, wanting to verify the billing information on the *three accounts* they had for me in their database. Again, I tried to explain that I wasn't a customer.
I was passed up to a supervisor, he wouldn't let me finish a sentence, saying that he didn't want to be "treated like a doormat." I started to object, saying that I was treating him with professional respect, but he hung up on me between professional and respect.
In the middle of writing this piece, I was contacted by an assistant to the vice president of marketing for Internex, assuring me that the problems would be dealt with, so perhaps, with some luck, we will close this account with a satisfying if not speedy ending.
PS: OB stands for OverBoard, which means "to go to extremes, to be wildly enthusiastic."
PPS: It seems that C|Net or InfoWorld or ZDNet could offer a lab-testing system for ISPs, much as they have established procedures and tests for evaluating software and PC and server systems.
PPPS: I wrote about my experience with Internex in The Compaq of ISPs, 7/31/96.