Reporting Earthlink to the W3C

Someone called our department’s voice mail box today to complain about being ripped off on Ebay. In his message he says that he’s been using the internet for 15+ years and doesn’t usually complain about people, but if we don’t do something to help him he’s going to report us to ICANN and, get this, the W3C.

For those who don’t know, ICANN is the organization that oversees the assignment of IP addresses and domain names on the internet. In some alternate universe, they could theoretically revoke our IP address ranges or something but we’d have to commit an offense many, many orders of magnitude greater than simply not helping some guy with his Ebay problem. In real life, they just don’t do that to anyone, for any reason (even to those who really deserve it). In fact, they don’t actually do much of anything. They’re also commonly referred to as “I CAN’T“.

Also for those who don’t know, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) is a standards body that develops technology recommendations for the web. HTML, for example. What this guy expects them to do for him, he didn’t say.

I also don’t understand what people like this think we can do about these types of problems. If someone rips you off, it’s a legal matter. Contact law enforcement or file a civil claim. Granted, committing fraud is a violation of our acceptable use policy, but really, the most we could do is cancel the offender’s account. I somehow doubt that the threat of losing a $20/month dial-up account is going to deter someone from ripping people off. Which is not to say that we don’t care, but we’re being realistic. It’s nearly impossible to figure out who’s telling the truth in situations like this so we generally don’t get involved.

Comments

avitania says:

he’s going to report us to ICANN and, get this, the W3C.

ha! that rocks. i would love to keep those messages for posterity.

this morning, i received an email from someone who said that they were going to complain to the BBB about us. the BBB is one of those relics from the past; everyone gets complained about to the BBB at one time or another. i felt tempted to reply with a message simply reading, “oh yeah? BRING IT ON.

kchrist says:

We get all kinds of kooks. This guy was actually pretty mild as far as kookery goes, he just doesn’t know what the hell he’s talking about.

We get a call from the real tin foil hat brigade at least once every week or two. This week was the guy who thought someone has been “in control of” his computer for the past nine months, across multiple format/reinstalls, and even followed him to a family member’s computer he borrowed for a time. Oh, and this mysterious hax0r was able to do all this without this guy actually being connected to the internet.