Access1 Goes Into Bankruptcy
- Access1 Goes Into Bankruptcy
More on Access1, the company that twice closed JAIL's email service down and made JAIL inoperable. -Ron Branson
Access1 is now in Chapter 11 process. Access1 has been in cahoots with BeWell Net since April (admitted). BeWell.Net is being sued by the AG in Colorado for essentially the same kinds of fraud that happened in San Diego (Access1). I also was offered the $179 plan from Access1.
Here is what I received from BeWell.Net. Plus some other details that I got on the Internet ....
June 3, 2000
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Parker, CO...BeWell.Net announced today that it has petitioned the trustee of the bankruptcy court for Access1. The petition would allow BeWell.Net to purchase the Access1.Net customer database and the Access1.Net domain name for the purpose of converting these customers to BeWell.Net customers.
Additionally, BeWell.Net will receive the rights to assume the Access1 phone numbers; assume relationships with vendors; and any other rights or needs to service the former Access1.Net customers.
BeWell.Net is the regional Internet service provider that has been servicing Access1.Net since late April of this year. Currently all Access1.Net customers call BeWell.Net for technical support, dial up access, email, news, domain hosting and networking needs.
"This is a great move for all parties involved because BeWell.Net already maintains the mail, web and news servers for Access1.Net. Customers wishing to switch to BeWell.Net may do so with an almost seamless transition. Customers will need to call BeWell.Net to update their account information," says Christy Logan-Sheppard, President of BeWell.Net.
BeWell.Net services 50,000 dial up users, authenticates over 200,000 connections daily to the Internet and moves more than a half million emails daily.
BeWell.Net has been offering Internet Service in Colorado since 1997. Through its ingenious, state of the art network, Bewell.Net has been able to reach the rural and secondary markets that most National Providers have yet to enter. "It has always been, and will always be BeWell.Net's goal to provide affordable Internet access to everyone," says Christy Logan-Sheppard, President.
For those interested in BeWell.Net call 303.805.2638 or 800.948.2638 for further details or go to http://www.bewell.net and sign up online.
******** Now for some info they didn't send **********
State A.G. Sues Net Provider
By Steve Raabe
Denver Post Business Writer
May 13 - The Colorado Attorney General's Office filed suit Friday against a Parkerbased Internet service provider, alleging that the company engaged in deceptive business practices.
The lawsuit, filed in Douglas County District Court, claims that BeWell.Net charged customers for undelivered services, billed other customers for services they had not requested, and failed to offer promised technical support to customers.
A company official denied the charges and claimed that an Internet-service competitor stole customer e-mail communication from BeWell and forwarded the pirated documents to the attorney general's office in an attempt to cause legal problems for BeWell.
"The claims are false," said Christy Logan-Sheppard, president of BeWell. She said many of the e-mails on which the state lawsuit is based are not complaints, but simply routine communications such as customers asking for tech support or making inquiries about service.
BeWell has filed a criminal complaint with the Parker Police Department for the theft of its internal documents and is seeking an injunction against the competitor, Logan-Sheppard said.
The Attorney General's Office said the lawsuit against BeWell is based on about 400 consumer complaints filed with the Denver Better Business Bureau and with attorney general offices in Colorado, Kansas and Wyoming.
If found guilty of the civil charges, BeWell faces fines of up to $2,000 per violation. The lawsuit also names Logan-Sheppard, 33, and her husband William R. Sheppard, 52, of Parker.
The lawsuit lists these allegations against BeWell: BeWell offered a promotion of six free months of service if customers agreed to a one-year plan for $179. Hundreds of customers were billed without agreeing to the service plan.
Many BeWell customers were unable to connect to the Internet, received slow connections, or quickly lost connections, despite company claims of high-speed service.
Some customers were unable to obtain technical support because BeWell failed to answer phone calls and had insufficient support staffing on duty.
Some customers continued to be billed after they requested that their accounts be canceled; others were billed after expiration of free trial periods.
"Internet service providers need to be held accountable to the same standards we require of other businesses," said Attorney General Ken Salazar in a statement. "This kind of activity is not only bad for consumers but bad for the reputation of other Internet providers who do strive to follow the law."
Copyright 2000 The Denver Post. All rights reserved.
Business -- Internet provider battles Better Business Bureau
By Alan J. Kania
A Parker-based Internet-service provider is one of the largest regional providers in Colorado, says the Boardwatch Internet Service Providers Directory. And it's growing at a rate of 1,500 net customers each month.
But the Better Business Bureau doesn't think BeWell.Net is worth the credit.
Despite making improvements that prompted Christy Logan-Sheppard and Bill Sheppard to move into a larger building in the Parker Square Drive commercial district off Hilltop and Parker roads, the BBB's bad review haunts them.
BeWell.Net is not a member of the Better Business Bureau; a non-relationship that is satisfactory to both parties.
"BeWell.Net has an unsatisfactory record with the Denver Better Business Bureau," writes Patrick Smid, president of the Denver-area BBB, on its Web site. "It has been the subject of a volume and pattern of consumer complaints that allege dissatisfaction with services provided by the firm. Complaints filed with the BBB include excessive busy signals, unavailable service, disconnections, slow connections and failure to provide services as promised or ordered."
The original allegations were published July 9, 1998, on Dive-In Denver, a service of US West Interactive Services Inc. The review remains on the BBB Web site as a "consumer alert."
During the last three years, the BBB said, 66 people have filed complaints and two-thirds of the complaints have been resolved in some manner. The reporting agency did not provide figures of other Internet providers working in Colorado, but did say complaints about the Parker Internet-service provider were "far in excess of the other providers."
However, Glenn Herlinger, a Douglas County News-Press columnist and computer consultant, said the number of complaints against BeWell.Net is minimal.
"Sixty-six complaints doesn't sound unreasonable to me at all," he said. "For all we know, those could be people who don't know how to use a computer in the first place and are blaming their problems on the Internet-service provider. That's not an uncommon scenario."
Herlinger said America Online had trouble meeting demand for its unlimited service and spent millions of dollars to bring the service up to meet customer demand. It also was the subject of a class-action lawsuit brought by frustrated AOL subscribers.
"We're a small part of the Colorado Internet," said Bill Sheppard. "There are approximately 350 Internet providers in Colorado, some with only 50 customers. We cover all of Colorado from 16 locations in a dual hub-and-spoke design. We're three times the size of our nearest competitor and cover every city in Colorado with local-access phone lines."
US West is the largest Colorado provider, but its Internet connection statistics include customers outside Colorado, says a recent survey conducted by the Denver Business Journal. BeWell.Net was rated second, Rocky Mountain Internet third and SuperNet, recently purchased by Q-West Inc., came in fourth.
Bill Sheppard defended his company's record, stating BeWell.Net has approximately 50,000 subscribers, losing only 3 percent of its subscribers each year, a figure Sheppard states matches the industry standard for turnover of accounts. He also said approximately 30 percent of the new subscribers come as referrals from existing accounts.
The BBB said some customers of the Internet-service provider have said the company failed to respond to their complaints.
"Consumers with complaints have found it difficult to reach a BeWell.Net customer service representative," continued the BBB report, "then, all too often, the representative has been rude. ... The firm has generally responded to complaints presented by the BBB with a form letter denying the refund request by explaining that fees are prepaid and non-refundable. This response has been unsatisfactory to consumers with complaints on record."
Bill Sheppard said BeWell.Net provides Internet service for $9.95 a month.
"It costs us $35 to provide an account for a customer," Sheppard said. "Each modem is shared by 8.5 customers and the phone line costs $50 to install, plus the cost of all the related equipment."
To keep the cost of the infrastructure in line with a low profit margin, Sheppard insists that clients adhere to the contract. The company does not bill customers, replacing a costly invoicing system with a less expensive dunning of a customer's debit or credit card. He admits the system is not traditional, but customers are alerted to the terms on the contract verbally and in writing.
Meanwhile, BeWell.Net has complaints about the BBB.
Christy Logan-Sheppard, president of BeWell.Net, founded the company in 1996, but the BBB shows an incorporation date of Oct. 1, 1992. She has fought with the BBB to correct the date and other discrepancies to no avail. Logan-Sheppard also operates a vitamin manufacturing business in Parker.
The above articles were sent to JAIL by the Corruption Crusaders, http://www.access1.net/gtmail/index.htm
Disclaimer: This is sent to you for informational purposes only.
J.A.I.L. cannot vouch for the veracity of any matter.J.A.I.L. (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law)
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