email@example.com is dead.
It was murdered, without a shred of mercy, on Monday, September 23, 2002, between 10:12 and 10:17 EDT. No apologies have been offered since.
The last email it successfully received was at 09:04:20 EDT, followed by eternal silence.
May it rest in peace.
[ I can now be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org ]
Abacom is an Internet Service Provider (ISP) located in Sherbrooke, where I live. Founded in 1995, it was known at the time as the best ISP in town, with good service, competitive prices and enough phone lines for its customers (so that the line was seldom busy). Of course, this is the provider I chose when I got on the Net in 1996.
When I switched to cable in 2000, I still kept an account with Abacom, since my email address had become much too dear to me to let go of. I opted for a pay-as-you-go plan, with 25 hours for 25 Canadian dollars (about 17$USD). Considering that I almost never needed the PPP service (I just wanted the POP3 account), I figured 25 hours would keep me going for quite a while.
In June 2001, Abacom canceled my account because it was deemed inactive, as I hadn't logged in via PPP for months. There was no warning or grace period. I was shut out, and email started bouncing -- I was simply no longer a customer. I tried to talk it over, and was told that the plan I had was no longer available anyway, so I'd need to get a monthly plan starting at 9.50$ CDN per month. (With a minimum of three months, since I was a new customer.)
We finally got to an agreement, since iMars,
the people I work with, had a server hosted there. This allows us a few
additional email addresses, so we pulled
back from the dead.
Then, on Friday, September 20, 2002, we had to pull our server out, due to budget constraints. We had completely forgotten about the matter at this point, but Abacom certainly didn't forget, and shut down the account once more the following Monday. Again, no warning was issued.
This time, there was no other option than forking out 99$ CDN (65$ USD) every year for a PPP account, even though I only needed the POP3 account. I tried proposing that they simply forward my mail somewhere else (which would only require one line in their sendmail config), but no compromise was possible. It was either pay or get out.
I walked away.
Yes, I'm quite pissed off.
I never really gave a thought about the fact that I could lose my email address up to this point. To me, it had become as real as my given name, as important as my phone number. It was no longer something I had, but something I was.
If you try looking up my
or my username on
Google, you'll see
email@example.com, as if it were my second identity.
Now, I have to go back and erase six years of history as best as I can. How could I remember all the websites I registered on? How many people now have my old address? How many will still have my old address a year from now?
This would all be a little easier to swallow if it weren't for the lack of any sympathy from Abacom. After seven years of patronage, five being a direct customer, and having spent over 800$ CDN (pre-tax) during this time, I would have expected something in response. Instead, it seemed as if they couldn't be bothered to do anything.
Here follows a chronology of
firstname.lastname@example.org a short while.
lispacc.com, but I finally end up as
email@example.com shut down, as I haven't logged on with a modem for months. Dealing through iMars, we manage to reactivate the account a few hours later. Whether I lost some mail or not, I will never know.
firstname.lastname@example.org shut down without warning. All mail sent to it simply bounces back without any explanation to the sender.
email@example.com be dead.
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