Horrible Service Agreements

Jon Lewis jlewis at inorganic5.fdt.net
Sun Nov 30 05:32:34 UTC 1997

On Sat, 29 Nov 1997, Phil Howard wrote:

> > month including local loop.  However, the contract terms include what I'm 
> > terming an anti-spam clause which generally states that if us or any of our
> > clients or their clients decide to "prevent others from enjoying the
> > internet" (paraphrasing) they can terminate us immediately and make us pay
> Unless you're just new to the Internet, you know that spam is a very
> pervasive problem.  I'm very glad to see at least some hint that some
> backbone providers are starting to clamp down.

I don't think anyone disagrees that spam is a major problem and not an
acceptable thing to have customers doing.  What Forrest was complaining
about was much too harsh an anti-spam policy.  I doubt Forrest would have
a problem with "If your network is repeatadly used to distribute spam and
no effort is made to stop this, service may be terminated."  What he was
complaining about was that they were basically saying "If your network is
ever used to distribute spam, we have the right to terminate service
immediately and levy severe financial penalties."  This would mean that if
they ever have a customer spam, even if they nuke the account as soon as
they know about the spam, they might lose that T1 and a lot of money.
Whoever wrote those clauses was either way too naive, militant, or just
entirely without clue.

> You make contract clauses all your customers have to sign that requires
> them to pay all costs and overhead for any problems they cause.

Good luck collecting on that when some 12 year old sends out make money
fast.  Are you willing to bet your connection to the net on that?

> You might need to expect to pay more.

Especially considering his remoteness.  $2500/month for port and loop sounds
pretty good to me.  Many of the "bigger" backbone providers charge that just
for the port fee.

 Jon Lewis <jlewis at fdt.net>  |  Unsolicited commercial e-mail will
 Network Administrator       |  be proof-read for $199/message.
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